I’ve already shared why we chose homeschooling, but honestly even though I knew it would be best, I struggled with deciding whether I would enjoy it. I had a lot of apprehensions, and it has been a much more positive experience than I expected! So I wanted to share some of the reasons why we love it!
This is definitely the number one thing we love about homeschooling. I love that when there is a discount day at the zoo, we can go and learn about animals in real life instead of in a text book. Sonya can go to therapy without missing core instruction. She can take a week-long trip with her dad as he traveled to college fairs and learn what college is and communicate with students and learn about different majors and career paths. When she has hit a wall and frustration level, we can take a break to have some creative play time instead of it leading to a meltdown because that is what the lesson plans say.
I can spend a whole month making sure Sonya knows how to add, instead of her falling behind because she is learning at a slower pace than the other 23 kids in her class. But then the next week, I can fly through the subtraction section because that clicked the first time. I can spend hours having her read aloud a book on her level, instead of her getting in trouble because she’s making faces during reading to distract other kids because she’s embarrassed that she doesn’t know the words. I can teach at her level and exactly what she needs to know, and it is amazing how quickly she is learning!!
The Gift of Time
You would be AMAZED at how little instructional time there actually is in an 8 hour day when you have a whole school and 23 kids. You have to stop for PE and music class and group bathroom breaks and recess and packing up bags and writing down homework and turning in homework and because little Sally has a nose bleed and because little Johnny saw a spider and now the whole class is screaming and on and on and on. We have SO much more free time because we can just focus on what needs to get done instead of working around all of the other distractions! And when we are finished (usually around 1:00 because we like to start later) we are completely done and don’t have to worry about homework so she is able to do more extracurricular activities, like dance and gymnastics!
I love the creativity in planning lessons according to Sonya’s needs and interests. I originally bought hundreds of dollars work of curriculum… but then I felt tied to that. I want her to look forward to school and love reading instead of going through a workbook. We just started reading “Because of Winn-Dixie” together with different comprehension activities and her eyes are wide the whole time we are reading and she is eager to get started each day!
Less stress for Sonya + less stress for me. We replaced the hustle of trying to get a grumpy tired girl out of bed and dressed before the sun was up to rush to beat the tardy bell, to her waking up on her own and easing into the day with a lot less grouchiness. I don’t have to stress about why the principal is calling, or her having a reaction to candy she shouldn’t have had, or about getting homework done on a church night, or what day you are supposed to wear a different outfit, or why Sonya’s having a meltdown when she gets home. I know what she is feeling and what she has struggled with academically at the end of the day, and we have so much less tension in our home!
Homeschooling is definitely a learning experience, but these are just a few of the highlights for us so far this year!