Why do families choose to homeschool? The circumstances and reasons are varied. In the “Our Path to Here” series, we tell you our stories.
As a child imagining what my future might be, I somehow thought I could be a stay-at-home mom while I was also a full-time classroom teacher! As a young adult looking for a spouse, the idea of finding someone who would support us so I could be a full-time mother was very appealing to me. For many of the same reasons I valued the SAHM lifestyle—freedom to influence my children, time to learn at our own pace, ability to appreciate these little people for who they are and help them discover their God-given abilities—I valued the idea of homeschooling.
Because of some special needs of our oldest child, school shopping was very eye-opening for us. We were already considering homeschooling in theory, but we really wanted to thoroughly explore our options. After visiting several preschools, we quickly realized that this style of education would not support the needs of our daughter, so we looked into homeschooling more seriously.
After reading several books about home education, and overcoming some preconceived notions about what “school at home” should look like, we dove into preschool for our oldest, quickly finding that our younger children didn’t want to be left out. At this point, “school” looked like a 15-minute phonics lesson, a 15-minute math lesson, and lots of stories (including history!) every day! It also included plenty of “field trips” to the library and park. Why not include the younger siblings in this?!
God blessed us with more children, and the years went by. Each year, we evaluate homeschooling, and find it still works well for our entire family and knits our lives closely together. Our oldest child will be easing into “high school” next year with much more independent work, but we still enjoy gathering all of us together for home devotions and “morning meeting” every day, and sharing many other subjects as a family as well. I appreciate that my husband takes an active role in the children’s education, tutoring them in Latin (and learning along with them!) and also helping out with science. Homeschooling has definitely been a blessing in our marriage, helping us communicate regularly about our children and our goals for them, and also helping us take seriously our role as the primary educators for our children in their faith.
Marie K. MacPherson is wife to Ryan, homeschooling mother of six, and child of God. She is the author of the devotion book Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood (2018), and editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies (2016). A certified Classical teacher from CCLE and Elementary Education graduate of Bethany Lutheran College, she enjoys researching and writing in her free time.