first day of school (and why we’re homeschooling)

To be completely honest, I somehow feel a little nervous about writing this post. I didn’t want it to seem like I am against public schools, or teachers, or anyone who sends their child to school. I admire teachers so much for everything that they do, and I know their jobs are definitely challenging. Deciding to keep Kaya at home for kindergarten was not a conclusion I reached easily, but I know in my heart it is the right thing for her right now.

When she was just over 2 years old, I came across some information on homeschooling, and after that, it constantly weighed on my mind. It was an intense (and at times, all-consuming) thought that would never would go away, no matter how hard I tried to let it go. So, I started to do my research and learn about all the different homeschooling philosophies, the various curriculum, and what would be required to keep her at home. I talked to and asked a million questions of any other homeschooling families I met. I pondered and prayed and waited and listened to feel confirmation that this would be the right choice. Many days and nights of fearing my own inadequacies and doubting my ability to teach her finally culminated in a true sense of peace, and knowing that I was made to teach my own children best.

There are so many reasons I have for homeschooling, but if I had to summarize the majority of them in one word, it would come down to this:


We get our kindergarten work done in about 1.5 to 2 hours each day, as opposed to the 8 hours she would spend away from home at public school. At this young age, I want her to still spend the majority of her day with her family. I want us to be her greatest influence. 

I want to teach her math while we’re baking, tell her about nature as we take walks, and answer all her hard questions. I want to have TIME to do all those things with her, and having her home will make those teaching opportunities more readily available.

I want her to learn life skills, not just school smarts. I want her to have more opportunities for service and helping others, and to see how important that is.

With her home, we can have lunch together everyday. We can have dance parties in the afternoon and go on more family trips. She can choose what she wants to learn about, and I can help fuel her interests. I want to be there to hear about her dreams and listen to her imagination. I want to have a strong bond with my daughters, and for them to form strong bonds with their sisters, too. I’m just not sure that could really be done in just the two or three rushed hours we’d have together after she’d get off the bus.

Even with all that conviction in my heart, I still felt emotional when I saw that big yellow bus roll through our neighborhood on the first day of school, knowing Kaya wasn’t getting on it. The day your first baby goes to kindergarten is a big milestone, and in a way, “skipping” that made my choice to homeschool feel a hundred times more real and monumental. I can only hope that when my daughters look back one day, they won’t feel as if I took something away from them by not putting them on that school bus, but that I gave them the gift of a different kind of learning, and a little more time to still be just kids.

One of the most common questions I’ve been asked is, “Are you going to do homeschool forever, or just for kindergarten?”, and the only answer I can give so far is that we’ll be taking it one year at a time to see how it goes.

Kaelyn will be doing preschool this year, just the way I did with Kaya for the past two years. She’s already interested in Kaya’s books, so she’s been quick to learn. I’m happy to have her home with us, too.Here’s to our first “official” year of learning!

“I promise you: the calling to be a parent includes the gift to teach in the ways that are right for you and for your children.” – Robert D. Hales, “Come, Follow Me” by Practicing Christian Love and Service