This Monday, 54,000 students will be going back to school in our local school district. Once again, roads and highways will be clogged with school buses and carloads of kids. Most of those kids will have been up since before 6:00 a.m. They scrambled to eat, get dressed and brush their teeth in order to get to the bus stop or into mom’s car before 6:45 a.m.
Around the same time time as those 54,000 kids get to the bus stop, my kids will be getting up and seeing their mother off to her job as public school teacher. They will lumber back into the house and eat a relaxing breakfast before turning to their morning chores. Around 8:30 a.m., classes at the Wood Academy will begin.
At noon, when many school kids are going to lunch, we will wrapping things up for the day. A much shorter day is just one of the well known advantages to homeschooling. What most people don’t realize is that there are lots of other unexpected benefits to homeschooling. Carrie likes to call these the homeschooling fringe benefits:
- We don’t have to stay up late or get up early to pack six separate lunches for my kids. When school is over (usually by lunch) they usually make themselves something to eat. Often, they get to eat a hot breakfast and lunch.
- My kids get to wear their pajamas to school. Some days several of my kids go back to bed wearing the same PJs. When you do as much laundry as we do, that’s a benefit!
- NO SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS. Nuff said.
- Our family can do Doctor, Dentist and Orthodontist appointments any time of day, not just that micro window between 4:00 and 4:30 in the afternoon after the typical school day.
- We save on school supplies. We don’t have to buy the giant list of supplies for each grade level because they all just share.
- When one of my kids gets sick, I don’t have to scramble. S/he can just lay on the couch while the rest of us do school. Easy Peasy.
- We can go on 3 day camping trips without worrying about our kids missing school.
- I don’t have to rush my kids off to the bus stop.
- No cliques, no mean girls and no bullies.
- No peer pressure or negative influence from other kids. My oldest didn’t even know what a cigarette was until she was 10.
- I don’t have to buy a brand new clear backpack because the school district introduced a new policy. Or any backpacks at all. They just carry their books to the kitchen table.
- My wife doesn’t have to send emails and plan meetings with my kid’s teacher, unless of course she want’s to. But we will probably run into each other at dinner.
- No trying to cram homework in between dinner and bedtime.
- NO STATE MANDATED STANDARDIZED TESTING! At least in Texas.
- Our school is mobile. We can do school at the store or even when we camp!
- My kids don’t have to meet a new teacher every year and they don’t have to begin at a new school in elementary, middle, and high school or if we move.
- They can ride their bikes, skate, skateboard, swim or even go to the park for P.E.
- My kids with special educational needs can be themselves without worrying about disrupting a class or getting into trouble.
- None of my children have to take medication in order to get through a day at school.
- If my kids get tired or restless or frustrated, we can just call it a day and go to the park or swimming or shopping or even watch a movie.
No doubt there are lots more benefits to homeschooling that I haven’t remembered to list here. If you are still on the fence about homeschooling, maybe this article helped nudge you off. If not, what are your concerns? Are you already a homeschooler? I bet you can think of a few more fringe benefits that I didn’t list. What have been the biggest benefits for you and your kids?