Homeschooling isn't always a bed of roses.
Shouldering the responsibility of your child's education can often be overwhelming, scary, and intimidating.
To make matters worse, we are living in a culture that teaches us that, as parents, we aren't capable of EDUCATING our children.
We should leave education to the PROFESSIONALS.
It's impossible to homeschool high school subjects like Calculus and Physics.
Children need to be SOCIALIZED.
How will your homeschooled child play football?
How will they get into college?
If you homeschool you will miss your "ME" time.
(and so it goes...)
As I look back to the THREE YEARS my husband and I thought about homeschooling our children (yes, we actually debated the merits of homeschooling for three years), I can list for you every doubt and fear we (and our extended families and friends) had. If you ever ask yourself "should I homeschool my child", I know these reasons will help you get the answer.
Don't listen to the doubts. Don't listen to well meaning friends and family members. Don't listen to a society that wants parents to abdicate their very important role in educating their children.
Your children are YOURS. They are with you for a short time, and you have what it takes to homeschool them.
So... as I look back at a typical homeschool week I'm struck with 10 reasons to homeschool your children.
Because I THINK YOU CAN DO IT!
1. Time For Kids to be Kids
Homeschooling allows our KIDS to be KIDS. They aren't confined to the same 4 walls every day (which kind of resembles prison to me).
They are free to explore, wonder, and create.
They are free to get lost in play and magical worlds.
I watched my son this week at his Classical Conversations Foundations class -- the class of boys was reviewing their memory work outside, through games and play. What better way to help children learn than to meet them where they are... not stuff them into a desk and have them read from a dry textbook.
I'm so thankful my kids had rich childhoods, and I think homeschool is a large part of this.
Let your kids be kids. Homeschool them!
2. Quality Curriculum
When you homeschool you can choose what you want your children to learn.
I realize that some well meaning family and friends might know "that" homeschool family that slacks off in this area, but I know plenty of homeschooling families that put a lot of time and prayer into deciding what their children will learn.
We have chosen a rich Classical education for our children and love to have a lot of literature in our home.
Gone are the days of the evolutionist science textbooks and the inaccurate, dry history books.
You are able to expose your children to a wealth of beautiful knowledge when you homeschool.
3. More Time For Hands-On Activities
Because of the smaller class size (wink), homeschool kids can learn in quite a different way.
The volume of hands-on learning is amazing to me.
This week my son learned more about the zones of the ocean by creating a model of the zones. He researched, planned, created -- and then executed a presentation for his Foundations class.
If my children were still in traditional school they would be crammed into a desk most of the day and would grow to hate school by the time 4th or 5th grade rolled around.
Homeschooling allows us our children to learn in the way that best works for kids -- by DOING!
4. Increased Family Time/Transmission of Values
Our family spends A LOT of time together.
This means we see the good, the bad, and the ugly in each other all the time.
We learn to be patient, forgiving, and kind. We learn to pull together through illness, tragedies, and celebrations.
My children aren't shielded from real life, and I'm thankful for that.
Because we are together so much, my husband and I are free to instill our values in our children -- not DEPROGRAM them after they come home from school!
We start each day with a morning time - devotions, fine arts, memory work, and more. This 30-45 minutes centers my kids and sets the tone for the day.
Hopefully this togetherness is instilling a strong sense of family and commitment in my children!
5. Increased Independence
Now that my oldest is in high school, I am starting to see this benefit of independence.
She plans her entire week and then is responsible for turning in her assignments at the end of that week. In her Challenge I class she is responsible for semester long projects.
Having our home as a safe place to fail has allowed her to experience failure under our roof.
She also takes two online classes, and is gaining the experience of reporting to and learning from other adults. These classes present the syllabus for the year and require her to do a lot of advanced planning.
If she were in traditional school she would have teachers telling her what to do every step of the way, taking very little control of her daily time. I believe this is why so many college freshman have a hard time - because they haven't had much independence in the high school years.
Homeschooling creates independent young adults.
6. Reclaiming Your OWN Education
This is a purely selfish reason to homeschool your children.
I've learned SO MUCH through homeschooling my children.
This semester I'm tackling a very difficult music theory curriculum alongside my daughter, and I'm reading A LOT of great literature with her, too. (I just finished The Old Man and the Sea in preparation for a discussion with my daughter next week.)
Through learning the Foundations Memory Work with my son, I'm learning more than I ever did in my school career!
I never realized how dumb I was until I started homeschooling!
7. Deeper Friendships
When it comes to friendships, we believe in going deep rather than wide.
My kids each have a few good friends, but not a lot of friends.
I'm totally ok with this.
As a homeschool parent I can guide my children through friendship issues, and I also know all of their friends' parents very well.
We're teaching our children to be accepting, kind, and discerning in their friendships. There is very little teasing, bullying, or typical "friendship drama" in the homeschool arena.
Again - I think this is a myth of childhood -- that kids are just mean and there will be lots of hurt feelings and friendship issues as kids grow up.
Schools are NOT conducive to nurturing friendships, but HOMESCHOOLS are.
8. More Sleep and Better Health
Kids need sleep. Period.
Early school start times aren't conducive to kids getting the sleep they need (especially in their teenage years).
Better sleep leads to better health.
This has been one of the most unexpected benefits of homeschooling -- happier and healthier (and more well rested) children.
We no longer live by the schedule of the public or private schools.
We are free to take vacations or take advantage of special opportunities in the community as the need arises.
I heard a parent recently expressing concern because her child could only take two field trips per year in her public school. That was so sad to me... that kids have to be confined all day every day.
Homeschoolers are free to go where they want, when they want. They are free to teach what they want when they want.
I do not take these freedoms for granted, and pray our country continues to support them.
10. Life is Short
This one is simple.
Our kids are little but a short time. We need to savor each and every moment with them.
When my kids tell me they remember our Lewis & Clarke Expedition when they were little it does my heart such good.
When we get enthralled with The Chronicles of Narnia and don't get off the couch for two hours we are creating lifelong memories.
When we stop our homeschooling to go help a grandparent in need we are LIVING the values of a family.
One day soon my kids will be out of my home and living their own lives.
I'm so thankful homeschooling has let me savor this short window in their lives!
What's your top reason for homeschooling? Or, if you don't homeschool --- what's stopping you?
Let's get a conversations started in the comments below.
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