SummaryAny day is a great day for giving thanks for homeschooling. After eight years of homeschooling, Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur offers six reasons she’s thankful.
November is the traditional time of year for giving thanks to God for all our blessings during the year, but any day is a great day for giving thanks for homeschooling. After eight years of homeschooling, I have many reasons to be thankful.
1) The Chance to Share our Catholic Faith Daily with My Children
All Catholics are called to share the faith with their children, but with a traditional school schedule and extracurricular activities, life can get very busy, and the opportunities for passing on the faith can end up limited to the weekend.
With homeschooling, I get to see my children for a good part of every day. We have the opportunity to pray together. I can also make sure they have a solid faith foundation that includes, but is not limited to, religion class. As topics come up in science, literature, or history, I can include the Catholic viewpoint.
This year, my teenage sons are studying biology. I’m incorporating one bioethics issue a month into our curriculum for us to explore from a Catholic perspective.
Also, while my children are far from sheltered and interact often with public and privately educated students, they aren’t spending six (or more) hours a day with their heads being filled with outside influences. A Catholic environment is their primary environment, and that means a great deal.
2) The Ability to Customize an Education
Both of my older children have learning challenges. Homeschooling has provided the opportunity to customize their education to best meet their learning styles. We have been able to move at the pace they need and make accommodations without having to deal with the school bureaucracy. We need not wait for an IEP meeting; we can try a new approach when the old one isn’t working.
3) The Chance to Enjoy my Children as They Grow Up
When my older children were small, they went to traditional school. They came back in the afternoon tired and cranky. We then had to deal with homework (the worse part of the day) and getting them fed, to sports practice, and to bed at a reasonable hour, only to have to struggle with them in the morning to get them up and ready for school. For my oldest son, that often involved picking him up out of bed.
Homeschooling isn’t perfect, and we still have our struggles, but it has meant that school doesn’t get the best version of them, while I am left with the tired, cranky leftovers. I get to see them throughout the day. There is time to have many positive interactions in a day.
We spend time together talking, reading, going for a walk, cooking, or playing a game. Whatever my children might hold against me in my parenting (and I freely admit I have my faults), they won’t be able to say I didn’t spend time with them or that we didn’t have fun together. That means a lot to me.
4) The Gift of Time
Homeschooling takes less time than traditional school. The ability to work one-on-one with each student means you can target instruction on areas of difficulty, while moving quickly over concepts grasped easily. There is also no need for the administrative tasks and waiting for others that take up so much of a school day.
Children have more time to explore their own interests. Younger children have more time to play, create, and imagine. Older children and teens can figure out what they want to do with their lives and focus on those areas of interest. Both age groups can participate in outside activities, without the stress of coming home to a pile of homework.
5) The Ability to Get Enough Sleep
School-aged children need about 10 hours of sleep a night and teens require 9 – 10 hours. If a child must get up at six a.m. to get ready for school, he or she needs to be in bed at eight p.m. A teen must be in bed by 9 p.m. to get a full night’s sleep. How many teenagers do you know who go to bed at nine o’clock?
Sleep-deprivation is a huge problem for teens. The ability to get up at seven or eight a.m. is a great blessing. As homeschoolers, we can make sure that most nights everyone, including Mom, gets enough sleep.
6) The Gift of Wonderful Friends
Through our local Catholic homeschool group, my children and I have made some amazing friends. I’m so thankful to have a community of women to learn and pray with. We support and encourage each other on the good and bad days. My children have developed lasting friendships, not only with others their own age, but with those older and younger.
Homeschooling has been such a blessing in our lives. What aspects of homeschooling are you most thankful for?