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7 Reasons to Consider Homeschooling

7 Reasons to Consider Homeschooling

Homeschooling is not right for everyone, but there are great reasons every parent of school-aged kids should at least consider homeschooling their kids. The last thing I want to do is to induce guilt for all the non-homeschooling parents out there. (You are my friends, my mentors, and you’re doing an AMAZING job with your kids!) But I’ve seen so many moms figure out a way to partially or totally homeschool through family illnesses, new babies, cross-country moves, husbands’ deployments, taking care of farms, and full or part-time employment, that I know it can be done even in the most trying of life situations.

Even if homeschooling sounds like it would make you crazy, consider the following:

  • If you stay married, your kids have a better chance of staying married.
  • If you exercise regularly, you have a better chance of controlling your weight and preventing disease.
  • Or, one of my favorites, if you don’t use credit cards, you stand about a zero percent chance of going into credit card debt.

Just like making the choices to stay married, exercise regularly, or avoid debt, homeschooling puts you in a category if weirdness that will get you the cultural side-eye. But it also puts you in a better position to succeed.

Homeschoolers Are Positioned to Win

When I first started homeschooling in 2011-2012, I gathered up some numbers to see if there really was a convincing case for this crazy leap into homeschooling that I was considering. I found that homeschoolers have significant statistical advantages over non-homeschoolers.  Here are seven of them:

  1. Homeschoolers typically score higher than 86-87% of other students on standardized tests.
  2. Homeschoolers have higher college GPAs and graduation rates.
  3. Student gender, and parents’ income or education levels have no statistically significant influence on their academic achievement.
  4. Homeschoolers report higher levels of contentment in their adult lives.
  5. Homeschoolers  participate in more community service (34% more than non-homeschoolers).
  6. The average homeschool education costs less, saving taxpayers $9,423 per student, per year, or about $122,500 over the course of a single K-12 education.
  7. 92.4% of homeschool graduates feel their education gave them an advantage as an adult.

The Time Consideration

And then I thought about all the time it takes to educate a child. Whether we choose home, private, or public school (or some combination of those), we must choose where our kids will be and who they’ll interact with for a significant amount of their time. Did I want to be my kids’ primary influencer, or did I want to let teachers, coaches, and peers have my child’s best hours? Either choice is fraught with all sorts of emotion.

Depending on their state’s regulations, homeschooling families have around 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 180 days per year, for 13 years MORE to spend with one another than non-homeschooling families.  That adds up to 18,720 more waking hours together, and away from an institutional school setting where mom and dad have no influence.

This simple mathematical fact means homeschooling families have a better chance than non-homeschoolers of making it through those trying pre-teen and teenage years not only having survived, but thrived–together.

It’s All Probability

There’s always a chance we’ll end up a failure no matter how we educate our kids. Maybe we’ll end up with a broken family and kids who fail academically and in civic life. Maybe that would be the case whether we homeschool or not, but when we homeschool, we at least have the advantage of these things being statistically less likely. I realize it’s a calculating way to look at the choice to homeschool or not, but the numbers do count for something.

When my oldest was 4, I was so unsure of myself as a parent that I wanted to give him every advantage I could find for a good education. And I wanted to give our family the best chance at long-term togetherness that I could. Maybe I’m wrong, but I imagine a lot of other families feel the same way. There is so much subtle opposition to students and families today; our legislators are constantly changing educational standards and our culture is seeing fewer and fewer intact nuclear families. Based on that, I think all parents should at least consider homeschooling as a way to position their kids and families to win.

If you’re homeschooling now, what were some reasons you chose to do so? DM me on Instagram and let me know! What are some benefits your family is reaping?

Sources:

Handy Info Graphic

2009 HSLDA & NHERI Study

National Home Education Research Institute 2014 summary

2010 Journal of College Admission

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Rhiannon Kutzer

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Nice to meet you!

I’m Rhiannon.

You can call me Rhi for short (as in “rejoice”). I’m a fiercely independent homeschooling mom of five, a Navy wife of 13 years, and a creator of various things: articles, a semi-regular newsletter, quilts, furniture, and the occasional knitted scarf. This is the site where I write about our homeschool journey and news and happenings in the homeschool world. more about me.

Rhiannon

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I am telling you, that is a bedside you do NOT want to be at.
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I have been there and I never want to go back. God and an army of prayer warriors got us through that. Our person is still vulnerable. There are people in your life who are vulnerable.
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We were at that bedside with decades of collective medical experience on our side to develop best practices and treatment plans, and learn from mistakes made on other patients.
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Our loved ones who end up fighting COVID-19 with the help of a humming ventilator will not have that benefit. This disease is just too new.
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If you’re a leader of people, your job right now is to take care of your people. Be honest. Take this seriously. (We can do that without letting fear take control.)
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If you’re an employee, protect yourself, so you can protect your family. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, eat your vegetables, exercise, get good sleep, take some vitamin C.
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Above all #STAYHOME to #flattenthecurve so that you don’t end up by that bedside with not enough resources. Stay home, so that when the vulnerable person in your life needs it, they’ll have access to the ventilators and care they need.
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  • #Homeschooling when you didn’t choose it:
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I would feel totally overwhelmed and underprepared if I were in your shoes. Homeschooling is hard even when you did choose it. We’ve changed a little, too. Every meal is a reading meal these days if the kids want that. (They do🤓.)
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So, please ask me all your questions. I and other HSing mamas in your community have YEARS of experience with this atypical version of education. How can we help you and your specific kids in your specific situation? We have learned a lot of things the hard way and we are happy to help make this time smoother for you.
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What I desperately hope: those of you stuck in a situation you didn’t want AT ALL, might come to see education a little differently. It can be flexible. It can happen over the course of a whole day, with snacks, outside time, screen time, and play interspersed between lessons.
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This type of education is more about LIFE and HOME than you might think. While your students may be doing the same work assigned by the school, the setting change from school to home will change almost everything else about their educational experience this semester.
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Here are my two favorite tips to get you started:
1. Use short lessons. 
2. Alternate between types of work.
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The younger the kids, the shorter the lessons. Ballpark: elementary should be 15-30min/subject max. Middle school 30-45min/subject max.
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How does this look? Have your student read for 15 min, then do something physical for 15, then do handwriting for 15. That kind of a thing. “A change is as good as a rest."
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Don’t expect elementary kids to complete the whole assignment in such a short lesson. Just expect focused attention for that time, no matter how far he gets in the work. That builds the habit of, “when we sit to do school, we focus on school.” If you have to do 5 or 10 minute lessons because that’s all he had the attention for, that’s totally normal. Build up to longer periods, but it’s not really reasonable developmentally to expect hour-long math sessions for very young students. Those lead to tears. Ask me how I know.
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