If you are a homeschooler, you have stepped off the beaten path to do something a little risky. By default, the rest of society (it seems) is sending their kids to school, while you have made the hard decision to try homeschooling because you think it might be a good option for your family. It’s not easy to forge your own way, though, is it? I know, I’ve been there. I am going to tell you what my homeschool mom heart needed to hear 10-15 years ago when we started homeschooling. Here are 3 Reasons Why Your Homeschool is REALLY Good.
It can be tough to choose the road less traveled. Maybe you have family that is not completely on board with your decision. Your friends may make critical comments about homeschoolers. Or, what I think can sometimes be worse, they may be completely indifferent to your choice, never mentioning at all something that has become a large part of your life. (For more on this, see The Catch 22 of Homeschooling.)
And let’s face it, moms, no matter what anyone else thinks or says, we are really the hardest on ourselves. Like one of my favorite homeschool authors Cindy Rollins wrote, she felt like school was the one place she could send her kids where everything that went wrong wasn’t her fault!
Here’s why you should take heart!
Video: 3 Reasons Why Your Homeschool is REALLY Good
#1 Your Homeschool is REALLY Good Because it is EFFICIENT
Your kids have only one childhood. Just one. Because you are homeschooling, you are spending about half as much time on the academic part of their learning. With one-on-one learning, they can get twice as much done in the same amount of time. You are making a great use of the precious gift of their childhood. With all the extra time they have when they finish their school work in a few hours, they can imaginatively play, go outside, meet up with friends, learn new skills, and pursue their interests. As they grow into their teen years, they can create or work. You are giving them the gift of time.
They are not wasting time in lines or waiting for everyone to get quiet, get the pencils out, open their books, etc. They are not sitting in class counting down the minutes for it to be over. Instead of time spent on the school bus, they can use their time on pursuits that will help them get ahead on the things that matter to them.
Your homeschool is REALLY good because you are using time efficiently.
#2 Your Homeschool is REALLY Good Because You’re Investing In RELATIONSHIPS
If you haven’t noticed it yet, by homeschooling, your kids are with you… A LOT! By spending so much time together, you are investing in relationships that are lifelong, not only between you and your child, but also among siblings. All the meals together, reading together, playing games, making projects, co-op trips, learning new things, and yes, even crying over math. Together. You have been together.
Believe it or not, someday your kids are going to grow up. They are going to launch out into the real world and it won’t take them long to see that the real world can be a cold, harsh place! This is when family means everything. You always have your family. You can screw up, say things you regret, make horrible decisions, but your family will always be there for you. They are your touchstone.
Oh, I know, it’s not always the rose-colored picture we make it out to be. Kids fight, you lose your temper, you say things you regret, you threaten to quit and send them all to school! As kids grow into teens, trying to figure out who they are, your relationship with them is sometimes rocky. There are things you wish you could change and things you would do differently, if you had the chance.
At least, that’s how it is for me.
But you know what I absolutely don’t regret? I will never regret how much time I have spent with them. In fact, it doesn’t cross my mind at all. We have spent their childhood TOGETHER. It hasn’t been perfect, but it has been pretty amazing.
Your homeschool is REALLY good because you are investing in relationships.
#3 Your Homeschool is REALLY Good Because It Is UNIQUE
When you homeschool you meet all kinds of different families. Some homeschool families are the math and science type. Others regularly go to all the museums, learning a ton through traveling to so many interesting places. Or maybe you know a mom who is super creative, trying all kinds of fun projects with her kids. Every family has its own unique style. While it is often very helpful to rub shoulders and be inspired by people who are gifted in certain areas, it can also be tempting to fall into the trap of thinking that we are just not that good at homeschooling. You can see these other family cultures as “ideal” and yours as pretty ordinary.
I have made this mistake myself.
One of the things that I think has been the most obvious product of homeschooling is the unique individuals coming out of it. Colleges pursuing homeschool graduates because they are out-of-the-box. They are made of a different mold. They are not the standard version being produced in traditional school. I believe it is in our individuality that we are succeeding as a group.
When we try to make our homeschool like some one else’s, we are going backwards. The more we hone in on the things we ARE good at, we become a family culture that is unique. It stands out! By sharpening our gifts, we are excelling because of our individuality.
In Our Home
Here’s an example from our home. My husband is the creative mind. He is always building, fixing, trying some new entrepreneur type endeavor (and succeeding!), always producing. Often he can be found out in the yard or the garage working on some project with the kids all around him. He even likes to make interesting dishes in the kitchen with the kids from time to time. He is light-hearted and fun, loves to be with people. I, on the other hand, am a thinker, a reader, down-to-earth and practical, like to keep things simple, a minimalist. Let’s not do anything that’s going to get too messy! As much as I love being with my kids, my introverted self would be happy in a corner with a cup of coffee, a book and a journal.
One time I said to my husband, “You should have been the stay-at-home mom. You would be so good at it.” He was quick to remind me, if he was doing most of the academic work with the kids, they would hardly ever be read to. He starts to fall asleep every time he reads to them! It’s true too. The kids always joke that dad starts slurring his words after the first couple of pages.
The reality is that we make a great TEAM! I am better at the academic type stuff and when dad comes home, they learn so much from making and doing things with him. Our individual gifts work well in harmony, not in competition.
I challenge you to look at the gifts that you and your spouse have. Instead of going backwards by doubting abilities, move forward by capitalizing on the things YOU are good at! By sharpening your own skills, your family is unique and you are offering something really special to your kids.
PIn it! 3 Reasons Why Your Homeschool Is REALLY Good
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!