The current state of the school system, the social environment, and the economic costs all point to a system that is in need of repair. While these alone might suffice as reasons to homeschool one’s children, there are at least five positive reasons to take a more active role in the education of your children.
1) The quantity of time spent with our kids.
We have recouped a lot of time in our day not having to spend forty-five minutes per day in just getting the kids up, fed and dressed under time constraints. Not to mention, sitting in a car line anywhere from ten to thirty minutes; I know many of you can relate to that nightmare. I often hear people say at the end of August “so glad that school will be starting back soon.“ They just want to get the kids out of their hair. For us, we love spending time together, and my kids are my greatest treasure, whom I enjoy having in my hair. I take great pleasure in seeing my kids learn, play and make a mess. I enjoy talking to my teenagers and young adults about the decisions they are facing.
2) Watching our kids excel academically
We are able to teach to our kid‘s weaknesses and challenge their strengths. When I started homeschooling my son in 2nd grade, I was able to teach him math, grammar, and history on a 4th-grade level, but penmanship on a kindergartener level. He didn’t even know that he was being pushed in some subjects and retained in others. He just knew if he got the work done, he could have the rest of the day to play. The county we were in at the time could not differentiate his education. During many conferences, his first–grade teacher said in exhaustion: “I am trying to get 27 other kids to your son’s level.” Those were my marching orders. I knew then she was right. She couldn‘t do for my kid what I could and should do for him. It wasn’t a lack of willingness on her behalf. She was just spread thin. As a parent, I could concentrate on my child to keep him progressing.
3) Freedom to plan a vacation during off seasons.
Here in Florida, we can enjoy the amusement parks long before and after the crowds of summer have died down. And at greatly reduced prices. Late September and early October are great times to take vacations. Airline prices, hotels, and cruise ships often dramatically cut prices in hopes of getting business. Homeschoolers have often taken advantage of this, and we can because we are not at the mercy of public or private school schedules. When my kids were younger, we often schooled only four days per/week. This allowed us to have three days to take mini-vacations. Everything that we do outside is like a field trip. The kids can get involved in helping to plan the vacation/staycation.
4) Vast Curriculum to Choose From
As homeschoolers, we are not limited to what our kids learn and when. There are options that can appeal to all types of learning. There are Homeschooling conventions everywhere in the U.S. Some of the biggest that I have been to were held in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida. At these events, you would be amazed at the plethora of curriculum there is to choose from. The convention centers are always bursting at the seams. Some of the same publishers that provide to the public and private schools also have homeschool friendly options. There are products for those who want to go the un-school track, to those who prefer the classical track or a blend of both. There are online curriculums, like FLVS, K-12 and Alpha and Omega to name a few. With these options, your kids are accountable to an online instructor. There are also Co-Operatives (Co-ops). Parents would form a group and take turns teaching a subject they enjoy. Co-ops can be academic, social or just supportive. I’ve taught history in an academic co-op, while my kids took classes with a parent that loved science and enjoyed dissecting a cow’s eye (not my thing). Once your student gets to the high school years, there are options where they can dual enroll in college courses. Your student can take one class and get both high school credit and college credit. This option has become very popular in the past ten years. In some instances, there is no cost for the classes. Some colleges like MIT and Hillsdale offer access to lectures, which your student can view at no cost. Simply buy the text and follow along. It is not for college credit, but it could fill a credit for your high school transcript.
5) Time for Kids to pursue an extracurricular interest
Have you ever wondered why many athletes, actors, and musicians were homeschooled? This option allows your student to spend more time doing an activity they enjoy. About 3 hours of a student day in traditional school is wasted time. Most homeschoolers have said they can complete their work in 4 hours/day. This leaves lots of time for practice. My first child spent her time at an art studio a couple of afternoons per week and took art classes as a dual enrolled student. Now she is getting a degree in animation. My other child can spend 3 to 4 hours/day on the tennis courts. I have a friend, whose son is interested in engineering. He spends his afternoons as an apprentice to a civil engineer, who is a family friend. There just seems to be more time for homeschool kids to do the things that interest them. Thus, making their education relevant.