In a blog post three weeks ago, I mentioned that flexibility is on my Top Ten Benefits of Homeschooling list. I decided that Thanksgiving is the perfect time to list the reasons I am thankful for our homeschooling lifestyle.
No early morning bus stops! This is of course the most important reason of all. :-)
As I have already said, schedule flexibility is on my list. More specifically, that we can move our school days and content around when we have a crisis or just need a day off for mental health.
Plenty of time for the boys to be outside. One of the things that makes me sad for kids in traditional classrooms is the lack of time they get to be outdoors.
Time for play. All children learn through unstructured play. When you have 8 hours or more away from home everyday, it makes it hard to find time for enough play.
No need to worry about bullying. I know that there is always the chance that the boys may encounter a bully at one of their many away from home activities. However, most times these events are likely to have an adult there who can stop things before they escalate.
Vacationing during the off season. This is one of my favorites. I detest crowded museums, parks and beaches. Being able to travel while the majority of families can not, allows us to avoid the crowds and learn at the same time.
Family time. I love that we are all at home together most days. Recently an acquaintance expressed surprise at how much time our entire family spends together. I don't often think about how unusual that is for most families. I am thankful that we have that benefit AND that we are all happy about it!
The ability to find the best fit for curriculum, or even the lack thereof, for each subject for each of the boys. We have found that no one math curriculum works for both, so we use two. We also know that while JT can learn anything by reading about it, EM needs more of a hands-on approach for most subjects. Even though more and more schools seem to be attempting to teach to different learning styles, they can't cater individually to each student in every subject.
Freedom to work at a pace that suits our own personal rhythms. I know at some point in their lives our boys will probably need to work on someone else's time schedule. Right now we can enjoy that flexibility. If we are having fun finishing an art project, we don't need to put it aside to get to math. Math can always wait until we are ready.
Finally, I love that we get to learn together. We are exploring our world and loving every minute of it. I am usually just as excited about the new things we discover as the boys are...in fact, sometimes more. (Just ask any one who has visited our house recently and been forced to look at my sand samples with the microscope.)
So that's my list. Some days it is hard work to guide these boys. Some days it feels like I'm cheating the system by having so much fun with them. All I know is that they are happy, they are learning and I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of their journey.