Why We Homeschool: Darlene’s Story

Homeschooling is a journey, unique to each family. Reasons range from complicated to simple. One family may be able to sum up their reasons in one word, or belief, while for others it’s more abstract reasoning.

Over the past few weeks, we have been sharing our journeys with you. You can read Candice’s story here, Lizbeth’s here, and Krista’s here.

We would love to get comments hearing how you started homeschooling, or why you’re considering it.


Darlene always planned to homeshool her children, even before she wanted kids. Her decision wasn’t based on a negative experience on her part, nor was it religiously or medically driven. It was just a gut feeling that it was right for her, and by extension, anyone else who might come along.


Growing up, I generally liked school. I was a pretty good student, participated in extra curricular activities, had favorite teachers, etc. In the summer I worked on the family farm, had dance competitions, and rode my bike. I went to college. Had jobs that were pretty good. I got married, got pregnant, etc. etc. There was a general order to things. There was nothing that smacked me in the face and screamed “homeschooling is the answer!” but I just knew.

I just knew.

I knew I didn’t want my family life dictated by the school year calendar. I knew I wanted to have the freedom to take long camping trips in the fall or spring. I knew I didn’t want to have homework fights at 8 o’clock at night. I knew I wanted some say over what my kids were exposed to. But, above all, I knew I was a bit of a control freak!

The thing I love about homeschooling is we’re in control: me, my kids, my husband, (and maybe the cat). We get to decide all these things like curriculum and schedule. We get to decide when AND how we learn. We can get into awesome history discussions or random I-swear-it’s-not-math math questions and call that the lesson for the day if we want. (FYI if you’re ever at my house, please do not bring up math, or handwriting…or spelling…just…stay safe and talk about Minecraft or something).

Don’t get me wrong, we are not spontaneous people running off on spur of the moment trips or excitedly treking across Civil War Battlefields at a moments notice. My husband works, I work in the evenings, we have karate and dance, co op….my calendar is booked! But that’s our choice too. And, when we get burned out, we take a day to just chill and reconnect or shut ourselves up in our rooms and not talk. We all need those days and homeschooling lets my family be ourselves every day, not just the weekends.

It’s been a journey, sometimes a tedious one that involves me counting down the days until my youngest turns 18. I have second guessed myself many times. I have purchased curriculum only to stop a few weeks in and complain about how boring or tedious it is. I have gazed longingly at the school bus, picking up my neighbor’s kids, while mine are loudly complaining about their lack of breakfast options. That’s just part of the adventure. And I swear I’m just fostering their independence when I suggest they make their own breakfast, while I go nurse my coffee in the quiet of my bedroom.

I’ve gotten to help 2 of my kids learn to read (and my 3rd is well on her way)! How cool is that?! There is nothing better than seeing how excited they get about some random fact they read in a human body book, and down the rabbit hole we go. We’re together through the struggles of math and trying to figure out the best way for them to learn. I get to go on long winded (but very fascinating) lectures about history and literature and, if I may toot my own horn here, sometimes they even enjoy them.

But the best part, the very best thing about homeschooling, is how much we all grow.

Homeschooling, as it turns out, is hard! I have to grow and learn right along with them. And that’s been pretty awesome. I’ve met an amazing group of other homeschoolers, built an awesome Co-Op, and had to tackle things I’d never even considered.

In writing this, I keep thinking of these really fantastic experiences we’ve had because we homeschool. Some of them are big, but most are hardly noticeable in the day to day fabric of life. I didn’t really have a story of why I started to homeschool, but I definitely have a story of why I continue, and I think that’s pretty cool.

-Darlene

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