Shortly after our first son, Max, turned one I received "The Charlotte Mason Companion" by Karen Andreola from my twin sister, Michele. I hadn't given much thought to school at this point, let alone homeschool. My sister had taken her children out of a private preschool the year before saying she had been "feeling strongly that she should homeschool." Although I admired her decision to do what she felt was right, I didn't think it had much bearing on our own family's decisions. As Max grew, his playmates one by one went off to school. We had a number of well-respected preschools in our small town and, at the appropriate time, Oleg and I took Max for a tour. As we were shown around I was impressed by the ocean mural the children were working on, I liked the sand and water table and Max was already friends with a number of the children. "Why shouldn't he attend?" was my thought.
Upon returning home, I began to read through the packet of information we had been given. When I got to the school's philosophy and mission statement I suffered such a jolt you would have thought lightning had hit me. I re-read it and then brought it to my husband to read. Not only was the philosophy and mission not our own it was, in fact, in opposition to our beliefs. Then and there I realized the responsibility we had to our child(ren) and our family. It was time to find that book on the "gentle art of learning" my sister had given me a few years earlier and take a closer look.
I have since realized that in our choice to homeschool we are not merely choosing an "alternate educational procedure" but, as Michael Pearl stated in an article on homeschooling, "one of many expressions of a whole way of life."