You asked for it, so here it is! Today I am happy kick off a new series on homeschooling with a guest post from Milehimama (a.k.a. Lisa). I’m a first gen homeschooling mom with zero experience, which is, um, intimidating to say the least. So before we get into academics let’s wiggle out our pre-homeschooling jitters with a lighthearted look at a serious topic. See, I’m talking like a kindergarten teacher already. 🙂
Homeschooling has many benefits, including spending more time with your children, learning and discovering about the world with them, and providing a solid education. In fact, it’s not hard to find hundreds of inspirational essays extolling the virtues of homeschooling.
I’ve been at this for a few years, and let me tell you, there are also some great, secret benefits of homeschooling that get taken for granted. Here are my top ten unexpected benefits of homeschooling;
1. You can sleep late, because there’s no bus to catch or lunch to pack. You make your own schedule, so you don’t have to anything before noon unless you want to. And if you decide to have family movie night but it’s a Wednesday, it’s no problem because the kids don’t have to be in bed by 8.
2. You get a nifty cyber-tan from surfing all of the homeschool mommy blogs for hours each night after the kids are in bed. You’ll look just like all the young, cool kids and no one will know your eerie glow doesn’t come from managing your friends on Facebook or creating viral videos.
3. You can teach kids to make chocolate cupcakes and bacon, and call it Home Ec. And then someone else can make you bacon every single day. Win-win!
4. You’ll be in on all the radio jockey’s inside jokes because you spend hours listening as you ferry your progeny from Nature Journaling to Science Co-Op to the library. If you use your cell phone for the call in shows, they’ll become old friends!
5. Your kids get plenty of fresh air as you throw them outside every afternoon for a mental health break. Since all the other kids are still in school, they’ll be forced to ride their bikes, built tree forts, or dig a hole to China instead of battling their BFF on the PS3.
6. You know more about the War of 1812 than anyone else you’ll ever come in contact with. Impress at dinner parties with your knowledge of where lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner came from, and then look really smart as you seamlessly segue into an analogy featuring the classical personality Icarus and his ill-fated wings.
7. You know thirteen different ways to fix or jerry rig a printer. And you’ve taught the kids, so they already have a marketable job skill.
8. You get to go to the amusement park when there are no lines. And hanging out at the children’s museum all morning drinking a latte while you explore with your five year old? Totally counts as school. It sure beats waiting in the pick-up lane at the local elementary.
9. You learn how to handle humiliation and embarrassment with enviable grace and poise, because practice makes perfect. Next time your goofy third grader tells his grandmother -a professional, licensed teacher- that he doesn’t know how to spell his name because he thinks it’s funny, just imagine how much more gracious and like Jackie O you’re becoming!
10. More time for Twitter! Homeschooling often means you have to be physically present but not really mentally engaged, as you wait for the kids to finish a worksheet, silently read a chapter before a quiz, or practice their multiplication tables. This is the perfect time to catch up on the latest social media fail and find out what all your friends are having for lunch.
Is something missing? Name your fave homeschooling benefit below!!
About Milehimama: Lisa is the disorganized, discombobulated mother of nine children in Houston, desperately trying to get her act together before they all graduate high school. You can catch up on her latest frugal tips, real food recipes, and big family adventures on her website, Mama Says.
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Thanks, Milehimama! I’m looking forward to #8 and #10, but #9? Not so much. 😉
I am homeschooling my 5 year old this year for kindergarten! I guess the biggest surprise for me was how much I would enjoy it and how much my daughter has enjoyed it…especially considering she was a little sad at the beginning of the year when all her friends started school.
You can also stay in your pajamas a lot!;)
I am so glad to hear that, Lauren. Katie lights up every time she sees a school bus. She loves adventure and thinks school would be really fun . . . I doubt she’d find the reality very exciting, though.
Hahaha! I was homeschooled and that pretty much sounds like our life! My mom’s favorites when we were younger was that EVERYTHING is school if they have to write a report on it, and the best economics class is sending your kids into the grocery store to see who can get the list cheapest 😉 totally counts.
I LOVE it!!! Math quiz + grocery shopping service = happy mama!!
These are all wonderful benefits! Even better is the fact that homeschooling gives your child more self-confidence because they are nurtured and supported. They will grow to have their own voice and be less influenced by their peers and more influenced by their family. It is one of the best decisions we have ever made.
hey hey! I didn’t know you were a homeschooling mama! I’d like to add you to my list of consultants if you don’t mind.
Julie Witkowski via Facebook
I love 5 and 9. HA! So true!!
[email protected] Mommy Brain...
Maybe this list will help sell my husband on the idea of homeschooling… Too funny!
