“I could never homeschool. I don’t have the temper for it.” We’ve all heard this many times before. As I contemplate this recurring comment, it makes me wonder if it is actually the opposite of what many people think. Perhaps it takes more patience to have a child in conventional school than to homeschool?
- Morning Rush–In homeschool, you don’t have that morning rush to get out the door and be on time to school. When we were in public school, I remember hollering at my kids almost daily to hurry up and get moving so we were not counted tardy. Now, we have a nice breakfast together with lots of read-aloud and discussion time. I love it!
- Afternoon Homework–Many kids come home from conventional school wiped out but are then required to complete homework on top of their extra-curricular activities. My friend, who recently made the switch to homeschool, told me how she battled with her son nightly to complete his homework, but he was just fried from the long day at school. Now that he homeschools, he chooses to wake up and start his school work at 6:45 each morning so he can get it done early and enjoy free time. She and her husband are shocked at how eager he is to complete his work without any battles.
- Sibling Relationships–Most of our homeschool family friends have siblings who really enjoy each other and get along well. My hypothesis is because they do so much life together. They have so many meaningful experiences together out in the world. They know one another’s friends well because we are experiencing the world with them, too. We read aloud books as a family and discuss them. Parents also invest a lot of time in character training. I don’t know the precise reasons homeschool kids typically get along so nicely with their siblings, but it is very obvious and impressive. I hear parents of conventionally-schooled parents talk about how their kids fight a lot, and it really comes to a head over the summer. While my kids get into a spat every now and then, it is usually harmonious and playful.
- Kids with Different School Schedules–Last year, my friend had 4 kids with 4 different school schedules: Kindergarten, 3rd grade, 7th grade and 9th grade. This was a lot of work on her part to drop off and pick up at different times and coordinate carpooling. I don’t have to worry about this as a homeschool parent. My kids do their work in the comfort of our home, and then we are out the door experiencing the world together as a family and with friends!
- Busywork–Since I select the materials for our homeschool, we are not bogged down with busywork and other assignments that I do not feel add value to my children’s education. When my son was in public school, the homework was so easy, but it was excruciating to get him to complete it because it was so boring and redundant. I’m also glad we don’t have to spend time on diorama boxes and other such projects.
- Curriculum–I don’t have to get frustrated because a curriculum does not fit my child’s learning style. As a homeschool parent, I have the flexibility to change it up. I don’t need approval from a teacher, principal or anyone else to make this change.
- Attitude–Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” My children’s homeschool friends are some of the best kids you could expect to meet. They are kind, smart and excited to learn. They are full of smiles and laughter. I don’t see any type of bullying or attitudes that I hear about with conventionally-schooled kids. I’m thankful my children are growing up with these kids.
“I love being with my children. They’re fascinating people.”–Amy Grant
- Time with Kids–Some people can’t wait to get their kids back in school. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy some down time. However, I like being with my kids. I am thankful to have them for the freshest and best part of their days. Their most alert and cheerful time is from around breakfast until after lunch time. I have not shipped them off for these special hours. I am not met with a tired and overstimulated kid when they return to me in the afternoon. I am not fighting with my exhausted kid to complete homework. Rather, we are usually done with all our school and are already out exploring the world together with friends when the end-of-day school bell rings for most kids.
Are you considering homeschooling your kids? If you are in public school, there usually isn’t a wait list to return if you try it out and it is not a good fit. I say it is worth the gamble because making the decision to homeschool could be one of the best and most important choices you will make in your lifetime.
In his book, The School Revolution, Dr. Ron Paul lays out the case for homeschooling and why now is the best time to get started. This book has been the most influential on my thinking and homeschooling journey.
The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise is another excellent book to read while considering homeschooling. It was the first book about homeschooling I ever read as I contemplated the change from public school. While I do not follow a classical model of education, it gives you many great ideas as well as curriculum suggestions based on grade level.