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Benefits of Homeschooling My Children

Updated on August 23, 2019
PAINTDRIPS profile image

Denise homeschooled her 4 children and has stories. She provided art lessons for many children in the homeschool community for many years.

Colonial Day with 3 families
Colonial Day with 3 families | Source

Problems and Solutions

I homeschooled my children because of some serious problems we were having with the public school system in our area and some of the children needed extra attention they were not getting in crowded classrooms. Because of this and so many reasons I was left with only one option: keeping them home for homeschool. I hated the idea at first because… well, I wasn’t even sure I LIKED my children that much. What happened that first school year was a surprise to everyone. I enjoyed their company and they learned.

“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.” 

—  Gandhi
Fun on Dress up days
Fun on Dress up days | Source

They Learned

They were in 10, 11, and 12 years old when I began. Right away, they were actually a joy to be around. Who could have imagined THAT happening? We began to bond in a way I didn’t see before. I got to see them learn and grow which was a treat. Sure I taught them to walk and feed themselves but this is a whole different level of learning. As they got it, a light would go on in their eyes and you could see the wheels turning. It is so wonderful, it has to be experienced and felt rather than described.

Making apple pie together
Making apple pie together | Source

“Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child's nature.” 

— Charlotte Mason

Things That Need Work

I learned that there were things about my children’s education that hadn’t been aware of before. I found out that my oldest was 2 years behind her grade level in math and she was struggling with fractions. We did fractions for as long as it took for her to grasp adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing them. We even did fractional baking. I announced one day that we had only enough ingredients to make one batch of chocolate chip cookies. Each of the four of them could have one-fourth of a batch to bake or eat raw, as they wished. All they had to do was go into the kitchen and make one-fourth a batch of the dough each. They had to figure things like ¼ of 2 ½ cups of flour, etc. With the hands-on methods, my daughter gained 2 years of math in that first year of homeschooling. If that had been the only perk it would have been worth it.

Drama group rehearsal
Drama group rehearsal | Source

Auditory Learner vs Visual Learner

I discovered that the children did not learn best from the same stimulus. This was a revelation to me. I had always been a visual learner and thought everyone was. My son, however, was an auditory learner. I didn’t even know that was a thing but figured it out over a vocabulary test. Each week I gave the different grade levels a new set of vocabulary words and at the end of the week, we would have a spelling test using those words. My son’s scores were never above 80% correct on those spelling test days. One day, to mix it up, I announced a spelling bee where they had to stand and spell aloud. On words my son had previously misspelled, he got 100% correct when he spelled them aloud. It was amazing to see him rattle them off without error. Later I began giving him oral spelling tests instead of written ones and almost always got them all correct.

Let a book take you on an adventure.
Let a book take you on an adventure. | Source

Reading and Comprehension

My youngest was going into the 5th grade when we started homeschooling. I found out that she had little better than a 1st-grade reading level. None of her public school teachers let me in on how poor her reading was, and I was disturbed that I was so clueless about this necessary skill. In that first year, we concentrated on reading and getting her interested in chapter books instead of picture books. Today you can’t keep a book out of her hands. If her deficiency had gone unnoticed much longer she may have wound up unable to function in college or the real world.

It is this one-on-one attention that made all the difference with all my children.

“Any child who can spend an hour or two a day, or more if he wants, with adults that he likes, who are interested in the world and like to talk about it, will on most days learn far more from their talk than he would learn in a week of school.” 

— John Holt
Hiking in the hills together
Hiking in the hills together | Source

“We can get too easily bogged down in the academic part of homeschooling, a relatively minor part of the whole, which is to raise competent, caring, literate, happy people.” 

— Diane Flynn Keith
Putting together a rodent skeleton.
Putting together a rodent skeleton. | Source

What would make you consider keeping your child home to educate him/her?

See results
Picking up litter together.  Save the World Day
Picking up litter together. Save the World Day | Source

Downsides

There are some downsides to homeschooling. I had to make sure they met with other families regularly to have team sports and group science lessons. I had to study with them to be sure that they performed the necessary lessons correctly (mostly foreign languages like French and Latin).

Another downside is that you find it hard to “stop teaching” even when the school day is over. Every time I saw something of educational importance I would stop and point it out to my children. Even on weekends or doing mundane things like shopping, whenever they asked a question, it turned into an educational discussion. One of the kids informed me it wasn’t a school day, to which I replied that every day was a school day with me.

Lots of time for play
Lots of time for play | Source

Socialization

I can’t say how many times people asked us about socialization. They looked at homeschooling as if we were hermits cloistering our children away in some monastery. That is far from true. If you care for their academic education, you care for their physical education as well.

Honestly, they didn’t learn everything at home. Every week we visited other homeschool families or groups to have time for physical education and ball games. All of my children belonged to a weekly choir and youth groups. One went on to join a dramatic group as well. What they didn’t have was an opportunity to be bullied every day in the public schools.

“Far from failing in its intended task, our educational system is in fact succeeding magnificently because its aim is to keep the American people thoughtless enough to go on supporting the system.” 

