Ok, I really had to work hard at keeping this post a reasonable length because there’s just so much I can talk about! Here’s a little intro to just a few of the ways the Homeschool Life has my heart!
No morning rush
Even with a morning routine that we love and stick to, there is no rush. There is no panic when the bus is coming, there is no stuffing breakfast down your face, there is no running along the sidewalk in the freezing cold because the bell is about to ring.
We get up and get dressed and get crackin’ on the day, that’s for sure. But there’s no frenzied rush, no time budget looming over our head. We start off our days well rested and with a hearty breakfast, and we get to work when we’re good and ready.
No Wasted Time
Since the majority of our daily activities and routines take place in our home, we don’t have to waste time preparing for departures, driving, waiting in lines or traffic, then repeating the whole business again in the afternoons.
We have almost no wasted time modulating from one activity to the next. Basically, we get way more done in way less time, and have plenty of time for doing things just for fun!
We also don’t have extra school-related obligations like performances and teacher meetings and fund raisers and sports events. If you enjoy these things, many homeschool co-ops can provide them. As for me, it’s SUCH a relief not to have to attending all these extra events and appointments!
No Exhausted Children
We structure our lessons and our days in a way that does not exhaust us. We work hard, certainly, but we don’t overdo it. And if I feel that routine that we are trying to stick to is causing us to feel exhausted or over stress, we have the freedom to change that immediately.
We have hours of open and free learning time everyday. Because of this, both myself and my children are daily replenished in our inspirations, and are able to apply ourselves studiously when required.
No Homework or Busy Work
We have daily requirements for bookwork, and when those are done, the kids are “done with bookwork for the day.” This is usually about 1 hour, maybe 2. Then they are free to learn in much more open and fun ways for the rest of the day.
What could be more disheartening than, after 7 hours in a classroom, to have hours of schoolwork to complete at home? (Speaking from personal experience here.)
No one has been able to explain to me how 7 hours a day of “education” is insufficient for children to learn the basic knowledge to carry them through life.
I believe this confirms my suspicion that most of school isn’t about schooling.
No Pressure to Conform
If something isn’t working for us, we have no pressure to keep doing it that way, just because someone told us that was the “right” way.
Basically, in homeschool you can be as unconventional as you want. While we do use some of the same school work that you might find in a typical school, we rarely conform to anything else about a typical school day.
One example of this is how much emphasis I put on teaching my children the life skills that will serve throughout their lives. They are learning how to cook, clean, keep house, take care of animals, garden, and they are actually learning how to parent from me! This is an extremely important part of their education, too!
We choose a morning routine, but if want we can do school at anytime of day that works for us. And if we feel overwhelmed, we can take a spontaneous field day, or just an hour long break to be outside and blow off some steam.
No Mysterious Influences
Obviously, I don’t think I can hide my children away from the world and never let them be exposed to anything bad. But, it’s a beautiful gift to be able to know nearly every thing that goes into their mind. If something is bothering them, I know where that is coming from.
I know that many teachers are wonderful people. But many are not. No amount of performance reviews or years of experience can reveal a person’s true character, and I am so happy that I do not have to put my children in position of trust with anyone I do not personally choose.
I don’t have to wonder what values are being instilled in them while they are so young and malleable. I know.
A Strong Bond with My Children
I’ll go ahead and say this: I disagree with the notion that having my child separated from me for hours a day me would be a good thing because we would “have time to miss each other”.
I feel that the opposite is true. When my children are with me by choice, it is a symbol to them that I enjoy their presence. That I have no wish to send them away.
For them, staying home means that they don’t have to learn to be content with the leftover scraps of time that remain at the end of the day after everyone has done all the important stuff.
They know that the majority of kids are sent to school and they feel like the lucky, chosen few. An guess what? They are my chosen few. My favorite people that I choose to invest my time in.
A Friendship Between Siblings
Here’s another of my favorite things. My children don’t just put up with each other and get along because I demand it from them. They are truly the best of friends.
This has taken work on their part, and with lots of guidance from me and their father. Not all siblings are naturally best friends, and my children are no exception. They know how to squabble.
But they also love each other fiercely. They are deeply bonded as friends and even when they are with a group of other kids they still sometimes end up playing with their besties…their siblings!
It’s a very important thing for them to be growing up with kids in different age ranges, too! They know all about babies and toddlers, and the little kids are learning a lot of their life skills from their older siblings. It’s a great comfort to me to know that they are not spending their days in an environment of age uniformity, but that they are getting practical experience with children of many ages.
A Customized Education
This is an amazing thing! A home education can be tailored to fit the learning style and strengths of each individual child, as well as the needs of the whole family.
If you are a mother who loves going step by step through school with your children, you can do that! If you are like me and your goal is to teach your children to be diligent independent learners, you can do that too!
If you want to mostly stay home, you can! If you want to get involved in a bustling co-op and share resources with other homeschool families, you can do that too!
Another wonderful thing about a home based education is that you can change course or direction whenever you need to. If mama has another baby or dad changes jobs or someone gets sick, your homeschool can be paused or reworked to accommodate your personal life!
And the Blessings Keep Coming…
These are just a few of the things that make homeschool such a blessing to our family. It does place more personal responsibility on me for the upbringing and education of my children, and I consider that a blessing to!
Are you considering homeschooling your children and looking forward to some of these blessings to? Which one is your favorite? If you’ve been homeschooling for a while, did you have any unexpected blessing come your way? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!