For the majority of the year and on most mornings, parents across the country get up early and stress out and rush in order to get their children to school on time.
At the beginning of each school year, the internet is flooded with videos and memes of parents celebrating the fact their children are (finally!!!) returning to school.
I’ve never done either. We homeschool.
Our mornings are slow-paced, and not much changes at the beginning of the school year.
For the record, I wasn’t born a homeschooler nor was I homeschooled myself.
I chose to homeschool my kids because: 1) There was no way I was “letting go” of my then-five-year-old for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week; 2) I wasn’t satisfied with the school system in general; 3) Common Core.
We decided to follow our intuition and were able to sustain the outside pressure. And, somewhere along the way, we discovered all the reasons why homeschooling works for us.
1. MORE FAMILY TIME
One of the main homeschooling benefits that I have noticed is that homeschooling is very pro-family, fostering love and trust between all family members.
Thanks to homeschooling we can spend more time together as a family. You know the old saying, “The days might be long, but the years are short?” So very true.
2. MORE FREE TIME
Homeschooling isn’t as time-consuming as institutional schooling.
Not only is there zero time wasted by line forming, classroom chaos, lengthy administration work and long school bus rides, you get the benefit of one-on-one attention which can significantly cut on the time required to master any particular subject.
Learning at home takes up a fraction of time conventional schooling requires even when you follow the exact same curriculum. Which leaves kids with more free time to pursue other things. Something our kids never complain about.
3. MORE FREEDOM
Homeschooling gives all of us a lot more freedom:
Curriculum: As parents we have control over what our kids learn and have the ability to provide personalized education so that our kids can learn at their own pace.
Teaching real life skills: Our kids have a chance to learn important skills within the context of real life.
Traveling is enriching: And, when you homeschool, you can travel on a whim and without limits. This is a major homeschooling benefit for us.
Flexibility: You can homeschool anywhere – there is no limit to uniqueness or creativity. There are no generic charts or rigid schedules dictating how to run our days either. Win-win.
4. WE WANT TO SLOW DOWN
Have you noticed how fast-paced our lives have become?
Underneath our busy schedules, deadlines, commitments, demanding careers and long school days, it’s easy to overlook that life is just passing by (and our kids are slipping away from us).
The majority of the western world now lives on a total and complete overload.
We want LESS of that, not more.
5. WE BELIEVE KIDS BELONG OUTDOORS
Look, we don’t keep our kids chained outside, all right?
They are nature lovers just like we are, and we want them (and they prefer) to spend as much time outside as possible where they can run, play, explore, discover and LEARN.
6. NO DRESS CODE
Pajamas, fancy dresses, superhero costumes, princesses, knights, dragons, fairies, firefighters, ballerinas… We’ve done it all. What children wear isn’t important. How they feel is.
When you homeschool, anything goes. That may or may not include spaghetti strap tank tops, leggings attire without restrictions, and short shorts. After all, you’re the boss.
7. BETTER SOCIALIZATION (Yes, you read that right.)
Homeschooling doesn’t automatically mean lack of socialization just as institutional schooling isn’t a great socialization agent.
Why isn’t it?
Because forced association isn’t socialization. Because sitting in desk facing a smart board for hours isn’t socialization. Because walking in quiet single-file lines isn’t socialization and neither is gulping down one’s lunch in silence. Because highly restricted recess time isn’t very conductive to being social.
I’ll say it. Ready?
As far as socialization, school is nothing but a social suicide. Read here why.
8. LESS PEER PRESSURE
Peer dependency is rampant at schools. It goes hand in hand with kids spending excessive amounts of time surrounded by their peers and away from their families.
Children quickly learn how to act, what to wear, what to play with, how to talk, what to eat, which TV shows to watch, what kind of music to listen to, who to be friends with and whom to ignore in order to gain approval of their peer group.
Peer pressure isn’t something I’d willingly welcome in my kids’ lives as in, “Great! I welcome peer pressure wholeheartedly; there are many benefits to it.”
