Reasons Why We Homeschool
"Why do you guys homeschool?" "Do your kids get to socialize?" I get asked these questions often.Well, I get to answer them here!
4 years ago, S and I came to the conclusion that we wanted to homeschool. Little did we know, this was a very good decision, better than we initially thought. Here is a list of the reasons why we homeschool. (The list is not in priority order. )
1. Protection. Protection from peer pressure, bullying and foul language.
Comment: You can't protect your kids in the real world, they will have to face it sooner or later.
Response: This is true, we can't protect them from the world, but we can train them and raise them, so that they come to know their own self value and worth, in Christ and stand a little stronger, when they are out there "alone". They don't have anyone telling them what trend to follow, what's uncool, what's in, who's out etc. If they curse, we know exactly WHO to blame. Ourselves. We have more opportunities throughout the day to spot times, where we can teach and train our kids.
2. Quality time during lessons.
1 on 1. We start our school doing grammar in our jammies, while I sip my morning coffee. Then chat about the day and about this and that, we spend time together.
Comment: Do your kids get 6 h of school a day?
Response: No. More like 2-3 hours. During 1 on 1, we move through our lessons faster. There aren't 30 pupils crying out for attention from one teacher and as a teacher, I can take my time and teach with undivided attention or time limits. However, homeschool can last all day and all evening too, depending on what we are doing. Gardening, field trips, outdoor adventures, scavenger hunts in the woods can take time and we might finish the day with a little science or social studies. Very relaxed!
3. Take the time necessary.
Our kids can develop at their own pace. If math is a challenge, we can invest time in it during school and not after school. If math is "easy", we can move onwards to the next grade levels.
4. Each to their own.
Our school day is structured according to our child's energy levels. Some days J might have a "bad day" and can't seem to focus well on his subjects, we can then do something else and come back to whatever we were working on later. There are no lost opportunities.
Comment: Shouldn't a child eventually have to learn how to work regardless of how he or she feels? You can't just not go to work when one is having a bad day. Welcome to the real world!
Response: These days, modern companies are actually using more flexible work systems and support the diversity of employees. Also, bare in mind that these are children. Their learning should be in a productive learning enviroment, fun and varied. If I child has had a restless night and is tired, it won't make or break his day, he won't get behind. Studies show that homeschooled kids learn 37% better than those who attend school outside of the home.
5. More variety of material and learning activities.
We get to go on fieldtrips every day if we like! Everything we do, we look at it as "how can I teach/learn from this?" For example, posting a letter at the post office. We can spend an extra 15minutes discussing different airways, snail mail, air mail, cargo,...etc. How the letters find their way. Instead of merely reading how a seed grows from a book we can step outside, toil the soil and really understand the growing process. Hands on!
6. Biblical teaching.
We believe that we are called to,
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
New International Version (NIV)
How can we teach this, if the school is teaching against it? Who has more time to spend with your child during the day? What could be a more holy calling than to train and teach your kids, to invest in them, so that they can walk on the righteous path?
7. Family time. Building relationships within family. Strong bond.
Comment: Shouldn't kids be able to explore and get out there to create new relationships?
Response: Yes and no. Absolutely they get to interact with other kids daily, but we also want to teach them that a family is a nations "back bone". It sorrows us that in many families, kids look for role models, friends and peers outside of the family rather than within. There is nothing "uncool" about your younger brother and that they can open up to us as parents rather than look for it elsewhere. Instead of looking for friends outside of the family (only), they can build close friendships with their siblings too.
Our kids get to socialize with ALL age groups, not only with a classroom full of 6 year olds.
Comment: Homeschooled children are socially inept.
Response: Absolutely not! This is a misconseption. Actually, they have better people skills than average. They can have a conversation with all age groups and feel relaxed enough to play with babies too.
9. Sleep. This is a big one.
Thank God, we have not had to drag them out of bed to rush them out the door to make it to school on time. Sleep is super important. The best thing about this, is that they are well rested and ready for school time. I feel for the parents who have to emergency it out the door in the mornings, rushing to make the bell.
Comment: As they grow up they'll need to wake up to get to work, tired or not.
Response: Yes true, and here we have a great opportunity to teach them how valuable sleep is and how we musn't ever compromise. Each child demands different amount of sleep. For example, our middle child needs the most. She goes to sleep first and wakes up last.
Here is a great article on homeschool and sleep deprivation in public school pupils. https://www.aophomeschooling.com/blog/homeschoolers-get-more-sleep
10. Travel and teach anywhere! What freedom, such richness!
We have more control over what and how our kids learn. We can again, take the time to invest in the best, in what suits our family best, what suits our kids best, individually. How can we be the main influence for our kids when we don't see them for 80% of the day?
Comment: Tight leash.
Response: Think of it as rather, a greenhouse. A place, safe haven where they can grow to become strong individuals in Christ. For example, being available to deal with issues (arguments, hurt feelings, math problems, etc.) instantly and not left unsolved or undealt with. We are their parents after all, and so yes, we keep a close watch.
12. Encouraging, praise and discipline appropiately.
These days teachers have no authority over pupils in schools. Bad behaviour won't get overlooked.
13. Identification of talents and skills.
Due to the fact that the learning is 1 on 1, it's easier to identify a natural talent for a particular subject or activity. But more than identification, homescooling gives parents the opprtunity to encourage the further developement of those talents. Sure, some talents may be picked up at school, but more often than not they are overlooked or sidelined and never really passed on to the parents.
14. Hierachy of subjects.
The current system of education was developed for a time very different from today. At that time - industrial revolution - there was a dire need for further developent of reading, writing, and mathematics as most of the population would not have access to these types of activities. Society was lacking. Due to this, those subjects, reading, writing, mathematics and also the sciences were placed at a greater value than the arts for example. Today, in a very different world, this hierachy still exists and creativity is undervalued. For example, if you have a student with a real ear for music or a wonderful ability to move their body but is below average in maths they would be deemed still today, "stupid". With homeschooling, there is no such hierachy, you can place as much emphasis on the arts as sciences and allow a child's creativity to flourish.
Here is a very very interesting clip, by Sir Ken Robinson. Don't pass this opportunity, it will change the way you view life, forever. http://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U