The popularity of the post, 50 Reasons Homeschooled Kids Love Being Homeschooled blew me away. I really thought it would only be popular with the parents who had submitted answers from their kids. Apparently, however, it’s reassuring to a homeschool parent to hear why kids love being homeschooled. Who knew?
Many of you have asked for a follow-up. You wanted to share why you, as the homeschool parent, love homeschooling. I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sure we’d get to 50 unique answers. I should have known better since I’m always telling people that the reasons families homeschool are as varied as the families themselves. I should have known that would make the reasons you love it unique as well.
I feel the need to offer a disclaimer. This is in no way, shape, form, or fashion intended to bash public schools, parents who don’t homeschool, or teachers. Nothing says that parents of traditionally schooled kids can’t feel or experience many of these things or that you don’t love and cherish your kids because you don’t homeschool. These are just the heart-felt responses of the homeschooling moms and dads who responded to my question, what do you love about homeschooling?
1. Being with our children. Several moms mentioned that they love spending time with their kids when the kids are fresh and energetic, rather than tired after a long day at school.
2. Being there for the ah-ha moments. Homeschooling parents said they love seeing the excitement when their kids learn or experience something for the first time or when they grasp a difficult concept.
3. Skipping the crazy morning rush of trying to get everyone out the door.
4. No cookie-cutter education. I think homeschooling parents would universally agree that one of the best things to love about homeschooling is being able to customize our children’s education so that each child can thrive. One parent commented, “We can adjust the level of instruction as often as needed to ensure their full potential is realized.”
5. Stronger sibling bonds. One mom’s comment really made me smile: “…the baby got to take her first steps to her favorite person – her big brother.”
6. Non-medicated kids. Homeschooling affords kids with ADD and ADHD the opportunity to learn without medication. For the record, I know many kids with attention disorders who need medication and do much better with it, even when they’re homeschooled. However, I don’t think anyone would deny the fact that kids with attention disorders often don’t have much of a choice to forego medication in classroom settings where a single teacher need to keep a class of 20 focused and attentive.
All that to say, homeschool parents, don’t feel guilty if your kids needs medication to focus. Public school parents, don’t feel like anyone is hating on you.
7. Freedom from the constraints of the public school schedule. Homeschooling parents love being able to vacation during the off-season or adjust their schedule to better fit an atypical work schedule or a parent who travels.
We also love being able to adjust our schedules around life events – such as births, deaths, or sickness – and take into account things such as the time of day when our kids work best and the increased sleep needs of teens.
8. Doing school in PJs. Apparently it’s not just homeschooled kids who enjoy this perk. After the original 50 reasons list, I felt the need to clarify that around here PJs are lounge pants (or yoga pants) and t-shirts. We’re not running around in nighties all day. The UPS man can come to the door without fear of being scarred for life. It’s all good.
9. No bullies. (Unless you count the cat or the toddler!) Kids can be themselves without fear of harassment.
10. Being able to raise kids at home in a safe environment. Many parents mentioned safety factor such as bullies, drugs, food allergens, and violence.
11. Time. Childhood is such a short period in a person’s life and many homeschool parents said they love having more of this precious commodity with their kids. The days are long, but the years are short.
12. A more relaxed learning environment. Parents enjoy the freedom from “teaching to the test” as well as other classroom pressures, particularly for kids who are either gifted or struggling learners.
13. No packing lunches. Except, I have to confess, we’ve been known to pack lunches just for fun. Sometimes it’s the little things, y’all.
14. Being able to be personally involved in our kids’ educations beyond the scope of homework help and classroom volunteer.
15. The field trips!
16. Alternative learning. Homeschool parents love that their kids aren’t tied down to certain subjects, but can fully dive into their individual interests and natural giftings.
17. No fundraisers! Seriously, I think I can get an “amen” even from the public and private school parents on that one. Does anybody (other than the people making the money) actually enjoy those?
18. No alarm clocks. That’s for other homeschool parents. No alarm clocks at my house would be very bad – but at least the sun is lighting the horizon when mine goes off.
19. No pressure on kids to mature faster than they are ready. I think homeschool parents catch a lot of flack for this one, but there is something to be said for holding on to the innocence of childhood for as long as possible.
20. Learning from our kids. You might be surprised what a kid can teach you. Of course, if you’re reading this, you’re probably a parent, so you probably aren’t so surprised by that statement.
