During my years of homeschooling, there is ONE THING I can say I loved most about it: FREEDOM. It’s just one word, but when it comes to homeschooling, it means so very much. And it’s not just freedom for me, but freedom for my child as well. In public-school, freedom is never available, and most certainly not in the most crucial ways. Society has come a long way from the humble beginnings of public-school and our freedoms are being rapidly removed with intimidating quickness.
The freedom that’s available through homeschooling adds great richness to academics, socialization, advancement, and life in general. Learning happens naturally. In fact, you’d be incredibly hard-pressed to stop it. From the moment they are born, children take in their environment, and all the things that go on in it, to learn things like language, morals, social acceptance, and so much more. Can you imagine leaving the teaching of these things up to someone else? Neither could I! And that’s why homeschooling means so much to me. Actually, it is as natural as breathing and is more beneficial than you will ever know unless you homeschool your own children.
Freedom To Let Your Child Learn At His or Her Own Speed
Children are not “resources”, and because of this, they cannot be hardwired to act, feel, or learn a specific way. However, that’s exactly what public-school attempts to do with them. In a room with 30 to 40 same-age peers and one or two authority figures, children are expected to behave a certain way, all alike, and learn the same material at the same speed on the same level as all their classmates.
For those who are gifted, and learn quickly, this is a stifling, boring, and toxic environment in which to attempt to learn. In fact, it could be said that THIS is where “disorders” such as ADD, ADHD, and hyperactivity disorders were created (not discovered). Any child in the public-school setting that attempts to move ahead of the class is discouraged from doing so and held back at all costs.
On the other hand, those with special needs are often assigned a “disability” very early on and victimized with a label they’ll carry for the rest of their lives. Some children simply do not pick up on certain things at “assigned” times. One child learns to read well at the age of five, while another may take five more years to pick it up. Both are categorized as problems for the classroom setting when they’re actually only learning according to their own learning style. If each of these children were allowed to move at his or her own pace, they might both be avid readers by the age of 15 and no one would be any the wiser as to which read well first.
Freedom To Choose A Curriculum That Works
Homeschooling means working with your child’s specific strengths and weaknesses, moving towards the best possible outcome. Their learning style will, as it should, dictate the materials you use to educate them, and the result will be a more well-rounded and better educated young person. But it also works wonders for your ability to teach, as well.
With an extensive variety of curriculum opportunities, you can craft a learning environment in which your child will likely be very happy to learn. Abeka, Sonlight, and Classical Conversations are a precious few of the many available options and you can even feel free to mix and match. Whichever ones best suit your child are the specific ones you should be using. Perhaps Abeka math is a strong program for your child, whereas Sonlight may provide a better science curriculum.
When just getting started, it’s tempting to go with the pre-packaged curriculum that includes everything right down to lesson plans and calendars. Don’t get me wrong, these do work wonderfully for some families. Contrary to popular belief, some families have parents both of whom work jobs and still manage to homeschool their children, and the convenience these packaged curriculums provide can be the only successful option for their family. On the other hand, other parents work from home and have plenty of time to create their own lesson plans and more, giving them greater opportunity to mix and match across curriculum choices.
The curriculum can change from year to year as well. What worked well in elementary school may not be as successful moving into middle school. And high school is a whole different level where many things change. Leaving yourself plenty of room for options, flexibility, and change can be the key to a successful school year, especially if you find yourself needing to switch something in the middle of the year.
Freedom to “Live Life” and Still Homeschool
A homeschooler’s life can be an interesting thing. There is great diversity among homeschoolers and many times, it’s necessary to graft homeschool into daily life as naturally as breathing. But what does that mean? Well, one example would be the family that runs a farm. These families work according to seasons and the weather, some from sunup to sundown, and there is great flexibility. Other families might run their own business, homeschool from an RV while traveling the country, or homeschool from overseas as part of a military or missionary family.
The freedom that homeschool allows in these situations can be extremely rewarding for your child’s education. They are quite likely to learn things in real life they would never learn in public school. And if the child will someday be responsible for the family business or religious work, it can set the course for extreme success, having lived it from the very beginning.
Some families have extended family members who live far away. This is a very hard situation for the public-school child. They must adhere to the school schedule, no matter what, or be deemed a “truant”. This can even translate into court cases and in some locations, social services will get involved if a child misses too much school. For the homeschooling family, vacations can happen at the same time as the schooling that is so important. As I stated earlier, children learn. It’s what they do no matter where they are, and with just a touch of guidance, that learning can accomplish so much in such a small amount of time.
To learn more about the many reasons YOU might love homeschooling, set aside some time to attend one of our Great Homeschool Conventions. You’ll meet other homeschoolers, some new and some veterans, who can share from their great wealth of experience. You can also listen to a large variety of featured speakers, attend workshops that provide critical information and shop from an extensive variety of curriculum and resource vendors. The possibilities are endless.
Our Great Homeschool Conventions are regional events, so there’s likely to be one near you. However, if you have to travel to be able to attend, we’re happy to offer a few ways in which we hope to make the experience better and easier for you. You’ll find hotel discounts and military discounts available, as well as free admission for those who are active clergy members.
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And remember, Great Homeschool Conventions are: Equipping… Encouraging… FUN!