Did you ever think that homeschooled kids were happier? Why wouldn’t they be, right?
Homeschoolers are happier than most kids for 10 reasons you might not have thought of. Homeschooling can provide a mentally, physically, and socially helpful environment for a happier child.
They Get Dedicated Instruction: One On One Teacher
One important way to keep kids happy in school is to provide one on one instruction. This can be an efficient, practical way to teach, one on one or one to one. There are 1 teacher and 1 student or perhaps a few students per class. Either way, this is a good way since the student to teacher ratio is so low! You can get through the class very quickly without any distractions. More importantly, you can develop a level of trust, provide a safer and happier environment than you can find in a traditional school. There is much research that highlights the fact the environment is extremely important.
“Schools and classrooms should be developed as physically and psychologically safe, personalized learning communities where students feel they belong and teachers engage in practices that help them know their students well so that they can respond to children’s specific needs, interests, readiness for learning, and opportunities for growth.”
Implications for the educational practice of the science of learning and development
Imagine back when you were in school and you had a question about the material being taught. Did you have a chance to have it answered or did you have to wait until the end of class to check with the teacher? Or did you just raise your hand and the question was answered right away? In the ideal world, kids would firstly ask their teacher when they had a problem. And the teacher would respond directly and then everyone could move on efficiently. However, we all know this is not the case.
It can be a very unhappy situation for kids to go through the whole class in darkness, and not understand the lessons of the day. But in homeschool, they can receive personalized attention and have all their questions asked. Sometimes you may not have all the answers right away. But you can handle it! This could be the way you run your class and your child would get the most from this one on one instruction. Studies also show kids prefer teachers who build relationships. This makes sense and happier homeschooled kids.
No Need To Waste Time Walking Or Commuting To School
Do you need to waste time taking your child to school or do you need to line up in a long line to drop them off? Well, we do and it takes some valuable time from my day to do it. My wife and I used to trade days to do our duty and sometimes we would run late. Sometimes it’s because of my own issues of getting ready. But most times we are late is because my young 5-year-old son isn’t in the mood for school. Maybe it’s a little cooler and the sun comes up later, so he feels like sleeping a few minutes later. Or he doesn’t like what’s prepared for breakfast. Either way, this is a big time-waster in the morning in our homes. And often leads to my son being unhappy to start the day.
Wouldn’t it be a happier environment and a better start of the day if you could wake up in a better mood because you were well-rested? And you knew there wasn’t a rush to get ready? My son told me one day that he wished he could start homeschooling. And it did make perfect sense after I thought about it. He was complaining about the rush of getting ready and the anxiety of being late. This is what made him unhappy some mornings. He didn’t like being rushed to get ready for school.
Less Time Wasted Means More Time For Learning
How much time does a student in public school really have for learning? Apparently not as much as you’d think. In this informative article, you can read about how many hours, and it’s only about 4-5 hours. Much of the time is spent in transit, commuting, and walking around the halls to and from class. In some schools, like where my older daughter goes to school, the students remain in 1 class all day. And the teachers come to them. To me, this makes more sense and there is less wasted time. Less time wasted means you have more time to learn!
So in homeschool, your kids don’t need to go anywhere. And this can save valuable time to spend on the more difficult subjects requiring more time to concentrate on. With the time you save they could also spend more of it getting good sleep or doing something useful around the house. Below is a table of time we spent with our son to get him ready for kindergarten. We know it’s not exactly the way everyone prepares, but it is a good indication of the time we save doing homeschooling, compared to going to traditional school. Now he can learn in peace without the rush and wasting time in school.
|Preparing lunch||15 minutes|
|Preparing PE clothes||5 minutes|
|Commute to and back from school||40 minutes|
|Getting ready (dressed, uniform, brush teeth…)||30 minute|
|Total time||90 minutes|
Fewer Distractions Means Happier Kids in Homeschool
In your homeschool, there will be fewer things to distract your kids, so they will be happier and more focused. An article we came across talked about how many distractions there are now in a normal traditional classroom. When I was a kid, the only distractions were class clowns. Now you have to worry about phones, messaging, and behavior problems like bullying. If you have distracted kids, you may want to read our other informative article the Secret to Homeschool a Distracted Kid.
“We should be deliberately teaching students how to manage their attention with their devices and explaining what multitasking is doing to their ability to effectively complete their work.”Digital Tools and Distraction in School
In your homeschool kids will be happier because there are fewer distractions like you find in a public or private school. In my older daughter’s boarding school, she has to give her phone to the resident advisor at 9:30, 30 minutes before bed just to make sure they won’t have any distractions at night.
Less Behavioral Problems in Homeschool
Other kinds of distractions that impede students’ happiness in school are behavior problems. Kids are happier in the homeschool because there are fewer behavioral issues to deal with. There are relatively few class clowns, and distractions. Since the class is just the 2 of you or maybe a few other if you are in co-op classes, you have fewer distractions from kids not wanting to learn. Studies have shown that a high percentage of teachers, over 62%, report that distractions are on the rise and hinder classroom teaching.
