In Favor of Homeschooling
Homeschool for its Joys and Advantages (not just because…Covid)
Masks. Vaccines. Social distancing. Online learning. Zoom meetings. Hybrid classrooms. Students at risk of depression, anxiety, or worse, not to mention…_________. (fill in negative “issue d’jour” here)
Even families who never thought they would be homeschooling have amassed more than enough reasons to explore homeschooling as an option over the last few years. And now, due to vaccine mandates, many families find independent homeschooling to be their only option.
The good news is that homeschooling is a GREAT option. Many of us are actually lucky that Covid helped us find out just how great it is! (ok..."lucky" may be a stretch for even the most optimistic of us, but we can always find a silver lining...somewhere!)
It is hard for me to admit that during their precious, early years, I may have spent up to half my waking hours without my kiddos nearby. Many of us, myself included, had to work and thought our kids had to be in school. Then came 2020. Everything changed, and almost everyone had to be home. Parents and students endured an often painful introduction to distance learning.
We learned firsthand that school today is not quite what it had been back in those good old days. Thanks to Covid (yes, thanks Covid!) we were all home and got to see what "distance learning" was all about, what the schools actually were teaching, and how "true, independent homeschooling" is so different from that.
So, what's so great about homeschooling anyway?
Among the many wonders of homeschooling, first and foremost is the quality time that you will spend with your little ones. When homeschooling with your children, you get to learn with them! Imagine reading together a classic like, “Treasure Island,” and creating a pirate map from the story, injecting measurement, directions, and other mapmaking and map-reading skills as you go.
Or, you might begin a study of the seasons of the year, exploring your neighborhood for signs of
fall setting in, collecting leaves of many sizes and colors, and then turning those leaves into a unique piece of art, such as a lion complete with a spear-grass tip on its tail.
Older students may take their seasons study further by researching the astronomical changes that cause the changing seasons and comparing how the last day of spring is similar to the first day of fall.
Outdoor exploration, art, music, hands-on activities including cooking, and performing science investigations are all yours to enjoy when homeschooling with your children. You do not necessarily need to follow the outline of a textbook or online curriculum. You get to explore and expand interests, let your imaginations guide you, plan your day according to what is best for your family rather than the bus schedule.
Do you like to get out and about? Your children will love going on field trips with you whether to a botanical garden, museum, park, or just your weekly visit to the library.
Or maybe, you prefer a rainy day staying in, spending as much time as you like curling up with a great book, and your little ones. History? Reading historical fiction and creating a HUGE, illustrated timeline that accurately depicts the novel and the history of the time period allows the past to come alive in vivid detail that may adorn your wall.
When I think back to my early learning in what were once terrific public schools, what I remember most are those hands-on activities, the field trips, the singing, laughing and exploring. Mr. Stepanik’s lessons taught me that popcorn is an actual variety of corn kernel that puffs up when heated and that Zea maize is the only variety that pops! I still can smell the popcorn he made for our 8th-grade class as we learned all the details about the plant and its kernel’s anatomy.
My favorite math teacher, Mr. Fremont, showed us games and tricks on the calculator that amazed us between algebra lessons. (To be honest, his algebra lessons were amazing too!)
As a homeschool family, you will make those memories every day together.
My favorite blog, The Homeschool Mom, has a wonderful list that describes the joys and benefits of homeschooling your children. You will also find a myriad of ideas and inspiration on the site to help you create inspiring lessons, work through challenges, and move into successes galore.
The joys of homeschooling may have been hidden for many families if it weren’t for the trials of Covid. So consider the Covid Challenge to be one of those opportunities to look on the bright side. As they say, when life gives you lemons, make a battery out of them and light up the world.