The first question we are often asked or the question that people most want to ask is: why homeschool? We originally went down the formal school route so the surprise and questions over our sanity came flowing from all corners when we announced our decision to embark on our homeschool journey. For us it just wasn’t working for our family, the kids had a fairly long journey to and from school and with homework the day was longer then most people work, they were constantly exhausted. They were also fundamentally not happy and had definitely lost their spark and enjoyment when it came to school…we just thought that there had to be a better way, a better fit for our family….
Now I know that for some the traditional schooling route is the best fit but for us it was just the right time to make the move into homeschooling. According to the National Home Education Research Institute 91% of families that homeschool do so due to “a concern about the environment in other schools” but everyone has there own reasons as to why it works for them – and about 3.5% of all children attend homeschool!
Confidence and happiness! This has grown exponentially. They now have an interest in areas that before they had struggled in. They are not worried about just having a go and trying as they do not need to worry about their peers. There is always laughter and smiles and fun to be had!
Bespoke Curriculum and a great class ratio! We are able to select the curriculums that work for us and the kids. If something isn’t quite working as well as we would like then we have the flexibility to change. We are able to work at their individual pace, talk things through with them. They now have the ability to make their timetable work for them and can work around games that previously they couldn’t attend. They still get their work done but they do not have to sacrifice their outside interests.
Academics! Quite simply it works and works well. There’s a whole lot of statistics out there that shows how homeschoolers excel, for example on average homeschoolers achieve between 15 and 30% higher scores on standardized tests and this is regardless of financial means or level of education of parents. In fact, over the last 8 years it seems like homeschoolers out perform public and private school students on every metric through all grade levels through to college results. We were sceptical of this but the test results already show that our kids have improved hugely on previous scores when they attended private school. In the areas that they previously struggled on we have been able to take a hands on approach and work with them to help them be comfortable first and then excel. We have learnt an immense amount through using some great curriculum’s and yes I say we…you never do stop!
Immersive! Wow…they have loved this aspect…kids that are happy learn…and enjoy learning! This has been the ‘fun’ side, the point where we can delve into subjects. Field trips can actually reflect what they are interested in and we can make them really varied, we have local trips scheduled but also trips to Washington DC and yes if you have looked at our other posts you will not be surprised that Disney is also on our list, we had no idea that they run educational classes for homeschool groups…the opportunities have been huge.
Socialization! Okay so this is always the hot question that comes up with anyone that doesn’t homeschool but the choices of so many communities and clubs has been immense. The only issue has been finding the time to fit in all of the opportunities that there are. They are socializing in groups that they actually want to be in and are at ease in. At school there is always a concern regarding peer pressure or kids that do not treat kids in the way that you have raised yours to treat others. Does this mean they are in more of a “bubble” for longer, well yes but they are enjoying a childhood which already goes by far too quickly. It is a huge community and the presents opportunities that we hadn’t before fully appreciated.
There seems to be some major misconceptions when it comes to families that homeschool and I have to say that no, there is no odd clothing, no growing of an extra head…we as homeschoolers are actually normal, well as normal as normal is!!!
So yes the raising of the eyebrows may continue with some but for us it has been the hardest decision to make but also the best decision that we have made for them as they have truly blossomed. From a moms perspective it can absorb a lot of time but we have found great networks of moms and the opportunity to share this special time and watch them develop has been awesome. Now I’m not saying that this is an easy option, far from it as the commitment has to be there at all times and is time consuming and trying at times but these moments have definitely been outweighed by the positives. Whether they return to mainstream in the future is impossible to tell as this has taught me that you can not pre determine what is best for your kids in the future only adapt as they grow and thrive…x♥x