How Do You Define a Homeschool?

1994. Our oldest had just turned 5, and the kindergarten decision loomed. He was busy,  inquisitive, and did I mention busy?  We made the decision that our late-fall-birthday little guy was just not ready for kindergarten.  I had no idea what that seemingly simple decision held in store for our family.

A few weeks after we decided to keep him home for another year, he started learning how to read.  Since my background was in education, I contacted our local superintendent’s office to inquire if there was any possibility that I could teach him kindergarten at home and then enroll him in first grade the following year. Their simple response “Have you ever heard of homeschooling?” ended up being my equivalent of the White Rabbit inviting Alice to jump down the rabbit hole.  Not only did I not have a clue what they were talking about, but I also did not have the vaguest notion of the journey that was about to be unleashed upon our family and our future. The Wonderland of Homeschooling captured my imagination.  Unlike Alice, I have never left the dream.

That I followed that rabbit trail seems completely normal now because our homeschool journey has been full of rabbit trails pursued out of our children’s curiosity to know more. Dwelling in that Wonderland of Homeschooling has meant that our children’s imaginations, sparked by asking simple questions, have lead to our greatest academic adventures.

Our homeschool is defined by the academic adventure of helping each of our children find their own path to adulthood and equipping them to pursue their own dreams. It is an awesome responsibility, one I take seriously and one that requires constantly educating myself about the options available in order to better ensure my kids are able to achieve their goals.

Recently, my sister looked at me and said, “You are a walking encyclopedia on homeschooling.  You have so much homeschooling knowledge to share, everything from elementary options to high school courses to applying to college as a homeschooler.  You really should figure out a way to channel that knowledge.”

This is my attempt.  Ask a question.  But, be aware, my response might lead you down a rabbit hole and to a new trail to be blazed solely by your family.  From my perspective, that is what defines homeschooling.  No homeschool is the same.  It is one size fits no one else.

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