Do you have any doubts about the advantages of homeschooling? Maybe your family is against this idea daily because they think it will ruin your child and their education. We are here to share some surprising advantages of homeschooling we can only be happy about.
More Chances to Reinforce What They are Learning
As you teach your kids you will develop an understanding of how they learn and how they take the information in. Since you spend more time with them you can also take every opportunity to practice what you taught them. Let me give you an example. When my son was going to a traditional school we would get a semester bulletin with all of the subjects our son would be learning. It was pretty detailed, however, it was so detailed that it just went up on our refrigerator and rarely got reviewed. So after a while, we would be surprised when he brought up a topic or started asking questions about something we never taught to him before.
And then we would look at the semester bulletin and would realize that the school was teaching about the subject last week. If we had known about it or paid more attention, we could have asked him and tried to reinforce the subject while at home. But it’s very difficult to know exactly what your child is doing every day in school. Unless you somehow could take a peek into the classroom. Or receive a daily update which most schools don’t offer. I felt there were so many lost opportunities when my son was in a traditional school. But now when we teach him the subjects, we can reinforce a topic or bring it up when the opportunity arises.
This type of knowledge of exactly what you are teaching can help you and your family take the opportunities to reinforce a subject when you can. For example, if you are learning about the moon and your son looks up at the sky and sees that it’s a crescent moon, you can ask him about it. When children get to review what they learned and connect it to real-life it will be something that they truly understand. This is something I picked up when reading about John Dewey.
“Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.”John Dewey
Build a Closeness to Your Kids From Teaching Them
The advantage of homeschooling is that you can build a close bond with your children. My son enjoys sitting on my lap reading with me and I also like the fact we have time like this together. He’s only about 6 now, so it won’t be forever that this will happen. If I asked my older son who is almost 15 now to sit on my lap while I read to him, he would think I’m crazy. You will have these kinds of chances only for a few years of their life. So homeschooling gives you more time to spend with them and develop this closeness. If they go to public school you only have a few hours every day in the morning and evening. The rest of the time they are with someone else.
You will also build a bond with your children as you teach them. When you have a chance to work and learn together you will both grow to appreciate the hard work each other puts into the relationship. It’s just like any other team. When you have a positive shared experience together you will naturally deepen your relationship with each other. Certainly, if the experience is negative this could also have a bad effect, but generally, we expect to become closer to our children as we spend the time and learn with them. We want to instill a love of learning and aim for a happy childhood. This is an important advantage of homeschooling.
Have Fun Learning Together in Homeschooling
I’m so lucky because I can also learn about Greek mythology with my son. You can have fun learning together and that is an advantage of homeschooling. I am familiar with many of the stories about how Narcissus died from staring at his “handsome reflection” until he just died or King Midas and his “golden touch”. But I could hardly remember the details like his dog turning to solid gold as did his daughter when she tried to touch him. When you are the teacher, you will get to review some subjects and learn with your child. Some topics will be fun as you get a chance to do some research and find out more about the subject.
When you unlock that little child in yourself, you will also unlock some memories of your childhood. And this will be even more fun as you make progress, especially with your younger children. Recently I also had a chance to teach my older son, Alex, about the elements of shape. This drawing concept is based on the book Drawing with Children, by Mona Brookes. I spent a morning at a coffee shop with my older son and we both drew a parrot together. I was surprised at how well he caught on. He also enjoyed making fun of how my parrot looked! But this is something you can do together and is an advantage of learning as a family.
Share Your Hobbies and Passion While Learning Together
If you have a love of something wouldn’t it be great to share this passion and learn together with your children? In our home, we have 2 passions recently, leatherworking and music. My wife is a music teacher and also has the perfect sense of beauty to make some amazing leather purses and backpacks. This is something we like to do and our son also shows a strong interest since he sees us doing it all the time. We even created a line of backpacks for him since he asked us if we could make a special backpack! You can see our Aaron backpack here and even enjoyed being our little model for photos.
Use Time More Constructively
In our situation, we can enjoy the benefits of homeschooling by making better use of our time together. For example, we started to explore how it works while our son was still in kindergarten. In the evenings we would do lessons gradually. I would focus on reading and phonics, tracing his letters and math. We would only spend about 30 minutes in total and it would be broken down into different times. It was an experiment to see how he likes doing lessons at home.
By the time we got home, it was usually 6 pm and we would be preparing our dinner. So we had some time for him to occupy himself. We took this opportunity to let him do some of the easy lessons by himself. He got to choose them, and some days he chose math, others doing copy work of letters and tracing. It’s easy to keep an eye on him at this pace. And after dinner, we would do a few other lessons or do some reading. He would read to me, then I would do a read-aloud story like some Greek myths.
