It’s that time of year again, the stores are filling with back to school supplies and families are gearing up for another year of learning.
Some parents are tossing around an idea in their head.
One that makes them a little scared, a little excited, and full of questions…
Maybe I’ll homeschool them this year.
It’s a big decision. One that comes with a ton of responsibilities.
When I decided to pull Anthony out of school 10 years ago I seriously questioned my own sanity.
What in the world was I thinking??
At the time I had one reason for it. He was miserable in school. He hated it and was an emotional mess. I knew that I had to try something else for his sake, and for the sake of his education.
I think it was the best decision I could have possibly made, and having him at home, and then having his brothers along side him I’ve learned so many other reasons that homeschooling is awesome!! (I’ve also learned some of the not so awesome things… stay tuned for that post)
#1- Individualized Education– I’ve come to realize that even within my own family, education is not a “one size fits all” endeavor. It’s amazing to me how different brains process, how different children learn in a huge variety of ways, and how catering their education to their learning style makes so much difference! If your child excels in math but not reading, they can be working on different grade levels. You can stick with one topic until they actually get it. You can cater their learning to their interests… the list goes on and on.
#2- No Testing– Unless you live in a state where you have to give a standardized test as part of your assessment for homeschooling your child can go through their whole school career without fear of “the test”. I know so many teachers, parents and students who live in dread of the multitude of yearly “assessments” that are given. Kids whose test anxiety makes them cry, throw up, unable to sleep… My kiddos have no idea that even exists, and I’m happy to keep it that way.
#3- You Know What Your Kids Are Learning– Do you have any idea what your kids are learning at school all day?? Or what they are not learning? I’ll say here that I’m not one who teaches from a particular world view, I’m a huge believer in teaching from many perspectives. But there are a lot of gaps that happen in learning, and frequently those are overlooked. Or you may want them to learn more about certain subjects, or hold off on learning about things until they are mature enough to handle it. When you’re the teacher you know exactly what they’re learning
#4- No Bullying– This is a big one for many families. Kids shouldn’t be miserable going to school. Parents shouldn’t worry for their well being. While I believe some bullying situations can be resolved there are some that are so persistent, that sometimes removal from the situation is the best option.
#5-Less Back to School Shopping– Now there are some homeschool moms who will scoff at this because they have mountains of new curriculum on their dining room table as we speak… but that’s not what I’m talking about. Over the past several years while my friend were out spending hundreds of dollars on new clothes, backpacks, shoes… my kids were sitting at the table in their pj’s happy as could be. There is no pressure for that perfect first day of school outfit, no need to buy clothes and shoes unless you need them… although the back to school sales are still great!!
#6- Less Peer Pressure– I’m not just talking about smoking and sex here, there are a number of things that kids aren’t pressured about. The latest styles, bratty behavior, even bad eating habits… there are so many influences that can affect our kids and having them at home helps meter some of that.
#7- Less Wasted Time- When Anthony went back to school last year he came in awe….”We spend so much time doing nothing” he said. He didn’t realize how much of the school day was spent with changing classes, bathroom breaks, lunch, behavior issues etc. We’ve always been able to finish up our school work in a few hours, and have so much more time for other things.
#8- Vacations Any time– Want to go to Disney World? Go in September when all the kids are in school and the crowds are smaller! Have a family wedding to attend, guess what? You can go! You can cater your family outings and vacations around your schooling, and vice versa. It adds so much flexibility to your schedule!
#9- Kids learn to relate to all age groups– In a traditional classroom kids are surrounded by other children their own age all day every day. As a homeschooler you tend to come into contact with lots of kids of varying ages. Its great because kids learn that age and grade level doesn’t matter, that they can all be friends.
#10- You can cater to your schedule to your family- For the past several years my husband has had Sunday & Monday off… guess what? So do my kids. It allows us to have weekends as a family even though they are not traditional. Have activities you like to do in the morning? you can have school in the afternoon.. the flexibility is beautiful!!
Quite honestly this list could go on and on… but these are really my top 10!! I’d love to hear from other homeschoolers- what are your reasons?? Or if you’re thinking of homeschooling, what concerns do you have? What is your reason for wanting to?
8 Steps to Start Homeschooling