There are so many reasons we love homeschooling and the longer we keep at it the longer our list becomes. Oftentimes, it's some small little thing but we'll look at each other with awe and say (or think) this is the life! Want to know some of my favorite reasons for homeschooling? Well here they are, in no particular order:
- We can vacation whenever we want! That means we get to avoid crowds, find sales and cheap deals, and do more with our time together. September often finds us enjoying the pools and parks in Orlando where we pretty much have free reign of the place! We've also been able to take off at a moment's notice and head off on work related trips with my husband. It's great to have such freedom.
- We're healthier. I can't say we NEVER get sick but I do find that since we've started homeschooling the boys seem to be much less prone to sickness.
- We don't have to abide by any schedule but our own. If we want to sleep in; we do. If we want to stay up late; we do. If we want to skip school; we do!
- Packing lunches-- while I can't say I never have to pack lunches anymore, I don't have to pack them on a daily basis, worry about what we're packing in them (one of my kid's schools did not allow anything with peanut butter), or even pack them all that early in the morning. If I pack our lunches later we just leave later for where ever we planned to go.
- TIME- I have time to teach my boys all the self- help/ household skills and chores I always to teach them but never felt they had the time to stop and learn. We have time to discover, delve deeply into whatever they're interested in at the moment, time to laugh, time to play, time to connect in a way we never did when the boys were in school. They have time to be kids and I have tons of time to soak up those memories and enjoy having them around me.
- Enjoying my kids-- this may sound weird but I couldn't always enjoy being around my kids. Ok, if I'm being totally truthful, I probably don't enjoy them all the time now that we homeschool either but I do find us enjoying our time together so much more. As a family we are so much more connected and happy with one another. The pressure is off and we're free to be whomever we choose!
- I don't have to buy expensive toys, designer shoes, special clothes or anything like that. I love back to school time because I look around and think-- we don't need ANY of it! I found my kids often wanted what the other kids had in school whether they really wanted it or not just because the other kids had it or wanted it (or because they were afraid of being picked on if they didn't have it). They will sometimes still ask for unusual items but it's much easier for me to determine WHY they want something and they're less likely to worry about what all the other kids have.
- Less stress! Oh sure I get stressed about whether or not we're covering enough, if they're learning enough, and all the other life stresses that crop up from time to time but in general I find we are much less stressed as a family. Knowing there isn't anyone to report to if they're late for school, or if the homework isn't done (properly), or if they're tired the next day really takes the pressure off of all of us.
- No homework! I hated having to do homework with the boys. They didn't really want to do any schoolwork once they got home from a long day in the classroom and heaven help me if they forgot to do math the way the "teacher showed" them. It was a battle that often ended in tears and frustration and yelling. Not a fun family memory.
- The bonds were making and forging. I get to see my boys grow and develop. I get to share in their joy of discovery and learn alongside them. At least a few times in this homeschooling journey I have felt such overwhelming pride in the boys and myself when they finally grasped a concept they had been struggling with and I get to share it with them; not some teacher at school.
- The bond the boys are developing with one another. Yes, they are brothers and they fight. They bicker and squabble. But, sometimes I see such amazing signs of friendship. When they beg for sleepovers together, when they snuggle up near one another to share a video game screen (like they did at the hairdressers a few weeks ago and all the ladies asked me if they were related!), when they help each other make breakfast or lunch. I see genuine enjoyment in sharing one another's company. I thank homeschooling for that!
- New experiences. Homeschooling has opened us up to so many new experiences. Partly because I'm looking for new, fun experiences to expose the kids to and partly because we look for fun ways to fill all that extra time we now have. The boys have taken trampoline lessons, learned all about rescue birds at the raptor rehab. center, taken many hikes in new and unusual places and in a few weeks we'll get to try out a free rock climbing class and enjoy a double feature 3-D Imax movie; just to name a few!
- Not having to make a big production out of everything! I don't have to make teacher gifts, class gifts, valentine's day cards for 90 (etc.). We can celebrate what is important to us and bypass the rest of the hoopla. It seems silly but I'm realizing a lot of our life was dictated by what was "normal" and "expected." My boys (and myself too, if I'm honest) were always worried about fitting in and being popular and to do that you had to participate and go along with the crowd. We don't have to do that now. Homeschooling has even changed how we celebrate holidays at home. Christmas is less; less gifts, less schlepping around, less stressful. Easter found us at the movies as a family. We always celebrated Easter because everyone else did and we were carrying on traditions from our own childhood, but we're not really religious and Easter doesn't mean as much to us as it probably should with the way we used to celebrate. Now we look at the holidays as a family bonding time and forget the rest of the hoopla. It's so much more enjoyable that way.
- No bake sales, PTA meetings, Parent- teacher conferences, etc. If something isn't going right in our day or our curriculum the only people we consult is one another. We don't have to meet set standards by certain ages and knowing I have a good 10 years left to impart knowledge on them really helps ease the pressure from all of us. We have time; they'll get it eventually.
- Pajamas-- I had to put this one on the list because it's a huge selling point for my youngest two. My middle child in particular would stay in PJ's forever if I let him and he just loves that he can do school in his comfy pajamas on our couch or even snuggled in a bed. School can happen anywhere at anytime.
- Learning at their own pace-- My boys don't have to stress when there is a concept they are struggling to understand. We can tackle schoolwork at their pace and their level. Alec works many grade levels ahead of where he "should" be and Evan has yet to master reading. Working slowly at this pace he is able to enjoy the process of learning to read instead of getting frustrated and being held back behind his peers and friends. We set fractions aside for a year when Ian was struggling with them and when we went back to them a year later he was able to breeze right through them.... because he was ready.
Linking Up With: 31 Reasons Why We Love Homeschooling