Tuesday, July 9, 2013

10 Unexpected Benefits to Homeschooling

1.  I am closer with my girls.  When we decided to homeschool, people claimed my girls would hate and resent me.  Being together so much would be difficult and our relationship would suffer.  NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.  My girls and I are tight.  We are all each other's best friend and confidante.  I know their crushes and their dreams, we spend hours talking and giggling and laughing.  I know their pet peeves and the things that make them laugh.  We would not have nearly as much time for this if they were in school.

2.  My girls are closer with each other.  My girls have always been very close.  Their personalities compliment each other well.  They have several days a week where they don't see other kids, it's just how it works out, but it's not a big deal because their best friend is there.  They tell each other EVERYTHING.  They enjoy each other.  They make each other laugh incessantly and are there when the other one is upset.  They support each other and encourage each other.  If they were in school, they would not spend as much time together and there would be other friends that might take the place of their sister; the saying goes: you will have a lot of friends, but only so many siblings!

3.  We are not influenced by trends or peers.  My girls don't care what everyone else is doing, what everyone else has or wears or wants or whatever.  They care about what they like.  Comfortable clothes or funky clothes, art supplies and time to be creative, good books and small pets.  When we first told the girls we were going to homeschool, Allie stopped asking for an iphone and started asking for a guinea pig--and Jason and I thought, she has her whole life to have a cell phone, but when will she ever want a guinea pig again?

4.  My daughter can spend whole days in her art studio. There is no limit to her creativity.  I believe creativity can not be confined or bound in a box, it needs lots of time and open-ness.  Allie will literally spend whole days in her art studio and forget to eat!  She will come out covered in paint, fingers stained with ink, glitter in her hair and a look of total contentment on her face.  She would not have the opportunity to spend as many hours in her art studio if she were in school, and she may be more inclined to think within the parameters of an art teacher or program instead of seeing art as wide open!

5.  We have the coolest friends.  I love our group of eclectic, hippie, fun, back-to-nature friends.  Not everyone does the organic thing and that's ok.  Not everyone is creative and that is cool, too.  But we all have something to offer and none of us follow trends.  None of our homes are ever perfect, but we will give you a glass if you prefer one ;-)

6.  The world literally feels split wide open.  The world is our classroom.  There is nothing we can't explore, nowhere we can't go, nothing we can't learn about.  It is all open and at the ready for us and I am giving my girls the tools to figure out how to delve into anything they want!

7.  My girls read so much more.  When my girls were in school they read because they had to log in hours.  There was a lot of talk about reading levels.  As soon as we brought the girls home to learn, I let them pick whatever they wanted to read and told them they could stay up as late as they wanted reading (which was a mistake!).  Allie reads 2 books a week, on average; but sometimes she reads a book a day.  Piper reads a book a week.

8.  My girls both have part-time jobs.  Piper walks our neighbor's dog while the kids are in school and the parents are at work.  Allie works as a mother's helper one day when I am at work.  They do these jobs when other kids are in school.  These jobs have provided a means to teach about money management: both girls are required to put HALF their earnings in their savings accounts.  They can spend the rest.  Often, they ask me to buy something and I say, "How much money do you have?"  They reply with an amount and I will say they can afford it OR I will pay the difference...nine times out of ten they don't want to spend their money on whatever it was they wanted me to buy, so why would I want to spend my money on it?

9.  My daughter was able to launch a youtube channel!  A few months ago, Piper launched a Youtube channel with 6 other homeschoolers.  Piper maintains the site, takes care of all correspondence and administrative duties with the site.

10.  My girls have stayed younger longer.  My girls still play.  They are not influenced by what is cool.  They still cuddle with me.  They still play.  They are still silly.