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As some of you know, we will be taking the plunge and trying out homeschooling for the next school year. We won’t be starting till summer and we will start gradually as we find our style and pace.
I’m excited and scared, but I’m trying to remind myself of what we are hoping to gain from this journey. I’m sure I’m like every other new homeschooling mom with super high hopes and big dreams, but hopefully we will be able to attain at least some of these:
1. Family Time
I’m hoping to get more time with our children while they are still young. Right now our mornings are crazy and early and then two of my kids are gone all day. Most of the time I have no idea what they are learning. I get updates from the kindergarten teacher sometimes, but only hear from the fourth grade teacher when there is a problem. I’m hoping if the kids and I are growing and learning together it will create more opportunities for togetherness.
2. More Exercise and Play
It’s becoming harder for my oldest to sit still in class. He’s an extremely active kid. They get 20 minutes of recess and P.E. one day a week. My son needs to move more than that to feel more centered and focused. We already get up so early and are all always tired, but he needs that time to burn off some energy and get his blood flowing. Being able to get out and move around more in between lessons would be amazing! Not to mention all the opportunities to learn through play.
3. Unrestricted Learning
My oldest is usually ahead, and even being placed with some of the advanced kids, he’s bored. The school just doesn’t have the resources to worry about the kids who are ahead, because they’ve got to make sure nobody gets behind(which is great and I’m not knocking that at all). Unfortunately, when my oldest gets bored and is already vibrating with the lack of exercise, he starts getting into mischief. I feel like he will do better in an environment that doesn’t restrict how far he can take a subject or when he can move onto the next step. On the flip side of this, my middle child doesn’t have to feel embarrassed if he struggles a bit with a subject or pressured to go faster than he’s able to in order to keep up with everyone else. I’m hoping this will alleviate some of the boredom and behavior issues for my oldest and help my middle child become more confidant in himself at the same time.
4. Healthier Overall
Now I know public school works out great for many, many families. Again, I’m not knocking someone else’s choice, but for us, I think there will be many more health benefits. I think physically, getting more sleep, especially during growth spurts, will be a big plus for all of us. If we aren’t all waking at the crack of dawn to rush around and be cranky with each other, I think it’ll improve our relations with one another as well. I know I’m a better mom when I get more sleep.
I know the week is a hell of a lot better when we do get sick if we aren’t still trying to send the one healthy kid to school or having to cut naps short because someone needs to be picked up from school. We will still have loads of chances to exercise our immune systems. I have no intentions of being hermits. I do look forward to not having to stress when someone is sick, but being able to focus on them recovering at their pace. And if your kid is sick when homeschooling they don’t have to stop learning.
I’ll also have more control over their diets. My oldest is extremely sensitive to having huge mood swings from artificial dyes and sugars. Even if you pack a lunch, it’s hard to avoid when there’s a birthday or another popsicle party every other week. And you don’t want to have your kid excluded. My kids already deal with enough of feeling like outsiders because we don’t watch a ton of TV and we are not religious(huge deal in the south when you’re often asked where you go to church and looked at weird when you say you don’t).
5. Hobbies and Outside Interests
We are looking forward to having more time for the kids to work on hobbies and outside interests. We’ve been lucky this year that homework has mostly been reading for 20 minutes, but in the past my oldest has had up to an hour of homework on top of a full school day. This already takes from family and play time, but leaves even less for them to pursue other interests.
What if this time allows my kids to dive into a foreign language, learn and practice a new craft, get involved in their community more on a regular basis, and more without sacrificing more sleep or more time to just be a kid?
I don’t think these benefits are something that should only be found during summer break or the occasional holiday that we aren’t all down with a cold or stomach bug.
Different things work for different families. We are all practically counting down till this school year has ended to get started on what will feel like a new life to us.
If you’ve chosen to homeschool, what benefits are you or were you hoping to gain? If you’re already homeschooling, did you get what you were hoping for? More or less? Comment below!