Not every homeschool day feels like a gift! When the laundry is piling up, the baby is crying, or a child is having a fit over their math lesson, it's easy to forget the reasons you love to homeschool. But there are so many moments that are gifts!
Your child can feel confident and self-assured. They can be who they are! They are not faced with constant teasing or negative feedback, so they develop confidence. Homeschoolers don’t usually need the latest toys or styles in order to feel confident among their peers.
Sure, homeschooling is a gift for your child's mental health, giving them safety, security and confidence, and it’s also good for their body. Sleep is vital, particularly for teens. Homeschooling families can adapt their school day to meet sleep needs.
Nutrition is improved by eating healthy food at home. A recent study even found that homeschoolers pack on fewer pounds than public schoolers, so homeschooling may help combat obesity! Homeschoolers are more active, without being trapped at a desk, or stuck doing hours of homework each evening. They can continue to learn when mildly under-the-weather, but don’t risk failing when serious illness occurs.
You can give your child the gift of a quality education specially tailored to them. You can meet the needs of your gifted child. You can reach them where they're at and give them the enriched education they crave. Struggling learners are not left behind, either. With learning challenges or special needs, you can slow things down where they need it, and enrich their education where they’re able.
Have you seen the boredom and frustration of traditionally schooled children? That boredom can drain the love of learning right out of them. When children are free to have some sort of say in what they are learning, the joy of learning returns! You can modify your classes to meet your child's learning style, increasing engagement. You can skip the unimportant and focus on their interests, without worrying about the crazy requirements of a public school system.
Homeschooling encourages (even forces!) family closeness and time together at home. In a typical, two-income family, parents probably only get an hour or two with their children every day. Even worse, when a parent is working the night shift, they will rarely see their children at all! Homeschooling gives families a chance to spend more time together! No matter the work shift or deployment, homeschooling can increase your family time.
All parents are a major influence in their children’s lives. But homeschool parents can spend more time gently guiding their children in matters of manners and proper behavior. You have the time to provide both correction and positive encouragement. Merely having a parent around can lead to more peace and harmony in the family. Family harmony and improved behavior are usually the first improvements that a new homeschool family can see.
Homeschooled siblings have mutual friends and mutual play dates when they are younger. As they get older, and grow into “big kid” schedules they may have mutual lab experiments, or socialize with friends together. Often families will spend more time exploring areas of interest together, rather that separately. Siblings can be a great example for each other. Instead of being in an artificial environment where every child is the same age as themselves, homeschoolers learn to deal with children of different ages at home during the day.
Grandparents can be a terrific example of character and family values. Having more time for them in your lives can be a great influence on your children. Caring for the elderly is a critical message to pass along to our children. As you spend time as a family caring for your ailing grandparents, what could be a better example?
Colleges want to see passion in applicants. Passion is what homeschoolers call delight directed learning, the cornerstone of home education. The interests that students develop can guide college and career planning. Passion can improve the chances of college admission and big scholarships.
Homeschooling is a gift of faith, demonstrating your faith in Christ that everything will work out for you. When you first decided to homeschool high school, you went almost entirely on faith: faith that you would be able to finish the job, faith that your kids would end up well-educated, faith that you wouldn't ruin their futures. You don’t have faith that things will be perfect, you have faith that things will work out within God’s will regardless of your imperfections. Your daily actions are a gift of faith, and you have faith that it will all work out in the end.
Children aren’t perfect, and your home isn't always blissful, but sometimes you simply need a reminder that homeschooling is truly a gift! Take time during the business of the holiday season to remember the gifts of homeschooling. There are many, and I've only named a few.
What homeschool gifts are you thankful for? Please share!
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