Monday, March 14, 2016
Twelve is an important number. Jesus had 12 apostles. There are 12 donuts in a dozen, 12 numbers on a clock, 12 months in a year, and so on. Since this week is "T" for Blogging Through the Alphabet, I thought I'd give you my top 12 reasons I love homeschool. I could do a post of 12 things that drive me crazy on a typical homeschool day, but we'll save that for another day.
(In no particular order...)
1. I get to spend every day with my kids. Their childhoods are passing so quickly even though I am with them everyday. I love that I know what's going on with them most of the time. We are together and enjoying (mostly) all of the time together. We are experiencing life together.
2. We make our own schedule. I don't have to plan my day around picking them up or dropping them off at a certain time. If we want to go on vacation during the "school year", we do (and we do every year!). I make our daily schedule, and I work around Hubby's work schedule as much as I can.
3. I have the freedom to work from home. Partly because we make our own schedule and partly because our budget isn't impacted by school fundraisers, uniforms, book fairs, field trip fees, projects, etc. Now certainly I still need to buy clothing for my kids, and we buy lots of books but I can pick and choose based on our budget. I choose to do a few part time jobs in order to supplement our finances. If the kids were in public school (or definitely if they were in private school), I would need to have a full time job outside of the house.
4. I can select the curriculum we use. We choose to use curriculum that doesn't contradict our faith. Kids will learn based on someone's beliefs, I'd prefer it to be mine! Our kids are exposed to other ideas and beliefs but they know what we believe, and we teach them that way.
5. I can select the curriculum that works best for them. Since I am their teacher I can definitely tell you which types of programs work best for them and which ones don't. I tend towards books that will work for both of them but that isn't always possible. I also try to make sure they are exposed to a variety of teaching styles, even those that aren't their favorite, because in life they will be exposed to a mixture.
6. I choose the books and movies or shows they watch during school time. I don't have to argue with a teacher or someone else over a selection that I might deem inappropriate. I also have a voice in the books, movies, shows, and music they consume in their free time. Occasionally they are exposed to a choice I don't agree with when they are with a friend or other family member, but those times are few and far between. Occasional exposure is much different than every day exposure.
7. They are confident. They are quirky (as all kids are), and they own it. No one is telling them it's weird or wrong to be themselves. They aren't asked to conform to someone else's ideal all the time. Having a distinct personality is important as an adult. It's always seemed odd to me that people start as originals and then somewhere along the line want to be just like their friends and then have to "find themselves" later to figure out who they are as an adult. Obviously they still want to fit in with their friends, but it's on a much different level.
8. They don't feel "less than" if they aren't in on the latest trend. They are certainly aware of name brands and like the things they own with emblems on them but they don't feel pressured to only dress in those brands. They are happy with what they have.
9. Both kids have the freedom to study things that interest them. They aren't limited by time constraints or by all assigned work. They can explore ideas in books, shows, online, and by talking to grown ups. They often think of something and then spend time learning about it on their own. Apple enjoys artistic pursuits, and Speedy enjoys history and sports related studies. The independent study they are doing now may well impact their choices in the future.
10. They get recess. Every day. They get to play and move and spend time outside. It's important. They enjoy it. I enjoy it when they go outside!
11. They have more time to learn life skills. They will tell you that they spend lots of time doing chores and learning to cook. Their grocery shopping game is strong. They understand the basics of meal planning, following a recipe, and looking for a deal. They will use these skills again and again in life. They can both sweep and mop and clean a bathroom. They both do their own laundry. Those are overlooked skills that many youth don't know how to do today!
12. I never thought I'd homeschool my kids. It wasn't in my plans. When God started guiding us to this decision, I was trying to run fast and far in the opposite direction. I was absolutely terrified that I would fail. That I was making a mistake. That I wasn't good enough to educate my own kids. I love homeschool because I was afraid I would fail, and God showed me I wouldn't. Only with His grace have we made it this far. And I appreciate every sweet friend He has sent to encourage me on this journey. I have had some very special ladies in my corner the last 6 years, and many of those relationships would have never happened if we weren't connected by homeschool!
I am adding this "Twelve" post to Blogging Through the Alphabet. Special thanks to Adventures with Jude and Through the Calm and Through the Storm for hosting each week! Be sure to check out some other "T" posts!