9. LESS BULLYING, TOO
Bullying is a big issue these days. Unfortunately, schools are bully-making machines.
Guess what happens when you take vulnerable children away from their parents, lock them up in a building and put them in a classroom with very little supervision where there are guaranteed to be some insensitive trouble makers and loyal followers…?
Worse yet, parents whose kids have experienced bullying often say that their concerns are being downplayed by schools. Like it’s no big deal?!
Thanks to the Zero Tolerance Policy, it’s common for the victimized child trying to defend himself to get punished instead. Experienced bullies are one step ahead because they already know how to play this game well enough to stay out of trouble. Unfortunately.
10. WE ALL GET MORE SLEEP
We like to sleep. A lot!
We can sleep in on rainy days. Or just sleep in for no reason. This homeschooling benefit is awesome.
But before you call us lazy, keep in mind that a well-rested child means a more responsive mind. It’s a fact that a tired child has a harder time concentrating.
11. BECAUSE LEARNING SHOULD BE FUN
Learning should be fascinating and interesting!
- Education extends far beyond what we can learn in a textbook.
- Learning shouldn’t be a forced chore.
- There is more to knowledge than memorizing.
- Teaching shouldn’t comprise an endless cycle of grades, evaluations, tests, and mandatory assignments.
12. THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION
The truth is, many parents have no clue what their kids are being taught at school. As in – blatant reality – “We have no idea what they do. At all. Not a clue…”
When you homeschool, you probably know what your kids are learning about. That’s a good start, right?
Schools teach how to memorize, not how to learn, using an approved curriculum which you have no say in as a parent. When you homeschool, you’re in charge of choosing an appropriate curriculum for your child, or not using any curriculum at all.
You know, I keep hearing about the concept of year-round schools due to kids forgetting how to read, spell, and count over the summer break each year. If that’s the case, there is no problem with the length of the school year. There is a conflict with WHAT, WHEN, and HOW kids are being taught.
13. HEALTHIER LIVING
There is MORE outside time, more exercise, more free time, and LESS stress involved in homeschooling.
Homeschooled kids have the option to eat when they’re hungry, not when their growing bodies are assigned a brief feeding slot.
Also, our lunch and snacks can remain a healthy option.
I have zero nosy people checking whether my child’s lunch meets strict(ly ridiculous) nutritional requirements.
- Would I get in trouble at school for not ever serving my kids milk? Possibly.
- Would I be just another parent in line to get harassed over a small square of dark plain organic chocolate in a child’s lunch box? As a result, would I be asked to align my child’s lunch with the school’s nutritional standards that involve unhealthy synthetic ingredients and words that can’t be pronounced? Perhaps.
- Would I be notified by school that my child’s (healthy and nutritionally balanced) lunch was thrown away and I’m now responsible for covering the (nutritionally substandard) school lunch my child was forced to eat instead? Maybe. But that’s where the Mama Bear would really come out.
Last but not least, no unwanted screenings. Another benefit of homeschooling.
14. PRIVATE SCHOOLS AREN’T MUCH DIFFERENT
In the end, a school is still a school.
While private schools may have a slight advantage, they’re basically the spitting image of public schools.
There might be smaller class sizes, and parents may get more personal time with the teachers and a fuzzy feeling that their kids are better off. Or that they should be. At least for the price tag, right?
In reality, there are similar rigid schedules to follow and tests to be completed, same class structures, same peer dependency and bullying, likely the same curriculum, and generally the same rules as public schools implement. We’re just not interested.
Then there are Montessori and Waldorf schools available that offer less structured setting and a unique education philosophy. But that brings me back to #1, #2, #3, #4, #6, #7, #8, #9, and #10. It’s just not worth it for us.
15. I DON’T HAVE TO FIGHT THE SCHOOL OVER VARIOUS THINGS
OK. I admit it. This homeschooling benefit is all about me. But still valid nonetheless…There you have it.
Homeschooling benefits the way we see them and our 15 reasons why we continue to homeschool.
What are yours?