My initial reasons for homeschooling Grasshopper were simply because the school setting was not a good fit for him. He went to public school in kindergarten and it was a disaster from day one. Yes, I literally got the call from school the first day. I was shocked to say the least. Grasshopper is a good, sweet, caring, thoughtful kid. That is until you put him in a classroom with almost 20 other kids and expect him to sit still and listen all day.
All of this happened before we eventually got his diagnosis of ADHD and dyslexia. Even though we now know why he was having difficulties in the school setting, I will not send him back to public school. In the last two years my reasons to homeschool have gone far beyond our initial reason.
Tailor Lessons to Our Children’s Learning Style
Every child is different. Every single one. If you’re a parent to more than one child I’m sure you’ll agree. Even children being raised by the same parents in the same house are different from each other. Since every child is different, why do we expect them to fit into a cookie cutter education system?
Each child learns differently. Homeschooling means we can tailor the lessons to their learning style. This is especially true of our kids with learning disabilities. The fact that I can 100% tailor Grasshopper’s education to fit his learning disabilities without being pulled from class is huge.
Teach To Their Areas of Interest
With homeschooling our kids are not married to whatever the teacher has on the lesson plan. We are free to explore areas that are of high interest to our children. If you see your kids really fascinated with a topic of study take time to slow down and dig deeper with your studies.
Is your child really interested with a particular time period? Make that your topic of study for history. Same goes with science. Not only does this help hold your kids’ interest, it will help them develop a love of learning.
Kids With Learning Disabilities Are Not Labeled Or Feel Behind
Grasshopper is well aware of his learning disabilities. When I say our homeschooled kids aren’t labeled, I don’t mean they don’t know. In fact, I think it’s very important that they are told. When I say they’re not labeled, I mean that they aren’t labeled in front of the other children. Our homeschooled kids are not pulled from the main class to be in special ed.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking special ed. Ladybug spends a considerable amount of time in special ed and they do a fantastic job with her. However, I think the social/emotional ramifications of a child with unseen disabilities needing special ed is more significant. The frustrations of knowing they need extra help, and cannot keep up with the rest of the class can really hurt a child’s self esteem.
When we homeschool our children with learning disabilities, they have no idea if they are “behind”. This is because we are homeschooling them at their pace. There are no comparisons to other kids in class. I can’t stress enough how important this can be for a child with learning disabilities. They may already feel like they are dumb or stupid (even though we know it isn’t true) why make them feel even worse when they see what their peers are accomplishing.
Homeschooling means we take away the stress of comparing them to other student’s progress. We can take time to go at our child’s speed and they don’t feel the pressure to keep up with the class.Homeschooling means we take away the stress of comparing them to other student's progress Click To Tweet
Grasshopper is allowed to sleep in on days Ladybug doesn’t have a therapy appointment in the morning. Because of his ADHD, he often times has a hard time sleeping (in spite of trying ALL the tricks). There are days the bus has gone by our house an hour before he gets out of bed. He needs his sleep, or there will be consequences (the one thing he gets from me). Homeschooling means he can get adequate sleep.
Ladybug still attends public school for various reasons (see link). Because of her wheelchair, I need to get on the bus to help get her on and off the lift and tie her wheelchair down. It is not uncommon that I see a lot of kids sleeping on the bus. I see it both on the way to and from school.
With the exception of the occasional fight with a sibling, homeschoolers for the most part avoid being bullied. Of course, they may not avoid it all together. They do socialize with other kids (yes it’s true). Yes, they will confront conflict and need to learn how to handle this conflict. My point is that by homeschooling they will avoid the classroom bully.
By homeschooling, our kids avoid the unneeded stress of stirring clear of the bully during the day. School is to be a place of learning, it’s kind of hard to learn when you’re too focused on being teased, picked on, or worse.
I don’t care what the school policy on bullying is, it still happens. With cyber-bullying, it really is becoming a big problem that our young children are just not emotionally ready to handle yet.
As homeschoolers, we can do school on our own time and on our own terms.
Having a bad day? We can end lessons and play a game.
Can’t put the book down? Don’t!
They want to study ocean life beyond what the lesson covered? Go for it!
Take a vacation in the off (less crowded) season? Yes please!
Child too sick to do a full school day, but well enough to listen to read alouds? spend the day reading on the couch.
This friends, is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to homeschool flexibility. All too often, parents who are not homeschooling see us with our kids all day and assume we give up freedoms to homeschool. While that might be the case in some areas, overall we have so much more flexibility and freedom because we homeschool.
In fact, one of the things that holds us back most is the fact that I do have one child in public school. I need to make sure any outside activity we have planned gets us home before Ladybug’s bus.
Homeschooling Gives us Bonding Time
I spend a lot of time with Grasshopper, so naturally we have a pretty strong bond. As a mother, it brings me enormous joy knowing that our relationship is growing during these school years.
For children in public school, the mother/child relationships tend not to grow at the same rate. It isn’t because my parenting is any better, it’s simply because of the time spent with our kids.
Teach Based on Our Worldview
As a christian, it’s important to me that our kids are raised with a christian worldview. They simply will not get this in public school. Your child can have the best christian teacher in public school, but they still will not be taught from a christian worldview. It’s not the teacher’s fault, their hands are tied.
Regulations dictate what the teachers can and cannot teach. Simply mentioning the name of Jesus can land them in hot water.
Worldview isn’t limited to just spiritual beliefs, it carries over into politics, what our culture accepts as the norm, political correctness, and so on. Unless your worldview aligns with the public schools and all the hands that go into the school system (federal government, teachers unions…) chances are your children will be taught to think contrary to your belief system.
I’m not saying we need to shield our children from these things. We do need to expose them to other ways of thinking. I’m simply saying I would like to teach my child these things on my terms. Comparing other ideas to what the Bible says (can’t do that in school) and have a healthy conversation about these topics.
If you want to learn more on this topic in particular, I recommend the movie IndoctriNation.
I know there are so many more reasons to homeschool. What is your reason?