Nowadays there is also much emphasis on teaching life skills in the classroom in the traditional schools to improve behavior. Focus is on praising and positive reinforcement and other techniques to make kids happier and learn more efficiently. In homeschooling, you can always do this and encourage, and motivate your children all day long! And there is no need to spend any time on it with other kids because of trying to prevent misbehavior. You are in a peaceful homeschool environment! This is one of the many advantages of homeschooling and happier kids. You can read about all of the advantages of homeschooling (with photos) in this helpful article we wrote.
Kids do Better Academically in Homeschool
Many studies show that homeschooled kids do well academically and perform better on standardized tests. This can lead to happier kids if they are doing well in their studies and they are highly motivated to get into their favorite Universities. We are not saying that standardized tests and going for higher education are the only measures of happiness. But for many families, this can be a huge source of stress and unhappiness in public schools. In the country where we live, since we live abroad, many students stress out all day and night.
Many kids in Asia have to go to school all day and then attend cram schools in the evening. They have to study more advanced topics that the schools don’t teach. My older son is in the public school system, and he is studying 1-2 grades ahead of his physics and chemistry classes. There is also ample evidence that in many schools kids are learning things that are not applicable to their grade levels. This can be stressful for teachers and kids. This is not conducive to happy kids. So homeschooling focuses on subjects and is student-focused. In this way, kids in homeschooling can do better academically and are happier as a result.
Student-Focused Curriculum Creates Happier Kids
If we focus on our kid’s interests and learn at their pace this can be a very effective and motivating experience. We believe it produces happier kids in the homeschool. A student-focused curriculum can enhance your relationship and inspire them to perform better because they have an interest in the subjects. You often hear about getting to the “why” of something, like why am I studying this? Well, in a student-focused homeschool curriculum, your child provides the input for the subjects. They are vested and the why becomes, because you chose this curriculum.
“Implement meaningful, engaging instructional practices that develop students’ ability to manage their own learning”Four Ways Schools Can Support the Whole Child, Berkley
The above quote is from an article from a Berkley University article that suggested 4 ways to a kinder and happier school. And one of the points was to engage the students and this is essentially a student-focused method to have your kids do well and be happier at the same time.
You can check out this informative video about happiness in school. Happy children learn better!
No Homework in Homeschooling Makes Kids Happy!
Your kids will be happier in homeschooling because there is no homework. Once you are done learning for the day, you can do other activities or just play! Many kids are doing loads of homework, especially if they are in school focused on passing standardized tests. Where we live in Asia, children normally leave school in the mid afternoon, then go have dinner. Once they finish dinner, they go to a special school to complete their homework. The school assists them to finish it and teaches them new concepts. This overloads kids here and they are not happy!
Did you know how much homework kids do in Finland? None! That is the target for kids there and maybe you might have an occasional thing to do, but it is not the norm! Yes, your child is doing all their learning at home or in a class with others in their home or special charter-type classroom. But when they are done with the schedule for the day, they are done. Because you can do more personalized teaching and work on the subject, you need to spend less time on homework. All the work or exercise can literally be done during the allotted class time. If needed, you may spend some extra time to review.
Engaged and Involved Parents Leads to Happier Kids
Engaged parents lead to better results in a child’s educations as research shows. We can all imagine the perfect parents, always involved and supportive of our children, right? Positive results and overall well-being will create a happier environment for all including homeschooled kids. When you homeschool, you are being engaged because you have to plan and supervise most or all of your child’s progress. If you teach with your spouse you are also very involved almost every day. This bond that you develop leads to happier kids and more satisfying results.
Nowadays during this period of lockdown and COVID-19, many families are experiencing the realities of homeschool. Although they might be doing remote learning, rather than homeschool, their involvement is no less important. Kids certainly need more support and involvement from their parents since the new environment is sure to bring anxiety and stress to all. This article best sums up the benefits and what anyone can do regardless of homeschooling or remote learning.
Less Testing and Comparisons in Homeschooling
Less testing and reduced amounts of comparison in homeschool also lead to happier kids. One big factor that sets many kids into a frenzy is exams. We can all get nervous before we take the dreaded exams because no matter what age we are, even kids feel the stress of this and can lead to very unhappy kids. You can see this article where the parents petitioned their school board for their kids to sit out standardized testing because they felt it was overboard. In homeschool, you can assess your child in a range of ways to make sure they are learning the material.
There is no need for excessive testing since you will have more thorough instruction and you may pace the classes at the child’s speed. If you need more time to review and go over some difficult material, you can! The average time needed for homeschooling is 4-5 hours per day. So your kids will be less stressed than if they went to a traditional school. There will also be less comparison of scores to their peers. That also can lead to less self-esteem. You will be able to keep your grades and your test scores as a record for showing progress, not as a badge of success. You will need to keep good records for your own purposes anyways.
“There are no mandated standardized tests in Finland, apart from one exam at the end of students’ senior year in high school. There are no rankings, no comparisons or competition between students, schools or regions.”Why Are Finland’s Schools Successful?
There are so many advantages of homeschooling that will lead to happier kids and parents. The physical, mental and time demands of education on a child’s well-being cannot be understated. We hope that you have gotten some good insight into how homeschooling can make your kids happier!