When our kids were younger, I had a homeschool mom friend who told me she was going to start having her children wear school uniforms – and she wasn’t talking about pajamas!
I admit, I thought the idea was crazy at first, but she had some valid points. Her reasons for having her kids wear homeschool uniforms (which they did for awhile – I can’t remember how long they continued) included:
Homeschool uniforms put kids in school-mode.
Those on the “get dressed” side of the “get dressed vs. wear PJs all day” controversy say that getting dressed signals to their students’ brains that it’s time to get to work. (I’m still not sure why it has to be a hot-button issue, but that’s another post for another day.)
It’s the same concept as work-at-home moms wearing something besides yoga pants and getting “dressed to the shoes.”
Clearly, I am not in the camp, but you’ve got to do what works for your family. Yoga pants and PJs work for mine. (Just for the record, PJs around here are lounge pants and t-shirts. Nobody’s sitting around in a gown all day.)
There are no battles over what to wear.
My husband and I volunteer at church and wear volunteer shirts for our respective departments. There is never any stress over what to wear on Sunday mornings. One of the benefits of wearing a uniform for work or school is that you don’t have to think about what you’re going to wear, and there are no battles over clothing choices.
Also, if your kids have homeschool uniforms, you never have to worry about outfits like this:
Excuse the tiny image. It’s obviously from a long time ago.
Yeah, I know – that’s really all kinds of adorable. I was clearly in the “choose your battles” camp when it came to toddler and preschool fashions. That’s still pretty much my motto now that they’re teens. There are more important things to fuss over.
Oh, and yes, I did get permission to use that photo, even so, I put the little black box over her eyes, so now you totally can’t tell who it is.
If your kids wander off in public, you know what they’re wearing.
It’s one of those things you hope never happens, but we’ve probably all experienced it for at least a few agonizing seconds – your kids get separated from you in public.
As my friend pointed out, if that ever happened to her on a field trip or just out running errands, uniforms made her kids easy to spot and easy to describe to others what they were wearing. It also meant that a helpful parent or store employee could more easily locate the matching siblings.
It can promote a sense of camaraderie.
Uniforms can also instill a sense of camaraderie, whether it’s within your family or your homeschool group. That was the primary reason I got together that first homeschool t-shirt way back in 2004 or so.
My oldest had t-shirts from her two years in public school. Each year, the school sold a new design, and the majority of the student body ordered them. I wanted that for our homeschool group, so we put together an order for matching shirts with our group name on the back.
(Helpful tip: Consider things like personalized shirts and giving the group name to field trip venues when you choose a name. Don’t choose something incredibly long and difficult to abbreviate like we did.)
Benefits of homeschool t-shirts
When my friend decided to use uniforms in her homeschool, she opted for khaki pants, shorts, or skirts, with polo shirts in a few color choices. It worked well for them.
If you’d like to do casual uniforms for your family or homeschool group, homeschool t-shirts, like those from Great Products, make a fantastic option. We’ve purchased shirts from them for years, both for our family and for our homeschool group.
The benefits of homeschool uniforms are true for homeschool t-shirts, too. Homeschool t-shirts can put kids in school mode, avoid battles over what to wear, and make it easy to spot your children or homeschool group when you’re on group outings.
They can foster a sense connectedness for homeschool co-ops and support groups, and can promote and start dialogues about homeschooling.
In the early years of our homeschool, our group met at a popular indoor playground for a playdate. Another mom overheard us talking and noted that many of our kids were school age. She was the brave sort who didn’t mind approaching us and asking if we homeschooled.
She wasn’t trying to pick a fight – she was there with her homeschooled kids! The family wound up joining our group. I imagine that, over the years, we’ve missed a few new, lonely, or would-be homeschoolers who weren’t brave enough to walk up and introduce themselves. Homeschool t-shirts might have been a good icebreaker in some of those missed opportunities.
What about us?
We remain firmly in the “jeans and t-shirts” (or yoga pants and t-shirts or even PJs) camp because I’m all about comfort – and shoes are optional for my Southern family. However, I don’t think the concept of homeschool uniforms is as crazy as I did the first time I heard it, and I can admit there are benefits.
Have you ever considered having uniforms for your homeschooled students (or do you currently)? What benefits have I missed?
If your homeschool uniform consists of jeans and t-shirts, consider some fun, conversation-sparking homeschool t-shirts. The annual Great Products $5.99 t-shirt sale is going on now! From now until September 15, 2016, all regular t-shirts are on sale for $5.99 (no coupon needed). You can take 20% off all other apparel with coupon code SAVE20.
It’s the perfect time to stock up and save on homeschool shirts for your family and your homeschool group. Plus, right now you can enter to win new t-shirts for your entire family (up to 6 shirts)! Follow the directions on the RaffleCopter widget below to enter.
Rules: This giveaway is open to United States residents, ages 18 years and older only. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM (ET) on Sunday, August 21, 2016. The winner will be selected at random using Random.org via RaffleCopter.
The winner will be notified via email and given 72 hours to respond. You must enter a valid email address to win. In the event that the winner cannot be contacted by email or does not respond within 72 hours, the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner selected.
Click to read the complete rules. By entering this giveaway, you indicate that you have read and agreed to abide by these rules.