What does homeschooling look like? It looks like a child, a book, and a dog, at least in our home! Homeschooling provides a safe and secure learning environment, and a comfortable, relaxing education. Pets are welcome!
There are so many benefits to homeschooling, it’s hard to list them all: rigorous academics, positive socialization, time for specialization ... the list is almost endless. Many families choose homeschooling because they believe the safety and comfort of home is the best learning environment for their children.
Sometimes people ask me, “What does homeschooling look like?” I usually reply that in our home, it looked like my son lying beside our dog reading a book, or talking to his grandfather about economics. In an environment that is free of fear, children have the security to learn with reckless abandon.
Local public schools in Central Washington have picked up on this idea of creating a safe and comfortable environment for students, by incorporating therapy dogs into the classroom. First-grade teachers there are using man’s best friend as a way to get students to read. The students take turns gathering in small groups around the dogs and read to them from books. One of the dog handlers explained why it works: “Dogs are just very relaxing.” They appear to listen intently and, perhaps most importantly, can’t talk back. Educators say they’re the perfect reading pals for young kids, and medical professionals have long noted that being around dogs tends to lower a person's blood pressure and anxiety. I read that article and I thought, "Wow! I'm ahead of the curve!" In our homeschool, we had already figured out those lessons, and implemented that educational plan!
Is your homeschool environment relaxing and comfortable? Maybe this new year is an opportunity to get a dog?! Whether you have animals or not, homeschooling offers you the best advantages when it comes to academics, socialization, specialization and security. Whatever the reasons you choose to homeschool, I’m here to help when it comes to high school planning and college preparation. I’d love to talk with you!
Please note: This post was originally published in January 2013 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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