I never dreamed we would become homeschoolers. I wanted my kids integrated and socialized. I wanted their eyes opened to the realities of the world. I wanted the values we taught at home put to the test in the real world. We tried public school and our parish school. But necessity drove me to consider homeschooling for my elementary aged children, so one night my husband and I timidly attended a home school parent meeting.Share
I thought I’d find a bunch of stay-at-home moms who dressed liked they lived in the 1800’s. But my biased stereotypes were set straight very quickly. Instead, I found parents, both moms and dads, who are educated professionals including doctors, lawyers, and teachers. Home schooling parents have almost nothing in common except that they care passionately about education, children, and family life.
An estimated 2.04 million K-12 children are home educated in the United States, a 75% increase since 1999. Although currently only 4% of all K12 students nationwide are educated at home, experts are predicting an exponential boom in homeschooling in the next 5-10 years. Most states even provide free online public schools, known as virtual schools or virtual homeschools for K12 students.
For a year I was afraid to tell any of my work colleagues that we were homeschooling. People would stereotype me. My boss might assume that I couldn’t possibly be committed my career as an academic pediatrician for Washington University in St. Louis. I wasn’t sure I could homeschool my kids well. I feared the whole year would be an academic failure and emotional nightmare. I was so unsure about this homeschooling experiment that I even kept a spare school uniform in case I had to send my kids back to school at the last moment.
This month our kids are finishing their second year of homeschooling. I think we can call this success! We’ve had our kids in both public and private schools, but homeschooling has turned out to be the best option for our family. (Read more.)