Most parents can agree that 2020 has been a stressful year for both them and their children. Household essentials were hard to find in stores, many workplaces went remote, and – perhaps most stressful of all – schools turned to remote learning.
Since teachers can only do so much when they can’t be in the classroom with your child, many families have had to help their children understand their learning material. Parents were essentially homeschooling their kids. Other parents came to realize that there are homeschooling advantages they were unaware of and may be on the fence about homeschooling indefinitely.
The majority of parents who homeschooled their children during the coronavirus lockdowns had never done it before. Despite seeking help in all the right places, many were left to their own devices.
One thing that did occur during the coronavirus pandemic was that many businesses, organizations, museums, and brands reached out to provide resources for families who found themselves suddenly homeschooling. Homeschooling families who have been living this lifestyle all along rejoiced at the quality and depth and breadth of resources provided.
While homeschooling during the pandemic wasn’t a standard homeschooling experience, parents learned a bit about what it’s like. Here are just a few of the homeschooling advantages parents discovered while leading their children’s lessons from home:
You’re Mostly on Your Own
Teachers weren’t always able to answer questions in a timely manner, leaving you and your children to wait until they get a response before you can continue assignments they’re struggling with.
While homeschool parents may receive guidance from their local school district, homeschool co-ops, special education experts, and support groups, they typically build their own curriculum. They’re also responsible for answering their child’s questions about an assignment, a task that’s made easier when they’re the ones to administer them.
When parents homeschool, they make life, homeschool. Parents of toddlers and preschoolers teach their children that the stove is hot, how to sing the alphabet, and that red and blue make purple. Homeschooling is simply an extension of daily life lessons that pop up day-to-day.
You’re in Control of Your Days
Many parents learned that truly independent learning is liberating. Having total control over your day is one of the homeschooling advantages that make even the difficult days worthwhile. Just a simple reset and all is well.
Homeschooling Means Life-Play Balance Advantages
Did your kids have a hard time staying focused on schoolwork without being in a brick-and-mortar classroom? Were you ever uncertain of whether your child had done enough schoolwork for the day? Homeschool parents know that finding a balance between school and play is vital. It’s ok to step away from the lessons and just have fun, be present and enjoy the moment.
School Doesn’t Have to Last the Whole Day
Most children are in school for 7-8 hours per weekday. When homeschool is a lifestyle, you don’t necessarily have to keep to a set number of hours per day. Many states don’t have specific requirements around the number of hours a child should be homeschooled per day. It’s usually up to the discretion of the parents. What is mandated, however, are the number of days per year and general subjects taught. Virtual schooling parents quickly realized that a lot of learning can occur in a shorter period of time.
Traditional Homeschooling Advantages Include Time to Prepare
It takes time, effort, and careful planning to build a homeschool curriculum. That doesn’t just involve coursework – it includes extracurriculars and field trips, too. Parents and kids were thrust into online learning from home, coupled with the stressors of a global pandemic. If it felt like the transition to homeschoool was too much to handle this year, that’s because it was done so quickly!
Usually, families who choose to homeschoool have months or even years to contemplate their decision. Families who have always sent their children to public school are even advised to take time to deschool as they transition to a homeschooling lifestyle.
A genuine homeschool experience involves more freedom to teach and far fewer social distancing measures. This pandemic introduced parents to the basics of this academic structure: potentially shorter days, consciously balancing school with life, and independence from teachers – for better or worse.
Whether parents graciously send their children back to school this fall or they stick with homeschooling long-term, the past few months have been a period of growth and learning for everyone.