Before I became a parent I thought I would never homeschool my children. I didn’t think I had the patience. Some homeschooled kids I knew struggled to navigate social situations as adults. Below are 10 reasons to homeschool outside of the stereotypes.
Homeschool schedule flexibility
People ask me all the time how I have time to homeschool as a working mom. I often wonder the opposite, how I would have time to adhere to the standard public school schedule. I work consecutive 12 hour graveyard shifts. In addition, my girls have a rigorous extracurricular schedule. I have an ADHD husband, whose medication is mostly worn off in the evenings. When I work, he must manage evenings with the kiddos. Adding extra responsibilities to his plate beyond basic dinner and bedtime routines after a late evening practice would be overwhelming.
One of the reasons to homeschool is the ability to structure our day in a way that works for us. I have no desire to try to worry about school homework deadlines, permission slips, and volunteer demands on a schedule that contradicts our natural rhythm.
Health and Sleep
I am not a morning person! Even if I didn’t work graveyards, I am not sure if I would ever be a great morning person. My girls are not naturally early risers either. Some of that may be due to the busy gymnastics schedule that makes an early bedtime impossible. Homeschooling allows us to follow a schedule that doesn’t go against our natural rhythm. We have the ability to wake up at a time that allows adequate rest after our typical later evening activities. If any of us is starting to feel a little under the weather, we have the flexibility to give our bodies extra sleep to recover quickly.
Homeschooling gives us the extra time we need to practice other self care strategies. We don’t need to get up hours early to have the time to implement all of our tools. Read about some of the tools we use to get the day started right here. It is easier to eat an ADHD friendly breakfast with adequate time. However, if mornings are rushed, check out some hacks to squeeze in healthy eating here.
Our typical mornings allow some time to get in physical activity to improve focus, before attempting to start schoolwork. Homeschooling gives us the freedom to use our essential oils as needed without fear of bothering others. Read about our use of essential oils for emotional regulation here.
Off Peak Vacations
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Traditional schooling encourages vacations to be taken around school breaks. The flexibility to take vacations outside of peak times is an awesome perk of homeschooling. Off peak vacations are often cheaper, and easier to book last minute. Popular vacation spots aren’t as crowded during off peak times.
Vacations can also be an amazing and fun learning experience. Road trips are great exposure to navigation. Practical math can include ways to calculate estimated time of arrival to answer the never ending, “are we there yet?” Spotting license plates is a natural cue to review states and capitals. Younger travelers can even watch signs for the letters of the alphabet in order.
Travel is a great way to experience hands on science and geography. Nature hikes are great to discuss survival skills, and encourage all kinds of observations. Special learning opportunities could present such as exploring photography or even art. The girls have loved opportunities using my camera to learn photography basics of composition, and basic camera settings. The camera bundle offers high quality at a great price.
More leisurely field trips
Field trips are a great opportunity to experience learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Unfortunately, most of the field trips I experienced with public school were rushed or crowded. Museums, nature trails, and many other field trip opportunities are much less crowded during regular school hours. This can facilitate a better learning environment.
Life skills practice
How many people enter adulthood not fully prepared for basic life skills? Most kids spend the majority of their day in a classroom. Additional time is filled with sports or other extracurricular activities, which have many benefits. However, that amount of time spent away from home often leaves young adults unprepared for many basic life skills.
Completing school at home offers more exposure to daily home maintenance, cleaning, cooking and laundry. Cooking is a great way to incorporate basic math and reading comprehension in the early years. Discussions about nutrition and healthy food choices are natural with involvement in meal prep. Check back soon for my post on some of the small changes and substitutions we use in our home to cater to both ADHD and diabetic friendly diets.
School in our family is often on the go. We have done lessons at the car dealership, with side conversations about proper car maintenance, and budgeting. We may take school to the coffee shop or inexpensive restaurant to practice ordering, and discuss how to tip for service. On a nice day, school may happen at the park, which can include a little physics, or nature observation.
Learning with ADHD
Learning at home allows the girls to be active when needed to help with focus. We have time to incorporate some form of exercise in the morning before starting lessons. Read about how exercise, specifically crossing the midline, benefits focus here. When focus becomes difficult, it is easy to take a short active break to refocus. Check out my post on gymnastics for ADHD here.
Completing school at home allows use of many sensory tools while learning. My girls often sit on a yoga ball to engage their core and help focus by small frequent movement. Music or essential oils help focus without bothering others. We choose an oil for this diffuser pretty much every day.
Homeschooling allows me to choose curriculum that works with my girls learning styles. We love the spiral method, used in Abeka curriculum. It introduces subjects slowly, and circles around with more in depth each time. This is great if a particular concept is frustrating or boring. It also naturally creates continuous review to allow better retention.
Quality time together
I am a working mom, and my girls have a busy extracurricular schedule. I never thought I would have the patience to homeschool. However, being able to learn on our own schedule removes some of the stress. We are able to enjoy more of the curiosity led learning.
Homeschooling allows learning to be more efficient. We can complete work at an individual pace, often in fewer hours than traditional school. This allows more quality time, that would not otherwise be available.
Guided social navigation
With homeschooling, kids are present during a variety of life activities. There is opportunity to observe and talk through all kinds of social situations. There can be natural discussion from people watching at the grocery store, or many other environments. Opportunity presents for parents to offer better options when things didn’t go smoothly.
Contrary to popular opinion of homeschooled children, my girls are very independent. As a working mom, I need to maximize my productive time. My girls often do much of their work independently. There is time for them to become more independent for things like cooking or laundry.
I don’t have to try to figure out common core math! Although common core works well for some kids, I have heard many frustrated parents complain. Another huge bonus jumps out at me every time I drive past the congestion at school drop off or pick up.
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The content in this post is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is merely opinion based on personal research and experience.