Why we Homeschool

When we came to the US ten years ago, I had no idea that such a system as homeschooling existed, and when I first heard about a couple of large families homeschooling their children, I was shocked and thought of it as ridiculous.

Why would anyone bother to spend their whole life educating their children, when you can just send the kids to school and enjoy your day – doing whatever you want to do in life. My mother was a stay home mom and we were in school half the day Mon – Fri. That is the time she used to clean the house, cook food, do shopping, run errands and make phone calls. 

I also thought: I am not a teacher. I am not qualified to teach my own children. How could I, when others have to go to University for years in order to get a degree to teach children.

 

But the idea of ordinary people teaching their own children stuck in my mind and I decided to explore and find out more. First, I watched youtube videos and documentaries on families homeschooling their children. One of the first families I watched were the Duggars. They home educated their 18 (!) children. It struck me, that indeed, these people were just ordinary people. And yet, their education seemed solid, thought through and well implemented. 

I also loved the idea of families going on the journey or raising their children and preparing them for life together. 

So, I searched further. I bought one of the Duggar’s books and went through their homeschooling tips and resources. That’s where I found the book “Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons” – which we still love to use to teach our children how to read to this day.

 

My eldest son was then about 3 years old and Paul and I talked and decided, that we wanted to try this homeschooling instead of sending him to pre-school or kindergarten. Coming from Germany I didn’t agree with send your children to school before the age of 6 anyway. Neither did Paul – having grown up in Nigeria without any institution before first grade.

I always thought, I wanted my children to be children until they started school. I did not want them having to memorize or learn things (they did not want to learn on their own) before first grade. 

Little did I realize then, that years later I would even question the entire modern school system for the very reason of forcing children to learn what and when it’s in the textbook.

 

Our own homeschooling journey started 8 years ago, when I looked on Amazon for our first homeschooling curriculum for our then 3 year old. I bought the books “Bright Beginnings”, an easy Christian Homeschool Curriculum with daily lessons in Bible, Hygiene, Art, Food, Math and Activities. You can go through this curriculum in 1 or 2 years. I went for 2 years, since I found the material a little overwhelming for a small child. I did love the fact, that nearly every project, craft and recipe could be done with things we most likely already had in our home or kitchen. And from the recommended reading list we found many books at our local library.

 

When my son got to the age of going to school, both Paul and I decided, that we wanted to continue homeschooling. We looked for an affordable Christian Curriculum that was all inclusive and found this to be with CLASS homeschooling. Long story short, it worked quite well the first couple of years – even though we faced a lot of frustrations with just endless repetitions especially in spelling, grammar and math.

By grade 3 we started looking for an alternative to curriculum based homeschooling. We took both our children out of school and took a 6 month bread where we focused only on learning German. We then continued using our own bought text books, drifting more and more towards unschooling.

I explored all kinds of homeschooling approaches, had deep conversations with many homeschooling and unschooling parents, and asked myself the question

 

Why do I want to homeschool my children?

What do I want them to learn?

Whom do I want them to become?

What do they want to learn? Who do they want to become?

How can we give our children a deep and good quality education, 

without frustrating them?

Is there a way to educate that instills a passion for learning?

 

In search for these answers I stumbled upon TJED. 

Finding this organization literally changed my life and gave our homeschooling journey purpose, direction and a new passion – in fact, a passion that cannot be quenched!

We (re)discovered the love of learning, the concept of being lifelong learners, the art of mentoring in combination with reading classics (in every subject you can think of) and we love how learning this way involves both parents and children, and it both structured, but not restricting or forceful, boring, burdening or heavy.

 

We homeschool our children, because we want to be on this life’s journey together. We want to grow and explore life and this world together. We want them to have a strong bond with each other and with us. We are not parents until our children are grown – we are parents forever! 

It is an awesome feeling to know, we are creating memories every single day, we see every step of their development, they see us study and develop – and we see them. 

We learn from our children, and they learn from us. And some things we learn together.

We eat, pray, read, work, run, laugh, experiment, sing, memorize, explore, get dirty, fail and try again and grow together.

To us, this lifestyle is the most rewarding, most beautiful and joyous way to live. 

We feel tremendously blessed having found and being able to use this style of education. To us, educating and raising our children goes hand in hand. We live and learn together. Learning is part of living and takes place all throughout our day – both weekdays and weekends.

It’s our response to a deep fire lit – the passion for learning. What more exciting than to see yourself and your children all passionate to learn, develop and grow every day?!

 

This is why we homeschool

Jessica Ajayi