As a family, we're just finished our third year of homeschooling. With this time behind us, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to discuss our lives for those who may be on the fence of homeschooling their own family. First, let's get this disclaimer out of the way: homeschooling is NOT for everyone. That's just the way it is.
With that out of the way, we are going to start this first post with one of the most important aspects of homeschooling, happiness. Don't get me wrong, it's not all rainbows and unicorns, and the sooner you and your homeschoolers realize this, the better your experience will be going into the adventure.
I asked four of the five kids (Ellie is four and is not really schooling yet) "what's your favorite and least favorite part of homeschooling?" One might think that the kids shouldn't have a say, but the fact is, it's a family thing.
So what do the kids think?
Asia (15): "My favorite part of being homeschooled it the number of opportunities we have for different classes and things to learn. My least favorite part is the fact that we're almost always busy. There are times when there is no downtime as a family."
In terms of "things to learn," it's also about the experiences. Outside of their core classes, all of the kids also do fun courses through a co-op (a post on that soon), extracurriculars, or online courses.
Liberty (12): "The best part of homeschooling is that you get to work on things that interest you- things you want to pursue. The worst part is that we're sometimes overbooked on schedules."
My wife is the teacher, scheduler, taxi driver, and mom- all in one. So if I'm not available to assist in logistics, the schedules can get a little tight for all.
Lena (9): "I like that I get to choose what I want to do... sometimes. I don't like that we're always going somewhere (an overbooked schedule)."
Jack (6): "My favorite part is being home. But I don't like doing work."
He's six, 'nough said.
So, you'll notice that there's an underlying theme to the downside of homeschooling. And the fact that it's noticeable by even our nine-year-old will tell you that we are, in fact, a busy house. Not all homeschool families are that busy- but we also do extracurricular activities outside our standard "school" time (a post on that later too).
Having done this for the better part of three years now, Tami and I both agree that we wouldn't change it. Not that it's not without its significant challenges, but we like being able to have a say in shaping our children's future.