JMJ *Freedom of religious instruction and agenda- In homeschooling, there is the freedom to practice your religion and incorporate your value system into your school day, as much or as little as you choose to do. You can set your own agenda, according to what is most important to you. How you choose to accomplish academic goals is up to you.
(To read reasons to homeschool, scroll past the school diary)
Ring the School Bell 61/180 Days
Things ran like clockwork on the homeschool front today. Nothing out of the ordinary. So I thought it might be a good day to discuss reasons to homeschool.
This narrative is for prospective homeschoolers, new homeschoolers, veteran homeschoolers, or discerning parents who are looking at this as a possible option.
Rather than title today’s narrative “Top 5 Reasons to Homeshool”, I titled it only “Reasons to Homeschool”, because homeschoolers are such a diverse group, and parents choose to homeschool for all kinds of reasons. For instance, initially, one of my major reasons to homeschool was because of Sarah’s severe food allergies. Obviously, this particular reason applies to only a small fraction of the homeschoolers out there.
What heads your list? I know there are many, many more reasons to homeschool, but here are some of my very favorites.
Reasons to homeschool, part 1
1. Freedom of religious instruction and agenda- In homeschooling, there is the freedom to practice your religion and incorporate your value system into your school day, as much or as little as you choose to do. You can set your own agenda, according to what is most important to you. How you choose to accomplish academic goals is up to you. It is not scripted as in a government-run classroom. The end goals may be similar, but how you choose to accomplish those goals is up to you. That is a big responsibility, that not everyone is comfortable with, but I see it as a perk to homeschooling.
2. Enrichment Opportunities- Homeschooling, done the right way, provides enrichment opportunities that might be hard to replicate in a traditional setting. Instead of sitting at a desk for hours on end, students have more opportunities for field trips, themed-park days, science workshops, private music lessons, and other activities where they can discover their passion for learning, or develop their talents, during the course of their school day.
3. Free to “be me” environment- The negative pressure to be a certain way, is minimal for homeschoolers in my experience. Being a math buff or science nerd is accepted and admired in many cases. Sarah, my middle child, was always the go-to science gal amongst her friends. She had a head full of science facts that she loved to share with others. Also, children have the opportunity to develop their own style of doing things with less criticism from the “cool” cliques in the traditional classroom setting.
4. Develop independent learning skills- This is an area, if developed properly, will pay off big time in college, or generally speaking, in life. Homeschooling motivates students to complete their course of daily study in an efficient manner, that works for them and also gives them a sense of control over their school day. Of course, there might be different variations here, but each child eventually develops a system of learning that works for them. For instance, Sabrina enjoyed alternating her academic assignments with her hobbies such as sewing, or playing the piano. Thus, she would finish her assignments in the mid-afternoon. Melissa preferred getting through all of her assignments before 10 am, so that she could have the rest of the day “off”. In a traditional setting, Sabrina would obviously not have been able to take the fun breaks between her academic subjects, and Melissa would have been one of those kids who was extremely bored for most of the day, while waiting for everyone else to finish their work.
5. Targeted instruction- After a short length of time homeschooling, a parent learns exactly what learning style their child has, and exactly what they need to achieve success academically. If it is not readily apparent, parents can do research as well as ask for help from other parents to find out what works for their child. As a former classroom teacher of 32 students to a class, I can tell you firsthand, that while teachers try their best to accommodate everyone, we basically had to teach to the “middle”. It was difficult, if not impossible, to meet the individual needs of everyone, including the gifted student and the slow learner. At home, it is much easier for the child to get exactly what he needs, emotionally and academically.
6. Good nutrition and unlimited recess breaks- I asked my own family why homeschooling was a good choice. The first answer my, then 12-year-old, gave me was, “Lunch with the family!” and “Recess anytime of day!” Both are true. A good nutritious meal together, in a relaxed atmosphere is good in all ways. When I was teaching in the classroom, almost all of my students qualified for the federal free lunch program. It seemed every other day or so the entrée would be some kind of breaded nugget, “Mystery Nuggets” as the teachers would call them, something which the district probably thought would look appealing to youngsters as it looked much like the well-known fast food nugget. As a teacher, you could purchase a child’s lunch which is what I did on rare, desperate occasions. If you didn’t read the menu, bought your nugget lunch, and took a bite, it was very difficult to tell the difference between the beef, chicken, pork or fish nugget, that’s how processed it was, and hence the name, “mystery nugget”! Good news alert! Mystery Nuggets are not part of the homeshoolers menu! It is also wonderful, as my 12-year-old would agree, to escape to our playground, aka backyard, several times a day between subjects!
I hope these were helpful. I would love to hear more reasons, as I know there are a gazillion more!
Have a blessed day.
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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is part of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs. Every day’s blog entry coincides with a day from that special year. It can be read from the beginning by selecting the “Ring the School Bell 180” category on the side bar. Commence with the narrative, “The School Bell- What comes to mind when ‘you’ hear that bell?”
Start here to get the story from the very beginning:
Follow along with us day-by-day through the school year. Hope you will join us!
May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine. Annette