I was not Homeschooled growing up. I enjoyed school. I was never once locked in a locker, thrown in a trashcan, or otherwise treated badly. Once, an older boy held me over his head for longer than I would have liked; but I am pretty sure that was misguided flirting rather than bullying.
I had a good amount of friends, too. I wasn’t a part of the in-crowd, but I wasn’t an outcast either. I rolled with the AP (advanced placement) kids, the choir girls, the band geeks, the drama crowd, and my own rag-tag group of friends who thought it was more fun to write screen plays, drink a ridiculous amount of mountain dew, and steal road cones (never IMPORTANT road cones, just lonely forgotten ones in un-important locations…. Yes, I’m justifying it) rather than engage in risky teenage behaviors.
I was a great student, with great teachers. I have hundreds of pictures full of happy memories and smiling kids.
So why then, if I had a good experience, would I not send my kids to the Public School up the street?
I am an accidental Homeschooler. When I started, I couldn’t really put my finger on why I wanted to Homeschool. But, two years later, I have a few really good reasons to keep on Homeschooling.
I don’t have to wait in the pick-up/drop-off line. This is what I hated MOST about the very few months my kiddo went to public Pre-K and Kindergarten. Cliques happen with parents too, y’all. I may have not been an outcast in high school, but the pick-up line was enough to make me want to sit in my car until the kids come out.
I get to pick what we study, and I like being the boss. We’re in Europe right now. I don’t want to teach American history in Europe! So, I’m not. Sure, we will cover important holidays and people as they come up for holidays, but learning about the Indians and founding of the country can wait. In the meantime, we’re learning about romans, castles, and are planning units on the English Monarchy, the French Revolution, and the Celts. Science is even more fun than history, we’re playing with magnets, electricity and inventions, because we want to.
My military kids don’t have to worry about adjusting to a new school after every move. These kids have moved more times than I care to admit, and if you know anything about military life, you know moves don’t always happen during “summer break”. Our PCS rotation comes up in Nov-Jan every couple years. We don’t need the extra stress of school calendars and requirements on top of all other move related stress.
Our routine keeps us grounded. It doesn’t matter what is going on in the world, whether Daddy is home, or on a Military Adventure. It doesn’t matter what is happening with the weather, or our home. No matter where we are, I have what I need to keep something stable, which keeps all of us happy and sane.
Tourist Attractions are more fun during off-season. We travel year around, and there really is a huge benefit to traveling when everyone else is in school. Prices are cheaper, lines are shorter, and everything just looks sunnier!
My kid doesn’t know any fart jokes…. That I didn’t teach him. I teach art classes to students from many backgrounds, and they have an entirely difference sense of humor and list of interests then my kids of the same age have. Some people would say that makes my kids “immature” or that I am “sheltering” them, but I don’t mind so much that my kids aren’t up to speed with all the same songs, movies, games and jokes that the other kids know. I plan on keeping them under that rock until they have brain cells enough to know what is truly funny, and what is just gross.
We rarely have to read a textbook. Textbooks are boring. Know what is not boring? DOING. We learn about nature by exploring nature, not by reading about it (well, we read, but THEN we go out). Our history unit right now is based on going to every last castle within driving distance. It’s a pretty sweet way to learn!
No Fundraisers. Really, do I need to say anything more than that?
I will never be up ‘till midnight helping finish a science fair project. I set the deadlines. And, my child has no one to impress but me. Which means projects are done on our timetable. We can learn more about pressure and deadlines another time. For now, we’re just focusing on the learning.
My kid has yet to be beaten up for being the little weirdo he is. My kids walk to the beat of a different drum. Mr. Man often has on a swimsuit and cowboy boots. Sometimes we do school in superhero costumes. I love that my kids get to be who they are, without ever worrying about other kids, dress codes, or what is socially “appropriate”.
Our Pace is based on ability, not on standards. This one is really the thing that seals the deal for us. My kids work where they are at. There is no being behind, or getting ahead. Working at our own pace means that some subjects are done quickly with more than one level a year, and some may take us a little longer than a typical school year. No big deal. They are where they are, and I am proud every day of the growth and achievements they have made.
This list of perks for my family doesn’t even touch on the academics. There are statistics all over the place talking about how homeschooling done right can lead to smarter, happier, more successful little people. Homeschoolers are bright, and social, and successful, and confident.
I am in no way saying homeschooling is better than public schooling (again, done right). I am saying it is better for my family at this point in our lives. I know lots of kids who are successful in public school. I was one of them, and I have no doubt that some of my kids could also really succeed in a group learning environment relatively painlessly. I have the upmost respect for public school teachers, because while I am here fretting about teaching long division to ONE student, they are worried about teaching long division to 30 students, and for that, they are owed all the respect and chocolate in the world.
But, as for me, and my family, we’re in this for the long haul. We homeschool because it works. My kids are happy, I am happy and we’ve found our groove. We will continue homeschooling as long as it works for us.
Thank you so much for following along with us on our homeschooling journey!
Do you homeschool? I would love to hear why it works for your family!