Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Compelling Reasons to Homeschool

 from March 2008

A couple of years ago, a friend asked me why we homeschool. I began this list.

~ Homeschooling allows us to maximize time with our children. We have time to instill godly values, training them "in the way they should go."

~ Their childhood isn’t lost to inflexible schedules (arise early, spend a structured day at school, do homework, play with neighbors, go to bed early, start over the next day).

~ They develop strong relationships and make countless memories with siblings as they learn and play together. At school, they wouldn’t have the same studies or experiences, so it would be harder for them to bridge the gap.

~ Questions they have throughout the day can be asked immediately. I can answer (or at least try).

~ Books are for learning and pleasure, and there’s time to enjoy them. I’ve read that school actually takes away kids’ love of reading because it’s not done for pleasure but for required assignments. Homework sucks up time they would have for pleasure reading.

~ Evenings are free of homework.

~ Assignments are meant for learning, not to assess where my children are. (That means no book reports and tests.)

~ Similarly, they are motivated to learn, not to earn a grade. (We don’t assign grades here. The girls work for excellence.)

~ We can develop a lifestyle of learning. It’s not relegated to specific hours or a certain number of days. Our girls haven’t been programmed that way, so they are happy to do school even in the summer.

~ We can adjust our school year to suit ourselves. On beautiful spring days, we don’t have to press through, wishing we could be outside. We enjoy the days. During the hot days, when it’s too uncomfortable to be outside, we learn inside. We can be flexible in December as we prepare for Christmas. If grandparents come for a week, we are available the entire time.

~ School has a broader definition. It can mean sewing days, craft days, field trips, cooking days….

~ I can work daily with heart issues in our children (and my own which may be provoked by the children).

~ We don’t need to reteach values that others may be giving in another setting, even a Christian one.

~ We have more opportunities to go for nature walks, just to explore and enjoy God’s creation.

~ We have time available to serve others. At one time we visited Alzheimer’s patients at the nursing home. Now the two older girls serve as mother’s helpers.

~ Vacations are more flexible. We can avoid peak season.

~ The girls can progress at their own pace. If they get it immediately, they don’t have to wait for the rest of the class. If it takes them longer, they’re not left behind or labeled. In fact, they don’t get boxed into any of the labels kids get in school. The girls know which grade they would be in at school, just to help them answer the what-grade-are-you-in question, but it means next to nothing here at home. If they can handle “6th grade work” (whatever that is) in 3rd grade, so be it. If my sixth grader can handle algebra, then she does it in 6th grade. She doesn’t have to wait until it’s customarily offered.

~ We can monitor their relationships more closely and help them respond in a godly way to ungodly influences.

~ Socialization is richer in homeschooling. The girls are learning to interact and communicate with people of all ages, not only those in their grades. They can comfortably converse with adults, then run and play with other children.

~ We are their primary influence, not their peers.

~ Mom continues to learn.

And the list could go on! Do you have anything to add?

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