Before we started to homeschool, we would normally just let him play or sometimes he would help use heat up some food or put the plates on the table. But now we like to use the time for learning and he likes to do it. Also when we go out to dinner while we are waiting for our food, or when we have some spare time we use it. There are so many things you can practice as you go about your daily life. Perhaps some families already do this but as a homeschooling family, we take these advantages and use them. These are valuable learning opportunities we have to teach or review.
Establish the Roots of Love for Lifetime Learning
When you are out with your children they will surprise you on a daily basis if you are listening carefully. One of the advantages of homeschooling is that you can realize the importance of your work. Because out of the blue you will witness something you taught them being brought up. Let me give you an example when my in-laws were recently visiting. I overheard my son explaining where fossils came from as he was explaining to my mother-in-law. Sometimes he got a few of the facts mixed up, but he got the overall process and I was impressed!
My in-law was also surprised and wasn’t exactly sure what he was talking about but patiently listened and then finally got it. He explained that an animal died and that it had been covered by sediment for thousands of years. And finally, it turned into a fossil and someone found it at a river. We even got a chance to go on a hike with my family. And my son was looking for fossils and found one. He proudly showed it to us and keeps it in his room. It’s not a dinosaur bone, but just some marine seashell fossil.
As a parent and a teacher, when your child makes a discovery and a connection to what they learned it is a very satisfying experience for both! This reinforces what they have learned. At the same time, it provides you as the teacher some serotonin highs to reward you for your hard work. You can learn more about the “happy drug” serotonin here. But the more you have these learning moments both you and your child will appreciate them even more. Both of you will realize the importance of learning. This creates a symbiotic relationship for you to funnel your child’s eagerness and establish the roots for a love for lifetime learning.
Teaching to Standards of Experiences, Not Just Achievement
In a homeschool, you are creating the environment of learning and establishing the tone for your child’s future. The experiences they have in the homeschool will follow them throughout life.
Renowned early childhood educator Lilian Katz believes we should be teaching with “standards of experiences” in mind, rather than teaching to standards of achievement. Below is her list I share for you to think over. It was new to me and it made me consider how homeschooling can make a very positive impact on my child.
Being intellectually engaged and absorbed.
Being intellectually challenged.
Being engaged in extended interactions (for example, conversations, discussions, exchanges of views, arguments, participation in planning).
Being involved in sustained investigations of aspects of their environment and in experiences worthy of their interest, knowledge, and understanding.
Taking the initiative in a range of activities and accepting responsibility for what is accomplished.
Feeling satisfied by overcoming obstacles and setbacks and solving problems.
Having confidence in their intellectual powers and questions.
Helping others to discover things and to understand them better.
Making suggestions to others and expressing appreciation of others’ efforts and accomplishments.
Applying their developing literacy and numeracy skills in purposeful ways.
Feeling that they belong to a group of their peers.Dr. Lilian Katz
When I looked over this list, I asked myself about how what we were doing in our lessons reflected any of these questions. I especially liked the one “Making suggestions to others and expressing appreciation of others’ efforts”. I think we need our son to work on this one! He is young so he doesn’t like it when we make suggestions to him about how he should write his letters. But we like to show our appreciation to him when he is doing well! But he was helping others (his grandmother) to “discover things and to understand them better”
Homeschooling Engages Parents
Being engaged in your child’s education means you are actively taking part in creating, planning, and searching, besides teaching. This advantage of homeschooling means you are always seeking out answers and ways to improve your knowledge. Sometimes you will find new theories, resources, or even some free courses! Either way, you have an advantage because homeschooling is becoming more popular. Therefore there are so many more choices for you. It’s an opportunity to be able to incorporate this new knowledge into your curriculum, or routine that makes it such an incredible way to teach and learn.
If your child was in a traditional school, you most likely would be less active and probably waiting and relying on the school to do all of this innovation. Being passive in your child’s education would mean that you probably don’t seek out new things and resources. Why would you since you pay or expect the school and teachers to do it for you, right? Well even if you were able to find the good stuff you wanted to add to your kid’s routine, it would be challenging. How would you do it?
Parental Involvement Boosts Kids Achievements
Research shows that parental involvement boosts kids’ achievements and makes them shine in school. It only makes sense to us as homeschoolers. This is an advantage for homeschoolers because we must be engaged and involved in our child’s education. My wife is also a music teacher in public and private schools and studios. She witnesses countless times where a parent is just not engaged. They seemingly expect that the teacher will not only teach their child but also somehow supervise or inspire them to practice when they are at home during the week!
This is certainly up to the parents to supervise and ensure their kids are practicing music in their own homes. And the lack of involvement reflects on the performance of the child’s skills and attitude towards music. My wife does aid in the supervision of these kids that she feels need extra attention by having them film their practice sessions. Then she reviews the session and provides feedback. This is helpful, but it would be better if the parents were more involved and didn’t rely on this kind of “remote monitoring” of students.
