Now that we are finishing up our first year of homeschooling, I wanted to give a glimpse of the positives we have discovered by learning at home. One thing I didn’t really expect when I started was that many people have strong opinions about homeschooling. Many of these opinions are not positive, sadly. I think sometimes there are stereotypes about homeschooling that create a lot of fear. Believe me, I have gotten many questions based on fear from strangers, friends, and even family. They are worried about what my child won’t have because of our choice to not be in traditional schools. Much of this is often based on a lack of education of what homeschooling can really look like. Yes, my kid is socializing. No, I am not going to mess her up. So far, I have found so many benefits. I hope it brings you encouragement if you are just starting or thinking of starting. I will be the first to admit that homeschooling is not always the best fit for every child and that many kids have a great experience in public and private schools. But, if you find that traditional schools are not the right fit for your kids, please realize that homeschooling isn’t as scary as it may seem. It really can be positive and it is for so many families.
1. Curriculum choices
We know better than anyone our children’s needs. We can discover their unique learning style and use that to choose a curriculum that helps them learn best. The choices of the curriculum are vast and there is something out there for all learning styles in every subject. Learning can become completely individualized to each child based on their individual learning style and interests.
Having the flexibility to be in charge of your own schedule is huge. I know for us, just the mornings of less rushing and commuting have been a huge stress reducer. You have the freedom to go at a pace and a schedule that works for your individual needs.
3. Closer family relationships
There seems to be more time now to create a strong sense of family importance and values. Negotiation skills, compassion, etc are beginning at home and we are involved in helping navigate these lessons positively.
4. Self confidence
There is so much encouragement and support, which helps to develop a love for learning. Additionally, there is time to discover and develop personal interests. They can discover who they are in a completely safe place. Sense of style, taste in music, etc. are all discovered without outside peer pressure to fit into a certain group.
5. Quality education
We may feel worried to be our child’s own teacher. We may think this because we do not have experience as an educator. But, our kids can still receive a quality education. We are teaching them one on one. We are catering to their individual learning style and we are able to follow our child’s own pace. Taking our time increases the depth of learning. Besides the normal subjects we study, we also can spend more time teaching life lessons and good habits. They learn how to work independently as well.
There are fewer exposures to cases of flu and colds. Additionally, and maybe more importantly, students that were previously under a lot of stress in traditional environments will benefit from a calmer environment that won’t create those stress-related illnesses (stomach ache, headaches, etc).
There is something pretty amazing about teaching your child something and seeing them get it for the first time. Being able to be a part of the excitement they feel when that happens is just so great. The investment we make in our kids is extremely rewarding as a parent.
8. Homeschool community
One of the most un-expecting but extremely wonderful things about homeschooling is the homeschool community. We have gotten involved in groups that offer field trips, educational classes, playtime, and ultimately lots of friendships. I can’t say enough about how invested these parents are in their kids and it is such a wonderful community to be a part of.
For us, these benefits have kept us continuing on this journey. As I continue to homeschool, I keep discovering more and more reasons to continue. It is a lot of work but feels very worth it. I hope this offered some encouragement for those who are starting and offered some insight to those who still wonder why we are doing this.
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