Reason number 5,215 why we homeschool

There are so many reasons we homeschool, and I've blogged about most of them! So it's not literally 5,215 reasons, but I thought this would be an entertaining, if irritating, list of stupid things schools have done to push many of us to homeschool.

Food

1. My children can chew pop tarts into whatever shape they like without being suspended from school.

Student Suspended for Chewing a Pop tart into the Shape of a Gun

Really? A poptart? You're worried about a seven year old gnawing his poptart incorrectly? This zero tolerance stuff has gotten out of hand.

2. My children can have whichever cupcakes they would like for their birthday.

It was their last year in the public school. I wanted to make cupcakes for them to take to school on their birthday, complete with my famous, homemade butter cream frosting. From scratch. So I asked their teachers how many kids I should plan for.

Their response? I wasn't allowed to take homemade cupcakes to school for the other kids because someone might have an allergy.

Now - don't get me wrong, I understand how severe some allergies are. But let's be clear - kids who have severe allergies are pretty darn careful about what they eat, because they don't want to have a reaction. A little personal responsibility goes a long way. There's also the simple fact that store bought cupcakes are no less likely to contain allergens. They carry the very same risk of causing a reaction as homemade cupcakes, with 10x the chemicals.

3. We'll be making our own lunch - or *gasp* leaving school premises to buy lunch from our favorite taco shop. And the food police won't swap it out for some nasty chicken nuggets.

I don't know about you, but when my kids were still in public school - they didn't like the school lunch. They sat there and complained on the few mornings I didn't make their lunch because what was at school was, more often than not, awful!!

Preschooler's Homemade Lunch Replaced with "Cafeteria Nuggets"

I'm pretty sure that my homemade lunch, and the taco shop that makes all its food from scratch are not going to allow nuggets of "mystery meat" served.

Socialization

1. Bullying is dealt with quickly and firmly here. This problem in schools, I think, goes hand in hand with the zero tolerance policies. Kids who are being bullied are not allowed to defend themselves without being suspended. The bullies are most often not dealt with in a meaningful way, leading to a generation of victims who are unable to stand on their own.

Bullied to Death in America's Schools

I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to allow bullying in my home. In fact, when one twin tries to bully the other - he finds himself with a whooooooole lot of consequences. I've found that punishment isn't as effective for our twins as simple consequences are. Newton's Third Law of Motion is very popular in our home.

2. Crowd-sourcing for social time isn't our preferred mode of learning to interact with others.

Do my kids get to play with other kids? Of course! I just prefer to have them playing with a small group of kids, not surrounded by 100 other kids supervised by just one or two adults. I find that problems can be more quickly solved with a higher adult to child ratio.

3. Interacting solely with one's own age group completely avoids the benefits of learning to interact with all ages.

Unlike the public myth surrounding homeschoolers, we do not sit in our homes, locked up all day, avoiding human contact. We are out and about quite often - the store, the museum, the archery range, geocaching with groups, exploring with friends. My children can speak to an adult with confidence.

Health

Because our immune systems are not constantly under siege by the viruses, bacteria and other random germs at school, we are not sick as often.

We went through our entire homeschool year... not sick even once. I sat and thought about it, we were out everywhere, all over the place. Play days, field trips, etc. Here's what I figured out: when one of our friends was sick, they stayed home. They weren't dosed up on cold medication to make them feel better for a little while just to get through the day. Their parents chose to keep them home, to not share the germs with the rest of us; setting yet another good example for behavior.

Religion

We discuss all religions here - from Christian, to Hindu, to Pagan, to Islam. We don't homeschool for religious reasons, but we do not shy away from it either.

Schools have taken all religion except a particular, notable one or two and expect that it's going to be accepted without a fight. Seriously??

Joy of Learning

The title speaks for itself. We are having so much fun learning and growing together. School had sucked the joy out of it, the light had gone out of their eyes. The idea of learning something had absolutely zero interest for them.

So a sad moment - we had to put our beloved Shelby to sleep a couple days ago. She was 13, blind, deaf, arthritic and was ready. But she was our best friend and constant companion - but instead of pushing through the pain to do schoolwork, we are planning a claymation movie because they need the break, and we can learn loads from it. We simply couldn't do this if they were in public school. They'd either have to push through the pain, and not grieve in a way that helped them get through it, or take the time off school only to come back to a mountain of homework to catch up on.

So why do we homeschool? Because we can be a family who loves spending time together, learning, growing, and living.

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