Three of my siblings homeschooled until high school. I remember listening to them talk about the teepee they built and the log cabin they built and the mud hut they built…
They did a lot of building with their co-op group 🙂
I thought it sounded awesome. Not being a particularly social kid, I always dreamed of home school as I crawled out of bed at 6am to get ready to be dropped off early so mom could get to work!
I also thought it was cool that they could take piano lessons and ballet lessons and anything they wanted – during the day – and have no homework at night.
Wow what a life for a kid!
I keep trying to talk my future husband into this – but he was such a social kid he probably won’t go for it – he’s all about private school! Can you imagine! hee hee
We plan to form a homeschooling co-op to make sure our kids get lots of social time as well. Maybe you could sell him on that 😉
You can tell your husband that while your friends’ kids are at school with the SAME 30 kids their own age each day, your kids will be making friends with everyone at the grocery store, the library, post office, the park, even the UPS guy. Homeschooled kids are notorious for being super at talking to adults and kids of all ages! We laugh when people ask how our kids are going to be socialized, meanwhile our kids have still not met a stranger. 🙂 We have two in particular that are real social bugs, and they haven’t seemed to suffer. I love homeschooling. 🙂
This blog has been so inspiring for me! I do not homeschool yet, but I am really excited about all of the options and coop’s, too! my mother-in-law thinks I’m crazy!
My first years of homeschooling I learned more about myself and how much I needed to grow as a mother. Then the best part was getting to know my kids so much more. I learned how their brain learned best and what subjects grabbed their attention. Watching them learn so much and getting to know them in that capacity was awesome.
Love this, Julie! A book I’m reading right now, “Grace Based Parenting,” focuses a lot on developing our children’s assets and helping them strengthen their weaknesses. Homeschooling is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our kids so that we can do this more effectively.
what home school curriculum are you using?
Don’t forget that you now count as a school, so you qualify for educational discounts and can get into places that maybe you couldn’t before. (We got a tour of our local Cinemark’s projection booth, because my husband called and told them we were homeschoolers. (I’m pretty sure it would have been harder to convince them to give us the tour if we’d just said, “our kids are curious….)
You can see pics on our FB page if you want to: http://www.facebook.com/aacademyhomeschool
(We’re really bad about updating the blog, but getting slightly better about putting stuff on FB.) : )
I hadn’t thought of DISCOUNTS!!! Thanks, Carole! P.S. I couldn’t get your fb page to load 🙁
Barnes and Noble is great about teacher discounts and very laid back about it. Love them! And you can get a teacher card for Office Depot- save on copies, printers, and the savings are especially good when they run their loss leaders for Back to School.
A book you might enjoy: The Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Bauer and Wise. This is one of the best reads on homeschooling I’ve come across. Very awesome introduction and approach. A little heavy on literacy, at the expense the other aspects of your little human beings – could be more balanced there – but for what it does it’s awesome!
Thanks for the recommendation, Elisabeth. I’ll check it out!
I went to private school all the way up to 10th grade. I made the decision to homeschool and do it by video and correspondence. I LOVED the freedom that it gave me to go at my own pace (I graduated early) and I was totally without the “drama” of highschool. I not only had super close friends at church, but I was able to be way more involved with it as well. I absolutely loved the private school I attended during elementery, but I am so grateful that my parents let me run with my desires in highschool. =)
Ugh. What if one of my kids doesn’t want to be homeschooled in high school? I hadn’t thought of it until I read your comment. Hopefully I will be as brave as your parents!
Misty aka Elvisgirl
My kids will tell you now that they LOVE being homeschooled, but my daughter did go through a short time that she thought she couldn’t be anybody/anything being homeschooled (I think it was due to the negativity of a couple of in-laws… but anyway). So, I took that opportunity to share with them all the famous people who were homeschooled… in the past and present. Wow! They were amazed and excited at the possibilities. I also took them time to explain to them some of the many reasons that we chose to homeschool them. They love knowing why. We also studied how schooling was in the past and how public schools came about. We also took some time to name our homeschool, pick a school song, and bible verse. They really love having a school name, so that if someone asks them where they go to school, they don’t have to say “home”, they can tell them our school name. Funny thing, though, since we named our school, they haven’t used the name as far as I know. After all that, they are totally proud to be home educated.
