I almost titled this blog post, “Why I didn’t set an alarm for 10 years.” Of course, that isn’t totally true, but it is one of the many perks of homeschooling! Since we do hybrid homeschooling, I do have to get up early twice a week, but that’s by choice! Homeschooling perks come by the dozens. So whether you are considering homeschooling or you already are homeschooling and need some reminders on why you started this crazy journey in the first place, this post is for you!
Learning takes place everywhere.
I’m sure my children will grow up to (hopefully goodheartedly) complain about this homeschooling perk. Or maybe they already do! But every aspect of life can be turned into a learning lesson for a homeschooling family. We’re at the grocery store and we are choosing between two different items. Lesson time! Dad chooses to do a car repair on his own by watching YouTube instead of taking it to the shop? Lesson time! A simple homeschooling perk is the opportunity to make any part of life part of your lessons.
Travel is encouraged in homeschooling!
As you know, we are on a quest to visit all of the National Parks. This experience is just overflowing with learning! One of my favorite homeschooling perks is the opportunity to travel more as a family. Whether you are a full-time, traditional homeschooler, or a hybrid homeschooler, your family’s travel plans are most likely encouraged and praised. When you are traveling, history, science, and many more subjects come alive. And we also have the chance to learn so much about ourselves.
We all know that traveling requires a lot of patience and kindness. Your flight is delayed. Your luggage gets lost. The hotel room you reserved months ago has been given away. In all of these situations, you learn a lot about yourself! It’s such an opportunity to grow and stretch yourself in ways that you just can’t do while sitting at home or in a classroom.
Children learn to socialize with various ages.
In a large family, this one is easy. But no matter what the size of your family, when you choose to homeschool, you are giving your children more opportunities to interact with something other than same age peers. There’s lots of academic theories, especially in the Montessori world, that explain why it’s good for children to not just be with same age peers all day long. But my simple way of explaining it is this… imagine how much patience a 14 year old can learn by explaining photosynthesis to his 10 year old brother. Imagine how proud a 6 year old is to test her older sister on her spelling words. By spending time with children who are not their same age, kids learn so much.
There’s more opportunities for service as a family.
One of my favorite homeschooling perks is the opportunity to serve in our community as a family, right in the middle of the week! Of course, it’s definitely possible to do service projects on the weekend, but we are all so busy on the weekend, it’s hard to fit all of it in sometimes. For the past 6 years or so, we’ve volunteered monthly at a local nursing home. It’s not a ton of time, but it’s something we commit to regularly as a family.
When we go to the nursing home, we integrate lessons into this time as well. We usually do crafts with the residents, so of course, this is art for the day! And at times, my younger children read to the residents. Such great practice on their reading skills! It’s really a blessings for us to have the opportunity to interact with these beautiful souls.
Homeschooling prepares kids for college.
This is really one of my favorite homeschooling perks. And I think it’s also one of the most misunderstood. When people are considering homeschooling, it seems they think of Mom teaching Calculus to their kids at the dining room table. Or Mom pouring over Latin dictionaries to find vocabulary words. And while this may be true at times, in most cases, by the time a child is in middle school or high school, they are nearly self sufficient!
In hybrid homeschooling, which has also been called the University model, this is especially true. Think about it! In college, you don’t go to class every day of the week. You study on the days you aren’t in class. That’s the same way that hybrid homeschooling is scheduled. Kids in middle and high school are usually taught two lessons on the days they are in class, which prepares them to do their work and study on the days they are not in class. Students also learn to be incredibly self-sufficient, and organize their time efficiently.
Full-time school can be brutal.
Bullying, social media, violence; there are so many things that are part of children’s lives today that weren’t as much of an issue 20 years ago. I don’t choose to homeschool my children based in fear, but I also want to give them the opportunity to be free of the social pressures of full-time school for as long as possible. I remember what it was like to be mean girl’d. In fact, I was a mean girl at times! It’s an eat or be eaten mentality.
Choosing to homeschool may be the right choice for your child’s mental health. If your child is having trouble in school, and spending each night crying when they get home, it might be time to think of some alternatives. Homeschooling can be a welcome change, or maybe even just a temporary break, from a bad social situation at school.
Create lifetime learners.
There are some subjects I enjoy doing with my children. And there are some subjects I do not enjoy. But in pretty much all subjects, I enjoy learning something new, or refreshing topics in my brain that I haven’t thought about for 30 years. For example, my son is taking an outdoor education course and learning all about boat safety. As a Floridian, I’ve been on boats so often in my life, and never knew any of the proper terms. It’s been so fun learning all of this with him, and being able to discuss this topic with him in real time.
When your children see their parent truly enjoying the learning process, right along with them, learning becomes a privilege instead of a chore.
We all know that’s not all rainbows and unicorns at my house every day. But when we sit down together and review art history topics that I’ve never heard of before, or talk about the science of a hurricane, we are creating bonds that will last a lifetime. I want my children to see that I love learning, and I especially love learning with them. Hopefully, that memory will last a lifetime, for both of us.
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