Advantages of Homeschooling
There are so many advantages to homeschooling.
I’ve seen both sides.
Having worked in Education for ten years before having our first child I knew that I wanted to home educate.
I’m not going to claim that homeschooling is perfect because it doesn’t need to be.
But, it works for us and here’s why:
1. Time together
The idea of spending everyday together could be perceived as a negative but we’re used to spending time together and we like it.
2. Sibling relationships
Our boys play happily together all day long and they never argue.
I wish! They are almost 5 and 3 so of course they do.
However, I think it’s great that we have so much time to practice getting it right.
3. One-to-one time
We have lots of opportunities for one-to-one time too.
While one is playing Lego I can be sewing something with the other…or while one is playing a game on his tablet I can be reading with the other.
4. Calmer household
I say this with a pinch of salt because to a fly on the wall, our house would probably not appear calm.
However, I could not even contemplate getting us all out of the door in time for school.
It’s not that we couldn’t do it if we had to…we can and have but I love waking up without a mad rush to get out of the door.
5. Rest days
I know from working in Education for too long that absences are frowned upon.
Truth is, kids get sick.
They also get run-down, tired and fed-up.
When that happens, we can have a chill day.
6. Build real relationships
I love that I’m a part of what my kids are doing.
Not in some mega controlling, “living -through-my-kids” kind of way but I get to really see them.
They’ve been able to learn to trust other adults with me there beside them until they feel safe.
7. Share moments together
Spending all this time together means that we also get to create a lot of memories and share special moments together.
As brothers too, they share a lot together.
I think if they were in school they would run off in opposite directions to different classes and rarely get a chance to play together.
8. Avoid negative situations
Many homeschoolers have been accused of over-protecting their children and hiding them from real-life.
To me, home education mirrors real-life. We interact with various people several days a week.
What I witnessed as a teacher isn’t ‘real’.
As an adult, I wouldn’t keep returning to a language class where I was yelled at or belittled.
As an adult I wouldn’t be motivated by my tutor telling me how great everyone else is.
Why do we expect kids too?
9. Kids learn respect not fear
Children learn respect by being respected.
I remember on my first teaching practice being introduced to the class by the teacher (and headmaster). They were so so quiet and obedient…I thought it would be an easy 6 weeks!
However, the second he turned his back to write something on the board or get something from his office they started whispering expletives, pulling faces and throwing pencils.
Conforming because you’re scared isn’t the same as having respect for someone.
10. They are safe.
I think it’s easy to assume that bullying is just part of growing up.
But, I don’t think our kids need to “toughen up”.
If you look at any stats you’ll see that anxiety in children and young people is rising and it’s not surprising.
11. Learn organically
We choose to unschool which basically means that I facilitate my children’s learning.
Learning doesn’t have to be formal, sitting-at-a-table stuff.
We draw letters at the beach, balance rocks on logs and look for colours in the woods.
We find some inspiration and go with it.
12. Discover passions and interests.
I’ve heard it said that we need to “prepare children for 9-to-5 working life”.
We can teach our kids to work hard without insisting that they follow a social norm.
I speak to so many 30-somethings who say that they “don’t know who they are”.
Imagine being given time to really figure out what you enjoy in life.
It took my 33 years to find my true passion. I wonder how much sooner I could have come to that conclusion had much of my education been forced.
It’s much easier to find a balance when homeschooling.
If kids have a busy weekend at clubs and training then they can take it easy the day after to recover.
14. Less washing
No school uniform to keep clean and ironed!
15. No school run
No rushing out of the house late while desperately hoping there’s a space by the gate because it’s pouring with rain.
16. No forgotten gym kits and lunch boxes
No returning 30 minutes later with forgotten items.
17. Enthusiasm for learning
One of our top reasons for homeschooling is to encourage and maintain an enthusiasm for learning.
Many teachers would expect a 5 year old to be able to read nowadays but not only is this concept pretty new, it’s also not necessary.
Research shows that later readers read aswel as earlier readers AND maintain enthusiasm better.
18. No tests
Children don’t need to take unnecessary tests or be monitored and assessed.
19. Learn at their own pace
It’s amazing to watch a child acquire new skills organically. Seeing that “ah ha” moment when they figure something out for themselves.
20. You can model kindness
If there’s one thing that we can do to ensure a better future for our kids it’s to be kind to them now.
Show them that being kind and empathetic feels good and makes other people feel good.
Practice gratitude and care for our planet. Instill positive values at a young age.
I’ve put together some free gratitude activities for kids that you can view here.
21. No homework
With increasing levels of mental health issues we need to place more importance on self care, exercise and getting fresh air…not doing home work.
22. No parents evenings
Yep that’s right!
23. No PTA meetings
As a home educating parent you can get involved in as little or as much as you like.
24. More sleep
I love that we don’t have to wake up early in the morning especially during the winter months.
25. No school uniform
Save money and let your kids e?press themselves!
26. Less room for comparison
I find that home schooling groups are much more about letting kids be kids and develop at their own speed.
We travel outside of school holidays so it’s much cheaper.
