Homeschooling has come a long way in its perception and acceptance in our education system. Even in the past seven years, I’ve seen normally empty parks and museums crowded with fellow homeschoolers that I sometimes wonder where did my empty, all-to-ourselves places go?
I’m a working mom of two kids that I’ve always homeschooled. Our reasons for homeschooling are just as varied as the next homeschooler, but one thing I’ve noticed is that we all love the flexibility of homeschooling.
A lot of new families are a little daunted by having all this choice: from what to use to study, various groups to learn/play with, how do we do sports/music now, to do we have to get out of our pajamas? (Yes, in my house, we need to get out of PJs. We never know if we will be needing to go out and meet someone/see something, so it’s easier and faster to get out the door when we are all dressed for the day.)
But what I’ve seen is that this flexibility is what was needed for many of the learners who have come to homeschool. Our community is diverse, but I do think we see a higher population of families who have kids on the spectrum because of this flexibility. Which is wonderful for my kids is that they get to see and make friends with kids who aren’t set-aside in a special designation class. Kids are grouped together more by interest and ability, rather than age.
Like in any group, we will have a mainstream of popular interest (physically active classes, trends like MineCraft and Pokemon, STEM classes), but homeschooling allows us the flexibility to dive deeper to niche topics like calligraphy, cooking styles, and tesla coils. It also has flexibility of schedule. I will admit, my personal main attraction to homeschooling is that I don’t have to wake up early to get the kids ready for the bus. But it also allows us to take our trips on non-peak travel times, schedule around doctor appointments, change topics completely because a new exhibit came to town that we can’t miss.
Being a working mom, homeschooling also gives me some flexibility on when lessons are taught. They don’t always have to follow the traditional school time schedule. Also working one-on-one with your kids, you’ll find that what took a traditional school an hour to do because it had a full classroom, your kids will get it done in half the time (or sometimes the opposite if you have foot-draggers, to be honest). But that means you can hold ‘school’ on the hours that work best for you and your family.
There are many resources available (online and locally) if you are considering homeschooling as an option for your family. I truly believe in a family’s choice to find the best educational fit for their family, but if you want to choose the homeschooling path, welcome to the club. You’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
April Aguren is a homeschooling, freelance social media manager who lives with her husband, two kids and her cat in Austin, Texas. Immediate aspirations are to be able to go to the bathroom in peace. She blogs about raising two kids with a large age gap on her site at 8apart.com She is also the social media manager for Mosaic Weighted Blankets