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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

75 Reasons to Love Homeschooling in Winter {and anytime of the year}

75 Reasons to Love Homeschooling in Winter {and anytime of the year}

Written by Jessica.

It’s January. It’s that time of year when all the promise and best intentions of September seem far away and the celebratory feeling of June does, too. The holidays are over. The weather is cold and the days are darker. It’s almost halfway through the school year, but there’s still a lot of winter and many, many more months of school left. The subject that’s a struggle, the curriculum that doesn’t look so promising anymore, the behavior that isn’t improving, the routine that isn’t working – can all feel mighty weighty right about now.


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75 Reasons to Love Homeschooling in the dead of winter {and at anytime}

In other words, it’s mid-winter slump time. It happens to classroom teachers. And it happens to homeschoolers. If you’re feeling weary or having trouble finding joy in the homeschooling journey, you’re certainly not alone. It happens to the very best of educators, even those who love what they do.

Knowing that gratitude and an adjusted perspective can make all the difference, I got to thinking about some of the things that make homeschooling great. Specifically, I tried to think of all the many ways that it’s different, and some may argue better, than traditional schooling. So here’s a big ’ol list of things to love about homeschooling – the big and the small, the serious and the silly. It’s a list to remind us why this homeschooling thing is pretty special…even in a slump.

75 Reasons to Love Homeschooling in Winter {and anytime of the year}

1. September and June don’t have to be fixed starting and ending points.

2. Getting to create the yearly homeschooling calendar that works for your family.

3. Not having to worry that your child is struggling and falling behind in their grade or is too far ahead for their grade and is bored - you’re teaching at their pace.

4. Grade level designations are optional.

5. Not having to worry about which teacher your child is going to get next year.

6. Not fretting about whether your child’s best friend(s) will still be in their class next year.

7. Not having to worry that the bully/the mean girls/the class disrupter/“that” kid will be in your child’s class again.

8. Not having to worry about the bully/the mean girls/the class disrupter/“that” kid – at all.

9. You decide what’s on the school supply list and set the budget.

10. No shopping for random, hard-to-find school supplies.

11. Not having to stress about school wardrobes.

12. No sad and hard good-byes on the first day of school in September.

13. No separating children prematurely from their parents and siblings from each other.

14. Lots and lots of time for family.

15. Siblings growing up as best friends and making memories they otherwise wouldn’t get to, simply because they’re together every day and are together more than they are apart.

16. Alarm clocks in the morning are optional.

17. No frantic scrambling to get everyone ready and out the door on time in the early mornings.

18. Not having to go out in wet/frigid/snowy/icy/windy/dangerous weather to get your kids to school or to pick them up.

19. No standing outside in the drop-off or pick-up line in all manner of weather.

20. All the horrors that happen on school buses? Not happening.

21. Not having to read through, respond to, and remember to return all the piles and piles of school paperwork in your kid’s backpack.

22. No suffering through boring open houses, awkward parent-teacher conferences, and zoo-y holiday class parties.

23. Not having to be room mother, bake something at the last minute for the bake sale, ride a deafeningly-loud school bus with off-the-wall kids to chaperone a field trip, or buy a bunch of chintzy stuff from the annual fundraiser.

24. No classroom drama.

25. Knowing exactly what your child is eating for lunch.

75 Reasons to Love Homeschooling in Winter {and anytime of the year}

26. Knowing who made your child’s lunch.

27. Not having to worry about food allergies at lunch time, snack time, and class parties.

28. You have a family bathroom - period. No special signage or further discussions necessary.

29. You know who cleaned the bathroom. And how. And that it is actually clean. And if it isn’t clean…well, at least you know who uses it.

30. Your child does not have to ask permission to use the toilet or to get a drink of water.

31. Your child does not have to sign out, carry a sign, or wear a badge when using the toilet.

32. Fewer sick days.

33. Not having to worry about your child missing school or getting caught back up after being sick.

34. Not having to ask permission to take a family trip or leave early before vacation week.

35. Being able to take an impromptu field trip or vacation.

36. Being able to take half or full days off when you or your children need them.

37. Homework? Nope. 

38. No book reports and elaborate projects, which you as the parent bear the brunt of helping to complete, over the weekends.

