the blessings of homeschooling

Aug 28, 2009

Yesterday as I dropped Blythe off at the temple, my heart was full of thoughts of how blessed I am to be a homeschooling mother. With all the hustle and bustle going on with the “going back to school” time of year, I thought I would share why I love to homeschool.

We get to choose how to spend our days, what to read, what to build, what to learn about. We do not have to read a book or do a project unless we are drawn to it and choose to spend our time on it. We get to choose what time to get up, what time to do math, what time to study about WWII, when to clean, when to take naps, when to run around and play. There is no set schedule designed by someone else that tells us what time we have to do anything! We get to prayerfully decide what our family needs and how we can best accomplish that. We get to choose what program will work best for each child, where we read, how long we read, what inventors are interesting and which are boring. We can go swimming in the middle of the day. We can go to a park when it is empty and have the whole place to ourselves. We can choose which classes we want to participate in. We can have music lessons at any time of day, not just in that crunch time between the last bell and dinner. We can go to the library when it is quiet and calm and there are not long lines. We can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner together.

Blythe gets to go to the temple every week. I know that everyone could theoretically do this, but it is so much easier with homeschooling. She goes in the middle of the day before school gets out and the temple workers just love her. She and Natalie (the other girl she attends with) have been able to form relationships with the temple workers and feel comfortable and safe there. They are not part of a huge mutual group that can be treated as a group instead of as individuls, but are instead, two sisters in the kingdom doing their part to serve and they get to spend quiet time thinking and pondering in the temple while they wait for me to pick them up.

Gospel teaching is part of our entire day. It is the foundation of our lives and is part of everything we study. We have been able to read the Book of Mormon many, many times as a family.

There really are not separate subjects. We may be studying math, but we can nosedive right off into science, poetry, literature, or geography as things come up in our learning. There is no bell telling us when it is time to stop learning about one thing and start learning about another.

We don’t have to ride the bus or wait outside for a bus and run to catch a bus or have the children ready for the bus.

My children form friendships with people of all ages and from all over the place. They aren’t spending the majority of their waking hours in a classroom with people who are all their same age.

They are able to develop at their own pace without pressure to conform to someone’s arbitrary standards.

They get to really know how much work goes into running a house and learn how to do it themselves by working along side me for years.

The variety of classes we can participate in is rich and full and fabulous. My children have been so blessed by a variety of wonderful mentors who have taught them in art, music, poetry, writing, and so much more. They are able to be taught by people who have a passion for what they are teaching and are incredibly inspiring. On schedule for this fall is a Shakespeare class, Daughters of Royalty, Liberty Girls, and violin lessons. Of course, they will have the best gymnastics teacher as well!

Our family’s needs and each child’s needs get to be the deciding factor in our decisions of curriculum to use – not the curriculum board, not a teacher who doesn’t know my child, not a publisher who successfully got their products into the district, not anything but prayer and observation. My research is done with the question in mind “What does this child need?”

Babies are part of everything we do, so each of us learns to function with a baby interrupting, disturbing, or even destroying our work. I believe this will make parenthood (which is one of the main purposes of our life here on earth) an easier adjustment for my children.

We can read outside under the trees – everyday if we want to.

We can take off at a moment’s notice if we decide to go searching for something – like the trumpeter swans that we just had to see in person the day we finished Trumpet of the Swan.

Our year is not defined by the school year, but how we choose to schedule ourselves.

Our little children see what our older children are learning about and are getting a picture of what it looks like to work hard to learn, create, and study.

I get lots of hugs throughout the day.

The needs of my children help me to stay focused on mothering, which is my primary purpose at this point of my life. Do to my propensity to OVER-do, I could easily forget all about them if they were gone all day.

I get to see their faces light up when they understand something for the first time. I get to hear their questions (endless yes, but a blessing nevertheless!), give them my perspective, and really see how their minds work.

I get to spend one day a week with LOTS of homeschooled children teaching them gymnastics, but also guiding them in discovering how amazing their bodies are and how capable they are.

I get to read hundreds (thousands?) of books with my children.

I get to learn all sorts of fascinating things.

I get to fill my home up with books and watch my children love them to pieces. A library in our home is one of the best choices we ever made.

I get to be really good friends with the children’s librarian and she hand picks books she thinks my children will love.

I have a large circle of wonderful mom-friends who have blessed me, taught me, supported me, loved me, listened to me, and loved me. Our family is friends with other families, instead of a child being friends with someone who the rest of us have nothing to do with.

I love my life and need to remember how blessed I am to be an in-the-trenches homeschooling mother who gets to spend lots of time with my children each and every day. I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father told me to homeschool my children. It is exactly what they and I need to become the people He created us to be.

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  1. I love this post, and that is so wonderful that Blythe goes to the temple once a week. What an amazing foundation for her to build on. You are an amazing mom!

    • tracy

      Not really an amazing mom, but certainly a blessed one!

  2. I loved reading this. All your reasons are very inspiring. I sooooo look forward to many years ahead with my kids, and all those bonus hugs. :) Thanks Tracy!