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 name is Jen Eisel. I'm a homeschooling mom with two young children, seven and almost four. As far as how we came about homeschooling, I suppose it was always the plan for us. I spent a few years set on getting a degree in elementary education, because I wanted to teach. The further I went on the more I realized that, while I did want to teach, I think I wanted to teach at a very exclusive school: one that you had to be born into to attend (ha!)
We started with Montessori, slowly moved into a cookie cutter version of school, and now we're unschoolers and have been settled comfortably in that style for the last few years. The girls are free to live and learn as they see useful and fit to their own self. Sometimes that means they want a workbook to work in, or spending all day reading. Sometimes it means Googling "World's Tallest Chocolate Fountain" because they just have to know! We use many easily obtained resources such as watching documentaries, playing board games, field trips, magazine subscriptions, attending classes offered throughout the state, taking lots of hikes, and working together on our homestead.
I wanted to homeschool because I wanted to spend as much time with my kids as I could. I didn't want my kids shipped away for eight hours, only to be subjected to the negativity and pressures put on children today in the public school system. Because of homeschooling I'm here to celebrate every success and console every failure. I get to see all those "a-ha" moments when they learn something new and even learn a few new things myself. It's the most rewarding thing.
Misconceptions homeschoolers face are usually the same across the board. They're unsocialized, the parents can't provide what a school can, the list goes on. To that I ask: Have you ever sat and talked with a homeschooler? These kids are among some of the most well-rounded kids I know. That's not even speaking for my children specifically! People tend to only shed light on the negativity, the few exceptions to what homeschoolers truly are. They fail to notice the many homeschooled children quietly and happily going about their lives.
To anyone considering homeschooling, I say just do it. Pull your kid out and don't overthink it. Ask them what their passions are or what they're interested in currently, and dive into it together! It's a good way to see what learning style fits them best. Plus, they'll love spending some quality time with you!
By Jennifer Eisel