Making the decision to homeschool our children was not one that happened overnight. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would ever consider homeschooling my (future) children, I would have laughed at you and said “No way!” Funny how a little knowledge and life experience can change your mind about things. Fast forward to today, and homeschooling is something that I am so passionate about, I am almost giddy just talking about it. For those of you who are still struggling with the decision to homeschool or not, I am going to share with you 6 Reasons our family chose to homeschool.
#1 – I love spending time with my children
Since my first child was born, I’ve been a work outside the home Mom. And while I’ve always tried to make the best of my evenings and days off with my kids, I’ve always felt a little guilty about not being home with them more. Homeschooling is going to help me make up for that lost time by allowing me to spend many more quality hours each week with them.
Nobody knows my children better than me, strengths and weaknesses included, so who better to teach and prepare them for adulthood? I know all of their likes, dislikes and every day needs. As a Mother and a teacher, knowing these things about my children will give me an opportunity to teach them in the way that suits them best.
#2 – The opportunity to allow each child to pursue their interests
In public schools there is a curriculum that teachers must follow with very limited room for flexibility. Schooling my children at home, I have the opportunity to not only incorporate their interests into every day learning, but also let them dig even deeper into those subjects and topics that really interest them.
#3 – I can ensure that my kids will never get lost in the shuffle
Whether it be a child that is advanced for his/her age or one that is struggling in one or more areas, as a school at home Mom, I can assure that my child will have all of the support he/she needs. Public school teachers are amazing people for what they do. But with only one teacher for a class of 30 or more students, they just don’t have the time to spend one-on-one with each child that may be needing that extra help. And they certainly don’t have the time to develop special curriculum for those students that may be a little ahead of the game. Whichever the scenario, I can assure that my children are getting the support they need when schooling them myself.
At home, we are able to spend more time on the areas they may be struggling with and if they are advancing sooner than scheduled, we can accommodate that as well. I love the idea that we don’t have to teach Kindergarten curriculum just because my child is of Kindergarten age. We can go at their pace.
#4 – Schooling hours are flexible
Our family will benefit in several different ways from the flexibility that comes with homeschooling. Family trips and vacations don’t have to be scheduled around school hours, and in fact, we have every intention of scheduling our family trips during the week to save money and avoid crowds. Also, although some states do have some regulations on how many hours are spent “schooling” during the year, there is still a lot of room for flexibility in when you decide to spend your time homeschooling. (Click here for more information on the homeschool laws in your state)
There’s nobody to tell you that you have to teach from 8am-3pm Monday through Friday. In fact, many homeschooling families find that they can get a days worth of schooling done in just a few hours. If we decide that we would like to take the whole month of December off to spend time with family for the holiday, we totally can! AND if at some point during the year, the kids and I feel like we just need a break for a few days from schooling, we can totally take one! We get to make our own schedule that fits best with our family, and I think that’s pretty awesome.
#5 – Keeping learning fun
Having children spend the majority of a 7 hour day sitting at a desk to learn, I understand in a big school might be necessary to control chaos. However, it can be tedious and difficult for young children to sit for that amount of time. Schooling at home certainly doesn’t (and quite frankly, shouldn’t) have to be done that way. Learning can be incorporated into play and everyday life, making it much more enjoyable for both the student and the teacher.
On a warm day we could do our schoolwork outside if we wanted. Everyday trips to the grocery store can be turned into practical life, math and spelling lessons. Nature walks around a nearby park can provide a lot of learning opportunities. Board games and trips to the local children’s museum can also prove to be very educational.
Childhood goes by so quickly. I hope to include as much fun and play into my children’s homeschooling experience as possible. Let them be kids!
#6 – The freedom to choose what I teach my children
Sure there are general guidelines for what a child should know by each age, and of course the end goal is that they will have the knowledge to pursue the college or career of their choice. But there is not just one path you have to follow to get to that end goal. If my dino kid is still into dino’s in a few years, why not let him take a course on paleontology? Computer coding and foreign language can be implemented into your curriculum from the very beginning, if you choose that. Cooking lessons, yoga, gardening, Latin…anything your heart desires!
You also have the freedom to choose which curriculum you use for each subject. There are hundreds of curriculum options for every subject, which I’ve found can be pretty overwhelming. However, with a little research I’ll be able to choose the curriculum that fits best with my child’s learning style and personality, and I think that’s pretty great!
There are so many more benefits to homeschooling than what I’ve listed here, and I hope to one day write a Part 2. However, these were the 6 benefits that really motivated us to make homeschooling a reality in our home. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to homeschool my children. While I know it won’t always be an easy job, I know that these 6 reasons (and many more) will make all of the struggles worth it.
What are some of the reasons your family decided to school at home? Please share in the comments below!