When I received Ana’s invitation to write why I love homeschooling, I knew I had to accept it! Homeschooling truly has been the biggest adventure of our lives. It is difficult to come up with one reason why we have loved homeschooling. Different seasons brought different reasons, but overall homeschooling has brought us the chance to be unique, to connect with each other, and to explore the world together.
I have been homeschooling since the summer of 2005 when our youngest, Celeste was just 1, Andre was 6 and Adrienne was 8. Adrienne and Andre were not thriving in the public school system and I was worried about their education. I knew I had to find an alternative, something that would be a better fit for them and our family. Fast forward eleven years to today… Adrienne works full-time and lives on her own, Andre is attending the local public high school for grade 11, and I continue to homeschool Celeste.
Homeschooling is truly a “custom-made” unique education, tailored to each child. Home education gives us the opportunity to cater to the strengths and weaknesses of our children.
For example, we can take the time to do the same Math lesson over and over again, in different ways, using different methods, as long as we want until the skill is mastered OR we can choose to decide that maybe that particular skill is too advanced at that time for our child and instead go back to basics, review what has already been learned to give our child some extra confidence… and tackle that new Math concept at a later date. We are not pressured to complete a curriculum by a certain date. Celeste was not comfortable reading on her own until closer to 10 years old. She needed a little extra time and was able to take that time. She reads wonderfully now and also writes her own poetry!
We love the freedom in our homeschool! We have used our pets for nature study, my husband’s blood for science, the kitchen for countless cooking experiments, the local parks and libraries so many times I could not possibly count them. We have chosen to go on vacation any time of the year when all our children were homeschooled because we could. We studied the ocean and made lapbooks before going on a cruise vacation. We dropped everything to take advantage of a beautiful sunny day and head to the beach. I learned pretty early on to take advantage of opportunities, the regular routine will always be there when we get back! The flexibility is truly unique and wonderful.
My children’s interests have been as unique as they are and we have included those in our homeschool. Dragons, medieval swords, aliens, Minecraft, stop-motion movies with Legos were part of my son’s homeschool experience as well as the more traditional educational subjects. My oldest daughter was able to spend hours drawing, reading an insane amount of books, and baking. She explored the unschooling lifestyle for several months in grade 9 because she was curious about it. More recently, Celeste has been able to explore volunteering, cooking, writing, and many more of her interests, which change and evolve as she gets older.
The connection we have because we homeschooled all these years together is truly amazing. The amount of time we have spent together naturally lead to a deeper connection. I will be honest here and add that it was not always perfect. Just like any relationship, we have had our fair share of struggles and frustrations too, but at the same time, we have also had the time to work through our challenges. Lots of time together to talk!
Our children might be competing for our attention, but they are only competing with their siblings, not 20 or 25 other students! Learning together also builds a great connection. I have found that over the years, I settled into my role as a facilitator more than a teacher. I don’t have all the knowledge in all the subjects my children study or are interested in! Instead, I know how to source the materials, books, and resources they need in order to learn. I learn every day along with them. Some of my most favorite memories of homeschooling are when we discovered things together, working on a project, studying a particular time period in history, observing birds and wildflowers in nature, looking at specimens through the microscope, and reading…always a lot of reading!
You can read more about our homeschooling adventures at Life On Island Studio and connect with me, Alexandra, on social media at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!