Now that we’re a few months into homeschooling, we are starting to feel some rhythm to our days and I have really started to see the perks of this life. Here are the top five things I love about homeschooling and, in the spirit of authenticity, the one thing I hate about it as well.
More Time Outside
When I started looking at the public school schedule I realized that 20 minutes of recess daily was going to be a hard sell for my nature loving son. He is a kid that will play outside in ANY weather and is rarely cold. The long bus ride and the long school day meant barely any time for outdoor play. Since we’ve begun homeschooling, we are outside much more. Sometimes we are playing and hiking or other times we are doing school outside. We’ve also begun sending our son to a day of farm school at a local farm. Every Tuesday, he spends 8:30-1:00 pm outside on a farm. He does chores and also earns play time. I absolutely love this freedom to be outside on our terms.
I love being able to tailor learning to Michael’s interests. Right now he’s into The Boxcar Children series. He’s been listening to them on Audible. It gives us the opportunity to talk about the characters, setting, plot, vocabulary and of course, reading! He’s become very invested in the characters and is making connections and asking great questions. He’s also very interested in card games and board games. I’m using this as an opportunity to teach math and reading skills. This also means he has lots of “teachers.” Depending on time and interests, anyone in our family can contribute to my son’s education through sharing what they know and love.
During my son’s kindergarten year, we would pick him up early or allow him to miss a few days of school in order to visit family, go to Montshire Museum, or have a special birthday day. I didn’t think much of it because the days missed weren’t excessive and were still learning opportunities. Later that year, we received a truancy letter and I realized it was always going to be like this if he was in public school. We’d have these opportunities for alternative learning and be torn about sending him to school or not. I love that with homeschooling, this isn’t an issue. If we want to change the schedule and go to the science museum, we do! Sometimes we double up on classwork another day, make it up on the weekend or sometimes we don’t! I love the flexibility in our schedule.
Less Exposure to Germs
I love that so far, we have stayed pretty healthy! My superstitious self doesn’t even want to say this out loud! In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I saw many posts about strep throat, stomach bugs and nasty colds going around and I was grateful to be able to avoid those. I also love that if we are feeling a little under the weather, there’s no pressure to go to school. Homeschooling gives us the freedom to take a rest or a sick day when needed.
Outside the Box Learning and Individualized instruction
I love that I can design a curriculum and homeschool plan based on the way my son learns instead of having to force him to fit into the mold of a traditional classroom. I have realized he is a very auditory learner and because we homeschool I am able to cater to this. Our math curriculum is story based and we often read lyrics for reading and fluency work.
Sounds pretty good right? It is pretty fantastic. There are a lot of things I love about homeschooling. There is, however, one thing I hate and that is that I now have almost no time to myself.
I honestly never thought of myself as someone that needed alone time. It wasn’t until I started homeschooling that I felt the need for more downtime. My kids are early risers. We start most days at 5:30 am and lately, my son isn’t asleep until 8. You can do the math. That’s a long day. Unlike many homeschooled kids, my son is not yet a self-led learner. My days are full and don’t include a lot of quiet or alone time. I have found it nearly impossible to go to appointments with any kind of consistency and self-care is something I mostly dream about but never do. I also launched a new business last summer and homeschooling means less time to grow and develop it. Homeschooling has required a major shift in my family’s schedule and routines and there have been a lot of growing pains. I think we are finding a rhythm now and I’m focusing on all the things we love about it!
Have you ever considered homeschooling? What do you think you’d like best about it? What would challenge you?