Homeschoolers choose to educate their children free from public school for many reasons. Whether it’s the inordinate amount of time spent testing or the desire to have a greater role in their child’s life, you’ll rarely hear the same answer twice. However, there are certain homeschooling benefits all families enjoy even though they may not have been a consideration when deciding to homeschool
For those considering homeschooling, you might be wondering what these benefits are. Studies have shown numerous positive effects of homeschooling, but here are ten frequently cited homeschooling benefits (and standardized test scores aren’t one of them!)
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1. Time Spent Together
Many families are concerned about the lack of family time in our modern world. Between work, school, and extracurricular activities, many parents and children find it difficult to find time to spend together.
Homeschooling requires that the teacher (parent) does spend time with the child or children, and you learn a great deal about each other in the process.
Additionally, homeschooling not only allows the parents to have time with their children, but it also allows siblings to develop stronger bonds.
2. Develop a Love of Learning
Homeschooling is often geared toward making learning fun and engaging, setting the stage for a lifelong love of learning. This love of learning is something that may get lost in a public school setting. Some children may have trouble keeping up in the classroom, whereas other students may be bored by the pace.
School can also damage a child’s curiosity if they see the work as boring or repetitious. The dreaded “busy work,” can be very discouraging. Homeschooling benefits our children by preserving and igniting their interest in the world.
3. Attune to Readiness
The ability to teach your child in whatever capacity and at whatever level he or she is at is a major benefit of homeschooling. Some children may be highly skilled in reading at an early age, but find handwriting a challenge. Others may write beautifully but struggle with reading.
There are many variations across the learning spectrum, and homeschooling allows parents to work with these strengths and weaknesses, and not force their child into the “grade level” mold.
And finally, homeschoolers need not worry that their child is being exposed to a teaching or issue that they find objectionable, or for which their child is not ready. Parents make the decision on what is taught and when.
4. Create a Customized Education
It’s your child, it’s your homeschool, and it’s your decision. Just as there are no two people the same, there will be no two educations the same. Learning doesn’t come from a teacher, textbooks, or tests, it is unique and individual to every person.
Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.John Holt
Therefore, homeschooling allows parents to make decisions based on their child’s learning style, as well as his or her strengths and weaknesses. This allows the parent to customize a curriculum and find the teaching style that best fits the child.
There isn’t a one size fits all curriculum that will provide the knowledge and information needed for every child. By homeschooling, we can focus on what is valuable to that particular child. We can make choices that will best serve our child’s personality and proclivities.
5. Opportunity for Real Life Experiences
It’s always seemed odd to me that everyone worries about how homeschooled children will deal with the real world, and their remedy to this concern is the put them in a place nothing like the rest of the world. Yet somehow, this will prepare them for the challenges of adulthood.
Homeschooled kids live in the so-called “real world” – the world outside of school – which better prepares them for the future. When else do you only socialize with people who were born within the same 12 months and from your zip code? And they say homeschoolers are sheltered?
6. No More Bullying
Bullying is a major concern in today’s schools, therefore freedom from bullying is a significant benefit of homeschooling. This also an important reason many parents choose to homeschool.
Homeschoolers aren’t immune to bullying, but we have the ability to address the situation without the interference of school administration. We can also easily remove ourselves from a damaging circumstance without the worries of compulsory attendance laws and zoning.
Children learn in a safe environment where they can concentrate on learning rather than being worried about the next encounter with the bully.
7. Enjoy Adequate Rest
The public school bus rolls by my house just before 7 am, even though the school is less than 3 miles away. Rarely do I have a child out of bed at that time, and we don’t stay up late.
This article from CNN states children need from 9 to 12 hours of sleep per day. Obviously, that is more for preschool and it varies by age. Let’s say most elementary-age children need an average of 10 1/2 hours. If they need an hour before the bus arrives to get ready for the day, that means they should be asleep by 7:30 pm.
I think we can all agree that is not happening. Most kids are barely home for the day by that time with all of the additional activities and parents’ schedules.
What a homeschooling benefit it is to sleep on your schedule and to get enough rest! Everyone learns and functions better when they are well-rested.
8. Scheduling Freedom
This past January, I took my oldest three daughters to England. A trip of a lifetime. However, even 1,000’s of miles from home, in a foreign country, a stranger comments on them not being in school. Here we are, visiting the birthplace of Shakespeare, and someone is wondering why they weren’t in a classroom.
This has long been one of my favorite homeschooling benefits. As homeschoolers, we are in charge of our time. We can travel when it suits our schedule and checkbook, not when the school district allows. We can have lessons in the evening or on the weekend if a parent works a rotating schedule.
The freedom to live and learn as our family desires is one of the greatest homeschooling benefits.
9. Learning Rather Than Grades
Homeschooling also allows us to change the focus from schooling and grades to learning and life. There is no need to give your first grader grades, they learn and move on to the next lesson. Many homeschoolers will give grades for high school, but until then it’s not needed.
As homeschoolers, we focus on whether our child learned the skill or can discuss the topic. Our focus isn’t on turning in homework and semester grades. Life and learning are more than the accumulation of points, and homeschooling allows us to live life to the fullest and go beyond what is “required.”
10. Reduced Peer Dependency
Homeschooling doesn’t necessarily eliminate peer pressure, but it is greatly reduced. Homeschool children aren’t being socialized by a mass of same-age children who may not have the necessary skills of a well-adjusted child.
Homeschooled children do not spend every day around their same-age peers, where they feel the need to be accepted and conform. Again, peer pressure and dependency won’t disappear by homeschooling but are certainly better.
The Benefits of Homeschooling Make it Worthwhile
Homeschooling can be hard. Some days we want to flag down the big yellow bus and then head to the gym. Alone!
But just because something is hard, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing.
Often the most important things in our life are the hard things. So when the day comes when you don’t think you can continue another moment, read this list. You can even make your own list of homeschooling benefits to look at. It will give you the strength to continue because those benefits make it all worthwhile.