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06 January 2015

8 Reasons I Love Homeschooling (For Me)

There are many reasons why I think homeschooling is the best thing since sliced bread. When people ask, the conversation usually focuses on benefits for the kids. And there are tons of benefits for them. But I suspect that one of the best kept secrets about homeschooling is that it's pretty awesome for Mom, too. Here are some things I love about doing the homeschooling thing:

1. The book budget. I get to buy books. Lots of them. Books about interesting things- and then I get to read them *and it's not avoiding work-- reading IS my work*, or at least a big part of it.  Box day is like Christmas; I love it! (My mailman has been known to grumble.) I'm a bit of a bookaholic. In fact, we've recently been discussing another bookshelf, again. 

2. All that reading means I'm learning. History is a huge favorite. I never had a world history class, and now I've just about finished the first trip through the whole of world history, and it's been fascinating. Even at an elementary level, I've learned tons. Speaking Japanese to the kids to help them learn is easily the best thing that's ever happened to my own Japanese study. I understand math better than I ever used to as well. I'm filling in holes in my own education, and since I'm the one calling the shots, much of what we study is stuff that I'm interested in. In addition to the nonfiction we read, we also place a huge emphasis on high quality literature, which often means the Classics. My own education was badly deficient in this area. I hadn't read many of the classics. I still have many that I want to read, but I've read quite a few. Related to that...

3. I've learned to study. I never learned to study in school, though in college I did finally start suffer for not knowing it. When I started to consider homeschooling, I read a whole bunch about it, and one thing homeschoolers discuss quite a bit is how to teach their kids to study. In reading about homeschooling Ive come to want to be better educated myself, and the same books and blogs and articles and groups that inspired me to want more also gave me the tools to get the additional education. I met other women who were activelt working to improve their own education, and I learned from them. I am better at studying now than I ever was while I was in school, and so I am learning and retaining more than I ever have before, about topics I care about-- and it is deeply satisfying to do it.

4. I make my own schedule. We take days off when we need them, add an extra day when we need it, and we're flexible around the Daddy's schedule. We can have a couple days when family comes unexpectedly, or work long a few days to have a short day. If we study astronomy, school is at night. If we have an early field trip, school is in the morning. Our school schedule is built around the things we value most- rather than working in the things we value around a rigid schedule someone else made.

5. It's good for my marriage. This works in a couple ways, actually. One is that since I'm learning, I almost always have something to talk about with my husband. It keeps me from getting stagnant. I'd probably do a certain amount of learning anyway, but because we homeschool, it's a big priority, and it happens naturally as I do stuff with the kids. Another way it's good for my marriage is that when my husband travels for work, and that's frequently, we usually pack up school and take it with us, keeping the family together. The kids like that, but given the way that he's had to travel over the past 7-8 years, this has been a huge blessing to my marriage. Some months he's more out than in, but because we homeschool, we can really minimize the strain that long separations bring.

 6. I am not concerned about someone teaching ideas or attitudes that are incompatible with our faith without my knowledge. Teaching my children the gospel is a huge priority for me, and I don't want school to be working at cross-purposes to that. I've been in the schools enough, both as a student and a professional, to know that they are relatively hostile to faith. But I don't have to worry about that; my kids are home. In addition to "extra" opportunities for teaching that would be lost if I sent my kids away, this brings me great peace of mind.

7. There's a bunch of minor perks too. This week has been brutally cold in our area. I stayed home, and I didn't worry about my kids being warm enough, because they were home with me. We go to museums (I love that) at off-peak times, and often have the place to ourselves. Same thing with parks and other attractions.

8. I get to be there. When the kids struggle, I get to help them. When they get it, I'm there for that too. I get to be the cheerleader when things are hard, and when they finally get it, I'm there for the moment the lightbulb goes on. I absolutely treasure that.



Rozy Lass said...

Those are the same reasons I loved homeschooling. We are hoping our children will do it for their children also. Keep up the good work!

Anne Chovies said...

Those are incredible benefits your getting. And you all love it to boot. How cool is that!


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