When we decided to homeschool, I sought counsel in one of my best friends. She had so many great reasons for homeschooling, but the most poignant one was because of her faith. And while that wasn’t our primary reason to begin with, it has certainly become a more prominent reason in recent years.
Over the last 7 years, we have discovered a few more reasons that have surprised even me. While our core reasons remain the same, there are little things that make homeschooling a wonderfully, perfect fit for our family.
With my husband in the ministry, our plans can be derailed due to an emergency with a member or an unexpected death. It is the life we believe God has chosen for us, but it doesn’t come without sacrifices. So for more than the usual reasons, homeschooling fits our family.
9 Surprising Reasons to Homeschool
1. It costs less.
Other than our first year when I went a little overboard on curriculum I could find, homeschooling has cost us less in the long run.
We choose to use a lot of curriculum that is non-consumable, especially for our younger ones, so we can just copy and go. No need to buy more books each year.
We use an online math curriculum that has a family membership, which allows us access for up to 5 children (more by just asking) and we can school from any grade, kindergarten to high school. This has saved us a ton of money.
We do not have to buy school uniforms, which is required in many public school districts across the United States. Nor are we paying annual tuition fees for books or a private school. We do not have gas to drive to and from school and we are not required to participate in school-sanctioned fundraisers.
2. You can study what you want.
While some states do require certain subjects to be taught during certain years, not every state is that way. We live in a state that allows us the freedom to choose what is taught, so long as the high school credits are met to graduate. So we get to pick and choose what topics we cover each year and in what order.
I absolutely love this freedom, because it allows my children to take off and explore a topic that interests them.
3. No set sleeping schedule.
We have four children who all have their own sleeping pattern. Our oldest has always been an early riser. It was a blissful day when he learned how to make his own breakfast and learn to work the television. The middle two like to sleep, which was wonderful…until our youngest came along and she is another early riser. Even though she is capable of getting her own breakfast, she is not allowed to be unsupervised, which means I’m up when she’s up. However, it will be a glorious day when she is trusted to be awake by herself and I can get a few extra minutes of sleep.
While our early risers take their time in the morning before starting schoolwork, they generally start at least an hour before the middle two. Our middle two do better around 10:30 or 11:00 to start. Yes, this often means we have to break for lunch, but that’s okay. I’ll take it over the kicking and screaming at 9am to get them started.
4. No school dress code.
Most public schools have a dress code that students must adhere to when in attendance. And private schools require uniforms. My children have just clothes. They can even show up to do their school work in pajamas, so long as they get it done.
I used to make them get up and get dressed every single day, but here in Indiana, the winters can get very cold and they like to stay in their warm and cozy pajamas. Now in the spring and summer, they typically get dressed as motivation to finish their school and head outside for the day. But I don’t require them to be dressed to do their schoolwork.
5. You can set your own schedule.
Some people are morning people and others are night owls. And some function better in the middle of the day. Whatever your family and/or child desires, can work with your homeschooling schedule.
Right now, our children are young enough that we still keep them on a sleep schedule, because I don’t want to be up at 3am with our four year-old. However, our 7-year old is a night owl by nature and when he is mature enough to be trusted, he will likely be allowed to do his schoolwork at night.
6. Off-season vacations.
Living over 600 miles from family, this is a huge perk to us. Not only is great to plan field trips during the week when school is in session, we can plan our family vacations during the off-season.
Bonus: it typically costs less in the off-season, so we’re saving even more money! We love being able to take day-trips during the school year when school is in session.
7. Extracurriculars can be built in to your school day, rather than after.
When I was in high school, I left at 6:30 in the morning (to get hitch a ride with a friend, who had band practice before school) and didn’t get home until usually 9pm after my dance classes. Looking back, I’m not sure how I managed to survive and get the grades I did to graduate. Or how my parents managed it, for that matter.
With four children who want to take music lessons, dance lessons, play soccer and our ministry obligations, our evenings could fill up quickly. However, we have been fortunate enough to at least schedule music lessons during the day, so it doesn’t cut in to another evening. This has helped us not be gone every. single. night. of the week.
8. Laundry and cooking are part of school.
Cooking brings in some natural science/chemistry and math teaching to our day. Laundry can also bring in science/chemistry when we have stains to get out (some of which we experiment on with different solutions) and measuring.
While these are great Home-Ec skills to learn, it also provides me some one-on-one time with each child.
9. Game Day!
This is—you guessed it—our children’s favorite day! Occasionally we can’t just take off for the day, but we want to take a break from the daily grind, I’ll pick out some games that coincide with what we’re learning and we have a game day. Monopoly Crazy Cash is great for my younger ones learning to count with money. We also have a couple of games that work on manners, sharing and listening, should we need to reinforce those in our children. Dominoes is another game that not only helps with counting, but strategy.
Do you have a surprising reason you homeschool?
Love all your reasons! I’d add how much I love that my kiddos are together every day. I can’t imagine dropping them off somewhere and have them in separate rooms all day, perhaps just waving to each other across the playground or lunch room. I had 4 girls in 4-1/2 years and so love that they are each others’ best friends and hope that lasts forever! Homeschooling has given them this unique opportunity to spend more time together.
Ellen – you are so right! As much as they can argue and annoy each other, they really are each others’ best friends! That is a wonderful reason! Thanks for adding it.