Homeschooling isn’t necessarily for everyone, and there are wonderful reasons to give a child formal schooling, but in my home, we have fallen in love with homeschooling and here are our top reasons why:
1) You get to be with your child.
The number one reason I homeschool, I think, is that it means I get to spend more time with my children. I was a reluctant working mom until my daughter was nearly six years old and starting kindergarten. It was then that I finally got to stay home with her and I felt a little gypped, finally being able to stay home and not getting to spend the time with my first born. Though the official reasons to homeschool were that it was logistically the best option for us anyway and it meant offering her an amazing education, homeschooling meant that I could finally be with her all day as I had always dreamed.
2) Tailored Education
When you homeschool your child, you can tailor their education to fit their strengths and weaknesses. Do they struggle with math? You can take the extra time with them to make sure they get it. They won’t get lost in the crowd of their peers who have moved on to the next concept. Do they excel in reading? Then go ahead and burn through those readers until they are reading at the level that challenges them. Children love to read about exciting topics, so introduce them to a variety of subjects and reading materials that may catch their attention. One subject that never runs out of stories to tell is history. Your child may enjoy reading about medieval kingdoms and knights and other interesting things that happened in the world. Does your child adore princesses? There are curricula out there for every interest from robots, to legos, to—yes, even princesses. You can not only adjust the content to meet your child’s developmental and educational needs, you can also filter everything through their interests so that they are more engaged in the subject matter.
2) Enrichment opportunities
Since homeschooling, I have found that almost everything presents an opportunity for learning. A trip to the grocery store can quickly become a math or a health lesson. Playing outside in the yard can become a science lesson when you happen upon an amazing spider or a cocoon. Additionally, you are able to take field trips whenever you want as a family and instead of your child going separately from you with the school, you can have the field trip together which will facilitate more discussion later on.
3) Efficient learning so more time for explorative play
When your child or children is the only one in their class, the teaching is tailored to how quickly they learn. As the homeschool teacher you quickly realize which activities will be too easy for your child and which activities will need more time. There is no waiting around for other students to catch up and the class won’t go at a pace that is faster than your child’s abilities. In addition, there isn’t time wasted on lining up for the bathroom, the water fountain, or gym class, and your child doesn’t have to sit around doing busy work while every peer in the class gets a chance to raise their hand and answer or while the others complete a test.
4) No homework
Because you get through the day so efficiently and you are both the teacher and the parent, homework is redundant and unnecessary. It’s understandable to have homework in a traditional school where the child goes home and changes pace and may forget the subject matter, but since you are the teacher and the child doesn’t normally leave you, they never leave the learning environment either and you are aware of when they need extra practice and when it is superfluous. This also leaves more time for independent and creative play which has been proven to be essential for proper development.
5) Collaboration with other homeschoolers
Another awesome reason to homeschool is that when you get together with other homeschooling parents, you have a bunch of experts at your fingertips. One of my homeschooling friends is a former history teacher. Another one is an amazing cook. I am a Spanish teacher. My husband is a Bible scholar …and that’s just a couple of us. The more you get into homeschooling, the more you will find like minded parents who can collaborate with you and strengthen your teaching in the areas where it’s weak. For instance, a couple of homeschooling moms bring their kids to me once a week so I can teach them Spanish. We also join up together so we can take field trips with all the benefits of a large group. In addition to great learning opportunities, this gives our children time to play with peers outside their family unit on a regular basis to help with that socialization problem (which is a myth, by the way) that concerns outsiders so much when they think of homeschooling.
I was a teacher in public, private, and charter schools for eleven years before I decided to stay home with my children and homeschool. Having experienced all sides of the issue, I believe there are benefits to both formal and home schooling. For my family, homeschooling is definitely the better option and I have loved every minute of watching my child’s learning experience blossom under the watchful guide of my own teaching. I know my kids better than anyone and I’m best capable of meeting them where they are. It has been a true blessing and an honor to be the one teaching them.