I started researching/reading/praying about it, and while I could feel my heart changing, I opted to do what I learned way back in third grade when faced with a difficult decision.
I made a Decision Tree. To the layperson, this is simply a Pro/Con list. (Decision Tree sounds more intriguing and "fun" to an eight year old, and, apparently, to a twenty-eight year old.)
I'll confess upfront that these are my uncensored thoughts. I know that many of these thoughts are irrational and/or based on gross generalizations and stereotypes, none of which are always (or ever) true. (See - I can't write a post without a disclaimer.) That said, take this list for what it is - a desperate attempt to get out of what God has clearly put on my heart. (In other words, it's weak and feeble and utterly ridiculous.)
Reasons NOT to Homeschool~Additional, voluntary stress on me (i.e.- creating lesson plans, no breaks from kids, etc.)
~All success and/or failure academically rests solely on me
~There are no guarantees
~ It's what weird people with 14 kids do
~ I've always been a champion and advocate for public schools so choosing to homeschool now makes me a hypocrite
~ What my family will think of me
~ It will be hard to accomplish anything with a newborn and three year old hanging around the house
~ Our house will be a worse mess than it already is
~ It's arrogant to think that I can do a better job than the public schools here (which are top notch) when I have no experience
~ No high-school sports, clubs, or extra-curriculars
~ I have little to no patience
~ Fear of ostracizing friends for the sake of being "one of those families"
~ It's not the "normal" thing to do
~ Can't go to Ladies Bible Study
~ Lose freedom to run errands "easily"
~ It feels like a surrender/sacrifice of all the time invested in my degree and Professional Engineer license
~ The burden is on me to be "social" for my kids
~ No high school yearbook
~ No backup option if I burn out
~ It's a huge unknown
~ I don't know how to make my own bread - don't I have to do that?
~ If I get sick, I have 4 kids at home with me instead of just the younger two
~ I don't want my public-schooling friends to feel defensive or insecure because of my decision
~ I don't even have time to get a haircut now
To be fair and balanced, and to prevent random people who might come on my blog in passing from thinking that I really believe that this is a "For Real" list of reasons against homeschooling, I'm going to post the other side of the list now. It seems, at least to me, that this half contains far more compelling arguments.
Reasons TO Homeschool~ No required morning start time
~ No fundraisers
~ No pressure on kids to have trendy clothes, toys, etc.
~ Would legitimize me giving up my career rather than losing it just to "sit around on FB all day"
~ The opportunity to tailor learning to each child's learning style & ability
~ The opportunity to learn things not available at public school (like Latin, foreign language in elementary school, Bible, etc.)
~ Can be entirely biblically-centered
~ I can't seem to justify leaving home to teach other people's kids so other people can teach mine for a paycheck that I don't really need
~ More field trips
~ Unlimited flexibility ( during day, throughout calendar year, etc.)
~ The kids can help me keep house ALL DAY LONG
~ No lunches to pack (Amen!)
~ No need to go "back to school" shopping
~ Because I'm even considering it when I've been so dead-set against it all of my life has got to mean something
~ We can choose who we spend time with versus being "stuck" in a classroom with people
~ It encourages and teaches independent learning
~ Ideally brings the family closer together
~ No need to "wait up" for fill in time gaps for slower classmates
~ Opportunities available only to homeschooled kids (like the local co-op)
~ Naptimes not reliant on having to pick siblings up from school
~ More hands-on learning (outside/in the kitchen)
~ Communication with the teacher will improve dramatically
~ Googling "Reasons Not to Homeschool" yields way less results than googling "Reasons to Homeschool"
When it came down to making the decision, I'll be honest, the lists didn't have a whole lot to do with it. It was about my heart. It was about accepting my calling. God has qualified my heart. That's my credential.
Next year, my third grader and my kindergartner will embarks on this adventure with me. You know what helps? Their excitement about it.
I've been truly blessed by friends and family who have been supportive, encouraging, and understanding despite what I just knew everyone would say in opposition. I'm not naive enough to think that there won't be people who think I've gone crazy. But I'm judging myself against this standard: Was I called? Yes. That's enough for me.