I didn’t think I would ever homeschool, but I’m proud of myself for sticking with it and honestly not hating it. Overall I think it has made me a better parent. Here are five reasons why.
1. I enjoy schoolwork (as opposed to homework).
When my kids were in public school and we had to sit down to do homework at the end of the day, it was the worst. I wasn’t nice. I was frustrated because we didn’t have time. They were bringing home schoolwork that I didn’t really know how to help them with like common core math.
Now we have plenty of time; it’s not rushed. I know exactly what they’re learning and how to help them. It’s not frustrating to do daily school work with my kids anymore, and I know they like me as “homeschool mom” way better than “angry homework mom.”
2. I have more time to parent.
When my kids were in public school, it felt like a rat race in the evening to get everything done from 3 pm to 8 pm—soccer, homework, dinner, showers, etc. When my kids were having meltdowns after school, I didn’t feel like I had the time to stop and take care of it.
Now I have all the time in the world to focus on any issues my kids are having and fix them. Parenting takes a lot of time, and I’m so grateful that homeschooling gives me that extra time.
3. I stopped worrying if they were behind.
My daughter was technically “behind’ in public school, and it was extremely stressful for both of us. I thought she was doing fine, but I still felt like I had to constantly push her ahead when she wasn’t ready.
With homeschooling, I’m able to meet my kids where they are, and there is no such thing as “behind.” Every kid learns at their own pace. Being able to take that stress off has made me a more chill mom. I know my daughter loves learning now as well. She was starting to hate learning in public school and felt like she couldn’t catch up.
4. I’m more involved in their friendships and influences.
When my kids were in public school, I didn’t really know any of their friends. I knew their names, and I knew that I didn’t like some of the things my kids were learning from them. But there was nothing I could do about it other than teach my kids what’s right and wrong and hope for the best when I sent them off to school.
With homeschooling, I’m able to be more involved in their lives. I personally know each of my children’s friends. I know their parents. I’m around when they have classes or clubs together. I obviously still have to teach my kids right from wrong, and I can’t monitor everything. But I love meeting their friends, talking to them, and knowing who my kids are hanging out with and who they’re learning things from.
5. I actually enjoy my kids (as opposed to dreading school breaks).
I used to hate school breaks when my kids were in public school. I couldn’t wait for them to go back to school. They drove me crazy. Looking back, I know I was definitely not the best mom when I was dreading spending a week with my children and just looking forward to it being over. Sadly, I know a lot of parents who feel that way. They also think they could never homeschool because they need that break from their kids when they go to school. I felt that way too. But homeschooling is a different ball game.
With homeschooling, our days are fuller with the activities we have chosen. We are busy with schoolwork, field trips, park days, clubs, etc. so my kids aren’t bored like they were during school breaks when we didn’t have a full schedule. When my kids aren’t bored (like they were on spring/winter breaks) they don’t get as crazy. They also don’t have the post-school crash anymore. They would go nuts during school breaks after having to sit still and be quiet for hours each day, week after week. Homeschooling has helped me to enjoy my time with my children. Although I still need a break here and there, I don’t feel like they need to go to school every day to get that break.
Sarah Hughes is a homeschooling mom of four and military spouse currently living on the coast of North Carolina. She’s blogging through her homeschool journey from the beginning and sharing what works for her family, what doesn’t, and all she has learned so far. Subscribe to the Hughes House Homeschool blog here.
Photo credits: Behind by note thanun on Unsplash, girls reading photo by Ben White on Unsplash, tug of war photo by Anna Samoylova on Unsplash, happy mother photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash