Are my kids missing out?
It’s typical to see our news feed loaded with proud mommy moments of how their child achieved something great in public school. There is nothing wrong with a parent sharing their child’s achievements. But sometimes, it tends to make us homeschooling parent’s feel like our kids our missing out.
The Curse of The Facebook Newsfeed
I am a member in a few different homeschooling Facebook groups. Usually around the beginning of the school year and end of school year I often see a homeschooling mom post about how she feels her kid(s) are missing out after seeing her friend’s pictures of their kids. I have felt the same at times. My kid isn’t an AB Honor Roll student. Not because she’s not smart enough but because we homeschool, and sometimes this makes us feel down about our decision to homeschool.
The positive flip
The way I see it, I have 2 choices. I can sit there and feel down, envious, or question our decision to homeschool or I can look at the bright side. Here is what I have found to help. I try to do a positive flip on the situation. This is by no means an attempt to put down public schoolers but a reminder to us homeschooling moms who are doubting ourselves.
Pros of homeschooling
Here is my list of how public schoolers miss out;
- Not getting up at the crack of dawn! What teenager or mom doesn’t love that?!
- No horrific morning where kids are scrambling to grab their school work, get dressed, scarf down breakfast to get on the bus while the mom is yelling because she has HAD it with the stress of school mornings! By the way, I was one of those kids who was constantly late because I wasn’t a morning person. I still haven’t changed that!
- No homework! When we are done with school, we are done. This leaves more time to have hobbies, more playtime for the kids, more active hours, and less stress.
- Having more influence over your child than a teacher, peer, or whoever they are around 8-9 hours a day/5 days a week.
- Knowing your child. This is not to say a public schooler’s mom wouldn’t know their child. A homeschooling mom spends exceptionally more time with her kids because the 40 hours a public schooler is in school, they are not with their parent. A typical school year is about 35 weeks. At 8 hour days, 5 days a week, 35 weeks a year, that’s a whopping 1,400 hours a year. If a child goes to public school from K-Senior year, that’s 19,600 hours gained by a homeschooling mom. I never did the math until now but WOW! That’s a LOT of hours!
- Not having to keep up with the Jones’s! I feel no need to have to buy the top name brand clothing for my kids in order for them to “fit” in. Not saying that I just let them slump around but we buy what we can afford. My kids and I don’t feel the pressure.
- No doctor’s notes just because they have missed day 3. Before someone reads that and thinks OH MY! She doesn’t take her kids to the doctor, let me explain. Yes, I do take my kids to the doctor if they need it. But if they have a cold that has lasted for 3 days, I don’t see any need to take them to the doctor. Rest, liquids, and natural medicines will do the trick. A doctor is just going to tell you the same thing and even some have become more friendly with natural medicines. But even if they don’t think natural medicines work, they are just going to tell you give them over the counter medicines. Basically, you got an expensive piece of paper confirming your child was sick to prove to the school your child is sick.
- Flexibility. We can start later in the school year, or even go longer in the end of the school year if need be. If we want to take a week long family vacation in October, we can. The flexibility of our schedule can be adjusted without the child missing out on their academics. We can have M-Thurs school weeks or M-F school weeks if that schedule fits our lives better. If a curriculum isn’t working for us, we can switch it. If we need Monday off instead of the scheduled snow day, we can take that day off.
- The pace if set for the child’s needs. If a child grasps concepts quickly, we can keep moving forward. If the child needs a little longer, we can slow down the pace. It’s all customized to your child’s learning speed. The curriculum is made for the child, the child isn’t made for the curriculum.
- That moment when it clicks in your child’s head. This is such a blessing when you get to experience this yourself.
- Always knowing where your child is academically.
- Getting to skip back to school shopping. Okay, so sometimes I do participate in this but many times after I do, I regret the hustle and bustle of trying to save those dollars. I often see the stress in another mother’s face while she analyzes the school list, the kid is so excited to get new things, is crunched for time and cash, tries to get everything her children needs before the hectic schedule begins, on and on, yet again. I choose to participate but you wouldn’t necessarily have the choice if your child was in public school. Curriculum can be bought throughout the year, at tax time, or whenever the funds are available because I make/plan the school year.
- No packing school lunches. We eat leftovers. Drop microphone.
- Having the choice to teach my children extra curricular subjects that me and my husband feel are important and even essential. We can teach them how to cook, how to sew, the bible, how to change a spare tire, budget, file taxes, how to garden, how to vote, how to repair things around the home, how to be good stewards of money, or just basic life skills. During the last presidential election my children had the extra benefit of going with us and watching us vote. How cool is that! They proudly wore the “I voted” stickers. lol
- Having a close relationship with my children. This is not to say you couldn’t if your child was in public school, but again, we are blessed to have more time with them.
- Close sibling relationships. Of course, our children fight just like any other family but they spend a lot of time together. They learn from one another, they work through their differences and often are best friends. Again, not to say this couldn’t happen if the children went to public school. I’ve seen close sibling relationships in both homeschoolers and public schoolers but I often see other homeschooling siblings that are very close including my own.
- The ability for our children to socialize with many different age groups not just their own.
- Watching our children grow academically and emotionally. We water that little seed, it sprouts, grows bigger, buds, and then blossoms. We reap what we sow. And the reaping is exponential!
- Missing the busy times. This applies to grocery shopping, field trips, vacations, or any other activities. Because we can be flexible with school, we can do these activities when places are not so busy. (which translates to when most kids are in public school!) This means less stress for the whole family!
Should I keep going? I’m sure I could! I hope you find this post encouraging. I myself have felt the “my kids are missing out because they are homeschooled.” Our kids are NOT missing out. My friends, we are blessed to homeschool our children. And what a great blessing that is!
So what did I miss? What are your pros of homeschooling?