- Less Stress - my mornings are mine, they are not rushed, they are quiet and peaceful. There is no rushing around to get a child fed, ready and off to the bus for school. It is a slow, stressless morning with joy. The evenings are ours - no rush to get home and get in bed, bedtimes are only for good sleep hygeine and for my daughter (and me!) to get the sleep she needs. I have to say that I'm SO glad that I don't have to wake up before the sun has even thought of coming up to get my children ready for school! It is one of the perks of homeschooling. I also love how I don't have to go pick my children up and wait in a long line or wait for the bus. If we go out for errands, I don't have to hurry before the kids get out of school to be home at a certain time. All in all, it is less stressful for a mom and the children!
- Make it in the "real world" - despite the misnomer that keeping a child away from a school-building means they are not in the "real world", the truth of the matter is that the real world is the one outside the walls of the school building. My daughter's life will be at home, running errands, interacting with people in the neighborhood of all ages and what better way to learn the "real world" than live in it! She interacts with children in different groups of all ages, can hold a conversation with an adult, and is there when "real life" happens.
- Build a Strong Child - You must first build a house from the foundation up with the right materials so it can weather the storm! If you build the house with bruised and broken materials, it will fall or crack in the day of adversity. I'm not of the flawed philosophy that you need to ridicule, beat and tear down children to make them "strong" or able to "handle" it. If that was the case, then after molestation, rape, and the verbal and physical abuse I've experienced in my life - I should be the strongest person by now. Bullying does not make one strong, it tears one down. You can't tell me that a child who hasn't even grown up is able to handle the abuse that happens at today's schools that grown adults let continue. Rather, we should see more good behavior, manners, ethics and courtesy being taught and what better way to do that than at home? Instead, we see suicides and broken children all around us. I want to build a strong child, so that when her time comes to face the harshness of others, she will be able to stand. Frederick Douglas said it so well: "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
- Quality Education - From all the complaints I hear from friends whose children attend public schools, and from what I witness and hear in the reports of educational standards - I know that to get a quality education in today's society, you either send your child to a private school or you homeschool. Homeschooling allows 1-on-1 education and moves at the child's pace. It is tailored to the child, thus it creates a child who "gets" it and doesn't get left behind on anything. Our daughter did math and english standardized tests and scored about 2 grade levels ahead. Even though, I'm not one for having a test as "proof" that something works - she is doing just right with momma's teaching, sadly better than the typical student who is taught by degree-carrying women. I also love how we can do hands-on projects in history and science. Being able to grow a garden together for botany and take nature walks and bring home specimens to view under the microscope have developed a life-long learner in my daughter.
- Community Involvement and Service a.k.a SOCIALIZATION - Thinking of all the different people we meet in our neighborhood, around town, at homeschool groups and field trips - we are very involved in our community. Not only does my daughter get to be around children of all types but I get to reach out to other mothers in the community and other cities around us in these homeschool groups. This is socialization at its best, in a controlled environment as children learn to be around various age levels and individuals. The greatest thing at these events is - there is no bullying among homeschooled kids! Almost all the children are respectful, treat each other kindly and show great teamwork in games and sports. One of the most common things we hear on field trips from people at the many places we tour or go to explore is "You all must be homeschoolers because you are so well behaved and actually listen!" Train up a child in the way they should go.
- Time Together - I love being with my daughter (and now my son) so much! My children are a joy to be around because I raised them to be a joy to be around. People ask me what I did to help my daughter be respectful and obedient - I lean in like I'm getting ready to spill the biggest secret in the world and say "It's called parenting!" I always seem to get a laugh but really, there is no magic potion - you just need to BE THERE for your kids! I'm there when my daughter has those "questions" about growing up or about God. We talk a LOT - we are female after all lol. I'm so glad that she isn't at school with a teacher I barely know asking those questions. Who knows what they would teach her!? My daughter and I bond a lot and we have cuddle time sometimes in the middle of the school day. Sometimes we just quit school to spend time together or go to the park or get ice cream. I love the time we have together, it is so short, I don't want to miss the best hours of her day!
- Creativity and Interest-Led Learning - I think that traditional schooling squashes a child's imagination and thus, their creativity. We need to strive to keep this alive because it is what can make life have that zest! I also believe that children are not allowed to expand upon their interests outside of the basics. This is most important later on in the high school years. With homeschooling, we can allow our children to finish their basic schoolwork and then have the rest of the day to work on their interest - whether it be building a rocket, constructing a fort or sewing clothes - homeschooling allows them to establish these skills by having the TIME to do so. My daughter loves to sew after school is over and takes her sewing box outside to sew and watch the birds. I told her if she wants to make her clothes, she can be able to and do it well here in a few years of practice and that got the ball rolling. If she wanted to start a clothing business during high school in our home, she could! The possibilities are endless. For my son, who we will train to have a trade and/or career, he can use that time to expand on his interests or work part-time.
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