It’s Thanksgiving! Here are 10 reasons our kids are thankful for homeschooling,
At 7Sisters, we are so thankful to God for so many blessings in our lives, but since we are a site primarily by homeschoolers for homeschoolers, we decided to schedule a post to run on Thanksgiving that would list our kids top 10 reasons they were thankful for homeschooling.
10 Reasons Our Kids are Thankful for Homeschooling
Our kids are on the older end of things, and many of them have already graduated, so the reasons here may be a little different than those of families with little ones in the thick of the early years. Our kids have the benefit of hindsight, so when we asked them for their thoughts, we got that hindsight reflected in their answers!
So, here we go in no particular order:
Top Ten Reasons Our Kids Like Homeschooling:
1. Academics took less time. Once a concept or process was mastered, there was no need to beat it to death just because some other students in the class still didn’t understand. Homeschooling made efficient and effective use of their time, and they liked not having their time wasted. (We liked to teach our teens time management skills. We start with a time audit. Want to teach your teen to do a yearly time audit? Here a great episode on Homeschool Highschool Podcast to help.)
2. Establishing a personalized education plan meant they could study courses that excited a passion in them (cinematography and acting/directing for some of our kids; photography, equine studies, and fitness for others….and probably many more that we’re forgetting!). We were able to turn into academic credit some things that would have to be extracurricular pursuits if they went to traditional school. Life is learning, and we were able to let them learn in a vast array of settings. (Here’s a post with ideas for discovering their interests and skills.)
3. They could explore their interests. Instead of committing to a full-year of a class they might find they hated, they were able to dabble and see how something sparked their interest, and then move on if it wasn’t a great fit. They could tailor their reading to a subject area that grabbed them. They could build on topics that arose in their science or history or civics academic assignments and pursue projects that fascinated them.
4. They liked being able to work at their own pace – going faster, or slower – depending on their styles of learning. This is the other application of making efficient and effective use of their time; when something was a struggle, there was no clock ticking, creating pressure to master a skill at the same pace as others around them. It was okay to throw out one approach entirely and try another take on the problem. They were also able to observe and learn about their own learning styles (as we moms observed and learned about them), and they took that self-awareness into college and the work world as young adults. It made reaching for independence easier because they understood how they needed to approach learning new skills. (We, of course, have used 7Sisters curriculum, which is designed to adapt in levels to their interests and abilities so that they develop just the right transcript for their needs. Here’s a post explaining levels.)
5. They got to spend time with friends and their homeschool buddies. Moms could coordinate days to go someplace cool and do something fun instead of book work for that day. Co-ops meant that we learned together from books and papers and movies and discussions, but we also went on field trips together, played in bands together, did plays and had drama classes together, swam and played volleyball and hiked together. Many of their childhood friendships have moved easily into adulthood because they spent such quality time together, learning in traditional ways, and doing life together in all sorts of ways. (Here’s a post about homeschooling and community.)
6. They were able to take off-season vacations. That meant the family dollar stretched farther, the lines for attractions were shorter, and they were able to enjoy breaks at various points during the traditional school year.
7. They appreciated having a flexible schedule. Some of them were night-owls and would do their best work hours after traditional schools have packed everyone onto the buses to go home. Others were bright and fresh early in the morning, and would finish all of their work before lunchtime, freeing up the afternoon for….anything!
8. They loved the environment and the relationships among their peers (without some of the distractions of a school setting). Sometimes it does help to have a village involved in raising your child…as long as you have lots of input on who lives in that village! By like-minded families banding together to homeschool in community, our kids were able to grow up in an environment that had safe, godly boundaries. There was an authority structure that quietly purred in the background, reassuring sometimes impulsive young people that their actions DO matter and they must THINK before they act. None of our kids were afraid they might get beat up in the bathroom at co-op. They take that as a positive!
Thinking about starting a co-op? Here’s a fun episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast to help:
9. They had greater opportunities to participate in homeschool & community activities, to hold part-time jobs, apply for internships, etc. since school hours are flexible. Being able to say, “Yes!” to an opportunity that meets from 12:00 – 3:00 every Wednesday was a wonderful thing. The rigidity of the traditional school day would have knocked our kids out of lots of activities they now are very grateful for having explored.
10. Last but not least, while we cringe at the stereotype….they liked being able to do school in their pajamas, being able to sleep in when there was no pressing reason to get up early, and being able to lie on their bellies on the couch while studying fractions. Those stereotypes start from some point of reality, don’t they?
Happy Thanksgiving, from the 7Sisters’ Families to yours!