5 Reasons We Sent Our Kids To School

This past year marked our third year homeschooling. During the summer months, we decided it was time to reevaluate our options. Overall, we enjoyed homeschooling. I taught my oldest two to read and write, we did fun science experiments together, and bonus  we could take long breaks whenever we needed. But, it was time to make some changes and send them to school.

Here are the reasons:

  1. They needed friends. Aside from neighborhood friends, they were lonely. During the school year, when their friends were in school, they had no one to play with. Now they enjoy being surrounded by classmates all day.
  2. I was burned out. After staying home full time for 8 1/2 years and homeschooling also, I never carved much time out for myself. My kids were there 24/7. Having a few hours of quiet has brought back my sanity. I can go shopping by myself (imagine!), write without interruption, and get that degree I’ve always wanted.
  3. No one could concentrate. Trying to teach one child while the others were throwing tantrums, asking for food, or dirtying their diaper was near impossible. Fortunately, their classrooms are small, and there is little distraction.
  4. They needed a break from each other. One thing is sure: sending them to school has given them the space they needed and craved. Instead of being together in the house all day, they’ve enjoyed making their own friends and having a separate schedule than their siblings. Earning awards from school has made them proud. There’s less fighting, and they’re happier.
  5. They needed more structure. Let me be clear: sleeping in, focusing on subjects they loved, and moving at their own pace was wonderful. But, every day was completely different. Since they were too young to do schoolwork on their own, I had to focus on one child at a time. They each ended up having a lot of free time during the day. School has given them a more concise schedule.

While this was our situation, I realize everyone has their own. Every family has a right to decide what learning environment works best for them. We are happy that we had the opportunity to teach them ourselves, but have found school to be much more enjoyable for everyone. And, luckily, the school we chose keeps parents involved. Happy, healthy kids and parents should be a priority in whatever decision you make.

What type of schooling works best for your family? Share in the comments!


Featured image credit: Jon Hart 

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  1. Lauren Fortenberry   •  

    Thank you for this reflection. Our children are not yet of school-age, but we consider these exact points when we discuss schooling. What peace to know we aren’t alone! As a college lecturer, it’s been fascinating to see how good can come from every school (or home) environment. As long as you’re paying attention and flexible, your children will most certainly thrive. Thanks, again, for sharing!

    • Maggie Draper   •  

      Exactly! Knowing that there are options is a consolation. If one schooling environment isn’t working, you can always try another.

  2. Fox   •  

    I used to unschool. Then when we moved states my family made it clear that I was to put the kids in school and that was to be the end of it. Like a fool, I listened. It wasn’t the worst decision of my life. It gave the kids time apart, more freedom for me (though with two kids still at home at first, then now the one, it wasn’t much), and gave them structure to their day. We lasted about two years before I started seeing things unravel. I’m planning to pull them and go back to unschooling, or at the least homeschooling. School isn’t working out for my family.

    That’s one thing I love about all of this. You can really choose to do what’s best for your family. It doesn’t have to be an everyone or no one kind of thing. For you school buys you a lot of freedom. That’s something I can totally appreciate. For me, I’ve had nothing but headaches with the school system, so it’s time to change back to what we know works for us.

    It seems like we’re both going through some family transitions.

    • Maggie Draper   •  

      That’s true, everyone’s circumstances are different. If teaching your kids works for you, go for it! You’re lucky. Not everyone can stay home nowadays.

      • Fox   •  

        No, not everyone can. It’s meant some serious sacrifices. With a teen in the house I’ve got a little extra help too, so that’s also a factor. I don’t know that I would have been able to do it were my situation different. It means a lot of sacrifices that I’m only making because the school system has been so problematic.

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