5 things I love about homeschooling

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Recently we discussed the tough stuff–the hard side of home education that gives us a run for our money. But thankfully, that’s only one side of the story. There is another–the one that keeps us going through the challenges and reminds us why we do what we do.

Because it’s also a fact that there are also many pleasures involved in this homeschooling lifestyle we’ve chosen! The benefits for our children are often written about–increased self-confidence, ability to focus on interests, and the freedom to move at their own pace, to name a few.

But in today’s post, I want to dwell on the benefits to us as homeschooling parents.

In all of life there is a dark and a light side. We get to choose which one we notice most.

Today, we’re walking in the light. So allow me to share what I love about our family’s lifestyle of home education.

1. The books & read-alouds

Classics and living books change lives, and as homeschooling parents we have the awesome chance to spend our days with them. We read and watch in wonder as their messages slowly influence those who live within the walls of our homes–ourselves included.

I didn’t grow up being read to regularly as a child. This means I now get to discover so many incredible childhood titles right alongside my kiddos!

What this looks like in our home:

  • Reading aloud is the major structured learning activity of our day. We rarely skip it.
  • We read at times when nourishment is required: Breakfast, Snacks, and Lunch times (I eat at other times, or will eat first with the kids, then read.)
  • I choose books to purchase from these lists: SonlightSimply Charlotte Mason, and Ambleside Online

2. A do-over for me

I excelled while climbing the grade ladder of the traditional schooling system. A people-pleaser by nature with a sincere desire to learn, I desperately wanted to be successful.

I was good at test-taking, studying, getting the grade, and then forgetting the material. This bothered my contemplative self–I remember being troubled that I didn’t have more time to learn because I had to spend time proving that I had learned.

For a few years of middle and high school, I begged my parents to homeschool me. A prophecy of what was to come, perhaps?

Now I am falling in love with learning again–through the eyes of my children. As we discover the world together, I feel deeply thankful to have this magical opportunity to spend hours relearning and getting excited about life and all it has to offer.

What this looks like in our home:

  • Our homeschool isn’t based on the traditional style of schooling. It’s based on life learning that happens all day, every day.
  • I want to model a love of learning to my kids–so my own studying and reading is important. Homeschooling isn’t just about my kids and their education.
  • We follow the principles of Leadership Education, preparing to fulfill our unique missions in life.

3. The time

Busyness and rushing characterize modern-day life. We wake to an alarm–our signal to get kids up and out of the door, head to our own jobs, back again to pick them up, home for homework, cleaning, and dinner before doing it all again tomorrow.

Not this mama. We show our priorities by how we live, and I live SLOW. And I love slow.

Homeschooling, the way we do it, means time. Time for…whatever we want time for! Just by having several more hours in the day together, we have time to focus on what matters. Each and every day, I offer my kids the gift of time.

What this looks like in our home:

  • We stay home! Activities are carefully chosen and scrutinized to make sure they fit our ideals before being added to our schedule.
  • We focus on what matters to us. Some of these priorities include: eating well, learning about God, developing our characters, living simply, influencing and changing the world.
  • I believe boredom is an asset to a child’s life, so I leave plenty of unstructured “nothing” time in our days.

4. The freedom and flexibility

Freedom is one of our family’s core values. It influences much of the what and why of our daily lives. Our decision to homeschool means our family is not bound by anyone’s schedule but the one we choose. 

We are in the driver’s seat of our own adventure. I am my own boss, CEO, teacher, and principal rolled into one, free to structure our days according to what we need, want and love. What could be better?

What this looks like in our home:

  • Our educational philosophy centers around freedom.
  • We have the flexibility to take vacations when it suits us, to take breaks when we need them, or to jet across the ocean for a month.
  • We school year-round–because learning happens around the clock and around the calendar.

5. I haven’t missed a thing.

We’ll never get back these days, and maybe on some days, that is a very good thing!

But whether days have been good, incredible, or awful–I’ve seen it all. And I love that.

I heard a radio story on NPR recently about 24 hour daycares, the newest development in childcare services. It mentioned children not able to sleep in their own beds due to their parents’ work schedules. And my heart grieved for those children, for the hard choices parents feel forced to make.

And I also felt grateful, for so much: That the first time Jonathan read a book, he read to me. That the day Trishna wrote her first story, she asked me for help with her spelling. That the moment Elijah decided to write his name, I sat right by his side.

I smile, I laugh, I struggle, I screw up.

But whatever I do, I’m here. I haven’t missed a thing.

And that, my friends, is what I love most about homeschooling.

– See more at: http://simplehomeschool.net/love-about-homeschooling/#sthash.RBwR02ID.dpuf

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