When you read about homeschooling you are often presented with the negative stereotypes homeschoolers must overcome and the difficulties homeschooling presents. While there are stereotypes and difficulties, there are advantages that most people never really think about. We recently discussed the top 3 misconceptions about homeschooling and now we are going to cover the top 3 unique advantages to homeshooling!
Homeschooling frees you up for adventure near and far. A trip to the post office might yield an invitation to an impromptu tour, a visit to a sick friend in the hospital might end up with a demonstration of equipment or a sneak peak at the monitoring station, even a science experiment gone very wrong might end up with a chance to explore the inside of a fire truck! If you are open to the occasional interruption in your schedule, you have an opportunity to explore how your community works. Post-lunch is often a slow time for businesses and people generally love to talk about what they do and how they do it. Sometimes these adventures are impromptu but there is no reason you cannot call and make an appointment if your child has a special interest.
If you or your spouse travel regularly for work, you may be able to travel as a family. It is a great way to expose kids to different cities and some of their notable locations. Your school is portable and history/science lessons can be adjusted or supplemented by this kind of travel.
Finally, for the truly adventurous family, homeschooling can afford you the chance to follow your dreams. There are homeschooling families who have traveled the world in a sailboat, doing school and seeing the world. At least one musical homeschool family has rented out their house, bought and refurbished a school bus and is touring the country, singing for their supper. The possibilities are endless when you have a portable school!
The flexibility of a homeschool schedule gives you a real chance to become involved in all sorts of aspects of your town or city. During election cycles kids can learn a lot working at a campaign headquarters, helping to set up rallies/events and even just talking to candidates. Some homeschoolers volunteer for various church ministries and non-profit agencies, like Angel Food, during odd hours. Kids have a chance to learn how non-profits run and how things are distributed in addition to learning compassion for those less fortunate. (Check with each organization, many have age restrictions for insurance reasons.)
If you have younger children who are not ready for volunteering in formal organizations, there are other options. Take them shopping and prepare small bags with some essentials to give to the homeless you encounter on your day-to-day errands. Bags might include a granola bar, a small box of raisins, baby wipes, a pair of socks, a small toothbrush and travel-sized toothpaste. Keep some in the car to give as needed. (Adults should do the giving.)
Be sure to check out the book “The Guide To Service Projects” which will give you 500 fun volunteer ideas to get your children involved in.
Most of all homeschooling gives you freedom. Many families opt for a four-day school-week, leaving one day free for errands, doctor appointments or just doing nothing. If your spouse works odd days or hours, there is no reason you cannot do school on Saturday and Sunday so the whole family can spend Tuesday and Thursday together. With teenagers, it’s often more effective to let them sleep in the morning and have their school day extend to the evening. You are FREE to do what works, when it works for your family.
When serious matters arise, the flexibility of homeschooling can be a lifesaver. If a spouse, grandparent or child is hospitalized or seriously ill, you’ve got a basic structure in place, but you also have the ability to let some things slide until life is back on an even keel. You can even use the emergency as a learning opportunity. Kids are resilient and will continue learning and growing even if you have to take an unexpected break.
This is definitely a short-list of advantages. The longer you homeschool, the more perks you will discover.
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