39. No desks.

40. Children engaging in play or other meaningful activities when they finish their work early, not just sitting silently in their seats reading or doodling to pass the time.

41. Precious childhood days not wasted on learning and executing routines solely unique and necessary to a classroom education (how to line up, how to take attendance, how to do reading groups, etc.).

42. Creating a slower-paced childhood for your children.

43. No frantic evenings spent getting home from school, doing homework, going to activities, and then prepping for school all over again the next day.

44. Evenings are for family time.

45. Days are for family time, too.

46. Determining the weekly pace of education that works for your children and family (four day school weeks plus a lighter or co-op day, partial weeks with year-round schooling, etc.).

47. The school day doesn’t have to fall into the 8am to 3pm window.

48. Not having to keep your faith out of your children’s education.

49. Bible-time, devotions, and praying together at the start of each school day.

50. Not having to worry about the agendas in your child’s curriculum.

75 Reasons to Love Homeschooling in Winter {and anytime of the year}

51. Not having to worry that your child is being exposed to too much, too soon.

52. Letting childhood last that little bit longer.

53. Knowing that your child’s “socialization” is happening the way it was intended to, not the way it has become in schools today.

54. Finding like-minded families for your child and family to form friendships with and not being limited to kids in your child’s class, grade, or school.

55. Keeping your children safer from peer pressure, bullying, violence, and harassment.

56. Forming whole-family friendships and therefore being better able to know your children’s friends and peers.

57. Knowing exactly what your child’s teacher’s values and beliefs are.

58. Knowing who your child’s teacher lives with, what they do in their spare time, and the life stories that she is sharing with your child.

59. Always knowing what is being said to your child and how they’re being treated during the day.

60. Knowing confidently that your children are being educated in a safe and loving environment that reflects your family’s values.

59. Being able to do one lesson over several days, or several lessons in one day – teaching at your child’s pace.

61. Being able to take advantage of day-time classes and learning opportunities, keeping your evening free for family and down time. 

62. “Extra” subjects like art and music aren’t considered or treated as extras.

63. Nature walks or time outdoors in the middle of the school day.

64. Time available for your children to pursue hobbies and extracurricular learning activities in their school day.

65. The curriculum wasn’t picked by a panel of teachers by majority-rules to fit budget constraints and meet the district’s and state’s standards.

66. If the curriculum doesn’t work for your child, you can change it.

67. Being able to pick the best curriculum for your family/children from an utterly amazing, vast, and ever-growing array of home education publishers.

68. Knowing that your child isn’t being taught to the tests or to the standards – you’re teaching for mastery. 

69. Knowing that your child hasn’t been given a label.

70. Watching your gifted and talented, special needs, or just-average kid absolutely rock their education, because it’s happening at their pace and with the materials that they need to thrive.

71. All your kids have “IEPs” – and that’s a good thing, not a stigma. An individualized education plan is at the heart of what home education is.

72. Being able to teach the topics and subjects that interest your children or that they excel at.

73. Witnessing all the moments when your child “gets it” for the first time.

74. Seeing your children thrive and knowing that homeschooling has made all the difference.

75. Being there for all the milestones…and not missing a moment.

Homeschooling is challenging at any time of the year, but mid-winter is often a bit more difficult. If the winter-slump has you feeling down and facing the second half of the school year with dread, don’t despair. Try keeping a list of what you love about homeschooling and add something new to it each day. What would you add to the list above?




5 comments:

  1. Wonderful! Thank you so much for this encouragement. I recently had to return to the workforce, albeit from home. I work from home from 6 to 3pm and my hope is to continue homeschooling. My kids have never been in school. So we switched from a lot of Charlotte Mason type curriculum to online or DVD curriculum. I've really been questioning whether I'm doing right my boys. But this list reminded me....YES! YES I AM!

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    Replies
    1. I'm SO glad that this encouraged you at a time when you need it! Your schedule sounds challenging, but yes - there are so many ways that you can still make homeschooling work. Best wishes as you find your new "normal!"

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    2. We may need to look at me working from home too... Do you mind my asking what type of work you do from home??

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    3. I'm a financial analyst for a bank. So many companies now are offering work from home positions. I even have a girlfriend that does door dash (similar to uber eats). Wishing you the best.

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    4. Thanks for the reply! So overwhelming... Gah!

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