Why Homeschool Series: Reason #7

Our seventh and last reason why our family likes to homeschool is to foster creativity. Since my children’s time isn’t taken up by any busy work plus hours of homework after school, they are able to complete all of their schoolwork in three to four hours a day. That’s if they focus their minds and refrain from daydreaming, but hey, that’s creative too. I believe lots of unstructured time is healthy for children; boredom can be a benefit. Combined with limits on TV and computer time (except in cases where it educates and feeds their creativity) and keeping lots of books and music available, it forces them to get creative, and they will, on their own, with no help from fussing parents who think it’s their job to entertain and fill every hour of their children’s time. I have proudly stood by and watched while my children have explored different creative areas, lighted onto their favorites, and taught themselves things I have no clue whatsoever how to do. I believe they will be heavily involved in the arts as adults as far as careers and/or hobbies. I mentioned that different homeschool families have different dynamics. We are a creative family, what with my husband’s art photography and my writing, and our children have a natural desire to want to carry on that tradition, but most importantly, they are given loads of time to do just that.Taylor's drawing

We feel that the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is seriously flawed. Teachers must teach to the test, ignoring all real learning methods in order to drill facts and get every kid to memorize enough to pass a test, after which the kids do a brain dump and don’t retain it anyway. There is no love of learning, no thirst for knowledge, no inspirational lighting of fires. In this conveyor belt method of education, perhaps less children are ‘officially’ left behind, but no one is able to leap ahead either. Gifted students are rarely given the opportunity to move at their own pace and show their stuff. They must remain with the herd. As awful as that sounds, I think some parents don’t mind. They may think it’s unfortunate but aren’t bothered enough to do much about it. But it’s a very big deal to me. I’m not a stage mother who pushes my children to perform. I lead and encourage and they do the rest themselves, and this is because the natural imaginative abilities that I believe all children are born with have not been buried but allowed the time and space they need to flourish.Tristan's drawing

In looking back over our reasons to homeschool, I see that they are really benefits that we enjoy as much as they are reasons. Homeschool is not a chore for us; it’s not something we were compelled to do because of circumstances we wanted to avoid. It wasn’t a “Well, I don’t want to, but I guess I’m going to have to do this” type of thing. No, for us it was Plan A. We may spend a little more time within the four walls of our home than some, but those walls have been torn down by the adventures of books. In our small schoolroom, as well as the rest of the house, we have traveled all over our Earth and beyond and visited every era, ancient and future. We have no boundaries, and our journey continues.


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