GSHE will periodically publish personal stories from families about their home education journeys. We hope they provide insight into the diverse and extensive community we have in New Hampshire, help prospective families get a sense of the amazing array of options available with home education, and encourage a better understanding of home education. Each story is written by the family, not GSHE, and shared with permission.
My husband and I have three kids ages 3 to 8, and we have homeschooled them from the beginning. I was homeschooled for most of my childhood and we knew since before we became parents that we would be homeschooling.
Some of my favorite things about being a homeschooled kid are now my favorite things about being a homeschooling mom: going to the museums, parks, and stores on weekdays when they’re empty, planning vacations for times when everyone else is in school for the same reason, following interests when inspiration strikes, letting your body wake up naturally in the mornings, making friends of all ages — the list could go on and on! As a homeschooler, I also became much closer to my mom and sister because we spent our school days together. My mom died of cancer when I was 19 and I feel very lucky to have had all those “extra” hours with her as I grew up.I would call myself an eclectic homeschooler. We don’t have a rigid structure to our days, but we do follow specific curricula for each subject. My kids have very different learning styles and needs, so I love being able to research and choose the curriculum that is best for each child in subjects like math and reading. It’s convenient and enjoyable to teach them together for subjects like history, art, and literature. For several years, we have participated in a small group co-op for science, so the kids also get the experience of doing some academics with their peers and learning from teachers other than me. If my kids were in school, I wouldn’t get to see how they learn, what they know, or where they struggle. They could be impeded from moving faster than the rest of the class, or they could fall behind and be shuffled through the system, forgotten. And I would miss them! I want to be the one raising my children, spending my days with them through the good and the bad, celebrating each small achievement and watching them become capable, thoughtful individuals. Opportunities for homeschoolers are abundant compared to when I was a kid in the 90’s. You will meet other homeschooling families everywhere you go, and you will easily find classes, clubs, or co-ops for just about anything your child wants to learn. Thanks to the internet and the endless niche Facebook groups, homeschoolers have huge virtual support networks at their fingertips — my advice is to join them all, especially while you’re figuring out your educational style and preferred curricula! Find your local groups as well so you can start connecting in person at park playdates and other meetups. Homeschooling looks different in every single family, and that’s the beauty of it. When it comes to your children, you are the expert!
By Becky Anderson