Many families are now seriously considering homeschooling their children. As seven-year homeschoolers turned three-month public schoolers, I’d like to share a few reasons why homeschooling is so much better than COVID-19 schooling.
You probably know what I mean… we all experienced it this spring. The kind where you helped your child sort through twenty assignments from five teachers on five different apps with five different usernames and ten different deadlines.
All while scrambling to sort out health concerns, unemployment or paying the bills.
Due to no fault of the teachers (or anyone, really) COVID homeschooling was a catastrophe for most families. For various reasons, families are considering giving homeschooling a shot. COVID Homeschooling and Good Ol’ Homeschooling are very different beasts.
Here’s why regular homeschooling is better than COVID homeschooling.
- You understand the curriculum.
It can take a while to get familiar with a curriculum for school teachers, parents, and children alike. It can take even longer to really hit your stride with it. When schools send home public school curriculum with little to no training for parents, information is going to get lost.
Short Youtube videos explaining assignments do not replace an adult who actually understands what is being taught and why it’s being taught. Homeschooling parents have the opportunity to choose a curriculum that suits their individual child’s needs and their own teaching style. They can look through it, understand it, and then teach it. Public-school-quickly-gone-virtual will have a hard time keeping up with curriculum that was designed to be taught in a home setting. It will also struggle to compete with online learning programs that were created over years, not months.
- You’re in control.
Yep, you’re the leader on this one. You pick the curriculum. You pick the online classes. You pick the apps (and the usernames and passwords, phew!) You pick the electives. You pick the deadlines. Did you catch that? YOU PICK THE DEADLINES!
So your kids aren’t morning people? That’s fine, start at noon.
You really just need a few days off because everyone’s burnt out? Sure, have at it. Push back your deadlines a bit. Everyone will come back in a better mood.
Do you hate that one math app the school insists you use? Find another one! There’s a thousand out there.
Did your kid really not understand that ELA lesson? Give it a few more days. Less pressure… more learning!
Did your child “lose” an assignment in the Google Classroom abyss? Ha! Nice try bud. Mom knows what and where the assignments are now. Mwahahaha.
- You can school more quickly and efficiently.
It’s no surprise that most states require less time of homeschoolers than they do public schoolers. Factor in time for drop-offs, pick-ups, lining up 20+ children several times a day, plus the individual needs of that many students. The simple logistics of getting everyone where they need to be takes a ton of time each day.
Here in Colorado we’re required to show attendance for an average of four hours a day for a total of 172 days a year. Museums count. Nature walks count. Skiing counts! Community field trips count. Adding up the totals at the grocery store counts. There is always something to be learning and teaching when you’re a “home”schooler!
- It’s more fun.
When you can let go of the academic pressure we place on ourselves and young children, watching them grow can be really fun. It’s exciting to see your child’s passions play out. It’s interesting to hear their questions and help them learn about the world. This might just be the perfect time to let your child pursue their own interests and see where they go.
Let’s face it, many degrees offer little but student debt. Some of the wealthiest people left behind educational conventions and forged their own paths. Check out this list of successful homeschoolers. For many, success is defined as happiness. What really makes your child happy? Have you asked them recently?
On that note, why spend hours at the screen Covid homeschooling when your child could be learning the same thing under a tree at the park? Sometimes trampoline multiplication is just what everyone needs.
- Less stress.
Who really needs due dates for elementary school work right now? There is enough stress in the world already. Imagine being free from a school’s numerous deadlines. Imagine studying what you know your child really needs to know… not what they “should” know. Ya know? Classwork is often too advanced or too easy to meet the “average” students needs. Yet each child has their own strengths and weaknesses. Children thrive in an environment where they’re met where they really are.
- Family time.
Life has a way of throwing us reminders about the important things. Sometimes it’s a tragedy, or a sweet word from a little one that encourages us to slow down, or in this case; a global pandemic. At the end of the day, it’s not the math grade or the percentile on a test that we will remember. It’s the good times shared together. It’s the time spent with loved ones. It’s stepping away from the hustle and bustle long enough to see the joy in your child’s face when you play together or they learn something new. COVID-19 has reminded us of the blessings of good health and time to play with our kids.
There’s never been a more perfect time to stay home with your littles and give this a try. You might love it. You might hate it. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. But is raising children ever easy? At the very least, I hope we’ll all look back and treasure the extra time we got to spend with our kids.
This is a time to rise to the occasion. Not everything can be taught from a book or online. The human condition is constantly changing and emotions are at a peak. Our children are smart. They see all of the crazy going on in the world. They generally want things to be better, just as we do.
When you speak to your children like they are capable humans, they will rise to that. This is a time to involve them in the process of tremendous change on our planet. This is a time to model adaptability. This is a time to reassess where we’ve been going and where we want to go from here. Homeschooling on your own terms allows you the time and space to do just that with your kids.
Wherever you are on your homeschooling journey, I wish you well!! Please leave me a comment if you have any questions… I’ll try my best to help!
If you’re still on the fence, check out my Considering Homeschool Checklist