Original Post 6-23-15
Before you read on, you should know that I am passionate about home schooling. We have educated both our boys at home from the start and have really enjoyed it even though that wasn't the original plan. And yes, we did it because of food allergies. I sense it's really bad to admit that, but I don't know why. I think it's a pretty good reason to home school, actually.
Rest assured, now that we are six years into home school, we LOVE it and and will continue as long as we can. Hopefully through high school. Food allergies or not. That's how much we genuinely enjoy it now.
If you ask about special needs, food allergies, and school anywhere online, you will get plenty of talk about 504 Plans. That's perfectly suffice for many people, and I'm glad that layer of accommodation is available. But there are other options that I'm afraid are not as often represented, and home school is one of those.
I was fortunate to have fellow home school friends who encouraged me to home school early on. Or I'm afraid I would have been too chicken to try. So this post is for parents like me...who need a friend to spur them on to explore their options. We are so blessed in this country to have educational choices, aren't we?
As you read these reasons that we home school, you will no doubt sense my enthusiasm. Please don't take offense. I know not everyone is going to home school. But I do think that every loving family is CAPABLE if they so choose.
As the director of our home school group, I get to talk to people daily about why we home school and why we love it. And our local group has quadrupled in size these past four years!
So here I will share some points that I explore with families wondering about home school.
FOOD ALLERGY REASONS WE HOME SCHOOL
1. PUBLIC SCHOOL TOLD US TO
Our public school told us we should probably home school because they don't want moms volunteering around the school too much.
2. NO FULL-TIME NURSES AT SCHOOL
The public school only had a part-time nurse. We felt this was just not enough support for our food allergy son.
3. SCARY CAFETERIAS
I'm the one who has made all our food allergy mistakes so I certainly don't expect a cafeteria to keep my son safe. Cross contamination, surface residue, and airborne allergens are all concerns.
All we have to do is read the daily news to know what an epidemic school bullying has become. Very disheartening.
5. FOCUS ON STRENGTHS, NOT FOOD ALLERGY
My sons are gaining a lot of confidence by being able to focus on their academic, spiritual, personality, and extra-curricular strengths at home.
6. SMALLER, SAFER COMMUNITY
Our home school group is small enough to build relationships and to have a food allergy safe environment where everyone is understanding. Life isn't always like this but why shouldn't it be for now? We believe in baby-stepping into the big wide world.
7. EFFECTIVE FOOD ALLERGY ADVOCACY
We get to educate a close-knit community about food allergies. And they are then going out and educating others. Think quality over quantity. Jesus and the 12 disciples.
8. LOWER STRESS FOR ALL
Parent and child food allergy stress levels are much lower. Better for our overall health.
9. INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION & SAFETY
We think we can keep our child alive better than a school can. That's a strong reason.
10. TEACH FOOD ALLERGY SKILLS IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
I can teach my food allergy son and empower him about his food allergy from home. We are walking alongside him and doing this together.
OTHER REASONS WE HOME SCHOOL
11. WE DON'T CARE ABOUT BEING MAINSTREAM
Teaching our kids to think outside the box is important to us. We don't want them to be conformists. We want them to be thinkers, communicators, and leaders.
12. WE HOLD OUR VALUES TIGHTLY
We want to instill values into our children that the school system will not. In fact, the school systems may instill values COUNTER to what our family thinks and believes, and I don't want to spend our evenings un-teaching what our kids may learn at school.
13. WE WANT OUR KIDS TO BE KIDS
Getting to sled when it snows, ride bikes when it's sunny, splash puddles when it rains, run in leaves when they fall. Not to mention that no matter how good parents are at home, the influence at school these days can be appalling. In my opinion, society is growing our kids up way too fast. Call me a prude.
14. BEING SOCIAL IS THE LEAST OF OUR WORRIES
Our food allergy son is a competitive club athlete. Our other son is a natural life-of-the-party. We have sports friends, church friends, cousins, neighbor friends, home school field trips and play days. In addition, my kids are learning to socialize beyond their peer group, and that's neat to see.
15. WE HAVE A GREAT PROGRAM
We have found an amazing, nationalized home school program that will take our children all the way through high school. Classical Christian education is totally for us.
16. FAMILY TIME IS IMPORTANT TO US
We don't spend the evenings doing homework, and that means more fun time with dad. We can take vacations whenever we want, too. Bonus!
17. RELAXED SCHEDULE
We can stay up late, wake up late. Have a slow breakfast. No lunch-packing stress or limitations, and we have time to make nutritious dinners. I love our laid back schedule especially in the kitchen!
18. THE HOME SCHOOL MOVEMENT IS GROWING
Home schooling has grown exponentially in recent years and so has the support network. At our disposal are legal defense, social avenues, online inspiration, and awesome curriculum choices of all varieties! There's no need to go at it alone these days.
19. STATISTICALLY SUCCESSFUL
Home school graduates are scoring above average on national tests, and colleges are starting to vie for these well-performing students.
20. LIFE IS SHORT
We only have our children for a short time. In 9 quick years, I will be able to do whatever I want with my life. For now, we are thoroughly enjoying our time with our kids.
Our Teen Home School Friends
SOME MYTHS ABOUT HOME SCHOOLING
ONLY MOMS HOME SCHOOL
Dads can get involved, too, and they do a great job. Good male role models are so good for our kids.
ONLY STAY AT HOME MOMS CAN HOME SCHOOL
I know home school moms who work full-time or part-time, even outside the home. Doctors, nurses, Chamber of Commerce President, professors, managers, business owners galore.
HOME SCHOOL HAS TO BE FROM 8am TO 3pm
Nope. For one, learning takes half the time when it's one-on-one with your child. And it can be early mornings, evenings, and even weekends.
SINGLE MOMS CAN'T HOME SCHOOL
I know ones who do! They enlist the help of grandparents, family, babysitters, etc. to help get things done. With a good ally, I've seen it's possible
HOME SCHOOL IS TOO EXPENSIVE
It doesn't have to be. There are tons of free or inexpensive resources out there. Our family embraces the classical model of simplicity.
I HAVE TO USE PUBLIC SCHOOL BECAUSE I PAY TAXES INTO IT
Well, so do retired people. We will be paying money to the schools our entire life as long as we are home owners. Move to a cheaper district if it makes you feel better. ;)
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOME SCHOOLING
- Find out your state laws regarding home school. Some have no regulations. Some do.
- Any loving parent can home school. You know your child best.
- You don't have to be "religious" to home school. There are all kinds of programs.
- There are so many curriculum and methods out there now. Choose what's best for your family!
- Practice home school during the preschool years. It will help you learn your styles early.
- You don't have to pick one thing and stick to it. Changing curriculum or schools is fine. Do what's best for now and be willing to change as needed.
- If you would like for me to get into more specifics, I would love to help more. Just comment and let me know your questions!