I homeschool and I love it.
I home school and I 90% love it. 75% of the time.
I believe homeschooling is the best option for parent and child.
I believe homeschooling might be one of many good options for parent and child.
I’m not in the homeschool gang, believing that ‘you are your child’s best teacher.’ You might be. You might not be. You might reeeally not be.
So how do you decide? If you’re on the fence, I’m here to offer my personal list of pros and cons from my humble 5 years of homeschooling a growing brood. But because the pros often turn into cons and the cons often turn into pros, I’m simply going to list them objectively, trying not to judge them as necessarily good or bad. They just ARE.
- I Spend lots of time with my children
- I learn along side them
- We have a flexible schedule both in school and life
- We stay up late, sleep in, or whatever else suits our fancy any particular week
- I select their curriculum (Classical Conversations, Math-U-See, Learn to Draw the US, the Bible, The Story of The World, a drop-off science & music co-op, and an absurd amount of library books on history, biology, geography, and whatever else they snag that week.)
- I’m learning how each of my children learns (I have no formal background in teaching and am learning latin, ancient world history, world geography and how to diagram sentences while sitting/laying right along side my kids at the table/bed/floor.)
- My children are learning how they learn
- My children have the freedom to learn material in their own particular fashion (wearing headphones and listening to music, while riding a bike and reciting algebraic formulas, while molding play dough into the shape of the 13 Colonies while wearing pj’s.)
- There’s lots of built-in learning as we do our daily life (cooking, house work, conversations as we drive to the Y, calculating how many plates Mommy needs to put on the bar to press so many pounds, what muscles are used when she does so, weekly trips to the Farmer’s Market learning exotic foods and their prices and what country’s flag is hanging overhead and how much is in the grocery budget and can we still get jelly beans because we did a good job…)
- Vacationing during ‘off season’
- Continuing with school moderately through colds and belly aches and poor attitudes.
- Or not
- I don’t have to pack lunches
- I don’t have to buy new Back-To-School Clothes
- I don’t have to buy a list of school supplies
- Or backpacks
- Or lunch boxes or bentoboxes or whatever the cool thing is these days
- I don’t have to know what the cool thing is (though as a homeschool family it might help!)
- I don’t have to be a part of PTA’s
- Or fundraising
- I can feed my kids healthy, fresh snacks and meals every day. Every.Single.Day (ok, I can’t. I just can’t be neutral on this one. There’s so much cooking, I about feel like an eternal Lunch Lady!!!!)
- Discipline and correction come from their parents, who know them well.
- I witness that moment something burrows into their brain for the first time. Every time. A new word. A new concept. A correct equation. Newton’s Laws played out.
- Our school day lasts no more than 3 hours. Three!
- The kids have lots of time to play, explore, be bored, argue, eat, do chores, read, play video games, create projects, create business ventures, create noise/music/forts…
So there it is, my personal list of homeschooling pros and cons. If you’re a stay-at-home parent, you understand how a pro can easily turn into a con and vice versa (ex. It’s such a privilege staying home with my kids/ It’s such a drag staying home with my kids.) It just depends on the perspective. Or the day.
Homeschooling, like all of life, moves in seasons. I’m finding them to be micro-seasons, shorter than Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, and a bit more unpredictable. But there is a rhythm if you allow yourself to roll with it. Productivity ebbs and flows. Excitement and eagerness rise and fall. Creativity blooms and withers. And then blossoms again. There are weeks where I feel I am absolutely killing this homeschool thing in the most positive, optimistic, fist-pumping sense possible to convey on a blog. There are others times I sit slumped over my dining room table wondering just how badly I’m destroying my children’s brains and chances at a normal life and successful future. And then I read blogs of other homeschooling families who have it all together and I feel
inspired worse about myself. Though I’m happy to report I do that last one less and less and less as I circle my homeschooling (and life) around this one glorious goal:
~PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION~
Truth is, we might make mistakes.
Truth is, we will make mistakes.
Truth is, they may have disappointments.
Truth is, they will have disappointments. That’s just life.
My goal as a parent-teacher isn’t to pull this thing off perfectly and produce the most perfect spawn with the most perfect education and most perfect futures. No, it’s to grow. To grow with them as they grow. To make progress. As as person. As a parent. As a child. As a family. As we learn to do things God’s way. One day at a time. One challenge at a time.
I’ve never been a parent before. I’ve never been a homeschooling parent before. We’re all figuring this out together. And 90% of the time, I’m glad about that.