The list of homeschooling benefits is long. When I first started homeschooling, I anticipated plenty of perks (along with challenges too, of course!) but there are 10 benefits I honestly never saw coming!
Sleeping in, little to no homework, and lots of family time are definite perks. So is the opportunity to travel during the off-season and attend field trips during non-peak hours. There is also the ability to move beyond grade-level work or conversely, to spend extra time on subjects requiring more time and attention.
These are all huge positives that I was aware of before making the decision to homeschool.
But there have been other bonuses that I never anticipated!
Here are 10 benefits of homeschooling I never saw coming:
1. Daily phone calls from Dad
I figured we’d have A LOT of family time following a homeschooling lifestyle, but I didn’t even consider daily phone calls from my husband at lunch.
Granted, he’s not able to call every single day, depending on how busy his schedule is, but most days, he is able to connect with us. Just having a few minutes where we check-in and he’s able to talk to the kids about what they’re up to that day is a huge positive for us.
These (mostly) daily phone calls keep us connected throughout the day as a family.
2. Confidence in the kitchen
I’m grateful that I’m able to prepare (mostly!) healthy food for my kids to eat for breakfast and lunch. I have the ability to make smoothies or heat up soup and provide plenty of fruits and veggies.
My kids have developed a desire to learn to cook independently and to experiment and get creative in the kitchen. Before we started homeschooling, I never expected that they’d be excited about doing this on their own! They went from cooking pasta and slicing fruit, to sauteing vegetables for casseroles and stir-frys. As their skills in the kitchen have developed, so has their confidence.
Since cooking is an important life skill, I’m thrilled that they’re selecting recipes to try on their own.
3. Extending hospitality during school hours
While I do my best to try and protect our 9am-2pm academic time and routine, I am so grateful for the opportunity to extend hospitality when it arises. Out-of-town visitors, other homeschooling friends, neighbors stopping by… homeschooling has offered flexibility in ways that have allowed us to be available to others.
I love knowing that our home represents a warm and inviting place for many people.
4. discovering that I like math
I’m still in shock over this one!
Look, as a kid, I hated math. It was confusing, frustrating, and complicated for me. “I’m just not a math person” became a common statement. It was also the subject I was most afraid of teaching when we started homeschooling.
But as I learned math differently from the way I was taught as a child, it started to make more sense. I realized that I was (gasp!) enjoying it. Who knew!?
I’ve discovered that a subject that used to terrify me is actually one that I really enjoy. How cool is that!?
5. Greater independence
Early on, I sometimes worried that my children would become too dependent on me for their educational guidance. But now that they’re in their tween and teen years, I see that I couldn’t have been more wrong about this!
As they’ve continued to increase their knowledge and develop solid study skills, they’ve become quite independent with their learning.
Outsourcing courses has also ensured that they are held accountable to teachers and mentors separate and apart from me. This has required independence in reaching out to these instructors for support and clarification when needed.
My children are continuing to become more independent as they are learning to take ownership of their education.
6. Embracing mistakes
Full disclosure: I am a recovering perfectionist.
It’s often held me back, especially during times when I was too scared of looking incompetent or silly to try something new or to challenge myself.
Homeschooling has offered a wonderful way to experiment, grow, and learn.
Research continues to show the ability to make mistakes and try again, strengthens grit and determination. This results in long-term success.
Have my children tried their hardest?
Have they attempted to understand the material presented to the best of their ability?
What about considering out-of-the-box possibilities and alternative solutions?
If the answers are yes and they still “fail” at something, well, in our family we don’t consider this a failure at all.
We’ve tried to create an environment in which mistakes made after learning and hard work, are celebrated for the growth and achievement they represent.
After all, our lives are full of mistakes! So often, these mistakes are what enable us to grow and improve.
7. Making money during school hours
I knew we’d take advantage of volunteering and community involvement when opportunities came our way, but I didn’t expect my kids would be able to make some money from time to time.
Both of my kids have been asked to help set up for and assist during various local events. My daughter also regularly babysits once a week. These opportunities occur during times when the majority of their peers are still in school.
Not only are they able to make some money during school hours, but they are sought out by adults who know they’re available, specifically because they homeschool.
They’ve established reputations as hard-working and reliable while also taking advantage of opportunities to make money when they arise.
We live during a time that encourages busy and productive over slow and steady. But too much of anything can cause stress and overwhelm. Free time and plenty of space are needed in order to foster creativity and problem-solving.
For these reasons, I actually see boredom as a gift. My children have discovered new interests and gained new skills because they initially felt bored.
This boredom has provided an opportunity to learn and grow. What a gift!
9. Encouraging other homeschooling families
OK, this one is seriously one of my absolute favorites!
I have talked with countless people over the years who have expressed an interest in homeschooling. I have listened to concerns, answered questions, recommended resources, and supported new homeschoolers.
It brings me so much joy to encourage other homeschooling families and to celebrate their success!
10. Lots of positive feedback about homeschooling
Never, ever, ever, did I see this one coming!
I spent those early months of homeschooling feeling guarded whenever we were out during regular school hours. Anticipating criticism and judgment, I felt like I always needed to be prepared with answers to questions and impressive responses.
And sure, I’ve had some negative comments thrown at me here and there.
But you know what?
The majority of the time, I receive compliments and encouragement. Any questions asked of me are usually done so out of genuine curiosity.
I have been surprised and encouraged with all of the positive feedback I’ve received over the years!
Truly, these 10 homeschooling benefits are ones I never saw coming! And they have been true gifts throughout our days and during our homeschooling years.
If you’re still on the fence and considering homeschooling, do any of these benefits I’ve mentioned appeal to you? And if you’re currently homeschooling, what benefits have you experienced that you could never have anticipated?
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