Public or Private School. That is the question. But…. that might not be the answer. There is another option: Homeschooling.
Homeschooling in Canada is on the rise. Recent reports show that over the last 10 years there has been a 29% increase in the numbers of kids who are homeschooled here. This means that while education is primarily still centred around public or private schooling – homeschooling is becoming more mainstream. Homeschooling IS an option.
For our family, my kids have never been in a school. It has been the best choice for us.
Here are 6 things that I love about homeschooling my own kids.
- I get to see my kids learn.
When we learn together and they discover or understand something new – I get to see that little light go off in their eyes that makes them all sparkly and excited. I get to see their progress in the day to day: from struggling to read to reading chapter books. I get to watch them explore and study and experiment and learn. For me, that makes every minute worth it. It’s something special.
2. We can tailor our learning to what we want to learn about or what my child needs.
In a formal school environment, kids are required to learn about specific things at specific times in a specific sequence, but at home we get to learn whatever we are curious about whenever we’d like. For example, my kids have been watching walk-through videos of the new Jurassic Park Lego video game on YouTube lately and it has sparked interest in finding out more about dinosaurs. Specifically the questions around how the dinosaurs went extinct. Because they want to learn this, we’re going to dive right into a detailed study all about it!
3. We can school off-season.
Where the traditional school year typically runs from September to June with the summer season off to rest, our family runs slightly different. Since my husband works a job that has his busy season all summer and his quiet season in the winter, we plan our school around that. We lighten up our work load all winter – cutting back to the minimum to keep our brains active – and spend more time together relaxing as a family.
4. I get to learn too.
I love to learn. I think everyone is really a life long learner – or at least they should be. As I am teaching my kids different things and topics, I’m learning too! Homeschooling is a great refresher of things that have gotten fuzzy in my brain from my own school days. I get to remind myself how to do long division, take a look at Canadian history from a new point of view, and learn more about our country than I had ever known before through our geography activities. I also get to learn from my fellow homeschooling parents – wisdom is deep here. There’s always something to challenge myself with.
5. My kids get to spend their days together.
Although they do fight and yell at each other (as siblings tend to do), they also are each other’s best friends. They get to explore together, learn together, and play together. The older ones like to “teach” the younger ones. This childhood is going to be full of memories of them doing life as a team. For me, that’s priceless.
6. We get to do it our way.
No matter the subject, topic, or lesson – we can do it in a way that makes the best sense for us. We can watch videos, read fictional books that bring that topic to life, do crafts or art projects, look at textbooks, write responses, be active, go on field trips, talk to experts, play games….. there are no restrictions or requirements for us to follow a specific set of plans. And I love that. I can combine the plan of what we want to learn with the methods and activities that my own kids will respond to and learn from the best. That’s exciting to me.
I will be the first to agree – homeschooling is not the right answer for every family. But it can be the best solution for some families and it’s worth considering for your child as you weigh out your educational options.
No matter what option you choose….. I wish you happy learning.
Lisa Marie Fletcher is a homeschooling mom with 4 boys and 1 baby girl. When she first started homeschooling, she went on a mission to find Canadian resources and that ended up being a journey she shares on her site: The Canadian Homeschooler, where you can learnHow to Homeschool in Canada as well as find lots of support and materials for your education journey..