As you homeschool your kids, do you find from time to time that school can take over your home life? In the years we have been homeschooling, I have become aware of a constant drift as we allow our school work to completely overwhelm us. Homeschooling can be all-consuming. I want to challenge you to look at your homeschool a little differently. Here are some reasons why “home” is the most important part of your homeschool.
Most of us who are homeschooling are doing it for the first time. Because of this, without realizing it, we rely on the methods of the traditional model of school to help us. The problem with this is that many of these practices don’t work as well in a home.
Video: Why “Home” Is The Most Important Part of Your Homeschool
Making Home Look Like School Is Moving Backwards
There’s a reason you pulled your child out of school. Schools are designed to meet the needs of the masses. Your home, on the contrary, is designed individually for your children.
Over the years, I have learned that homeschooling does not look like school. When I first started homeschooling, we organized our day to look very much like school. We said the pledge of allegiance every morning at the kitchen table. I printed off all the state standards to make sure we were “keeping up” with what the kids in school were doing. It didn’t take me long to realize that copying school doesn’t work as well in a home. I learned with experience how to adapt our homeschool to better fit our family’s needs.
Even so, it still surprises me often how many ways we as homeschoolers, without knowing we are doing it, imitate the school model. Here are a few examples.
- plan a scope and sequence
- designate a certain room as our homeschool space
- determine to finish the curriculum in a given school year, regardless of how well our kids are learning it
- do school from September through May
- school all day long
- are inflexible with learning times like evenings and weekends (This is how some part or full-time working parents can make it work!)
Of course, there is nothing inherently bad about any of these practices, especially if they are a tool that is serving a purpose in your homeschool. It’s just that these practices are methods that were originally designed to educate the masses. They were not intended to meet the individual needs of your child.
There’s No Place Like Home
It makes me a little sad sometimes to walk in our neighborhood during the day and not see even one child. One of the things that I love most about homeschooling is that when we bring our kids home, our home becomes a place that is full of life! We transform the home into the source of activity and growth rather than merely a residence.
Take a second look at all that your home has to offer. It is brimming with creativity, warmth, and life. There is truly no place like home. It is a perfect environment to learn and grow.
Home is the Place Where You Can Be the Most Creative
Compare your home to the sterile nature of a brick and mortar school. Why would you try to make your home like a school? Your home is teeming with living things, raw materials, resources, tastes, smells, laughter, music.
Home is where we can create, experiment, design, imagine, play, and grow. At home, you can you try your hand at a business, learn valuable life skills, master time management, grow living things, care for and serve others, hone your gifts and abilities.
The Comforts of Home
When we are in a safe environment and all our needs are being met, learning comes naturally. This is what makes home the perfect environment for growth. No fear of bullying, no negative peer pressure. We have no standardized tests to take up all our time. No worries about wearing all the right brand names of clothing. We can just be ourselves… which means we are free to learn what, where, and how we wish!
Our Deepest Life-long Relationships Are Forged at Home
Rather than spending all day with their same-age peers, our children can invest in relationships that they will have for the rest of their lives. What a blessing it is for our kids to grow up together! Because they aren’t away at school all day, they also are around to spend more time with grandparents or other family members, closing the generational gap, as children can gain valuable wisdom from the elderly.
Make Your “Home” the Priority in Your Homeschool
I challenge you to look at your homeschool differently. When you make various decisions, ask yourself, “Is this method/practice/choice meeting the needs of my kids and the family or am I doing this because it’s how we did it when I was in school?” Do you need to rethink the way you are doing school at home?
Let school fill in all the extra little empty spaces after you have prioritized your home life. Your bookwork or “school” should enhance your home life, not define it. Let it be the overflow, the icing on the cake.
If you want to enjoy homeschooling, you will find the most fulfillment when you see your home life itself as a grand learning opportunity. To make your home a priority does not take away from an education, it enhances it!
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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!