Red-Eyed Studio

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Why We Homeschool

Heather Bouwhuizen2 Comments

I'm asked this a lot.  Why do you homeschool?  It's not a simple answer, but I will try my best to explain. 

My kids fall in the area where they need extra support from the school, but they aren't really bad enough to qualify for the support.  They are all bright kids, and they are thriving at home, but they aren't necessarily "traditional learners", so they weren't always doing well in the public school environment.   My oldest daughter failed 2 of 4 SOL's (standards of learning tests here in Virginia). My oldest son fell on the low end of the SOL scores.  My kindergartener had a difficult year (she's a big personality and let's just say her and her teacher didn't get along).  I was spending many hours in the evening, helping each child with their homework.  And many hours during the day, at the school, trying to find a way to help my children be successful.  We wanted to see if we could find a better way.

The first year at home was a transition for all of us.  As many that are new to homeschooling, we tried to create "school" at home.  We were overwhelmed and tired (at that point I was teaching 5th, 4th and 1st grade, with a preschooler and toddler running around!).  By then end of the year, we decided that we needed to rethink what we were doing.

The second year, we lessened the load.  I realized that my now 5th/6th graders could do a lot of their work together.  We found groups (gym and music) and made friends with other homeschoolers.  This year was much better, but still, we felt like we were still trying to cram too much into each of our days. 


The third year (this is our current year), has me teaching preschool, kindergarten, third, 6th grade and 7th grade.  This year, we bought a box curriculum ( in years past, I pulled my own curriculum together).  We reorganized our schedule to be a 4 day "school week" (we have Monday's off), and we are following a more year round school pattern (6 weeks on, 2 weeks off, with a summer that will be around 8ish weeks).  This two week break has been wonderful for everyone in the family.  It gives me a chance to recharge, and the kids too!  This year went great!  We've continued with music and gym.  We still have a few homeschool friends that we meet up with (some of our friends have moved away.  We miss them.)  And we have  really found our groove. 

How are the kids doing?  Very well, I think.  They like being at home.  They enjoy their school work.  We aren't feeling overwhelmed, and all of them are passing (with flying colors!!) the state mandated testing that homeschoolers in Virginia have to do (CAT test).  The best part is: they all feel smart.  They don't have to struggle, and feel like they "can't learn".  They feel successful.


Four of six  kids.  They are watching their sister play soccer.  

Four of six  kids.  They are watching their sister play soccer.  

Here is my other daughter, playing soccer  

Here is my other daughter, playing soccer