We’ve stayed at Bluestone for £100 for a midweek break. During school holidays it can cost over £1000!
28. Opportunities to develop a growth mindset
Mistakes aren’t bad…they happen when we’re learning.
Kids who are made to feel bad about getting things wrong are more likely to switch off because it’s easier to give-up than it is to fail.
Feel free to download my free growth mindset activity booklet for kids here.
29. Enjoy sunny weather
You know how it’s always glorious weather for weeks and then on the first day of the school holidays the rain clouds appear!
A big advantage of home schooling is that you can choose what you do on any particular day.
On sunny days meet friends on the beach…it’s usually quieter too!
30. Rainy days
Rainy days we spend splashing in puddles, playing lego and snuggling on the sofa.
Soft play centres are often cheaper on school days too.
31. Snow days
When we see the first snow flake fall we’re polishing the sledge rather than checking school closure updates!
32. Encourage kids to be intrinsically motivated and self-starting
Rewards for attendance, certificates for being kind, stickers for completing a task may motivate children in the short term.
However, long term they are more likely to have the opposite effect.
At home we’re able to use words of encouragement that are more specific than “good boy”.
33. Values and morals
Homeschooling for us seemed like a logical step in our parenting journey.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to teach the aspects that you think are important in life…and for those in your child’s life to do the same.
Our boys learn all about gardening from their Granny and with my husband and I they spend time outdoors caring for our local environment.
34. More time outdoors
Time outdoors isn’t limited to weekends and Summer evenings.
Some days we’ll be outdoors all day, sometimes we’ll even pitch a tent and sleep outdoors too.
35. More energy for clubs
I keep reading about exhausted kids with too many club commitments but we love our clubs because we are fortunate enough to have the time and energy to be there.
36. Role models
Another advantage of homeschooling is that children have more opportunities to mix with many different people.
Rather than being with the sane 28 kids every single day they go to various groups and clubs which are often intergenerational.
37. Freedom to learn
Children want to learn.
However, they may not want to learn what or how we think they should be learning.
“Unfortunately there isn’t a short cut from believing learning looks like school to knowing that learning from playing, exploring and living is better. It needs experienced.” Joyce Fetteroll.
38. Free to travel
Freedom to travel is another of the big reasons to home school.
We’ve actually decided against flying right now but are still keen to be free to have adventures when we choose.
39. Discounts at attractions.
Lots of attractions will offer discount memberships to home educators.
40. Set kids up as lifelong learners
Home educated children who lead their own learning know how to learn.
We have a general plan but most importantly our days are flexible.
42. Time to learn general skills.
With children at home more it’s much easier for them to be a part of day-to-day household stuff.
They help me to prepare meals and plant in the garden. We shop together and go to the post office.
All useful stuff that I was pretty clueless about until I was basically an adult.
43. Adult to child ratio
Schools talk of ‘child led learning’ but the reality is that a class of 28 children are never going to be able to lead.
We can truly investigate the topics that our children are enthused by.
We attend smaller home education groups where the attendees can choose the activities that they get involved in.
44. Children only time
I really believe that kids need lots of time with kids…without adults getting too involved.
My view is that we’ve modeled and supported our 4 year old as he’s dealt with a variety of situations and now he’s perfectly competent to so himself.
We trust him and he always knows we’re close by if he wants to find us.
I love watching him play confidently with 2 year olds, 9 year olds and adults at various groups.
45. No forced friendships
Home schooled kids can pick their friends.
They don’t have to sit next to someone or play with the same group every single playtime.
46. No them and us
Our boys have never experienced an adult at school putting them down or punishing them.
They communicate very confidently with adults and I’m sure it’s because they’ve never been given a reason to believe that they ‘should’ be a little bit afraid.
47. Learn to listen to their own emotions…recognise and respond
Lunchtime noise, crowded queuing, busy playtimes and extended periods of time sat down are all considered a pretty normal part of school life.
Something I found difficult as a teacher was seeing children struggle in what can be a pretty stressful environment.
A child who is being teased every playtime has few options.
A child who wants some quiet time won’t find it easily.
We spend a lot of time teaching our children to recognize their emotions only to have them ignore them later on.
48. Understand their own character
Our society expects all children to be extroverts. However, not wanting to be surrounded by people all day everyday is pretty normal.
One of the advantages of home schooling is that you can choose.
49. Peer pressure
“Don’t you want your child to fit in?”
As teenagers we spend our life trying to fit in with everyone else only to be set free in our 20’s as we embark on a journey of self discovery.
50. It’s fun
I learn so much while home educating my boys. We learn together.
It’s really taught me to love learning again!
51. Listen to your body
You can eat when you’re hungry and go to the toilet when you need to!
We are meeting so many amazing like-minded friends together.
We play together, learn together and support each other.
As a parent I really value being able to choose how we educate our children.
We’ve found so many advantages of homeschooling, I’ve tried to list as many as possible here.
There are some negatives too but it’s about choosing what’s best for your family.
Have you found any other advantages of homeschooling?
Imagine we never forgot who we were.