Within the past few weeks, we have very nearly become a nation of those who now school at home. As a mom that has schooled my children at home and now fully home schools on my own, the very thing I have at times been ridiculed or criticized for as abnormal or weird has now become the norm. What I have done by choice, people now are doing by force. I am certain what these individuals are about to discover is not something they would have ever thought possible. You see, schooling at home has some dirty little secrets!
First, what people are likely noticing is that it’s not as hard as they thought. They have a curriculum that is laid out already for them, there ready to go. Their kids are still learning from a teacher or teachers while still getting to be at home with their families.
In addition, school doesn’t take nearly as long as they thought it did. While their kids are away for several hours at a brick and mortar school, kids that are schooled at home do not have to spend nearly as much wasted time. There are no long bus trips, no wasted periods, and no squandered time waiting for others to catch up. Students can focus on their tasks and be done, moving on to other things that perhaps they find more interesting, developing new skills, or spending time with their families. This leads me to my third point.
Schooling at home provides more quality family time. If it is true that the average family spends about 37 minutes of quality time a day together, then it’s likely these newly schooling at home families aren’t quite sure what to do with all this extra time they have with their children. They need to see this as an opportunity unlike no other! I mean, God gave them children for a reason, and now they get to spend time with them. They get to know their children better. They get to deepen their relationship with their children as individuals. They get to learn and explore new things together. They get to see how their children learn. Parents get to share their wisdom and knowledge with the next generation. Do people realize how strong a family unit can grow by simply spending this quality time together?
Another consideration has to do with the number one argument against schooling at home that I have heard from people: I don’t know enough to school my child at home. These parents are about to face a miraculous discovery: they don’t have to “know enough”. Especially in a schooling at home scenario, the work has been done for you! Not only that, parents actually know more than they think. As parents review what their children are learning, parents will discover it’s not some great mystery which only college graduates can dispense. Parents themselves are very capable of guiding their children’s learning in a meaningful direction, especially when there are so many resources available these days.
Additionally, parents that are schooling at home are likely discovering their children are a bit more well-rested. They are not having to live according to someone else’s schedule. They have a bit of freedom and can get some good, quality sleep because they don’t have to get up early to catch a bus or get to school on time. That extra hour or two of sleep can work wonders on a young mind!
Finally, and I think this is perhaps the dirtiest little secret of home schooling, schooling at home is fun! I can’t tell you all the times I have sat at the dining room table with my children just laughing…laughing at some irony we discovered in the curriculum or some humorous observation one of my kids made about the topic we were addressing. Kids are fun. They remind you not to take life so seriously. Kids can help adults take it down a peg and relax a bit. Kids remind you what life is all about. Who doesn’t need a little more of that in their lives?
I think it’s quite possible that these dirty little secrets of home schooling are being revealed amidst this national crisis! The word is getting out, and people are getting to experience it for themselves just how awesome schooling at home can be!