My parents began homeschooling my two brothers and me around the mid-90s. They pulled us out of our respectable Christian school and began our home education journey. For me, going from school to homeschool felt like leaving a dark tunnel and stepping out into a sunny field full of daisies. I not only felt better emotionally, but my academic performance sky-rocketed, and my relationship with my God, parents, and siblings improved dramatically. It is for these reasons I love homeschooling now and plan on home-educating my own children in the future.
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Below I’ll expand on these reasons why I love homeschooling and show you a few others, giving you some glimpses into my wonderful homeschooling experience.
1. Being so close to my parents.
I usually felt happy and content at home but quite uncomfortable at school.
Ironically, the time I felt happiest at school was when my father volunteered to mow the school grounds, and I got to see him for a short time every week.
Sadly, he only cuddled me and then sent me back, saying I needed to go to the classroom to ‘get an education’.
At that time, he felt ‘teachers always know best’ and what a non-teacher could know about education.
(Sadly, some people still think you need a teaching degree to homeschool effectively.)
After my parents started homeschooling, our relationship improved, and my family members became my best friends.
This meant we could discuss deep issues and issues that were close to my heart amicably.
My parents often taught me wisdom and discernment, and I am grateful for that.
2. I got more work done in a fraction of the time.
When I was at school, my two brothers and I were dropped off at about 8:30 am after a hectic morning getting ready.
We stayed at school until 3 pm when we got on a bus and returned home.
Unfortunately, there is a common myth making the rounds today that the amount of time a student spends at school is directly proportional to his grades.
This is untrue.
Children don’t need to stay at school for 6 hours to ‘get an education’.
Indeed, most homeschoolers only do schoolwork formally for an average of 2-3 hours a day.
Yet, their test scores are consistently higher than those of public school children who spend significantly longer at school.
In our homeschool, I spent an average of three hours on homework each day and then did chores.
After this, we were allowed to follow our interests and pursue entrepreneurial ventures.
And did homeschooling provide my brothers and I with good academic education? My older brother became an architect, my younger a lawyer, and I went to medical school for a time.
Far more important, though, was the spiritual education we received.
We had time to pray, read our Bibles, and discuss spiritual issues – precious time we never had much of when we went to school.
3. Homeschooling fostered my love of reading.
At school, I was often assigned books to read.
I don’t remember much about these books, but I do remember being so tired after my big day at school that all I wanted to do was lie down and sleep or watch television.
At the end of the day, I had no energy to read a book.
Because I wasn’t overtired, I developed a ravenous appetite for reading which has served me well.
I now feel confident to tackle almost any book and even frequently read tomes many might shy away from.
4. No peer pressure is why I love homeschooling.
There was a lot of peer pressure in my classroom at school.
To join the social group I wanted to be part of was tricky, and their ‘joining fee’ was high.
On the one hand, I didn’t want to join the ‘good girl group’ because they seemed too ‘goody-two-shoes’ for my liking.
On the other hand, the ‘cool girl group’ exacted harsh conditions on its members.
They often said, ‘You can’t be friends with us unless you…’.
To fit in with this group, I stole a Barbie doll from my local supermarket.
I had to return it in tears when my parents found the doll – this whole episode was a catalyst for my parents deciding to homeschool.
When we were homeschooled, there was no peer pressure.
The atmosphere was incredibly relaxing in comparison, and I loved my new social group (my family and homeschooling friends).
5. I didn’t feel lonely, different, or weird.
Because my mother is an Egyptian, I have slightly darker skin than the average Caucasoid.
In contrast, my school was completely homogenous and, besides my brothers, only had ‘white’ girls and boys.
I felt a little different from the rest of my peers and often felt weird.
I loved homeschooling because I never had this feeling.
Furthermore, my homeschooling friends didn’t seem to notice and played with me as they might play with anyone else.
For me, the positive psychological effects of homeschooling far outweighed any negative effects.
6. I could work at my own pace.
Perhaps the reason for my academic failure at school (I was almost the worst in my class regarding test scores and one of the slowest) is that I couldn’t work at my own pace.
I was hurried and harried to complete learning my lessons in less time than I felt I could get the work done to a decent standard.
This is not because I had a learning disability or any other fault – it was just because I needed more time to get certain concepts.
When I wasn’t given this time, and the lessons progressed, I felt even more confused as I hadn’t learned the work from the previous lessons.
On top of this, I felt muddled and stupid as I seemed to have my hand up always, and it felt like I was one of the last ones who finished.
But, I love homeschooling because it allowed me to work at my own pace.
I could work as slowly as I wanted on my ABeka math or finish my language studies in record time.
My work didn’t feel like a race anymore, and there was no shame in how quickly or slowly I completed my schoolwork.
These days you can get self-paced homeschool curriculum programs where children can work at their own pace. They can do Math slower and Reading faster if they like.
But school is always a one-size-fits-all approach…something that doesn’t work for so many students!
7. Outdoor time is why I love homeschooling.
One fantastic thing about homeschooling is the time you spend in nature.
After our lessons, my brothers and I spent many hours building cubby houses, chopping down tree saplings, and doing woodwork.
We made vegetable gardens, mud huts, and rafts for our dam out of used milk bottles collected from our neighbor’s recycling bins.
We also got plenty of nature walks in and bonded with our parents as we went on bush walks.
8. I could finish secondary studies early and start tertiary or work.
Another reason I loved homeschooling was that it gave me more tertiary education options compared to school.
In school, students are strongly encouraged to finish all 12 years or else they are sometimes labeled as failures or non-academic.
I loved learning but didn’t like learning the Year 11 or Year 12 content (probably because it was a government program which wasn’t very exciting!).
Hence, I wasn’t motivated.
My parents said I could finish up early and start a Certificate in Nursing and begin my work life.
I did this at age 15. These days many people graduate early from high school and start a trade or college degree.
This gave me the advantage of being able to work for two years when everyone else was at school, meaning I had enough for a house deposit at age 18!
9. Great excursions and better holidays.
Because we could fit our homeschooling schedule around our lives (and didn’t have to do things according to the school’s schedule), we had more opportunities to do things regular school families could not do.
This meant we could go to nice holiday spots outside school holidays for a cheaper price.
This also meant the sidewalks and sightseeing venues weren’t overcrowded with families squeezing their holiday into school vacation times.
10. My relationship with God strengthened considerably
The main reason my parents decided to homeschool (and the reason many Americans start homeschooling) was that they felt they could better pass on their Christian beliefs to us in the home setting.
After spending three years in school, my relationship with God was not good.
I was making poor moral choices and wasn’t interested in the Bible.
After I was homeschooled, my parents spent much time explaining the gospel, my sin, and my need for a savior in Jesus.
My relationship with Jesus is now the most precious thing in my life, and why I’ll homeschool my own children.
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Conclusion: Why I Love Homeschooling
There are many reasons I love homeschooling, and I believe every family will find something they particularly love about this mode of education. For me, the flexibility in terms of time spent on formal work, graduation options, and self-paced study was incredible. I also cherished the acceptance I received from my family and friends, which contrasted with my experiences with school peers. Most importantly, homeschooling allowed my relationship with God to flourish. If you have homeschooled, I would love to hear about your experiences and what you enjoyed about home education. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.