Homeschooling ~ What a blessing this has been for our family. I can think of very few negatives to this lifestyle. Here are ten reasons why we love homeschooling:
1) Socialization ~ We homeschool so our children can be socialized by many people from different backgrounds, ages, races, abilities and faiths. Today alone, my children have interacted with 37 kids from 3 to 16, a professional dancer, five lifeguards, two store clerks, three neighbors and the mail carrier. They are learning to communicate with people in many different settings. Their socialization is not controlled by the limited environment of the classroom.
2) Freedom ~ We have the freedom to learn what is truly important to us and that which applies to our lives. My husband and I have the freedom to decide what our kids need and don't need at any given time. We answer to no one but ourselves.
3) Flexibility ~ With our children's special needs, we spend many hours in doctor offices, hospitals and at therapy appointments. We have the flexibility to do our lessons wherever and whenever we want to do them. Also, we can change gears when a child needs extra attention, support or training.
4) Life Long Learning ~ Our children see learning as a life long opportunity that can take place anywhere and at any age. They are eager to learn many different things in many different places. We also are learning together, so we get many different perspectives and bits of knowledge from each other.
5) Character Training ~ We are with our children 24 hours a day. We have ample time to correct, train, and teach our children to be noble, useful citizens. With some of the special needs in our family (which takes many extra hours a week to manage), there would not be time to impart even half of our morals to our children if they were away from us all day at school.
6) Less Stress and More Control ~ Our children have many special needs, including RAD, FASD, learning issues, sensory issues, and severe food allergies (to name just a few). By keeping our children home with us, we are able to reduce the stress they would experience in the setting of a large, noisy classroom. We can meet our children where they are in their learning process, which further reduces their stress. We also have control over our son's diet. We do not have to worry about someone feeding him something that will have negative consequences on his health. Lastly, we reduce the triangulation that comes with raising a RAD child. A RAD child tends to bait adults against each other in order to create distractions so that they can get away with mischief. This is a lot harder when your Mother is your teacher and your Father is your principal.
7) Opportunities ~ I asked my graduate what he loved most about being homeschooled. He said, "I love that I was given so many more opportunities to learn the things I wanted to learn about, as well as explore the world and do interesting stuff. I wasn't trapped at a desk anymore." I couldn't say it better myself! (He's the only one of my children who has ever been in a school setting, although I took him out and had him repeat third grade. We never looked back.)
8) Family Relationships ~ We have a complicated family. Some of our special needs make some of us difficult to live with at times. However, since we are together all the time, we are forced to work on our relationships and find ways to live, learn and love each other. If we were separated by the many hours spent in a school setting, it would be much harder to establish the strong family bonds that we have accomplished.
9) Happiness ~ Our oldest dd said that she loved being homeschooled because it filled her with happiness. When I asked her how homeschooling made her happy, she said that she got to learn while sitting in comfortable chairs and eating lots of snacks. LOL! My other daughter said she was happy because she got to learn with Mommy, and my youngest son chimed in that there was lots of time for action learning (games, nature studies, and other movement filled activities).
10) Adventure and Exploration ~ When you realize that life is learning and that the whole world is your classroom, learning is filled with exploration and adventure. Everywhere we go, every second that we live, we are learning. I so love that about homeschooling! We never know what amazing adventure awaits around the next bend.