Families have many reasons why they feel home schooling has benefited their family. Here are some:
- The freedom to choose curriculum that the family feels is most beneficial to the overall life of their children, along with the ability to include practical life skills, like cooking, sewing, cleaning, car maintenance and repair, building, gardening, etc.
- The freedom to spend more time on topics of interest to their children. The freedom to choose some topics sooner and some topics later, or to readdress certain topics again, as children get older and have increased skills. If the cat brings home a live baby chipmunk, the science curriculum may quickly change to what do chipmunks need in order to live and prosper?
- The ability to spend more time on topics the children are finding difficult. Children are not moved ahead before they're ready. If that math topic is really hard, spend more time on it, or maybe take a break and then go back to try the topic again. Surprisingly, second time around, it may not seem so hard or frustrating.
- The ability to move ahead more quickly when a child understands a concept instead of staying on the subject longer just to accommodate other children who do not understand the concept. Children can move at the pace of their understanding. We don't need to do all the repeating worksheets if the child has mastered the skill. Their age may say grade three, but they can be doing grade 4 reading, grade 5 spelling or grade 6 math. You determine when they're ready (and you have less children to monitor than a typical classroom).
- The reduced exposure to persons with lower moral standards than families would like for their impressionable children. You have the freedom to choose friends for play times and field trips.
- The reduced exposure and influence of moral teachings in the curriculum that families do not agree with.
- The freedom to go on field trips with a moment's notice without the need to collect permission slips, fees and arrange for buses - just walk there or jump in the car or on the bus!
- The freedom to spend money on supplies and field trips according to a family's budget and timing. Sometimes books, school field trips and other expenses come at bad times for a family's budget, and they can be expensive and aren't usually very negotiable. With homeschooling, you can get videos or books on the pyramids of the Aztecs for free from your local library, or if Dad just got a work bonus, you can go and the see the pyramids in person.
- More and more teachers are finding the policies and procedures of the school system frustrating, and surprisingly do not discourage parents from homeschooling.
- If a student is having difficulty at school, perhaps even having been suspended, it gives parents time to refocus time and energy with their child to address issues that are going on in their life.
- The freedom to have nutritious meals and snacks and to be fully aware of what children are consuming and the immediate effect on their learning and behaviour. For example, in our family, one day my children were completing their school work by themselves very quickly with full understanding of what they were doing. They didn't want any help from Mom. After a break to eat some round O's of breakfast cereal, they came back to the table unable to complete the same work on their own. There were tears and frustration, and they wanted and needed Mom's help. They could no longer understand what they were to do. Needless to say, since I was with them, and I could see what just happened, I could immediately put a ban on the little O's.
- The freedom for the family to work or travel to other countries for part or the whold year without interrupting the children's learning. Many courses can be done online or by correspondence from any place in the world.
- The freedom to choose teachers for subjects of interest that the parent has reviewed and found exceptional instead of taking teachers that are assigned, that may or may not suit the particular needs of the student. You don't have to know all the subjects. Find experts for your children. It may be a dance studio or music hall or a neighbor that's an accomplished pianist or a horseback riding instructor that lives up the road or Aunt Barbie who knows everything about sewing or knitting, or Uncle Jon who knows everything about tying knots or Grandpa who knows how to get an abundance of food from the garden or a referral from a friend for an outstanding art teacher. You are now the "Education Director".
- Many schools are offering homeschoolers the freedom to do some classes at home and join the school for specific classes like gym, music, chemistry, library, etc. Inquire in your area, if that sounds interesting to you.
Now what have you found? What are your reasons for homeschooling? What benefits have you noticed? Let us know, and we might be able to add your comments to this website.