Well, I’m now a homeschooled homeschooler. Somewhat of a “pioneer”, I think: mine seems to be one of the first generations of those who were homeschooled who are educating their own children at home.
I never really thought about it much until we started getting closer to the point of having school-aged children, but I really love that I was homeschooled. It was all I knew at the time, and though I never disliked it or wished to do anything else, I didn’t realize what a unique opportunity I was given or how I would benefit from it later in life. Now that I see the lessons I learned, specifically as a result of opportunities I had as a homeschooler, I’m becoming passionate about educating my own children at home.
I once thought that I primarily wanted to educate my children at home in order to teach them from the perspective that all truth comes from God. The more I consider my own homeschool education, the more I realize that learning that all truth is God’s truth was a great benefit of being homeschooled, there are so many other “non-religious” reasons that I believe homeschooling is the best way to prepare my children to live in the uncertain world in which we live.
Here are some of the things that I feel were great benefits to being homeschooled, and benefits that I hope to be able to give to my own children.
An abundance of time
Our actual school day truly took very little time – perhaps three or four hours. (If I was doing school after lunch, it seemed like pure torture.)
Because the actual bookwork took so little time, I had lots of time to be able to do other things: whether it be reading (I loved to read), creating items to sell at my parents’ craft fairs, building websites, working part-time jobs, or a host of other things. I had time to develop skills and talents in areas that I was interested in – time that most other students spend in the classroom or doing homework.
I want my children to have plenty of time to devote to the things that interest them, to build their own creativity and develop their own dreams and ideas.
Lack of age segregation
Very little about our homeschool was segregated by age. Even in activities with our homeschool group, we were divided into groups of elementary and high school, so I learned to interact with other kids of all ages.
Because I had opportunities to work in my parents’ business, I learned how to relate to adults. I often played tennis with my grandpa, and we had a weekly lunch outing with my grandpa, so I was comfortable with the elderly.
I certainly generally preferred doing things with the people my own age, but because I was often in situations were there were a variety of ages, I learned how to respect those who were older and lead those who were younger – and learn from all ages! I want my children to know how to act among people of all ages, just like they will need to for the rest of their adult lives.
As I’ve written about before, there wasn’t a lot of class time in our homeschool: my parents taught me how to teach myself. They guided me along the way, and made sure that I was actually learning, but I primarily went through my schoolwork independently.
Just like everyone else, there were gaps in my education, but I have no doubt that should I ever need or desire to learn more about biology, I would be able to do that because my parents taught me how to seek out knowledge on my own.
In today’s constantly changing world, we can no longer be assured that the skills we learned in high school or college are the skills that we need to thrive twenty years from now. I want my children to be equipped to know how to learn more about anything they desire, without having to take a class or be assigned a lesson. I want them to be able to decide they want or need to learn something, and just do it.
Well, that’s my homeschool background. It wasn’t perfect, but I firmly believe that my parents gave me the best education possible for me. I can’t hope to perfectly educate my own children, but I can strive to equip them to be prepared for the rapidly changing world in which we live.