Benefits of Homeschooling
There are so many benefits of homeschooling! Here are just a few of my personal favorites.
- #1: You can work your schedule around the family’s natural rhythms.
- #2: You can honor your child’s interests, talents, and preferences.
- #3: You can tailor instruction to your child’s learning strengths, needs, and habits.
- #4: You can learn along with your child, or hire a tutor or instructor in the specific areas your child requires.
- #5: You can socialize your child into actual society.
Benefit #1: You can work your schedule around the family’s natural rhythms.
You can do focused learning tasks when your kid is rested and receptive, start early in the morning with your early riser or in the afternoon with your late sleeper. No more frantically rushing out the door shoving your kid’s backpack after him. No more cranky tantrums about squeezing in homework at the end of the day.
Benefit #2: You can honor your child’s interests, talents, and preferences.
Your Lego-obsessed kid can practice fractions and probability using legos of different colors.
Your Star Wars-obsessed kid can compare and contrast how the structure of the Hero’s Journey is used in Star Wars vs. classic works of literature.
Have a kid who loves the outdoors? What better way to learn about the water cycle, weather, and the natural world?
You can spend every Tuesday at your favorite museum, or picking up rocks in the park, or shopping for the night’s dinner – and hit EVERY curricular area as you’re doing it! Your kids can learn what they want all day, not just late afternoons after “real” learning is over.
Even if you’re teaching your kids in a traditional way using textbooks, you will still have time to do all the things that your child wouldn’t have time to do during the school day. Why? You’re not limited by the constraints of working with a group of students (even if you’ve got more than one child, you don’t have 12 like I did in my class, or 20+ like most mainstream classrooms). And you’re not stuck inside the four walls of a classroom.
Benefit #3: You can tailor instruction to your child’s learning strengths, needs, and habits.
Back during my classroom teaching days, I had a student everything by listening. She spent long hours listening to audiobooks. Words on a page made NO sense to her, even as a 4th grader. She is one of the most dyslexic kids I’ve ever worked with in 13 years of teaching kids with learning disabilities. And yet saying she has a “disability” bothers me.
The same kid who “can’t read” knows more about history, mythology, and literature than most adults. She can do math in her head. Just not on paper.
But our school system really, really cares about paper. This girl wasted SO many hours of her day because she’s forced to try to learn the way that everyone else learns. If only she could have the freedom to learn the way that actually works for her!
Homeschooling IS that freedom.
Benefit #4: You can learn along with your child, or hire a tutor or instructor in the specific areas your child requires.
Teachers (and remember, I’ve been one for 15 years) do NOT know everything about a topic or subject area or skill when they teach it. They have administrators and curriculum specialists to advise them, textbooks and teachers’ manuals to consult, other teachers to ask, and the big wide worlds of Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers to search through to find materials and worksheets.
Don’t take my word for it, though – literally google “lesson plan Native Americans 4th grade” (or insert topic or age group of your choice here) and see just how much there is. Teachers hate having to use their limited planning time to reinvent the wheel. They appreciate when someone lays it all out for them. And, this includes recapping the background information and what to emphasize to the students.
As your child’s teacher, you have access to many of the same resources that teachers do. You can go on Pinterest or TpT and find the exact same resources that your local schoolteachers are using. You probably won’t be using big clunky textbooks paid for by the district, but who wants those anyway? You can choose the resources that resonate with you and your child!
If you do feel that your child needs expert teaching in a particular area (ex: I scraped by in algebra II and calculus and don’t feel comfortable teaching it myself) you can hire the same tutors that your child’s friends will probably be hiring to cram in instruction during their after-school hours.
You can even go online to find quality tutors! I tutor from my computer at night after my son goes to sleep, so the kids I work with are getting the same teaching that I would have given my students in person.
Benefit #5: You can socialize your child into actual society.
The idea that “socialization” should include only peers exactly your child’s age is laughable. Ridiculous. Actual society includes people of every age and ability level, interacting with everyone.
When was the last time you applied for a job and were assigned to one based solely on your age? “Oh, you’re 25 – do we have an opening for a 25 year old? No, sorry, the opening’s for a 32 year old only. Come back when you’re 32.”
Wasn’t college probably the last time all your neighbors were your age? And does anyone have a family made up of only other children of the same age, without any adults or babies? It’s school that deprives kids of normal socialization, NOT homeschool.
But most importantly, you will be providing your child with the stability and care of a trusted adult who is consistently there, who knows him or her as an individual, who cares deeply, and who sincerely wants him or her to be happy.
Don’t underestimate the power of that.
Which benefits of homeschooling resonate most strongly with you? Leave a comment!