We’re homeschoolers. There. I said it. The child of a public school teacher, 13 years as a student in public education (plus another 5 if you want to count college and grad school), and another 6 years as a public school teacher myself, and I ended up keeping my kids home.
I was originally somewhat hesitant to announce this to my college friends and former coworkers, lest they beat me about the head and neck with my Teacher of the Year bell and then decide to take it back. Thankfully, most have been quite supportive, though I'm not sure if it's homeschooling they are in favor of, or just the thought of another person escaping the ever-increasing cascade of paperwork involved in teaching.
So why are we doing this? Lots of reasons. We're homebodies. We like spending time together. I like my kids spending their days together—something that would have been very short lived if we had gone the traditional route, since there are five years between my kids. The thought of going back to teaching full time makes me want to crawl under the bed like my cat when he sees the travel carrier. Grocery shopping is so much nicer in the middle of a weekday—and so is the zoo, the museum, and just about any place else you might want to go. If my kids have trouble, they won't fall through the cracks. No fundraisers. And on and on and on.
I guess the easiest explanation is that we want to do this, and we are fortunate enough that we can. And truthfully, this seems so much easier than sending them to school. When my husband was preparing to leave the Air Force and we were looking for a new place to live, it was nice to not have to take school into consideration. If Jack had gone to kindergarten, we would have lost our freedom to the school system just as we were getting it back from the military. And as I discovered very (alarmingly) quickly after quitting my job, I love my freedom.
Just so you know, I’m not against public schools. You can probably find many homeschoolers who are, but I'm not one of them. In fact, I loved the time I spent in public schools; I even miss teaching. I’m glad there are so many good teachers out there who give so much for their students. It's just not for us now.
It’s been a few years since we started this adventure. My son is now a second grader and we’ve added a daughter. Every year is different—honestly, every day is different—but I am so glad we’ve chosen this path.