In light of recent events, we’re taking a closer look at how homeschooling families operate. If homeschooling is a path you’re interested in taking with your children, temporarily or long-term, we hope this may give you a little insight. We’ve collected responses from several families who’ve explained their reasons for homeschooling and what that looks like under their roof.
Note: We are not claiming every family should homeschool; we simply want to equip and educate those families interested in learning more about the homeschooling process.
If you are new to the whole concept, as I am, perhaps these seasoned homeschoolers can encourage you as they did me. I’ve gathered that the goal is simply to keep kids engaged and learning, and there are many ways to do that. It can be less formal, more relaxed and adjusted to your family’s needs.
A Day in the Life of a Homeschooling Parent
Lisa: Nurturing individual strengths.
Lisa, a work-at-home mother of eight children with a teaching background loves what homeschooling has done for her family.
“The true benefit of homeschooling is that it doesn’t have to look like school. Our days are so much more relaxed and flexible.”
The focus is on education, but not on teaching every subject the standard school systems mandate for students in their grade level.
Lisa explains it this way:
“We let our kids’ individual strengths guide our assignments. It may look like creating an advertisement in InDesign for a book report for our oldest who is going into graphic design. Kids aren’t cookie cutters and don’t all learn the same way. At home, you have the true benefit of meeting your kids where they are and guiding them down the road of learning. You can help them gain valuable experience in their chosen field.”
A day in her homeschooling life often involves family participation in chores, scientific experiments, enjoying a cup of hot cocoa on a cold morning, and thought-provoking discussions about life, school subjects, the future, and faith.
To see a complete walkthrough of a day in Lisa’s life with her eight children, read this blog post.
Rachel: Anytime, anywhere.
Rachel has been homeschooling her son for three years using a curriculum that somewhat mimics public school and is designed for the home. She’s very happy with the results.
“I have seen our son learn new things, we have done science experiments together, we have fun, and above all, his education is thriving.”
One of their favorite benefits has been the fluidity of their schedule.
“For the most part, or day begins at 9 am and ends at about 2 pm, give or take. We can homeschool in the car, at the dining room table, on vacation, at a restaurant, almost anywhere.”
Socialization comes in several forms, including field trips Rachel’s son can take in conjunction with the local public school, as well as playing baseball in the spring.
“While homeschooling can be scary, it is really amazing. Getting to walk along with your child, learn new things, and then I get to see the lightbulb come on in their heads when they finally get it!”
Melissa: Mid-year changeup.
When Melissa discovered her children had hit a mid-year slump in January, she decided to take action and make a change.
“One of the best parts of homeschooling is being able to select a curriculum or learning program that best fits your child’s individual learning style and needs. And that means being able to change direction whenever it feels necessary.”
Identifying the struggle her children faced while reviewing existing math concepts and tackling new challenges enabled Melissa to try a new approach with hands-on methods like LEGO math mats, blocks, and retro board games.
“Most board games, from Monopoly to Chutes and Ladders, cover math topics or you can go with board games specifically designed for math learning, like Sum Swamp.”
For more homeschooling math tips and resources from Melissa, click here.
Laura: Peaceful routine.
One of Laura’s favorite parts of homeschooling her two children was the calm beginning to each day.
“We started every day by snuggling on the couch. There was no yelling at everyone to find their shoes. There was no scrambling to locate homework and lunch boxes. There was no rush. No fuss. No tears. In fact, at the risk of sounding like a homeschool hippie, we started our days in peace and love.”
Though her children are now in the public school system, Laura wouldn’t change a thing, despite not covering every subject offered in standard classrooms.
“Since my children started public school, they have all been at or above grade level in all their subjects. I guess all that extra play and snuggling didn't do too much damage. But I still don't think any of them know who Magellan was.”
You can read Laura’s full list of homeschooling highlights here.
In summary, you have to make a lot of important decisions.
We get that. That’s why we try to come alongside parents and equip them with resources, insight, and encouragement. This is the first article we’ve published discussing formal education, but we do have an array of other parenting-focused content we’d love for you to check out next:
What are your thoughts or experiences regarding homeschooling? Do you have any tips to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!
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