There was so much fear and anxiety leading up to the decision to homeschool. What’s funny, though, is that as soon as the decision was made, we felt amazing. A weight had been taken off our shoulders, and we felt like we had been given a new life. All those things we had been thinking about why homeschool could be great suddenly became very real. There are so many benefits of homeschooling.
The Way It Was
Life before homeschool felt so rushed. I was working lots in order to pay for the private school where we sent our kids. The kids would come home with reading, papers, forms (oh, the forms), and would have extra-curricular activities. We were running. Always running. Does that sound familiar at all?
There was this feeling deep inside of us that something was off. We were exhausted and every day felt like a marathon. The worst part is that with all the running around, we felt as if we didn’t have the time or energy to invest in our kids lives- spiritually or emotionally.
Of course, it’s not like this for everyone. A lot of families thrive in a traditional school situation, and I love that. Our family, however, didn’t seem to fit in that bracket. Whenever there was a school commitment, or we were asked to volunteer in anything (whether it be church, school, or community), we just felt tapped out. Something had to give, and we knew what it was. It just took us a while to admit it. We knew homeschooling was the answer.
Top 4 Benefits of Homeschooling
1.Freedom. That’s what we felt on the last day of traditional school. Absolute freedom. And man, that freedom felt good. Our schedule had all of a sudden become our own. We were no longer at the mercy of the school day.
If we wanted a late start in the morning, we got it. If we had a specialist appointment booked in the morning, we would homeschool in the afternoon. The kids are super into cougars? Awesome, lets study cougars. Freedom, you guys.
I worry freedom is something we willingly gave up for years, and I feel like freedom is something society as a whole is willingly giving up. And we give it up because “this is the way people do things.” No. We have a choice. We choose freedom.
2. Faith. I need to be super honest right now. When we had our kids in traditional school and we were working our butts off to maintain the average life, we had no energy to invest spiritually in our kids. It was devastating to me, yet I felt powerless to change it. How could I invest in my kids spiritually when I felt like I didn’t have time to invest in myself spiritually? That is not acceptable. That is not OK. I really believe that is not how God intended life to be.
Now that we’re homeschooling, my stress levels have gone down. I’m working less, and the kids have a flexible schedule. Every morning, we spend time reading, learning, studying and praying together. They tell me what is on their hearts and what they want to pray for.
I’m going to start writing down their prayer requests. Right now my daughter likes to pray about princesses, fairies, and mermaids. How cool is it that I now have the time to sit with her and watch her prayer life evolve as she grows up? When she’s a young woman we can sit together, read the prayer requests from her childhood, and giggle about her passionate prayers about fairy tale creatures.
We didn’t want our kids growing up in a house that just prayed before supper and bed, and then did our best to get through the rest of the day. We wanted God to be part of everything. This is absolutely one of the biggest benefits of homeschooling.
3. Extra-Curriculars. I admit, I was one of the moms that worried my kids wouldn’t be properly socialized as homeschool kids. My apologies to homeschool mothers everywhere. What I’ve found, though, is we have more time for extra-curricular activities. Previously, if I were to sign my kids up for an activity, I would have to do it against my own will. I was forcing myself to put the kids in activities. It was awful.
Now, we look at extra-curricular activities with fresh eyes. It’s no longer something that will just suck the life out of me. I now see it as something that adds value to our lives. Extra-curriculars make our lives richer and deeper… and we’re not dying while trying to get there. Can I get an Amen.
4. Our Kids Are Doing Life WITH Us. Let me explain this. Before, I had to try to get as much “life” done as possible while the kids were at school. Now, the kids are engaged in almost every part of life with us. This is, honestly, what scared me away from homeschooling for a long time. In my “previous-life” (aka life before homeschool), I couldn’t imagine wanting the kids with me while I tried to accomplish things. I was far too busy for tag-alongs. Now when I think about that, I feel terrible. Because my kids are actually pretty awesome to be around!
Now if I have to go to the store, they come along. They check my list, they check the shelves, they identify the prices, and numbers, and look for “gluten-free.” When I have a doctor appointment (if it’s not a private appointment), they come along. The bank- come along! I want them to see how I do life, so that they can also learn to do life.
The kids are now actively engaged in communication with our sponsor children. Shamefully, this is another activity that I thought I could do quicker without the kids being involved. Is it quicker without them? Heck yes. Should I be excluding them from this? Heck NO.
We Love It.
You guys, we love homeschooling. Is it scary to be responsible for their education? Well, kinda, I’m not going to lie. But it has been enriching our family since the day we started and I can’t wait to see where it takes us.
Do you homeschool? What have you found to be the biggest benefits of homeschooling?
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