21. Learning alongside our kids. I often learn just as much as my kids do. Plus, I have often discovered that subjects that I found difficult in school are much easier to understand now. (Not always – don’t get me started on certain math concepts.)
22. Being able to toss the curriculum and do something else if it’s not working.
23. Knowing our kids better than anyone else.
24. Staying up late to watch meteor showers because you can sleep in the next morning.
25. Studying the Bible and praying together.
26. Allowing kids to avoid many negative peer influences.
27. When we get caught talking to ourselves, we can call it a parent/teacher conference and maybe – just maybe – look a little less crazy.
28. Enjoying public places when they’re much less crowded.
29. Not having to take unnecessary snow days. (Though I’d say most of us in the South take snow days when there’s a halfway decent snowfall. That’s an event down here!)
30. Our kids with learning struggles don’t have to feel like failures. We can allow them to progress in their strong areas without being held back by their weaknesses.
31. We don’t have to wait on an IEP to make classroom modifications for struggling learners.
32. Learning without labels! I love the way one mom expressed this. She has a dyslexic son and she loves that she “can teach him at his pace and he doesn’t have the stigma of being labeled as ‘slow’ or ‘different.’ At home he’s just Henry.”
33. Being able to put family first.
34. Allowing kids to take the initiative with their education.
35. Lots of time for volunteering and serving as a family.
36. Showing our kids that they can love God and love science while reaffirming that the two are not mutually exclusive.
37. No busy work.
38. Kids enjoy friendships with people of a wide variety of ages.
39. Being able to feed kids healthy, nutritious meals. I have to give another hearty thumbs-up here. I’m not hating on schools, but those used to be some pretty nasty meals (except for pizza day – and slaw. I don’t even like slaw, but our elementary school had really good slaw of all things.) and I’m not sure much has changed.
40. Teaching life skills in their natural setting.
41. Kids can be themselves. One mom said, “I love watching them grow into who they really are, unfiltered from what’s ‘cool’ to be.” I think a lot of people might say that’s one of the things that makes homeschooled kids weird. If so, that’s my kind of weird. I think we’re all a little weird in one way or another, but there is great joy in being able to be one’s authentic self.
42. The feeling of satisfaction that comes from teaching one’s own children. One mom said she loves “the satisfaction that what my kids learn, I taught them – or I at least provided the way. It’s such a huge responsibility and yet such a huge reward!”
43. Kids (and families) can operate on their own schedules. They can eat when they’re hungry, sleep when they’re tired, or go to the bathroom when they need to go.
44. Kids are with a teacher who loves them unconditionally and wants what’s best for them. There are some amazing teachers out there in the public and private school systems who truly care for their kids and want to help them succeed. I know lots of them. However, I bet there isn’t a person reading this who never had a bad teacher. They can do some real damage. I had two of them and, boy, could I tell you some stories.
To be fair, I also had some wonderful teachers about whom I could tell some stories. And, since, it’s my blog, I’m going to interrupt this list to tell you about my 1st grade teacher who used to come into the restaurant where my mom worked from the time I was 14 until I was 20 – a long time after 1st grade. She would ask about me, by name, every single time she came in. Such a sweet lady.
45. Not freezing (or getting soaked) waiting at the bus stop with kids.
46. No battles over homework. And we never have to hear “That’s now how Mrs. So-and-So does it” because we are Mrs. So-and-So.
47. No school bells. As one mom said, “I love that when we are really into a discussion, knowing that we will not be interrupted by a bell signaling the end of the class.”
48. Sleep. Studies have shown that teens need much more sleep than most of them get. Homeschooling allows them to get the sleep their bodies need.
49. Fewer sick days. There was a great discussion about how accurate this statement may or may not be on my Facebook page. Still, for many it seems to be true. Plus, often kids are too sick to be at school (unable to concentrate, need some rest, or just not needing to spread germs), but they’re still up to lying in bed reading or watching an educational DVD, so the day doesn’t have to be a total loss.
50. Enjoying great books. I know I’m not the only one who missed some great books when I was in school – or who is enjoying getting to re-read favorites.
So, homeschooling moms and dads, what reasons would you add?
This post is linked to the Hip Homeschool Hop.
time image courtesy of pixabay
i love homeschooling images courtesy of deposit photos
Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.