I feel like there are really countless reasons why I feel homeschooling B is the best option for her and our family but let me preface this post my saying that I do not know what is best for your child– and public school might be the best option for you and your child. I do not have anything against the public school system. I actually really enjoyed my time in public school and wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Let me get the really obvious reason out of the way:
I don’t have to get B up super early.
I love this! My kid is a sleeper and will sleep in pretty late if I let her. I’ve experienced a handful of times having to get her up super early and it was okay… I mean she wasn’t “herself” in the morning– it took sometime for her to wake up so to speak. And a bonus reason: Cuddles! I love those morning cuddles. She wakes up. Finds me. Cuddles in my arms. No rush. This is my favorite part of everyday.
My husband is self-employed and I am a SAHM. Therefore we have a lot of flexibility of when and where we can get away. Disneyland in early February and early December are the best; short lines and great weather! Little mini getaways are also the best… we get to just relax and be together as a family. B’s summer break is only six weeks versus traditional school, which has a longer break, so we shuffle the additional time outside of her summer break for our vacations and mini getaways throughout the year.
A lot of time for extra-curricular activities.
B is in tennis, swim, ballet, dance group, and gymnastics. It is a lot. It is nice not having to run her here and there after a long day at school and then have to come home later that night and do homework. There are plenty of kids that do this, I realize this, and they might thrive on it– but for my extremely chill kid… her not rushing here and there suits her well. Although, she doesn’t mind working hard and being busy… I would never want to over-work her on the daily.
Lunch dates with Daddy.
This is one of my favorites. We generally start school at 9:00-9:30 every morning (this is dependent on how long it takes her to eat breakfast). We are done with school by 1:00-1:30 pm every day. That happens to be the time B eats lunch. (Her belly is like clockwork by the way. I have always had her on a schedule so her body has certainly adapted to being fed no later than 1:30.) So, being that it is generally lunch time when she is done with school… Chris occasionally takes her, and sometimes me, to lunch with him! We love when Daddy takes us out! We love Thai and Mediterranean food so it’s a nice break from the pretty normal lunch menu we have like sandwiches and mac n’ cheese.
While I think a good solid curriculum is good for B’s mind; volunteering and helping others is just as important. The flexibility from doing school at home allows for B to on some days start later or finish up earlier to accommodate our volunteer work. Currently, we assist with an amazing woman whom is visually impaired. She is so full of love and life and we enjoy spending time with her. B opens her mail, I help her pay her bills, B will read her the advertisements, and we both just offer her our company. B shines so bright in this environment. She knows that (we will call her “Ms. Sunshine”) cannot see so B is excellent at being very descriptive in how she speaks to Ms. Sunshine. Social and emotional skills are imperative and B is gaining these skills by leaps and bounds and all by simply helping in the way that she can and just simply “being” there for Ms. Sunshine. She has so much love and grace for those in need– she teaches me daily how to be better. On the days I question myself about whether or not homeschooling is still the best option, she reminds me that it is the best thing for her simply by being her.
One on one learning.
B has my undivided attention in class which she loves. She likes that I pull up a chair next to hers and we work on school together. I love that when she is interested in something we can take a few minutes from the current task and dive into what she interested in. For example: she was reading a reading comprehension passage that was discussing different types of fish. Two of the fishies discussed were the angler and lantern fish. She had never seen them before so it resulted in us watching YouTube videos of the angler and lantern fishes. Not only did the lesson reinforce comprehension but doubled as a little science based on the time we spent watching how amazing these creatures are in the deep deep sea.
I love love love that I get to chose her curriculum based on how she learns. I love love love that I get to change the curriculum if it isn’t working for us. Granted, it can get pricey so I make sure to do my research ahead of time, but at least the option is there to change it if I need to. There are so many different learning styles and different approaches to teaching. For example: B is a visual hands on learner when it comes to science so we do a lot of reinforced experiments along with a Charlotte Mason approach. She is not visual when it comes to math (believe it or not) so I do not need to use many manipulatives for her– she can understand the concepts simply by reviewing the material in the textbook and completing a few exercises. I can also add Bible to lesson plans in the week. This I love love love because she is able to learn about the beliefs we have and learn for herself what her Daddy and I believe in and hopefully what she will believe in also and take with her into her adult life.
Light bulb moments.
You know the times when you are trying to remember something or think of the name of that one actor in that one movie and all of the sudden you remember and you get that look on your face? That look is what I call the light bulb moment. Like, “Ding! I know the answer!” or “Ding! I get it now!” Well, I love those moments. When B and I are working on a new concept and she makes the connection and she gets that look on her face…. Man– I love that look. I thrive off of it. I would be terribly sad if I missed that look.
I am stingy.
It is no secret that the amount of stinginess I have for this kid is insane. Haha. My mom always reminds me that I am stingy with my kid. It is true. So so true. She isn’t too attached to me or anything… Like to the point where she hides behind me in public or can’t carry a conversation with an adult but she doesn’t care to be away from me for too long either. I guess you can say we are attached to each other… but in a healthy non-Norman Bates kind of way. She’s my little sidekick and I am super blessed she’s so smart and funny– because she is excellent company!
The smart cookie factor.
Don’t get me wrong– there are brilliant minds who have and are currently going to public school. Again, I don’t have anything against public school. I loved it. BUT– B is very intelligent and I feel that she is really able to blossom academically because we homeschool. For example: she started showing early signs of reading when she was four. Based on her age she would have started Kindergarten at five and a few months. I just didn’t want to wait that long so after hours, days, weeks, and months of research– Chris and I decided on homeschooling her. So, basically she started Kinder a year early. I wouldn’t have been able to do that here in the public school system. We continued onto First grade and this is when “stuff” got real. She just blossomed! (Mommy brag alert!) This kid just turned six and is reading at a Fifth grade level. I mean– she is killing chapter books. She is reading everything and anything (not always a good thing LOL). She is doing math in her head. She is doing multiplication… and not like the times tables we grew up committing to memory– she actually understands the concept and can answer multiplication questions in word problem format! She can tell you the type of atmosphere Venus has, where Mt. Rushmore is, correct
my grammar like a boss… and I could go on and on. I won’t. I will spare you. Haha. Homeschooling B has been a big, tremendous, monumental blessing for all three of us!
This isn’t a good choice for some but for us this is the best possible choice! I hope to share with you more explicitly what we do in class, schedules, curriculum choices… etc. Online resources and homeschooling communities have been tremendously helpful and if I can help another family out just a tad, I want to!
Thanks for reading and oceans of love and blessing to you and yours!