I homeschooled my children from birth to adulthood. No, I was not one of those types of homeschoolers. I did not choose this educational option as a way to hide my children from the world. On the contrary, as homeschoolers, my children lived in the real world, with connections to many kinds of people, involvement in the community, and practical, real-life experience.
I began officially homeschooling my two daughters in 1995. I greatly enjoyed spending time with my girls, watching them learn, and learning with them, so, I saw no reason to give up that precious time simply because they reached age five. Among the numerous reasons I homeschooled was the ability to provide a custom education tailored to each child’s needs, and allowing my children to learn about what interests them. My daughters turned out to be articulate, decent, happy, sensible people who love to learn, even though they have been raised well outside the mainstream.
During my 21 years as a homeschooling parent, I was very active in the homeschool community on the local, state and national level. This included spearheading the grassroots coalition that attained the Prince William County Homeschool Victory, serving 10 years as a key volunteer with The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers, helping to foster the Homeschool Theatre Troupe, and building VaEclecticHS, the largest and most active statewide homeschool discussion list in Virginia. I also wrote articles for Home Education Magazine (HEM), edited the HEM Online Newsletter, and was a featured author at the Life Without School blog, Linda Dobson’s “Parent at the Helm” Blog and a contributor to The Homeschool Mom.com blog, among others.
Although I began homeschooling partly as a reaction to my own unhappy public high school experience, I found that this educational choice offers a great deal more than initially meets the eye. I saw homeschooling as an extension of my “attachment” style of parenting; it was a natural part of connection, respect, and truly knowing my children. In homeschooling my children I was able to spend a great deal of time with them. We had the “luxury” of learning about what interests us, the pleasure of learning together.
Homeschooling also greatly assisted us in reducing the impact of Madison Avenue mainstream culture. Most people now know that homeschooling has proven to be educationally and socially effective, but it isn’t widely know that homeschooling is also…fun!