If you have been homeschooling for any period of time, you are likely aware of the many reasons why homeschooling is so good for kids. You can probably list all of your own reasons why you chose to homeschool. But here is one advantage you might have overlooked. Why do I say that? Because after 12 years of homeschooling, I had never really given much thought to this. This is one thing that I believe makes all the difference between homeschooling and traditional school. Here is the #1 homeschool advantage you don’t want to miss!
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How can it be possible that after homeschooling my kids for 12 years, I never really thought about this one amazing edge homeschooling has provided us ?! Our oldest son was a junior in high school this past year when this thought first struck me. I had homeschooled one child nearly all the way through high school and completely overlooked this obvious leverage.
Here’s the story. It was early spring. The kids and I were enjoying our lunch outside on the deck after a morning of school work. All my littles were surrounding me asking a thousand questions. (Been there?!) It was one of those moments where I wanted to bury my head in the sand if ONE MORE child asked me ONE MORE thing! Can’t they just stop talking for a few minutes?!
Ever seen this meme that says, “Once I became a parent, I finally understood the scene where Yoda gets so tired of answering Luke’s questions he just dies?” This was my sentiment exactly in this moment!
What is the #1 Homeschool Advantage You Don’t Want to Miss?
At this point in this story, it hit me…CONVERSATIONS. These constant conversations are the homeschooling advantage. Conversations are something hard to find in traditional school. Our kids are conversing all. day. long. They talk with me and my husband, with each other, the neighbors, the teller at the bank, the librarian, the post man, the neighbor’s dog, ha! They are constantly asking about everything they see and everything that interests them.
Why do kids ask so many questions? Because they are experiencing everything for the first time.
If they were in school, they would miss out on SO many conversations. They would have to sit quietly for long class periods learning along with the group. They would be in a building missing so many of the interesting things to see and talk about. What is the #1 homeschooling advantage you don’t want to miss?
#1 Freedom to talk and ask questions.
Because kids in school sit in desks, walk in a line, and do everything as a group most of the day, there is significantly less opportunity for meaningful conversations. Try as they may, large group learning does not lend itself easily to free talking, probing, and wondering. Kids have to be quiet, to follow along with the group. Additionally, in a large group, kids might be self-conscious or afraid to say the things they are really thinking.
Now, I am in no way against kids learning to listen or to learn in a group. BUT, an education that primarily operates this way leaves little room for conversations.
#2 Conversations with Adults
Of course, if they were in school, they would get to have SOME conversations. Most of these conversations would be with other kids their own age. They would rarely be in one-on-one scenarios where they could talk with an adult, someone above their intellectual level. How often would they get the chance to pick their brain or ask them things they are really wondering about? So much can be learned by having meaningful conversations with adults.
My kids have learned so much from the one-on-one time they have spent talking to interesting adults.
#3 Conversations about Real Things and Raw Materials
“How many days will it take this letter to get to Florida? How does my letter get there? Who takes it there?”
“Look, there is a bug on that leaf. What is it? A bee. Oh, what kind? What is the bee doing? What does a bee eat?”
“Why is the sun at noon right above our house in summer, but at noon in winter, it is along the tree line?”
“Why does the candle go out when I put the lid on it?”
These are just a few of the questions my kids have asked me. When kids are perpetually in a real environment with raw materials and living things, they want to know all about it.
#4 Conversations revolving around life activities.
They are here when we are paying the bills, planning our week, switching the laundry, decorating for the holidays. They are with us running errands, at the bank, the grocery store, the post office. When the chimney guy, the oven repairman, and the butcher came by, the kids were here…and yes, they were curious! When we opened our pool, when our baby chicks arrived, when we found a mating praying mantis pair in one of our bushes, when the ducklings hatched…I could go on and on. Every day for every meal…the kids are here and our conversations often revolve around these real life activities.
#5 Conversations from books you’ve read together.
When I think of all the places the kids and I have gone in the books we have read, it has provided many opportunities for interesting conversations. Often when we are reading about faraway places, we will get out the Atlas to see and talk about the context of our story. When we are reading and the story is a little above their comprehension, we can stop to talk about it. When I come to words I don’t think they know, I will ask them about it. They might respond with the right answer or we might have a discussion about the meanings of those words. In our most recent read aloud story, our dialogue ranged from understanding the meanings of words like “landlubbers”, “mainsail”, and “moor” to discussing the phrase “chip off the old block.” Little discussions like these are happening all day long because our kids are WITH US, and learning along with us.
Leave a Comment!
Can you think of other ways how the freedom the converse throughout the day has added to your homeschool? Leave a comment to share your experiences. I love hearing from other homeschool moms!
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Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!
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