Why we chose to home-school our son...

Ah...the question I get asked a lot and I'm sure other homeschooling parents do as well...Why do you homeschool?  Many people seems to have very strong opinions on the subject, several without any experience or knowledge of what homeschooling actually does.  It get can be frustrating, can't it?  I did not homeschool when I was in school.  I absolutely loved school myself.  In fact I planned to never homeschool my children.  But, as life is different for everyone and we can't predict what will happen at any time, we have now chosen to homeschool our son.  Here are the reasons:

  1. He is on the Autism spectrum.  He was showing many signs of high intelligence before beginning kindergarten in 2011.  Even at the age of 2 he was way ahead of other children his age.  But when he started kindergarten he suddenly dropped to the bottom of class.  He literally was the last in his class as far as progress!  I would go into school and he would just sit there and stare off into space.  It took constant supervision to try and get him focused.  And he had to be refocused every few seconds.  This was not the son I had raised!  Something was off.  And when others finally gave into my insistence that he be tested, sure enough...he had Asperger's Syndrome.  That was only the beginning.
  2. Because of his ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), he required one on one assistance.  I was not able to be there all the time, especially after I started working again.  The special education staff at his school was amazing.  I am so grateful to them for the help they gave him.  But...they weren't enough and they couldn't give him full time attention that he required.
  3. Teachers' hands are tired by government mandates on what they can teach in school and how they do it.  I don't know all the details and don't pretend to, but I know enough and have observed enough, to know that all children are taught the same.  No Child Left Behind?  It seems like these days all schooling is for, is to prepare students for tests so that they can get good scores and the schools can get more financial assistance.  Again...I don't know everything on this, but I've seen enough of the effects of it to know it was NOT working for our son!
  4. Bullying.  I was bullied in school.  I don't believe this reason is enough of one to pull someone out unless their life is in danger.  I learned how to stand up to the bullies and even got to the point they left me alone.  Now days though, if your child is bullied...it seems like the school staff try to blame it on the child being bullied.  That happened with our little man.  I was told "what did he do to instigate it".  All he did was be himself!  Did he ever do anything that bugged other kids?  Yes I'm sure he did, he isn't perfect.  But...did he deserve to be called weird?  Did he deserve to be tattled on every time he had his nervous little ticks and odd habits?  No he didn't!  No kid does!  And not only was it the "mean" kids who did it...by the time we pulled him out in the 3rd grade, even his previous best friends had fallen into doing it as well!
  5. At home we can give him the one on one education that is specialized to him directly.  We can teach him the way HE learns!  Not the way the government requires that ALL students learn.  Or the way that everyone else in the classroom has to learn.
  6. We can teach him real life skills.  I don't remember learning much in school that has helped me in real life.  Even the social aspects of school weren't what real life is.  I made some awesome friends, and I had a blast, but I can't say that a single social situation in school prepared me for today!  Instead of focusing on parallelograms and the exact date that the Great Wall was built...we can learn about the world around us and how to interact with it.  We can learn about meal planning and budgeting.  We can learn about the history of our town and state and how that affects us today.  Yes some of these things are covered in school, but they aren't the main focus!  And that's sad.
  7. Our son is learning to LOVE to learn!  He isn't forced to sit at a desk and follow instructions on a board.  He gets out and learns with his hands!  He doesn't have to stare at a screen and focus on reading lots of text to learn.  He gets to try things for himself.
  8. He is thriving!  Instead of falling behind, and not meeting expectations of government mandated tests, he is advancing beyond my wildest hopes!  He is still behind for his age at this point, because he fell about a year and a half behind in "normal" school...but he is quickly closing that gap.
I'm sure there are many other reasons that I haven't thought of just yet.  But let me ask you this...if you are a homeschooling advocate, what are the reasons YOU love to homeschool?  If you are against homeschooling...why?  Let's discuss!