Most homeschooling families have already started their new year, while others are gearing up for it. On the other hand, perhaps you are part of the many who might be thinking about homeschooling your children.
When you’re on the cusp of making this choice it’s important to consider the benefits, especially when navigating through the negative. While some of the positives are obvious, others are a little more unexpected. So, let’s talk about five surprising benefits of homeschooling that you may not have considered yet.
No Longer a Slave to the School Schedule
One of the biggest benefits that parents often forget about homeschooling is that it means that you don’t have to wake up at 6am to pack the lunches and send the kids off for the day. You also don’t necessarily have to make sure things are completed by a certain time, and life can become more flexible. Of course, it’s great to have a routine, but if you need to break it every now and then, you can. Deviating from the schedule isn’t as bad as it seems, especially for making any much needed changes and/or to get through the homeschool slump. Not to mention, if you get ahead on learning, there’s certainly nothing stopping you from tweaking your schedule!
The flexibility of homeschooling allows us to take the necessary breaks for feast day observance, other special day breaks (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.), and for any unexpected mishaps. Breaking it down to day-by-day scheduling, there are times when we aren’t starting by 8am… some days we do! Being released from the public/private school schedule opens a whole new door of possibilities.
Keeping Your Kids Safe
It’s fair to say that schools have become more dangerous in these recent days, as well as the roadways. If kids are walking to school or going to catch the bus, they can be at risk of drivers on the road who aren’t paying attention. Ask any serious injury attorney, and they’ll tell you children are more at risk of getting hit by a car than adults. Several years ago, in my semi-small town in western Kentucky, we actually had an incident of a child getting hit by a car after getting off the school bus. While I don’t like to ponder on the what-if’s, I’d be crazy to be oblivious to the possibility of something happening to one of my children.
Another safety consideration that raises my mama bear alarm is the growing violence in schools. Parents of public/private schooled children hope that once their children reach the school gates, they’re safe, but the news proves otherwise. Homeschoolers may be seen as sheltering crazies, but one thing is for sure, school violence is avoided for us!
Not to beat a dead horse, but a major problem with the current school system is the fact that individual learning isn’t really supported. Contrary to belief, not all children learn in the same way. Some kids learn by reading the textbook while others learn by being hands on. Many more find audio learning the most effective option. In schools, every child is filtered through the same system. At home, the child can use whichever learning method is most helpful for them.
I’m a huge advocate of going where the needs lead and could care less if any of my children take a standardized test ever in their lives. We are a unit studying, notebooking, YouTube and Netflix watching, hands-on learning kind of homeschooling family. These types of learning styles provide my kiddos with enriched learning and gives me lots of opportunities for working with them individually or collectively, no matter that age, grade, or level.
Spend More Time Together
The term stir-crazy may come to mind when you think about spending more time with your kiddos, but look at it this way… Once your child goes to school, you will lose a lot of time due to them being in the care of someone else for a full time job’s worth of hours. With homeschooling, you can be right there with them as they work their way towards college or entrepreneurship.
Outside looking in, our family thinks we are crazy because we are able to spend so much time together. But here’s the thing… we are a product of those we spend the most time with. I would rather my children be around me and their dad, learning from us versus learning the morals, values, and beliefs of others – especially if they contradict ours.
Put the Focus Where It’s Needed
You might find that your child excels in math and struggles in English. Or perhaps they are awesome in chemistry but can’t stand physics. With homeschooling, you will be able to focus on the subject they’re struggling with and spend less time on the one that they excel at. This saves them from boring classes where they are well ahead of the rest of the class and stops them from being passed over in lessons where they could really use an extra helping hand.
Don’t be afraid to go where the needs lead! Most new homeschoolers get tripped up over trying to work in every subject, every day when you don’t necessarily have to! In Anita Gibson’s book, S.T.A.R. Finder, she goes into amazing detail about focusing on the areas that matter (weaknesses) all while continuing to fashion the strengths. (Check out our interview here)
When it comes down to it, there are many more benefits to homeschooling than what I talked about. My biggest piece of advice to you if you’re considering it, but haven’t quite made that leap yet is JUST DO IT. There is support through homeschool advisors (I’d love to help you) and support groups galore (join ours on Facebook)! Don’t be afraid to reach out and get help with getting your journey started.
CHIME IN: Are you thinking about homeschooling but haven’t made the leap yet? What’s stopping you? I’d love to hear from you so leave your response in the comments below.