Homeschooling my kids has been my greatest pain in the rear, but on the same hand it’s been my greatest joy too. If I had my choice, I would still send my kids to public school and let them have the chance to have to work out social issues with other kids and teachers. However, our local schools are not big on providing quality safe learning environments. As such, we continue to homeschool our kids. I am very thankful for the fact that we have Connections Academy, an online public school, as an option to teach our kids. We are regulated by the public school system, but we are still given the freedom to teach our kids as we see fit.
Teach Our Kids Using Their Learning Style
Every person has their own way of learning things. I can hand Jimmy a textbook and tell him to read the material and USUALLY he can grasp it all instantly. Yet with Delbert, I can give him the same textbook and he’ll come back more confused than he was when he started. Zeva seems to love to learn with a combination of the two methods. I’m a visual learner. If you show me how to do something then chances are high I can pick up and run with it. (Although, it may take several times for me to fully grasp it. However, until I’m confident I can teach it to someone else then I don’t feel like I’ve learned the material.) As a result, we use many different methods for teaching all of our kids their lessons. We have online resources for every subject, we have textbooks and workbooks, and we also do hands on learning.
Lessons Become a Part of Life
I try to ensure they physically see how the lessons they are learning today will help them in their lives. I am not a huge fan of using calculators or even drawing pictures to do math problems. I have taught my kids to use mental math everywhere they go.
That is one skill I’ve always admired within my Dad. He can walk into a store and calculate the amount of money we’re going to save by buying items on sale versus somewhere else instantly. As a result of his quick math skills, it helps him be a superb salesmen because he can show his customers the money they are going to save themselves. My kids got to see that in action while we were on our trip in Myrtle Beach.
Jimmy is always pointing out little Science facts that he remembers from his lessons. I love that he does that because it means that he’s seeing how it all works all around him.
Delbert and Zeva play reading signs we pass. Which means, they are learning how to read. They count things too that they see. It just warms my heart to see them do these small things, but to them are big things.
Learning on the Home Front
They also get to learn how to keep a home maintained. They learn the value of doing chores around the house and how it impacts the entire home front.
They also learn how to do many aspects of our home businesses. They have learned how to do online marketing. They know how to run and operate a fork lift and tractors. As a result, they have the ability to find out what their interests are in the safety of our homes.
Flexibility with Our Schedules
Although the other two are important, I do feel that this advantage is really the best part of homeschooling our kids. We have the advantage of teaching around our busy work schedules. Yet we still get to have our kids with us all day long. We don’t have to miss out on their little moments in life because someone else is teaching them. We don’t have to feel like someone is raising our kids because they see them more than we do. Plus we don’t have to worry about outside influences on them.
We can plan a mini vacation in the middle of the week because we did our school work over the weekend. That alone is a money saver because things are usually cheaper during the off season and during the week. Trips to WonderWorks which is a remarkable place filled with loads of educational activities counts as part of a school day.
Plus if our kids are sick we can still do some of their favorite subjects to keep them ahead. We can also count it school time when we watch educational videos since that is the only thing we can handle doing that day as we are blowing our noses for the thousandth time that day. Yet, we’re doing it all together.
Our Family Became Closer
As I was writing this it dawned on me just how much homeschooling our kids has brought our family closer. When you’re with someone all the time you can’t help but have to work through every issue brought your way. You have to learn how to love unconditionally all the time. We have had to reshape every part of our lives in order to get everything done that has to be done in a day. In order to make that happen, we’ve had to learn the power of teamwork.
In my book, all of these advantages really do make homeschooling worth doing. I am glad that we are given the chance to go on this journey with our kids. If I’m honest, I learn a lot along the way with them that I may have missed the first time I was taught it. It becomes a fun adventure for all involved.
What have you found has become your biggest advantage to homeschooling your kids?