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crayons, markers, pencils, and why I am loving school at home

The summer has heated up and in a few weeks, school supply lists will be found at local stores and the smell of new books, paper, pencils, and markers will be in the air. I love back to school. I suppose I have always loved the idea of it, with new books, new clothes, new classes, new extracurriculars, and an overall fresh start. I was a homeschooler for eight years and now I am about to embark on year two has a home educator!

Home education or homeschooling causes different thoughts for different people! Some people think it is great while others may wonder why someone would ever choose to school at home! I would love to share with you some reasons why we are enjoying it as we take it one year at a time. We have decided to evaluate at the end of each school year each child’s desire to homeschool, research the local schools, and decide if homeschool is the best choice for the time. Year two here we go! We will have a kindergartener and a first grader!

Not everyone can homeschool and not everyone wants to homeschool and I totally get that. Some moms have to work instead and would love to school at home. Some moms choose to work simply because they enjoy it. I am always impressed by all that working moms are able to accomplish. I am proud of you!

For all you who educate your precious students at home, I am proud of you too! Homeschool adds a whole new element to home life and requires persistence and determination! Fortunately, I am stubborn (to a fault most of the time), so I suppose God can use it for good, right?!

Homeschooling has become trendier as of late. When I was homeschooled for eight years periodically from elementary to high school, it was really uncool, to be quite honest! I have to laugh out loud as I remember my brother and I laughing about explaining it to friends! If you listen to John Crist, the comedian, he make jokes about homeschooling stigmas. I suppose old John Crist is allowed to make jokes since he was homeschooled himself :) Now, it has grown and changed with many unique options for curriculum, schedule, and instruction. Even working moms are able to homeschool their children, which is fantastic for them! The following list includes reasons why I love homeschool:

Solid foundation in academics and life. Since the classroom size is reduced, each child can be monitored carefully to be sure he or she masters each concept before moving forward. Many parents incorporate spiritual training as part of the school day, so they use Bible curriculum as well.

Home education is less costly than private schools. There are many great curriculums that are inexpensive and some that are even free. Used curriculum fairs are also popular ways to acquire needed supplies and supplemental materials. Many homeschool families trade or pass on used resources.

Provide greater challenge academically. For students who desire more challenge academically while remaining developmentally appropriate, homeschool works well. They can work more quickly where they are able. Home educators can supplement extra material for those who need a challenge.

Shorter “homework” time. I cannot imagine going back to school for seven hours each day as an adult. I remember college was amazing when I had only a few classes in a day and the longest was an hour and a half! Woohoo! Homeschool provides a way to work through assignments all at once instead of saving homework for later practice. For students who need “wiggle time,” there is a place for it whenever they need it. For older students, they often participate in extra academic classes, athletic events, or arts activities with the extra time.

Flexibility to learn beyond the classroom. Homeschool groups and individual families are able to travel wherever whenever and experience arts, history, math, science, literature, and more through local friend trips, historical places, and theater programs. Families who need ideas can look into their local homeschool association to learn about opportunities to participate in.

Ability to use teaching methods that apply to each individual student. Where a student thrives, he or she can blaze right along and move faster if needed, while another subject may require more time to learn. In this case, the student can take time to really grasp the concept before moving on to the next lesson.

Individualized attention. Obviously with fewer students in the classroom, students get lessons created for them and education is monitored closely. Concepts are fully grasped before moving on to subsequent lessons. Each student can learn according to the best learning style!

Relationships. The ability to spend more time with children as they grow and mature is super precious. In reality, not everyday is a great day with Mary Poppins music playing in the background, but the quality time spent with children is sure to develop a unique bond. The years spent at home can be looked back on as a special time of life development.

The most often asked question or concern I receive is related to socialization. Some parents may believe their child would be too “social” to enjoy it. Homeschool is not for everyone or at all seasons of life. I do want to relay that socialization should not be a worry, as homeschooled students are some of the busiest, most social people I know! Psychologically, younger children, as in elementary age, are learning most from their parents at home anyway, so socialization seems to be of less importance the younger the students are.

The website writes that according to The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) “PBS Parents” Web page, National Home Education Research Institute president Brian Ray believes that socialization is not a problem for the vast majority of homeschool students. Mr. Ray reports that “Research shows that in terms of self-concept, self-esteem and the ability to get along in a group, homeschoolers do just as well as their public school peers.”

I hope that clarifies any concerns with socialization anyone may have, as that makes sense it would be a valid concern. We are responsible to the Lord for the raising of our children, who are gifts from Him. There is an enormous amount of knowledge, morality, and life skills to instill, it can seem overwhelming at times. Homeschool is a refreshing choice for a new way to educate students in academics and other areas of life!

Why do you choose to homeschool? I would love to hear some of your reasons! I would also love to hear about a typical homeschool day for you! Wherever you are, soak in the sun, run barefoot through the grass, and enjoy a popsicle before school starts back!

Love, Charis

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