So you’ve gotten a taste of homeschool and you’re thinking it’s not so bad, or that it’s actually pretty good, or maybe even that it’s amazing and you’re never turning back.
Well, let me tell you—if you think the pandemic-lockdown version of homeschool has redeeming qualities, you’ll be blown away by normal-life homeschooling when we’re all finally back in business.
For the families who are considering staying aboard the homeschool train, here are some ways it will get so much better.
How many field trips do school kids take? One a year, if they’re lucky? Well, homeschoolers can take as many field trips as their schedule and resources allow.
The amount of hands-on learning that can be achieved from heading out into the world and exploring is truly endless. Think museums, parks, businesses, natural landscapes of all sorts, zoos, aquariums, historical landmarks, theaters, farms, nature preserves, government offices, and community services. You can take a field trip as often as you like and tie the learning into your homeschool work as much or as little as you’re compelled to.
Rather than being trapped behind a desk staring at the same four classroom walls for hours on end, homeschoolers spend way less time at home than you might imagine. They get out there, following their curiosities, gaining practical experience across a wide range of subjects, and inject a ton of joy into their day-to-day.
The World Is Your Classroom
Even when not on a designated field trip, you can take the learning outside whenever the weather permits. Need to complete a math test? Do it at the park. Working on a nature study? Head out into nature with your books. Studying poetry? Get comfortable under a shady tree.
Even in inclement weather, you can set up a living room fort and work on your spelling list from there, or snuggle on the couch while you read about the next period of history you’re diving into.
You choose the boundaries of your homeschool.
Lunch Is a Picnic
Lunch is one of the most immediately obvious improvements when one goes from school to homeschool. It can be made with healthy, fresh, wholesome ingredients or include delicious, fresh-baked treats. The preparation can be shared by teachers and students alike, and it will expand the array of life skills your children pick up as homeschoolers.
The cafeteria can be your kitchen table, your backyard table, the backseat of the car on the way to somewhere delightful, or a picnic table at the park. It can even be a local restaurant!
Compare this to the lunch experience at school. I mean, seriously.
Some homeschoolers find value in joining what’s known as a “co-op,” which is simply a group of homeschooling families who work cooperatively toward some common homeschooling goals. It’s a great way to meet other families who took the leap, in addition to sharing the load and enjoying different perspectives on various subjects.
It becomes quite obvious when a family dives into homeschooling that kids are not going to need six hours every day to get their academics done. This leaves a lot more free time to explore individual interests. From sports to the arts to handy skills—parents can facilitate the resources their kids need to dive deep into the subjects that most light them up.
You’re in Charge
Perhaps the best aspect of homeschooling is the freedom you have to provide your children with the best possible education befitting each of their individual needs. No more one-size-fits-all curriculum, no more mediocre standards, no more ignoring—or misrepresenting—history and the arts, no more sucking the joy out of learning, no more adherence to bells, arbitrary rules, and standardized tests.
Your children can be free to follow their curiosity, to truly learn, to thrive, and to become who they are meant to be. As time goes on, you’ll likely feel perhaps less like a traditional teacher and more like a director, a facilitator, a coordinator, and a fellow explorer.
If you’re thinking of homeschooling for the long haul, I am cheering for you. You’ll see for yourself that it gets so much better than this.