I’ve been asked a few times recently why we’ve decided to homeschool, and as the new school year is fast approaching I have really been pondering our reasons. The more I think about them, the more I feel like we’re making the right decision for this year. Every homeschooling family has different reasons. These are ours.
First, let me say, you may have made the decision to send your children to traditional school. Please know that these are our personal reasons as a family and I am not trying to project them onto you as the reasons why YOU should homeschool as well. Grace to you, whatever your family chooses to do!.
This is probably my favorite reason! If we’re tired, we can take a day off to rest. If we are feeling adventurous, we can take a day off to do an outing. We are free to have slow mornings, skip a day if we feel the need, and go on vacation in the middle October if we wish to.
We love to take trips as a family, we don’t get to do it as often as we’d like, but homeschooling puts no restraints on when we can go because we can do school on the road. For example, we’ll be doing the first six weeks of our Fall semester this year in Mississippi.
2.) Time to develop relationships with each other.
Someone told me something recently that has stuck with me. She said that most parents will tell you that their children grew so fast and it goes by in the blink of an eye, but she said that she doesn’t feel that is true when you are homeschooling (she is the homeschooling mother of a 13 year old boy). When you’re homeschooling, you spend so much time with your children, training them, going through every experience with them, and are able to savor everyday with them. You’re with them all day everyday. So she feels like the time you have with them doesn’t fly by as it does for mothers who send their kids to school everyday and miss out on all that time with them. She said that you really get to cherish these days with them without feeling like they’re slipping away. This is true for her, I’m not sure if it will be true for me, but I’m about to find out!
I love the idea of getting to spend quality one on one time with my children, daily learning about God together, and growing in so many ways. Micah and I get to be the primary influence in their lives instead of their peers. We can make sure their roots sink deep, so when they are mostly with peers, they won’t be swayed.
3.) We can focus on their strengths and creativity.
Generally, in a traditional classroom (which is how I was educated) everyone is taught the exact same thing at the same time and expected to perform at the same level. This is not reasonable, in my opinion. Everyone learns at different speeds and everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Homeschooling gives more opportunity to strengthen what they’re good at and develop their interests. I am a huge fan of interest-led learning. I believe kids learn so much better with interest-led learning. (Although I have not chosen to “unschool”, this is a good source to see what interest-led learning is about.)
If their education is centered around things that they love, they will love to learn. My kids love to be outdoors, cook, go on outings, travel, create art, read, and be with their friends. They have grown leaps and bounds just by doing these things everyday. Homeschooling allows for any of these things to occur on a daily basis and their learning can center around them.
These are pretty self explanatory. I can teach what I want, when I want. My kids don’t have the pressure that grades and tests put on them. They have the freedom to learn at their own pace.
5.) Better social skills.
Yep, you read that right. I believe that (generally) homeschoolers are just as socialized, if not better socialized than traditionally schooled children. Homeschooled children do not sit in a classroom all day every day with kids their same age. Generally, those kids are only skilled and comfortable with interacting with kids their same age. I believe homeschooled kids have more opportunity to make friends with any age, because they are around so many different people all the time. They are comfortable entertaining toddlers as well as conversing with teenagers and adults. They don’t see people younger than them as inferior, and they don’t see people older than them as as intimidating. (Remember being a senior in high school? Remember being a freshman? Those inferior/superior mentalities are seen far less in homeschooled children.) I realize that this is not true across the board for everyone, but it is overall true. You can read more about homeschooling and socialization here, here, and here. Gone are the days of awkward, socially backward homeschooled stereotypes.
6.) More time in the community.
This goes along with the previous point. Instead of being at the same school all day with the same people, we are able to get out in our community more often. We run every errand together, go to the library, park, get out in our neighborhood, have play dates, go to our local nature center, do service projects for others, play at the mall…you get the picture. We get to be a part of our community every single day.
7.) Less time doing school everyday and no homework.
Because our schooling is one on one, rather than a teacher teaching a classroom, it simply goes by faster and we have more time for other things. My children will not have to spend all day at school and then come home only to face more homework. Right now, we will be able to complete kindergarten in 30 mins to an hour. As they get older it will take more time obviously, but not as much as traditional schooling.
These are my reasons, friends. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be able to school my children at home. I love having them home with me and at this point, I would only want to put them in school for my own selfish reasons. Ten, five, even one year from now, things could change and the Lord may ask us to do things differently. As long as we are exactly where the Lord wants us to be, I will be totally okay with that.
We are only starting out on this journey of homeschooling. This year will be our first “official” year. We have so much to learn! It’s going to be continuous trial and error but I believe that it will be completely worth all the effort!