Thursday, July 16, 2015

Why Are You Homeschooling?

For those on a traditional schedule, another school year is about to start. Perhaps you've been struggling with whether or not to continue homeschooling. Are you discouraged because you are always"behind", or  because your child is STILL struggling with multiplication or spelling or attitude or whatever it is?  Are you overwhelmed by the effort it takes to plan for a new school year?  Are you questioning your ability to continue homeschooling, saying something like, "I just don't know if I can do it anymore", or "I think they'd be better off in school where they'd get more structure [ or accountability, or opportunities, etc.]"?

Let me ask this question. "Why are you homeschooling?"

 Did you ever write down the reasons? If not, you should do it right now.  Why did you start down this road in the first place? What did you want for your children or family? What has changed? Here are some of the reasons why I and a lot of the people I know are homeschooling.  Maybe some of them will resonate with you too, and remind you of the many benefits of being a homeschooler.
  • Individualized approach to education, versus cookie-cutter approach; let child learn at their own pace and according to their own learning style; also explore interests and develop talents
  • Flexible schedule to optimize family togetherness and to take advantage of opportunities for academic enrichment, developing talent, community service, work, building relationships, and fun when they arise;  children get more sleep, too, because you decide when to start and end your day; school can be done 4 days a week or 6 days a week; vacations can be taken during "off-season" times when public schools are in session, taking advantage of discounts and smaller crowds
  • Freedom to include faith, character lessons, and values in daily lessons and interaction 
  • Protection from bullying, immoral influences, negative peer pressure, sickness, etc.
  • Strong family relationships form when you spend lots of time together as a family,
  • Positive socialization; interaction with a wide range of ages in everyday situations, where a parent models proper social skills and is present to train and correct when necessary;
  • Choice of curriculum that fits your child's learning style, with the freedom to avoid controversial fads or public school mandates like Common Core Standards
  • No High Stakes Testing - some states, like North Carolina, require homeschoolers to administer an annual standardized test; other states do not;  homeschoolers do not spend huge chunks of time preparing for these tests;  we are focused on learning, at the child's pace, according to the child's needs, not on some irrelevant measure imposed by bureaucrats; 
  • Time to learn life skills;  since your children are with you all day, they can be included in things like housecleaning, cooking, meal planning, shopping, home maintenance and repair, gardening, infant care, car maintenance, budgeting, , etc.
  • Instill a life-long love for learning  - young children have a natural love for learning, but that is almost universally extinguished by the time children have endured a couple of years of traditional schooling;  homeschoolers have the flexibility to choose methods and materials, to create a schedule and environment that inspire instead of extinguish
Here are some other lists of reasons to homeschool that you might like:
100 Reasons Homeschooling is Good for Families
50 Reasons Homeschooled Kids Love Being Homeschooled 
10 Positive Reasons to Homeschool
Why Homeschool Teens?


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