I love homeschooling. It changed my life. Here’s how!
My parents began homeschooling my two brothers and me around the mid-90s. They pulled us out of our respectable Christian school and began their home education journey.
Going from school to homeschool felt like leaving a dark tunnel and stepping out into a sunny field full of daisies. I not only felt better emotionally but my academic performance sky-rocketed and my relationship with my parents and siblings improved dramatically. It is for these reasons I love homeschooling now and plan on home educating my own children in the future.
Below I’ll expand on these reasons why I love homeschooling, and show you a few others, giving you some glimpses into my wonderful homeschooling experience.
Why I Love Homeschooling
1. Being so close to my parents
I usually felt happy and content at home but quite uncomfortable at school. Ironically, the time I felt happiest at school was when my father volunteered to mow the school grounds and I got to see him for a short time every week.
Sadly, he only cuddled me and then sent me back saying I needed to go to the classroom to ‘get an education’. At that time he felt ‘teachers always know best’ and what could a non-teacher know about education. (Sadly some people still think you need a teaching degree to homeschool effectively.)
After my parents started homeschooling, our relationship improved and my family became my best friends. This meant we could discuss deep issues and issues that were close to my heart amicably. They often taught me wisdom and discernment and I am grateful for that.
2. I got more work done in a fraction of the time.
When I was at school, my two brothers and I were dropped off in the morning at about 8:30 am after a hectic morning getting ready. We stayed at school until 3 pm when we got on a bus and returned home.
Unfortunately, there is a common myth making the rounds today that the amount of time a student spends at school is directly proportional to his grades. This is untrue. Children don’t need to stay at school for this amount of time to ‘get an education’.
Indeed, most homeschoolers only do schoolwork formally for an average of 2-3 hours a day, yet their test scores are consistently higher than those of public school children who spend significantly longer at school.
In our homeschool, I spent an average of three hours on homework each day and then did chores. After this, we were allowed to follow our interests and pursue entrepreneurial ventures.
3. Homeschooling fostered my love of reading.
At school, I was often assigned books to read. I don’t remember much about these books, but I do remember being so tired after my big day at school that all I wanted to do was lie down and sleep or watch television. At the end of the day, I had no energy to read a book.
When we homeschooled, we did many field trips to the library and were allowed to choose books we loved and had an interest in. Because I wasn’t overtired, I developed a ravenous appetite for reading which has served me well to this day.
I now feel confident to tackle almost any book thrown my way and even frequently read tomes many might shy away from.
4. No peer pressure is why I love homeschooling.
There was a lot of peer pressure in my classroom at school. To join the social group I wanted to be part of was tricky and their ‘joining fee’ was high.
On one hand, I didn’t want to join the ‘good girl group’ because they seemed too ‘goody-two-shoes’ for my liking. On the other hand, the ‘cool girl group’ exacted harsh conditions on its members. They would often say, ‘You can’t be friends with us unless you…’.
To fit in with this group, I stole a Barbie doll from my local supermarket. I had to return it in tears when my parents found the doll – this whole episode was a catalyst for my parents deciding to homeschool.
When we homeschooled, there was no peer-pressure. The atmosphere was incredibly relaxing in comparison and I loved my new social group (my family and homeschooling friends).
5. I didn’t feel lonely, different or weird.
Because my mother is an Egyptian, I have slightly darker skin than the average Caucasoid. In contrast, my school was completely homogenous and, other than my brothers, only had ‘white’ girls and boys. I felt a little different from the rest of my peers and often felt weird.
I loved homeschooling because I never had this feeling. Furthermore, my homeschooling friends didn’t seem to notice and played with me as they might play with anyone else.
6. I could work at my own pace.
Perhaps the reason for my academic failure at school (I was almost the worst in my class in terms of test scores and one of the slowest) is that I couldn’t work at my own pace, but was hurried to complete learning my lessons in less time than I felt I was able to. This is not because I had a learning disability or any other issue – it was just because I needed more time to get certain concepts.
When I wasn’t given this time and the lessons progressed, I felt even more confused as I hadn’t learned the work from the previous lessons. On top of this, I felt muddled and stupid as I seemed to have my hand up always and it felt like I was one of the last ones who finished.
But, I love homeschooling because it allowed me to work at my own pace. I could work as slowly as I wanted on my ABeka math or finish my language studies in record time. My work didn’t feel like a race anymore and there was no shame in how quickly or slowly I completed my schoolwork.
7. Outdoor time is I why I love homeschooling.
One fantastic thing about homeschooling is the time you get to spend in nature.
After our lessons, my brothers and I spent many hours building cubby houses, chopping down tree saplings and doing woodwork. We made vegetable gardens, mud huts, and rafts for our dam out of used milk bottles which we collected out of our neighbours recycling bins.
We also got plenty of nature walks in and bonded with our parents as we went on bush walks.
8. Could finish secondary studies early and start tertiary or work.
Another reason I loved homeschooling was that it gave me more tertiary education options compared to school.
In school, students are strongly encouraged to finish all 12 years or else they are sometimes labelled as failures or non-academic. I loved learning but didn’t like learning the Year 11 or Year 12 content. Hence, I wasn’t motivated. My parents said I could finish up early and start a Certificate in Nursing and begin my work life.
I did this at age 15. These days many people graduate early from high school and start a trade or college degree. This gave me the advantage of being able to work for two years when everyone else was at school meaning I had enough for a house deposit at age 18!
9. Great excursions and better holidays.
Because we were able to fit our homeschooling schedule around our lives and didn’t have to do things according to the school’s schedule, we had more opportunities to do things school families are not able to. This meant we could go to nice holiday spots outside of school holidays for a cheaper price. This also meant the sidewalks and sightseeing venues weren’t overcrowded with families who were squeezing their holiday into school vacation times.
10. My relationship with God strengthened considerably.
The main reason my parents decided to homeschool (and the reason many Americans start homeschooling) was that they felt they could better pass on their Christian beliefs to us in the home setting.
After spending three years in school, my relationship with God was not on a good footing. I was making poor moral choices and wasn’t interested in the Bible.
After I was homeschooled, my parents spent a lot of time explaining the gospel, my sin and my need for a saviour in Jesus. My relationship with Jesus is now the most precious thing in my life and the top reason I’ll be homeschooling my own children.
Conclusion: Why I Love Homeschooling
There are many reasons I love homeschooling, but I believe every family will find something they particularly love about this mode of education. For me, it was the flexibility in terms of the amount of time I spent doing formal work, graduation options, and self-paced study.
I loved how accepting my family and friends were in comparison to school peers. And, most of all my relationship with God flourished at home. If you’ve homeschooled, I’d be interested in hearing about your experiences and what you particularly liked about home education in the comments below.