There are many reasons families choose to homeschool their children. You can read why we chose to homeschool.
I won’t sugarcoat it, homeschooling is HARD. You are with your kids 24/7 so bad habits (yours or theirs) are magnified. You have little time to yourself. You spend time planning and teaching. You often sacrifice your personal desires to make it work. But in the end, I wouldn’t trade this method of training and educating my children for the world. It has blessed our family richly. Here are ten ways homeschooling blesses my family.
Ten Ways Homeschooling Blesses My Family
1. I get an education
I didn’t realize that when I was in school that I studied to pass a test instead of studying to learn until I began educating my children. There is so much I didn’t know or didn’t remember. As we read books together and dig into the details, I discover new information that piques my interest and I begin researching in more depth. You can read about how reading a picture book during our history studies sparked an interest in the Berlin Air Lift and the Berlin Candy Bomber. I learned details about World War II that I never knew!
Homeschooling affords us a lot of flexibility.
- We can learn at the time of day that is best for us.
- We can travel during non-peak vacation season and avoid much of the crowds.
- We are able to travel with my husband to business conferences or to homeschool conferences when I speak.
- We can even call school off for the day when the weather is beautiful and we want to spend the day at the park.
3. Build relationships
Because our children are not in school 1,200+ hours a year (not to mention the time they spend doing homework), we have the opportunity to build relationships. We snuggle on the couch while reading a book, cook meals together, and visit family and friends. We have the opportunity to bond as a family. They have friends their age and build relationships with them too in their afternoon free time. Because of the flexibility, they even have the opportunity to spend a week here and there with grandparents throughout the year instead of only at busy holiday times or summer vacations.
4. Real socialization
Dictionary.com defines socialization as:
A continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.
My children learn appropriate behavior and social skills by actually participating in life with me, and I am right there to gently correct them immediately when needed. As they get older, they have more opportunities to practice their social skills when I am not around. This makes a lot more sense to me than putting them in a classroom of 25 kids who do not know appropriate behavior and social skills either.
Homeschooling provides a lot of freedom. We are able to choose our curriculum, work at each student’s developmental level, talk about our faith, and take advantage of the flexibility I discussed earlier. As long as we meet the requirements for our state, we can educate our children the way we feel is best for them.
6. Discipleship opportunities
What better way to disciple our children than through example and quality time with them. Even when it is difficult for me, they are able to see how I react to situations. This is good when I react in a way that is pleasing to God in that it sets a good example for them to emulate. But it is also good when my reaction could have been a lot better. I try to ask their forgiveness when my reaction affected them or point out my shortcomings and that I asked God’s forgiveness (or someone else’s when appropriate). This allows them to see that no one is perfect and we all struggle.
When my daughter is afraid, I can talk with her about my fears and how I pray asking God to give me faith and strength. When she is angry and not responding well, I can remind her of the unpleasant outcome the last time I lost my temper.
They are able to see what faith in action looks like. We are able to serve together, whether it is helping at a local organization or taking a meal to a friend.
And most importantly, we can pray and talk about how God is working in our lives at breakfast, when the school lessons are difficult, while playing at the park, or driving around town. I have the time to invest in them and train them in the way they should go.
7. Cultivate a love of learning
Because I have the freedom and flexibility to choose our curriculum, I can use living books that really bring history to life. I have the freedom to read quality literature that sparks my children’s interests and encourages them to dig deeper into the subject and to cultivate a lifestyle of learning.
8. Work at each student’s developmental level
My girls do not work at grade level in all subjects.And, there are some areas where they are working above grade level. I’m not even exactly sure what grade level they would be considered for academic work because frankly, it doesn’t matter. We read, write, narrate, and discuss all of our subjects. They each have areas that are not as strong as others, but because we do not have to teach to a test we just focus on improvement. I know they are making progress each year.
9. Free time
Because we finish lessons by early afternoon most days, they have a lot of free time to pursue individual interests.
10. Teach to my child’s learning style
While I believe it is important for children to learn with a mix of all learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic), there are times when they need to learn in their primary learning style to truly understand the material. Both of my girls are kinesthetic learners; they need to move. While I read lessons they might bounce quietly on an exercise ball, stretch, or work on a handicraft. They would not do well sitting quietly at a desk most of the day. Because of the freedom and flexibility we have, I can teach to their kinesthetic learning style. Some days this even includes doing lessons in the hammocks in the yard. The gentle swinging of the hammock is often enough to help them focus better.
How does homeschooling bless your family?
This post has been linked to Homeschool Gifts