— Richard Mitchell
They learned how to change the oil in the car and even taught others.
They learned how to change the oil in the car and even taught others. | Source

Today

Today my children are a Registered Nurse, an Assistant District Attorney, a Graphic Designer for video games, and a Church Pastor and author. I think they are fairly accomplished for homeschooled students.

An apple for the teacher
An apple for the teacher

“I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays and have things arranged for them that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas.” 

— Agatha Christie, An Autobiography

Last Thoughts

It came as a super surprise that they liked me and I liked them at the end. I look back over those years thinking I gave them all I had. I don’t have any regrets so many women my age have. Many tell me they wish they had spent more time with their kids while they had the time. I don’t have to think that at all. I spent ALL my time with them and I loved it. If you have any thoughts or questions I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Comments

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      11 days ago

      I enjoyed reading about your homeschool experience. I certainly encourage those who know their children would benefit from this private schooling to do take on this opportunity.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 

      3 weeks ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Hi Denise,

      This was a very interesting and informative article. I am so happy to read of positive outcomes from homeschooling-- your children's chosen careers speak clearly to that.

      I have just been part of a book launch for a friend whose parents did NOT actually home-school their children although they professed to have been doing that. The older daughter (my friend) was desperate for the opportunity to enter into the education stream with her peers-- there never seemed to be money for her to buy the books that were required, and just when she made friends, or actually did attend a school for a while (she went up until Grade 6, sporadically) the family would move somewhere isolated, continuing to be part of their father's hunt for an elusive dream of Edenic family life and financial success. It was a horrific story, and is the usual story that gets written by adults who experienced negative aspects of home-schooling. Perhaps one of your children could write an homage to home-schooling. That would be welcome, I'm sure.

      It didn't seem like home-schooling was an option for us when our kids were young (they are in their late 40s) but I do believe that our very creative and very introverted younger son would have benefitted from homeschooling. Our older son said he could never had stood it-- that he liked daily phys. ed and interconnection with his peers too much.

      I am one of those mothers you referred to who regrets that I did not spend enough time with our kids when they were young. However, they are lovely generous and kind men and I am able to have a delightful relationship with the them and the grandchildren now, so there is no good in moaning over the could-haves and should-haves.

      Thanks for the good read and the thoughts that your article has brought up.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Dora Weithers,

      It was quite eye-opening to find out my son is auditory when I'm a visual learner. Before this experience, I didn't know anything about any other "types" of learners. I feel I learned more than they did. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for sharing your homeschooling experience. Very interesting! My son and I are auditory learners. I had to explain his situation every year to his elementary school teachers. I love that Gandhi quote.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Linda Crampton,

      I appreciate you checking it out. I really feel like I learned a lot through the experience and I would gladly do it again.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's very interesting to learn about your family's experience with homeschooling. Your articles about the topic are informative and useful.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Linda Lum,

      Thank you for the affirmation. I know we were closer because of the experience. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Eric Dierker,

      I feel like reading what they were studying made me smarter and kept me young even if it was hard keeping up with them. Thanks for commenting, again.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      RoadMonkey,

      I hope your daughter does decide to take on the challenge because it's very rewarding. It really built my relationship with my children as well. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      3 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Denise, we sent our two daughters to a parochial school because we did not want to send them to a public school. We were fortunate to have that option but many do not. I admire anyone who homeschools; it requires a great amount of organization and discipline but in the end, I believe it will bring you and your children closer together. Perhaps your article will give others considering this the nudge they need.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sorry to comment twice - sometimes rude. But your comment about reading up and studying up before them makes me giggle at myself. I just love doing that and am told it is a reason I am not yet going senile. Heck I did it when my elder ones were in college. Hmm, most men my age like golfing.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      4 weeks ago

      It's good to hear this point of view. My daughter is thinking of homeschooling her children, so it's good to know it can be fun too andthey can learn REAL life lessons too, like changing the oil.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Eric Dierker,

      I'm glad to hear you are doing that and even considering middle school. I schooled my children through high school and they thrived. I found those last few years to really challenging for me because I wanted to read all they were reading and studying before they did. It was so difficult to keep up with them because they were absorbing things fast.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      McKenna Meyers,

      Thank you so much. It is nice to get encouraging. Back when we were in the middle of things there were no online resources and few free resources besides the public library. It was a lot of work and expense for us but we embraced it. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Socialization is an excuse. But just plain fun is fun. We have 30 minutes of reading, cooking and we just studied some nature. I think we do good with cross home teaching. But I am on it like hawk. And I am thinking about middle school, hmmm. I keep my options open.

      I think "play dates" is so funny but we are way into them. I will miss him all day tomorrow as he is on one.

      Great stuff here, keep it coming.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 

      4 weeks ago

      Wow, Denise, this is so inspiring and your adult kids have such impressive careers! Teachers are asked to do the impossible and more demands keep getting placed on them. There are far too many students with emotional, behavioral, and/or learning differences who are placed in regular classrooms instead of getting the one-on-one or small group help they need. Homeschooling parents have so many resources these days, both online and off. Our city offers many extracurricular activities such as taekwondo and gymnastics during the middle of the day just for homeschoolers. I hope lots of parents read your article and choose the homeschooling route.

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