11 Benefits of Homeschooling
By Kerrie McLoughlin
If you’re questioning whether homeschooling is the right choice for your family, check out some of these unique benefits and then see what you think. Of course you’ll have challenging days, but you’ll have a whole lot of fun alongside your kids, too.
1. Kids get more free time. If it seems like your child has endless hours of homework in addition to being in school 35 hours a week, free time is a big benefit of homeschooling. You can teach what is necessary and once your child “gets it,” you can move on to something else. Also, I doubt you are trying to keep 20-plus kids under control, which does take a lot of time for a teacher at school.
2. You can offer customized classes. You can provide an education comparable to that of a costly private school, even if you don’t have a college degree. When you homeschool, your children won’t be bored while the other kids in their class are learning things they already know, according to homeschooling dad Tom Kliethermes. Likewise, they won’t be frustrated trying to keep up with something they’re not ready for.
3. Teach your way. Do you want to homeschool lightly year-round? Or would it suit your family better to homeschool several hours a day for seven months, taking off the summer and a week or so here and there? Are you a curriculum-loving person or do you like to create your own lessons? Or are you an unschooler, someone who just wants to go where your children’s interests take you? (Check out unit studies if this sounds like you.)
4. Kids can follow their intellectual curiosity. Remember loving a certain subject in school and really getting into it, but when the bell rang, it was time to move on and get in a different frame of mind for a new subject? Homeschooled kids have time and freedom to pursue their passions, such as music, writing, acting, sports, and more.
5. Fit classes into your schedule. Forget about the vision of a homeschooling mom teaching her kids at the dining room table. Sometimes it’s Dad teaching English when he gets home from work and Mom teaching other basics in the morning, leaving the afternoon/early evening free for other activities. If Dad travels, the whole family can tag along. If Mom and kids are night owls, so be it. You can stay up late talking, reading, or watching educational shows.
6. There are many socialization opportunities. You won’t hear many homeschooled kids saying they can’t play with a kid who is younger or older than they are. Homeschooled kids have friends who are homeschooled, friends who are unschooled, friends who attend public school, and friends who attend private school.
7. Kids are more likely to stay healthy. Kliethermes says one benefit of homeschooling is that your child won’t be sitting at a desk six hours a day. As a result, your kids may be healthier because they are likely getting more regular exercise, more fresh air, more sleep, etc. Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is the obvious plus of decreasing kids’ exposure to large groups of people.
8. You learn, too! This one might be a little selfish, but don’t be surprised if you end up learning as much as your kids do—especially if you, like the rest of us, feel like you’ve lost 90 percent of what you learned in school. Now that you don’t have that pressure to memorize information and perform on a test, you might be more likely to soak up what you read, making it easier to teach your own kids in a relatable manner.
9. Vacations cost less. Another selfish benefit is that, since you can go on vacation anytime you want, you can travel off-season and get a cheaper rate. In addition, field trip venues like parks and museums are a lot less populated and crazy on weekdays than weekends.
10. Trickle-down learning really happens. Think about how much easier your younger children will be to teach after they’ve already heard your lessons for their older sibling(s). Learning truly does filter down in a homeschooling household.
11. There’s a lot of time to talk. “Quality family time,” says Jill Connors, mom of five, is a big homeschooling benefit. Meanwhile, Kliethermes says, “It’s easier to be my child’s moral guide.” Those random conversations and life questions can happen any time of day when you’re together for most of it.
Kerrie McLoughlin, homeschooling writer mom of five, can be found at thekerrieshow.com and would love to connect with you.