This is a question many times forgotten, and we all have probably different reasons or motives for homeschooling our children.
I just have been reading a book that exemplifies in the firsts chapters one of my main answers to the question in the title. I will just quote from the book itself: "Peddlar's Progress" by Odell Shepard.
"...Then and there they may have decided what they afterwards firmly knew and taught, that a formal schooling, even when good, is not the only means of securing an education. Against the American worship of the school, so stupid in itself and so stultifying in its effects upon real intellectual life, one would be glad to think that they set their young faces, even then, like flint. To Bronson in particular there may have come some vague premonition of his future knowledge that the school, at its best, is only a substitute for the family and the home, that it is a miscrocosmos of society, a place in which one learns by doing, and as Thomas Carlyle was to say: "a collection of books".
.....The family, the home, one's mother-there was the best school of all...Was not his mother a far wiser, kinder, gentler, and in every way better person than the schoolmistress? And what could that mean, unless there are more important things in the world than reading, writing, and exact knowledge of the length of the Zambezi river? His mother knew things too, although one never found them set down in books, and even she seldom tried to say them in words. She said them in the way she acted, in the touch of her hand, in the smile of her eyes; and often she seemed to be saying them when sitting quietly beside him, paring apples or mending a hole in his homespun coat"
All these special figures that surround the life of children when they grow up are of utmost importance. The Mother role is central in the first three years of life, and then slowly it passes the torch to the world by the hand of the Father figure. You could observe that many times discipline problems or quarreling among siblings stems from the lack of loving co-operation between spouses: The more the wife submits her own selfish wishes to the wealth of the family, which is guided by the father's natural authority, the better the children learn. In like manner, the more the husband loves his family by turning down his own selfish desires and yielding to the overall wealth and family's needs, the better the children respond.
It is strange though that in this post about why homeschooling I am announcing an experiment that will start this year: to homeschool out of the home:
Now that my younger child is 4 years and a half, we decided to rent a room near our home, and to make it a place for the main schooling hours of the morning.
Besides the homeschooling hours Monday through Thursday, there is:
- a program for familes and children on Fridays,
-probably some after school care hours for the children that go to school,
-Wednesdays study group
-and a puppetry group.