Skip to main content

Why I Love Homeschooling

I've been away from home for nearly a week now. It's still in the "fun" stage, where I am revelling in my lack of responsibility for anyone other than myself and enjoying the eating and shopping opportunities that come from living in a thriving inner-city suburb. I see the family back home most days via the technological wonder of FaceTime. And I go off to work every day, with over 200 other teachers, to mark the NAPLAN writing tasks.

Teachers are funny creatures (no offence to any teachers out there, I still claim to be one myself). They kind of look "teachery" (yes, I am aware I am making up new words). Most of the teachers are retired and are doing the marking to go on a holiday. There are a few casual teachers who are after a solid few weeks work. And there's me. The ex-science/maths teacher who now homeschools her children. Cue crickets.

As a consequence, I've spent a large amount of my time during morning teas and lunchtimes explaining the why's and how's of home education to a bunch of people who are very much entrenched in the "system". It's been a bit tedious, but it clarifies things for me. I LOVE homeschooling. I love it for a lot of reasons:

  • I am responsible for my children's education. I decide what, when and how we will do things (with the kid's input, which is even cooler). Sure, I have to match that up with state curriculum, and sure, I do things that if I truly had my way, I wouldn't bother with, but by and large, I decide. 
  • Real life learning! So much comes up in everyday life and we can discuss it. Add in wide reading and we already have a fabulous education, before you even get to worksheets, textbooks or curriculum materials.
  • Opportunity to discuss things as they come up. You can't do that with 30 kids in your class, but with one or two - oh, the conversations we can have!!
  • Correction, explanation, encouragement can occur when the kids need it most - as we go. They don't have to sit with their hand up, waiting for the teacher to notice them (well, not very often!). We do our work together and the feedback is instantaneous, constructive and done with love, not red pen.
  • Truly individualised curriculum. Important for all kids, but especially for gifted kids. Compaction, grade-skipping, subject acceleration, telescoping, mentoring, extension, enrichment, early admission to tertiary studies and concurrent enrolment are all very easy to achieve, and I don't have negotiate any of it with anyone.
  • Learning way cool stuff (like grammar!) - literature studies, quantum mechanics, Fibonacci numbers, computer programming - so much stuff to learn, so little time!
  • Few behaviour issues. There are no "naughty" kids in our class and I don't spend most of my day doing behaviour management (well, not all of it, anyway!). Instead we can concentrate on learning and living.
  • Better family relationships. I get to spend time with my kids. We honestly have a good time together and enjoy each other's company. If I find myself nagging them too much, then I know we need to find a better way. 
  • Stuff I don't miss - early mornings, bells, homework, sick notes, late notes, excursion notes, ironing uniforms, Easter hat parades, parent-teacher nights, reports, and sad, tired children. We are still able to access things like swimming carnivals, academic testing and competitions, drama, music, sport, chess and debating, when and if we need to through the local community and/or homeschool groups (who'da thunk it?). 
I know not everyone can homeschool. But when you look at that (incomplete) list, I have to wonder why everyone else isn't doing it yet...

What else do you love about homeschooling? 

Comments

  1. Right?

    I've stumbled on entire blogs dedicated to venting frustration with the public school system and I want to yell "There's another way!"

    How about - No administrator telling you what to do and that you have to spend/waste months teaching to the next test? How about nearly 100% of the money you spend on school goes directly to the student and not to some idiot administrator whose entire life consists of justifying his paycheck?

    (ooh, that was a bit bitter, that last one. sorry.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was trying not to sound too bitter, but I'm with you Deb! Especially as I save the state thousands in educating my children but get no $$ in return!

      Delete
  2. Flexibilty: snuggle time while reading books, being outdoors ALL day if we feel like it, wearing pjs all day if we feel like it, and yes, those impromptu conversations.

    Learning from: youtube, cooking, digging in the dirt, the library, farmer's market, community theater, and GOOD books, not text books.

    Connections: being able to dig deep into learning about papermaking, Japanese culture, and geometry, all because of an interest in origami.

    Just some random thoughts about what I love about homeschooling, not quite as succinct as your list :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes and yes! I have been raving on about those things at work as well :-)

      Delete
  3. Ingi

    Agree with all of the above, and most of all, they get to be true to themselves, no conforming, discovering who they are without the herd mentality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes! A biggie! Especially as we head into those teenage years :-)

      Delete
  4. I love the image of you writing this post surrounded by hundreds of school teachers - like that clip of the zen master meditating on a busy NYC avenue.

