Top Ten Benefits of Homeschooling

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There are so many benefits to homeschooling.  I mean, obviously we’re fans.  I’ve shared before the things we don’t miss about public school.  As far as homeschooling’s benefits, I’m sure they vary widely among homeschooling families, but these are my top ten:

1. Personalized education.  Always topping my list will be the personalized education.  That means we can slow down for the hard things (which vary from child to child) and breeze through the easy ones.  We can take rabbit trails when a certain topic peaks a child’s interest.  We can tailor the education uniquely to the student, whether he is a struggling learner or a gifted one.  As an interesting side note, I asked my kids what they thought the benefits of homeschooling were, to see if they mentioned anything I might want to include in this post.  My oldest daughter quickly mentioned being able to work at her own pace.

2. Sleeping late.  And, this one will always be a close second on our list (or, maybe it should be the first — it was Brianna’s first before the work at her own pace thing).  We are all such night owls.  It’s so nice to be able to work with our body’s natural rhythms.  My oldest recently asked if she could start doing her work after midnight and sleep until 1:00 or so in the afternoons.  I’m not ready to go quite that far yet, but we do enjoy the fact that we can all get the rest we need and work during the times that we’re most productive.

My mom recently asked what the kids would do when they had to get a job someday.  I told her that, if they do have to get an early morning job, as opposed to an alternate shift, they’ll adjust.  I held down a first shift job until just before Josh (age 10) was born.  I hated getting up early and I was tired all the time, but I managed.  The kids will do what they have to do when the time comes.  For now, we’ll enjoy this huge benefit of homeschooling.

Megan's ice glasses

3. Scheduling freedom.  Not only can we work at the time of day when we’re most productive, but homeschooling allows us to work around family vacations, birthdays (we take family birthdays off), and my husband’s work schedule.  I love that we can plan things when they’re right for our family, not when the county decides that it’s  time for a break that we get to share with all the rest of the county — or even the state.

4. Learning together.  I love learning alongside my kids.  I learn as much as they do most days.  It’s so much fun to delve into a topic together and see everyone get excited about it.  I am loving science this year.  All the kids are studying biology and we get to play with the microscope that we got to use with Brianna’s science text from Apologia.  When I asked the kids what they liked best about homeschooling, Megan said her favorite thing this year is biology.

Josh Day 1

5. Living together.  I love that we get to spend the majority of our days together.  I recently commented to the kids that, if they were in public school, all five of us would be in a different place for the majority of the day — Brianna would be in high school, Josh in middle school, Megan in elementary, Brian at work, and me, hopefully at home, but likely at work.  That would stink!  The years we have at home with our kids are so short; I want to enjoy as much time together as we possibly can.

6. Relationships.  Yes, my kids bicker.  Sometimes from the time they get up until the time they go to bed, but, when push comes to shove, they love each other.  I think they are much closer than they would be if they were only together in the evenings after school.  And, I can only imagine what my relationship with Brianna would be like.  She’s a teenager who enjoys spending time with her mama.  Do we get on each other’s nerves?  Sure, but we’re still much closer than I imagined we’d be when she hit fifteen.  I think that’s a direct result of our decision to homeschool.

7. Encouraging strengths.  I love that homeschooling affords us the opportunity to encourage our kids’ strengths.  Whether it’s an artistic bent, an athletic talent, or an unusual academic interest, we can allow our kids to explore their areas of gifting in ways that they might not get to experience if they were in school for 6-8 hours a day.

Megan Painting CFA Cow

8. Shoring up weaknesses.  The flip side of encouraging their strengths is shoring up their weaknesses.  Because we can tailor our kids’ education to their own unique needs, their areas of struggle can be addressed without defining who they are.  A diagnosis of a learning disability can become a tool for shaping their educational needs, rather than a label slapped on the side of a box into which they are shoved.

9. Quiet and peaceful places of business.  Okay, I’m sorry, but I know I’m not the only one who loves enjoying a practically empty playground, children’s museum or kid-friendly restaurant once schools resume each fall.

10. School and life seamlessly meshing.  This one is probably going to be the hardest to explain and actually have it come across the way it felt to me, but I had a moment, a few weeks ago, where I realized that schooling at home isn’t something that is just some separate, compartmentalized piece of our lives,  it’s just that thing that we do.

It wasn’t any huge moment; it was just the realization that we’d fallen seamlessly back into our homeschooling routine after our summer vacation because it’s just part of our lives.  As important a part of our lives that homeschooling is, it isn’t some big thing; it’s just part of us living, learning, and enjoying life together.

So, what are your family’s favorite benefits of homeschooling?

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19 Comments

  1. Even though this is our first year (second week!) of homeschooling, I was nodding along with each point you made. These are exactly the reasons we decided to homeschool, and so far, we were right! Yay!

