Have you ever had someone ask you why you homeschool your children? If so, did you struggle to give them an answer? Sometimes it’s hard to talk about the benefits of homeschooling with non-homeschoolers because we don’t want to step on any toes. But if we didn’t think homeschooling was best, we wouldn’t be putting in the time and energy it takes in order to educate our children from home.
There are seasons, however, where we start to wonder. When we are concerned that our kids aren’t learning enough or are squabbling too much. We sometimes get tired and wonder if all of the hard work is worth it. During these times, it’s important to remind ourselves of the blessings we gain by educating our children at home.
One of the huge benefits of homeschooling is that it gives us tremendous amounts of freedom. This is something we need to be aware of and to take full advantage of if we want to fully experience the joy that can come with homeschooling.
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Here are 7 Homeschooling Freedoms We Should Consider Implementing:
1 – Allow Kids to Follow Passions
We’re all more willing to apply ourselves and do our best when we’re pursuing something we actually care about. As homeschoolers, we have the opportunity to allow our kids to learn about things they’re passionate about. It’s important that we use that to our advantage.
If our son is interested in bugs, we should tailor his science lessons to allow him to observe them, to learn about their habitats, and to read book after book about them.
If our daughter is interested in Minecraft, allow her to design all sorts of creative buildings and to use red stone to full advantage. Or let her take a coding class and learn how to create Minecraft mods.
The possibilities are endless and we are missing a huge opportunity if we don’t capitalize on this with our kids.
2 – Choose Learning Method/Curriculum that Works for Us
Along the same lines, homeschoolers also have the freedom to choose the method of teaching or type of curriculum that will work best for our family as well as for each individual child. Kids in school are required to learn using traditional teaching methods which rely heavily on visual and auditory methods of teaching.
We have the opportunity to teach our kids in whatever way they learn best. Most young children learn well with hands-on activities and experiences. And some of our kids continue to enjoy at least supplementing with these types of lessons well into their teens and beyond.
Some of our kids learn much better listening to audiobooks than by reading them. Some of them excel when they are allowed to type rather than having to write things out with a pencil and paper.
As homeschoolers, we have the freedom to observe our kids and present material in a way that will best serve them.
3 – Family Comes First
Another amazing thing about homeschooling is that we are able to emphasize relationships with our kids. Homeschool moms have the blessing of getting to spend much more time with their kids than do parents whose kids are away at school all day. There are times when this is difficult and when we grate on each other’s nerves. But over time, you’ll find that being together all day has a sanctifying effect on everyone and that you will rub each other’s jagged edges off in the process.
The other aspect of this is that we’re able to work our homeschool lessons around caring for elderly family members, pause lessons when we have a child who needs a mental health day, and to take the time necessary to work on our relationships with our kids. And no homework at night is a huge benefit for families because it allows us to fill that time with board games, reading books aloud, shooting hoops together, going on hikes, or whatever else your family enjoys. That time together is priceless!
4 – Include Real Life Learning
Families that are trying to juggle the kids being off at school all day, extracurricular activities, and piles of homework don’t have as much time to focus on the important real life learning that all of our kids need to know in order to take care of themselves and a household someday.
Homeschoolers have more of a chance to work in lessons such as having our kids involved in various household chores, learning to balance a checkbook, creating a budget, changing a tire, making meals, grocery shopping, and so much more!
This real life learning will serve our kids well. Remember that our goal is to work out way out of a job. The more our kids learn these types of lessons, the more prepared they will be to move out and be independent someday.
5 – Move at Our Child’s Pace
A huge benefit homeschoolers have is that we don’t have to follow anyone else’s timetable when it comes to teaching our children. Some of our kids pick up new information quickly and some of them need to be told things multiple times before it sinks in. Some of our kids will excel at reading but will struggle with math – or vice versa.
Rather than having to teach to the middle of a large classroom so that some kids are bored and others are unable to keep up, we are able to move forward quickly in some areas and more slowly in others as it best benefits our individual children.
6 – Schedules & Routines
Let’s face it. We’re all unique individuals. Some of us are morning people and some of us aren’t able to function until we’ve had a few cups of coffee. Some of us are very regimented and others are more fly by the seat of our pants.
Homeschooling is wonderful because there is room for all of us to operate in whatever way best serves us and our families. If you want to rise early and have your kids complete their lessons right away so that the afternoons are free for exploration of interests, you can do that. If you want to have your mornings free and do the more structured bookwork after lunch or after dinner, you can do that as well.
We are also able to follow the traditional school calendar, do 6 weeks on one week off, or any other schedule we’d like to follow as homeschoolers, We can take vacations off-season, take breaks when the weather is best wherever we happen to live, and take a day off here and there just because we can. Be sure you’re taking advantage of this amazing freedom!
7 – Teach With a Christian Worldview
One of the biggest freedoms we have as homeschoolers is that we are able to use our own personal worldview from which to teach our children. This is so important! We don’t have to be concerned that our kids are learning information or hearing opinions day after day that will slowly erode the faith we’ve been trying to help them to build at home.
This is more important than all of the other homeschool freedoms we have combined. We need to be aware of what’s going on around us in order to maintain these freedoms. And when we see laws proposed which might infringe on this right, we must be willing to speak up and vote.
Homeschooling is best because of the freedom it gives us to teach our unique children and to help prepare them for the life that God has for them as adults. We need to be intentional about grabbing hold of this freedom and taking full advantage of it. Let’s use this freedom we have to raise up a generation which has been able to fully explore their gifts and talents and is eager to use them to serve God and to build His kingdom.
Michelle has been married to her best friend for almost 20 years and she has homeschooled her two wonderful (and tall) sons for 15 years. Homeschooling boys can be a challenge and she loves to share the insights she has learned the hard way with other moms. You can find her blogging at Homeschool-Your-Boys.com or check out her helpful resources in her store! Her mission is to encourage and inspire parents as they educate and parent their sons.