Yes, the discounts are great! My oldest is a high school junior and taking dual credit college classes with Dallas County. He’ll graduate high school with 45+ college hours and best part is — all those college hours are FREE!! Also, just got his free voucher to take the SAT in the mail today. I love being able to still feel like I’ve got a “real” job with all the coordinating of activities I do with home school groups. Gives me an outlet for my need to organize! I just held a spelling bee and our winner almost won county & would have gone to state. No limit to what home school kids can do. Already planning field trips for groups next year. I called no school day when it snowed in early January because teacher wanted a play day. And, then… the bad side is teacher can also hold school when other kids have no school. Home ec possibilities are so nice (“Kids make dinner & learn math by measuring”), vacation anytime (“Now kids, what can we learn on this field trip?”), and any day can be “wear your pajamas to school” day. LOVE IT!
This was such an INSPIRING comment! I would LOVE for my kids to excel like your son. SO AWESOME and something to shoot for!
loved this post! Chad and I were both homeschooled and had completely different experiences! What crazy, fun, and interesting memories we often recall and share with each other.
So loved this post. Those are some great things – plus … if your kiddo is struggling with a concept you can take as much time as necessary to help them get it. Also, if they are musical – they can take lessons and practice during the day. You can also enjoy beautiful weather by doing school outside.
This is my second year homeschooling, and I love it unless my 11 year old has an attitude, or I have an attitude. Co-ops are a great way to socialize. We belong to one in NRH, but will be changing to one in Southlake this next Fall. We need something a bit more academic.
I am glad to see you are doing a homeschool section – that is on my blog list – eventually.
Excellent points, Amy! Math is not my thing and it was always so frustrating to me when the class moved on while I was still grappling with a concept. I def see that as a downside of classroom education.
Oh, and I would love for my kids to try an instrument. Unless it’s the trombone. Or the drums. 🙂
It’s too bad your not finding the NRH co-op challenging enough. I’m in NRH and would love to connect but I am def on the scholastic side.
My son plays the drums and the guitar, but my husband is a drummer at Gateway, so it runs in the family.
I have heard that Dominion Equippers, which I believe is off of 183 close to Denton Highway, is a good one and I am considering that one, but I am also looking into Classical Conversations – their Southlake group. I have heard excellent things about them.
I’m curious, do you know how old the youngest kids that meet are?
Melissa @ Dyno-mom
I LOVE homeschool highschool! Now we make the rules! I hated JD Salinger so we don’t read it! My kiddo likes “Crusade in Europe” so it’s in. We read what he wants, what I have been meaning to, what seems good. It’s a good gig.
That’s awesome, Melissa! I’ve been collecting my favorite books for my kids’ library since before they were born . . . everything from ‘Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs” to “The Great Divorce.” I never really thought about the fact that we can skip the junk!
I will be homeschooling our children, and while my only one is only 7 months old right now I am already thinking about it…..what are some good websites or ways to find co-ops in my area and other families that homeschool?
Heather I live in the Dallas area. I’d love to get in on a homeschool coop!!
You mentioned many perks that I love, sleeping in being one of my faves. But one not mentioned as it relates to my family is the freedom to travel whenever we want to and not having to worry about the kids missing school. It’s one of the reasons that we decided to HS in the first place. It’s a wonderful life being home with the kids!
Another very important benefit:
You won’t have to listen to school’s arguments about medicating your child because his personality/behavior and style of learning is inconvenient to them.
This isn’t the list I thought it was going to be, but it was too funny! It’s good for us serious home schoolers to lighten up a bit!
I’m going to be a little out of place on your blog (being a daddy and all), but I’m loving this site. I’ve already been talking to my wife about homeschooling. Hopefully this will help ease her into it.
We still have a few years to go. Since our daughter isn’t even 2 yet. I’m glad I found this place now though.
Thanks for all the insight.
Welcome, Al! Glad to see a dad around here! (P.S. My husband designs a lot of the homeschool curriculum around here – he’s awesome!)
Thank you so much for this article! I have been contemplating homeschooling my 2 children next year. I am so inspired by the idea of studying at my children’s own pace and being able to nurture their own interests. Even though I am a trained teacher, I previously found the idea overwhelming, but reading this list encourages me to follow through and just do it! Thank you. I am sure that I will be a faithful reader of your blog on my journey!
I like your perspective, your attitude and your honesty. You remind me of me. Everyone likes to say that they homeschool so they can instill proper values in their children and ensure they get a good education, and while those things are true, it’s the little things you mention above that really get me excited about homeschooling. I love the idea of not being a slave to the school day/week. I love the idea of being able to go to museums and amusement parks when they are less crowded. And above all else, I love staying up late and sleeping in!! 🙂
Great blog! Thanks for sharing such wonderful blog, these are really unexpected benefits of homeschooling. Heather thank you so much for sharing a blog. It was amazing to read it.
I adore this list! No lines is always a winner! And cheap off-season vacations! I’m becoming a math pro, finally! 🙂 Thanks for this. It really made me giggle!