    #6, Relationships, struck a chord with me. Our oldest daughter attended kindergarten at our local public school last year, and the difference in her demeanor with the rest of us (especially her younger sisters) was surprising. She was so tired after a full day of school that she rarely played with them anymore. It was sad, and something that has completely changed since she got out of school — she's back to being the fun, playful big sister she always was 🙂

  2. I love all your reasons! I'd have to think for awhile to come up with my list, but it would be very similar to yours! And I love #9 too. Yesterday we took our kids to the zoo (we haven't started school yet), and I remarked to my husband that our older 2 were the only school-age children there! There were a lot of older people and parents with toddlers, but it wasn't near as crowded as it normally would be.

  3. I agree 100% with all of your reasons. I love being able to sleep and go to bed later than we would if we were in public school. My only additions would be the fact that my kids stay healthy and well without all the school germs. Haley had pneumonia twice her first year in public school. That was a major reason for pulling her out. I too love the fact that we can take time off for vacations on our schedule, not the school's. Lastly, as a public school graduate, I love the fact that I'm learning all the stuff I missed along side my kids. I've either forgotten it or missed it altogether. Now, learning is fun and something I enjoy doing. I never felt that way as a child. I hope to instill that same love of learning in my children through homeschooling.

  4. This list was very, very good – so much of it I can agree with wholeheartedly – relationships developed, opportunity for growth, freedom of flexibility. I'm so thankful that God led us to homeschooling! What a privilege! (even when Mom's tired and the kids are bickering….)

    Thanks for this! Gwen toliverstotexas.blogspot.com

  5. Say what?

    My homeschooled kids cry if we show up to an empty playground. The more other brats the better!

    So during the school year (10 full months!) I can't go to the park until about 3pm, when their age-mates are furloughed…

  6. In one awful, weak moment last year, I threatened to send my then 3rd grade son to school. He burst into tears saying, "But then I wouldn't have any time to cook!"

    It was funny because we don't actually cook as a part of school all that often, but apparently when we do, it makes a big impression on him… and he was right, with school and then homework, he wouldn't have time to cook.

    So, we moved past that day, we're still homeschooling, and I've vowed to try very hard not to make empty threats again, because when it comes right down to it, I wouldn't trade homeschooling for anything – for all the reasons you mentioned and more!

  7. Kris,

    What a great article! Being the pragmatic sort, when I think about the benefits of homeschooling, I immediately think of being able to set our own schedule. My daughter is so close to a Junior National cut in the 50 Freestyle so I went ahead and scheduled our school year with that trip already on the calendar. She won't have to worry about missing school or making up missed work. I LOVE setting our own schedule – I can't imagine doing it any other way now.

    My middle son has always needed a bit more time in language arts. Homeschooling has allowed me to give him that time while not holding him back in areas in which he excelled.

    I know what you mean about homeschooling just being a part of our lives. For the most part, now, it's just what we do and what the kids expect.

    Samantha

  8. These are inspiring! And all of the things I'll miss so much when my kids start school. I'm interested in homeschooling but not sure that I have the constitution for it. I love reading all the posts about it on Amanda's Top Ten Tuesday!

  9. Agreed. #2 in particular. My husband is not a morning person; never has been, never will be. But when he needs to get up, he gets up. And our kids do the same thing. It may not always be easy, but it works out.

  10. OK I don't homeschool, but I still want to make a comment if that's OK? The thing I think I would love most about homeschooling if we did it would be number 5. I miss my kids when they're at school, and I want to know what they've experienced and they're too young to really tell me in great detail. Also, they miss each other. I love my kids' school, but that's the part that I would love the most about homeschooling, I am sure.

  11. I always enjoy reading your blog!

    My favorite on the list is… the relationships that I have been able and will be able to develop during our journey. I get told several times a day (by my little ones), how much my girls love me. There really is no greater happiness than to love and be loved!!!

    Also, I totally got that subtle sentence about your "Mom" asking the question about the kids getting a job one day… I thought I was the only one whose "Mom" questioned the decision to home educate their kids 🙂

    Enjoyed!

  12. I love all the things you listed plus my own benefit: being a single mom and thanking God that I can work part time and homeschool full time. I am able to ensure my daughter gets a quality Christian education without all the distractions and seemingly the routes my daughter will take in life. Single moms usually have to work full-time and put their children in a lot of daycare or after school programs leaving the children at heavy influence with their peers, getting into trouble and possibly repeating the pattern of single motherhood. I am doing everything I can in my power to curve that destiny and hopefully she will walk a better road than I did. 😀 love your blog by the way.

    Amber

  13. I loved your list! I feel like these are the exact reasons I chose to homeschool, you just put them more eloquently than I could.

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