While we have many reasons (see part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4) for choosing to homeschool after two years in the public school system, here are 10 unexpected benefits to homeschooling we have discovered after 1 month into our new way of learning.
1) No fundraisers! I am so thankful to not have to say no to my pleading eyes daughter who wants to win one of the 'prizes' for selling or collecting the most books, magazines, pledges, etc. I am so thankful to not feel pressured into giving more and more money to school. We were bombarded with 4 fundraisers within the first 3 weeks of school last year.
2) No buying an extra pair of gym shoes that hardly gets worn and usually gets lost at some point for gym class!
3) Snack Freedom! No worries about having nut, peanut butter, milk, egg, sugar free anything for snacks and lunches!
4) No more book orders! My kids love books. I love books. We have a huge collection of books from my teaching days. But, I am a garage sale/goodwill kind of book shopper. I also love the library. The temptation for any of us to buy beautiful new books from those newsprint flyers once a month was hard on the heart!
5) I'll be honest that I love having my oldest at home because she can be such a huge help. Shopping has become easier with her there to push the cart or play pat-a-cake with baby while I grab what we need. She is also able to keep an eye on things at home if I need to make a phone call. She loves being a helper and so it is neat to see her nurturing skills develop.
6) Izzy can make her sisters laugh like no one else can. I missed the giggles coming from her and Lili's room when she at school last year. Let's face it, I'm not nearly as fun as she is in my 3 year old's eyes. I love hearing the laughter in my house all day long!
7) NO HOMEWORK!!!!! Oh the tears, trials, frustrations of trying to help your child get through an hour or two of homework every night after they are tired of 7 hours of "learning" and just want to play. Oh how hard it was to help her when the homework was filled with "fuzzy math" concepts and writing personal narratives on topics she had no background on (ie: she had to write a 5 sentence + paragraph on how bullying is bad for school- poor girl loves everyone and is well loved, had no idea what bullying was and why it was always being pushed at school). I love the freedom of being able have pedagogy that fits her learning style and to take breaks when we need to.
8) We have oodles of family within a 10 mile radius. I'd say one of Izzy's favorite parts of being homeschooled is getting to spend more time with her Grandparents and cousins. She loves family and now she doesn't have to miss out on Tuesday lunches or getting to be babysat by grandma when mommy has a meeting. It is good for her soul.
9) School is no longer the rock in the jar (follow link on great illustration on fitting things in our lives) we must work around to fit everything else in our life. School no longer dictates our schedule, bedtimes, diet, after school activities, vacations, and more. Our focus is now on learning through life (though we do thrive on structure and schedule here, it is not something that dictates or defines us). I had no idea how much time and effort it took to do 'school' and how much it influenced my time.
10) This is more of anticipated hope and prediction but I'm thinking I'm going to really like homeschool so I'm not constantly reminding my daughter to bring home lost lunch boxes, coats, gloves, shoes, folders, etc. Especially come winter, it will be nice to have all of our winter gear in place when we need it, not left in our cubby or stranded in a lost and found. Stuff is home, where it belongs :)
I linked up to other great lists for List it Tuesday at www.manylittleblessings.com and www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com!