I taught public school for five years before Will joined the military. While I was relieved to be able to stay home with our babies, for a long time I looked forward to the day that I could rejoin the real world of work. When it became obvious that homeschooling would be our choice for our children’s education, I still thought the day would come when I would get back to “real teaching.” Now, after years of homeschooling, I can honestly say that I have no desire to teach in a brick-and-mortar school ever again. What led to this change?

(Note: homeschooling is so supported here in Alaska that teachers and parents do not use the phrase “real” school to refer to public schooling. The culture here sees homeschooling as “real” too, so Alaskans refer to public and private schools as “brick-and-mortars.” How cool is that?)

There are many reasons as to why I prefer homeschooling, but there is one major reason why I no longer want to teach public school. As a public school teacher, I was only allowed to teach 25% of the child: his mind. As a homeschool teacher, I can teach 100% of my children: their spirits, their hearts, their bodies, and their minds.

Do you know how limiting it is to teach just the mind? You read a good book, but you cannot talk about any of the moral, heart lessons involved because you might offend someone who believes differently. You have a child burst into tears because she is hungry, or neglected, or simply tired from having taken care of her baby sister all night (and, yes, I did have a 4th grader dealing with this), and you are not allowed to introduce her to the Almighty God who would love her and provide her peace. You have a 9-year-old boy so full of energy that he reminds you of a puppy, but you are not allowed to send him outside to run laps or take a recess because time in school is so precious that medicating him is preferred. In an effort to not offend or overstep, school becomes a series of disjointed curriculums that do not connect with enough of the child’s psyche for true comprehension and retention to be attained.

I could wax on and on about the difference homeschooling provides, but I will keep it brief here. When we read “Johnny Tremain,” we held an amazing conversation about pride and its effects, just in time to deal with some heart issues that were increasing. On days when attitudes and behaviors are not working well, we practice forgiveness and discuss just how amazing God’s grace is. When his energy levels have a certain young man pinging off the walls, he runs up and down the stairs while singing his spelling words. Our conversations are unrestrained, and our children are gaining from the connectedness that homeschooling provides. I cannot fathom teaching any other way!

Rachel

...a self-avowed "Wander Woman," homeschools her three children while traipsing the globe with her Army Chaplain husband. Her third greatest passion, falling below her love for God and family, is empowering other parents to teach their children.

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NOW WHAT? A Guide to Teaching Reading after Phonics

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Rachel …


...a self-avowed "Wander Woman," homeschools her three children while traipsing the globe with her Army Chaplain husband. Her third greatest passion, falling below her love for God and family, is empowering other parents to teach their children.

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NOW WHAT? A Guide to Teaching Reading after Phonics

by Rachel Harrison

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