Can you believe it? I’ve been homeschooling now for 10 years! A lot has happened in the last 10 years; I’ve had more kids, I’ve moved a few times, and life has thrown us some curve balls that completely blindsided us. One of the things that hasn’t changed is my love for homeschooling. It is a decision that I never regret. Believe me, there have been days that I thought I was losing my mind, days of exhaustion, and days of crying (the kids and me), but for every bad day we’ve had there have been dozens of great days.
I thought I would put together my top 10 reasons why I still love homeschooling. As a disclaimer I got really excited writing this and overused the word love. My apologies, but know it is because I’m truly passionate about having my monkeys home with me.
1. My children have not become social rejects. I don’t know why so many people think that homeschooled kids will get no social interaction. Do you really think I lock my kids up in the basement so they won’t see other humans? No! My kids have lots of opportunities to be with other kids. They have church activities, jobs, sport teams, dance groups, and co-op, just to name a few. I also have a lot more say about the caliber of kids that my monkeys are surrounded by. Good friends make a huge difference. My kids actual wonder how school kids have time to hang out with their friends when they have so much homework to do. Which brings me to #2.
2. No homework!! Did you read that? Absolutely no homework. My husband said that technically everything we do is “homework” and then laughed because he thought he was so funny, but you know what I mean, no school work at night; when they finish their school work, they’re done for the day. They now have plenty of time to do whatever they want. Play with friends, read, play their instruments, go outside, or go and do something fun as a family. Which conveniently brings me to #3.
3. Lots of time for family and vacations!! I love the flexibility we have with our schedule to spend time as a family. If we want to go on a little trip, we go. We want to stay out late one night; we sleep in the next morning and start school a little late. Also, we’re together all day. Maybe that sounds like your living hell, but I absolutely love it. I love how close I am with each of my kids. My husband also takes a kid every now and then and goes on lunch dates. I love that they get to spend quality one on one time with dad.
4. My kids can learn at their own pace. When I started homeschooling I thought my kids needed to be at a certain level; it turns out, they don’t. I had a very hesitant reader, we went back to the basics when he was in first grade and he was barely reading. We made it fun and enjoyable instead of being frustrated with the difficulty he was having with reading. By 4th grade he was reading the Odyssey. I learned very quickly to just relax and go at my kid’s pace. Some of my kids are above their level on math and others are struggling. I am able to push the ones who are able to keep up and slow it down for the ones not understanding. Eventually, they all catch up when they’re ready.
5. My kids have life skills. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen 20 year olds complain that they don’t know how to “adult”. I used to laugh, but now I don’t think it’s so funny. These kids know how to pass a test, but have no idea how to prepare a meal, do their laundry, run a house, or maintain a yard. I think it is great that I get to teach my kids how to do these things. My oldest three are working on being able to cook 10 different dinners, 5 breakfasts, and bread without any assistance. All my kids do their own laundry, clean the house, and maintain the yard. My kids being able to take care of themselves is what inspired my parenting by neglect. Essentially, I’m training them to put me out of a job. 😃
6. My kids are developing a love for learning. To me, this is huge. At the end of the day NOBODY cares if you aced High School. Seriously, nobody. Some of the most successful people I know did terrible in High School. To be honest, I barely passed. I would rather have my kids studying and learning on their own because they are passionate about something instead of being really good at passing tests. My oldest boy reads science books, for fun. My 2nd boy reads economics books, for fun. Yes, that sounds incredibly nerdy, but I love that on their own time they are studying.
7. My kids have time to be kids. I love this. When I was a kid I unsurprisingly did a lot of weird things. I climbed trees, made The Kool Klub, put on performances and then made the neighbor kids pay to watch me, I rode horses, got bucked off horses, and all sorts of other weird things. I love watching my kids build tree houses, make plays, climb trees, play kickball, and all the wonderful weird things they do. The other day we were given some hand me down clothes my kids were so excited to play dress up that I had to postpone school for an hour just so they could play. I love that!
8. This is kind of a selfish one, but I get to keep learning. I am studying right along with my monkeys. I have read so many books since I started homeschooling. I have studied history, science, and I even do math with my kids. I’m reading poetry and listening to classical music. I even know who Plutarch is and I’ve read some of his writings. I look up Greek philosophers for fun. Homeschooling has awakened my own passion for learning.
9. Homeschooling saves us money. I save money on not having to buy school clothes, I don’t have to pay any school fees, and I don’t have to contribute to the millions of fundraisers that schools have. I don’t have to get backpacks or all the supplies that schools require. I save on gas on not having to drive my kids to and from school everyday. With all that extra money lying around I am able to spend it all on books.
10. And finally, life is too short to not spend time with your kids. Recently, there was a little girl I was following on Instagram who had a tumor and despite her family and Doctors' best effort, she passed away. The family happened to homeschool and cherished all the time they had with her before she passed. I don’t mean to be morbid, but life is way too short to not spend it with the ones you love. My oldest is almost 16 and I only have a few years left with him before he moves out of the house. I want all the time with them that I can before they go their own way.
There you have it. My top 10 reasons why I still love homeschooling. I asked my husband why he loves homeschooling. Here are some of his reasons: Our kids are independent thinkers, smaller amount of negative peer pressure, the time we have with them, they’re getting a good education and developing a deep love for learning. He kept going on and on, but I couldn’t type fast enough and he didn’t want to repeat himself.
I then thought I should probably ask my kids if they even like homeschooling and if they do, what do they like about it. Luckily, they all said they like it. Here are some of the reasons why they do: It’s a lot of fun, we can study things that we’re interested in, I can be myself, if I have too much energy I can run around outside for a little, I like being challenged, I’ve developed a love for learning, there’s no detention, I like being able to do fun things as a family in the day, and my very favorite response was, we never get put in the corner with a dunce cap on. Seriously? Dunce cap! I don’t even know where he got that, but I burst out laughing.