No Homework Necessary in Homeschool!
One advantage of homeschooling that kids love more than parents is there is almost no homework. Because all the work is done efficiently there is no need for homework. During our research, we also found out that in Finland there is also literally no assigned homework. And if there is it’s around 10 minutes to complete. Watch this video about it here and you will be as surprised as I was. But the kids in Finland do well in school based on test results and do it with 20 hours of school per week! That’s right, they start at only 20 hours per week. Their philosophy is kids need time to play and do kid things. Then they are happier and learn better.
When they have time to play and do kid things they also have more time to let the lessons sink in and they retain the material. They also apparently don’t have multiple-choice tests! One kid joked that they would only need multiple choice if they didn’t know the material! There are also scenes where kids are eating lunch together with their teachers and seem to be having fun! In Finland, the schools are all free and do not charge any tuition. It is illegal for them to do so, and therefore all schools are equally good. Another teacher said that parents don’t need to stress out about which school to send their kids to. They said the best school is the one already in their neighborhood.
Happier Kids Become Better Learners
Another advantage we see in homeschool is that your kids most likely will be better rested and happier. In the video about Finnish schools, they also stress that they teach how to be happy and learn in a way that makes kids happier. And they learn and teach them things that make their brains work better. Not just subjects, but how to make them happier people. A Harvard study also has similar findings and you can see the article here
“In this study, we found that a network of supportive relationships is at the heart of happiness,”Christina Hinton
Dr. Hinton also has set up a research foundation that examines happiness and this important aspect of kids’ lives. This entire page discusses the results of studies with various sources and the findings that relate happiness to success in school. We really believe this is also a part of our philosophy to keep our son in a positive mindset, happy to learn, and enjoy himself.
Many students in the local schools where we live have to be in school until 9 pm in the evenings. Some even need to attend daily tutoring classes just to keep up with the extra work assigned to them as homework. If they didn’t attend the after-school classes they wouldn’t be able to even know how to do the work assigned! My oldest daughter and older son both have gone through the stringent school system here in Asia. So this is one of the reasons we believe homeschooling is an advantage to improve our son’s happiness.
Friendships are More Selective in Homeschool
As a homeschooling family, being more selective about the friends your child makes can be an advantage. When your child is in a traditional school, you are not able to learn much about how or who your child makes friends with. This is up to chance and can be good or bad. Depending on where the school is, who the teachers are and so many other variables. When I was a kid, I was dropped off at school and picked up in the morning. As I grew up, I took a school bus, and when I was even older and wanted to be “cool”, I would walk or bike by myself and with friends.
I can honestly say that after I was in middle school my parents didn’t know much about my friends. And as a teenager, it’s normal to keep many things from our parents! Every family is different but as a homeschooling family, it will be an advantage to be more selective about your children’s friends. You will create social opportunities and activities where your kids will make friends. The outside classes they take or the sports teams they join will be opportunities for them to make friends. That means you need to be more careful to choose the right ones!
The activities or classes you select are in more controlled environments and you can participate and possibly even be required to be active as a team parent. Other chances for friendships are in church organizations or other extracurricular activities both team and individual. But don’t think that your kids will be angels just because they attend a church activity. As a kid, I learned how to smoke cigarettes during church-sponsored Friday night dances. Yes, I hung with the “cool crowd” and we would sneak out back and smoke! And then come back in for the dance. In your homeschool, this most likely will not happen!
Homeschool is a Safer Environment for Your Children
The last advantage of homeschooling we will mention is the safety it provides your kids. Even though this might be an obvious one, we didn’t do homeschool because we thought the environment was unsafe for our kids. Where we live in Asia, it’s even safer than where I grew up. I was raised in a medium-sized city, St. Petersburg, Florida. It was a quiet and relatively safe neighborhood. But I still remember a few bad experiences just going to or from school. Once I was flashed by a local mentally disturbed teenager that everyone knew about. And on another few occasions, I got into fistfights.
Yes, I survived and even made up with those people whom I fought. But they were scary moments anyways. And in this day and age, things are not always so simple and innocent anymore. People are more aggressive and more mentally disturbed and in some areas very dangerous. That was just traveling to school. While I was in elementary school I was usually the biggest kid so I don’t remember ever being bullied. However when I got into middle-school things changed. I was no longer the biggest kid and there were some tough dudes!
I was bullied for having an Asian mom. But that didn’t last long once I grew up and fought for myself! I was lucky and sometimes I even think it made me a little more careful and tougher. But that was just me. I was mentally tough enough to survive and I also started to learn martial arts and workout to get some nice muscles. But not everyone is so lucky, and bullying takes its toll on some kids. In the social media age, we all know what can happen with cyberbullying and even schoolyard bullying. So a homeschooling family will not have any issue with bullying. Except maybe amongst siblings, but that’s pretty normal and you as a parent can handle!