    This I need to write and stick to Lu's forehead (so I always see it) -
    "If I find myself nagging them too much, then I know we need to find a better way."

    By recently understanding this, I feel like I've reached a whole new level - but I still need reminding.

    And ditto on all the others. And I'll add - learning together - because I too really am learning so much cool stuff I either forgot or never learned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have an excellent image of myself as I go to work now :-) But there are some lovely people there too, who totally get why I do what I do!

      Delete
  5. And I need to add another one - staying at home more often means less germs! I am miles and weeks from home, and have picked up some lergy from one of the many coughing, snuffling teachers in the big room in which I work. I feel like I've been run over by a truck! The last time I felt like this was on the cruise - stay away from handrails and shared toilets!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we never get sick :). I hear all my mom friends who send their kids to school constantly posting on Facebook when their kids are sick. It amazes me how often it is.

      I don't know that I have much more to add to the already great replies but my favorite part of homeschooling has to be the relationship we have as a family. We really are in sync with one anothers needs.

      Delete
  6. I nodded so much while reading your post that my neck is hurting! Homeschooling rocks, it really does. There is so much that doesn't work with our current school system, I can't understand why the vast majority of people stick with it. It's mind boggling really.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love homeschooling for all of the above reasons. I feel that my child has been entrusted to me and that no one will love my child the way I do. My daughter can learn in such a safe environment at home. There are so many negative things going on in schools such as bullying, cliques, rude teachers, etc. My daughter went to public school for Kindergarten and the school was trying to take over our lives: Monday, PTA meeting...Tuesday, field trip...Wednesday, school play...Thursday, class party...Friday, picture day. I can't believe I was taking my just turned 5 year old daughter to school in the dark two years ago...I love homeschooling. No one can teach my child the way I can.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Bloggers LOVE comments! We are pretty needy that way, so go on, leave some love :-)

Popular posts from this blog

I see...

We've had a couple of interesting weeks here. Video Boy has inherited his mother's shocking vision - he has myopia (commonly known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness). It occurs when the eyes focus light in front of the retina, leading to unfocussed vision.


Close up is usually OK, but distance vision is pretty fuzzy:


For me, even the couple would have been blurry! I was "medically blind" which meant I got my optometrist fees covered by Medicare (yay!).

So, Video Boy has had glasses for a couple of years now - he has broken one pair and then lost the replacement pair (grrr) and so for a couple of months, his world has looked like the picture on the right...and he was squinting to watch TV, read signs, pretty much all the time.
So, we went off to the optometrist last week to get us some new glasses!
The optometrist is up on all the latest research - with Wombat Girl, we bought a software program with special "lenses" and she had to do a practice session…

Creating order from chaos...

We have been diving headlong into an amazing rabbit trail of maths, and science and art and if I don't share with you some of these thoughts and experiences and links they will be lost forever like much of the mists swirling through my brain!


And there is SOOO much good stuff whirring through my brain that I don't know where to logically start and how to group it all so it might make some sense, so instead, I think I will just let you follow our story - our rabbit trail that led to so much good stuff...and maybe, you will like some of it too!

After viewing Vi Hart's diatribe on parabolas, the kids were keen to actually graph some parabolas. But before we actually got to that, Hubby wanted see the video, so we watched it again, and that led us to reviewing the ones on spirals and fibonacci:



As we were watching, Video Boy grabbed the graph paper (because you always have spare graph paper lying around, don't you?) and started experimenting with the fibonacci spirals shown…

52 Ancestors - So Far Away

This week's #52ancestorsin52weeks is Father's Day - but of course, it's not Father's Day in Australia, so I'm going to do the theme we had a couple of weeks ago when I was away - So Far Away.

When you first start doing your family tree, it's exciting to see how "far back" you can go with your branches. Until last weekend, the furthest back on my direct line was Benjamin Broome, my 9th great-grandfather born in 1646 in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England (grandfather of John Broom in my carpet story), which I thought was a long way back!

Last weekend, I was searching back to see if I could see a link between the Freemans on my Dad's side and the Freemans on my Mum's side (spoiler alert - not yet). Anyway, I was having a search on Joseph Freeman (my 5th great-grandfather born in Gloucestershire, England in 1765) and his wife - Sarah Arkell (my 5th great-grandmother also from Gloucestershire, England, born in 1767). Well, I had her father John…