Why Homeschool Series: Reason #6

Reason #6 is the flexibility that a homeschool lifestyle provides for us. New homeschool moms have a tendency to try to “bring school home”, make it as much like public school as possible. I say if you’re going to do that, why not just let the kids go to school?  Homeschool is a different animal, and it is different for every family according to their own habits and traditions. Yes, I have schedules and written plans, but they are loosely kept. We dispense with subjects or take a day off at a moment’s notice. But at the same time, informal schooling can take place anywhere and at anytime of the day or night, such as when we go out at midnight in August to watch the Perseid meteor shower, visit museums, read aloud great books at bedtime, or watch cool documentaries on TV. It’s nice that, if we get to take a trip, it can just be considered an extended field trip.

I’ve come to the conclusion that school teachers spend much of their time with crowd control. I used to teach a Sunday school class of five- and six-year-olds. Every week I never got through all of the things I had prepared as I spent much of the time getting and keeping their attention, a humorous sight, I’m sure. (I’m glad no video exists of it!) On two occasions when family friends visited and came to my class instead of going to their adult classes, my class became shy and clammed up. I got through everything I’d prepared, even all the just-in-case extra things, and still had 20 minutes of class time left with nothing to do. Expanding that to the length of a normal public school day, I figure teachers probably spend approximately half of the time just maintaining discipline, although admittedly I’m sure they’re much better at it than I was!

For us, unbounded by a strict schedule, we have the flexibility to stray off subject and follow unexpected, impromptu paths of exploration and discussion spurred by random knowledge we come across…..or not, if we prefer to finish quickly and have time for other things.

~to be continued~

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