Homeschool Encouragement: Reflections from a Homeschool Graduate

The following is a guest post written by Rachel Cross of From the Pantry.

To all the homeschool moms out there who fret over whether you are educating your children the “right” way – this post is for you!

As a product of homeschooling myself, I remember my mom often feeling uncertain of her ability to offer us a solid education. In those days, homeschooling was not very common and many people were rather vocal in their disapproval and doubt as to its validity. But my mom ignored the naysayers, stuck to her guns, and chose to offer us the education she felt was best.

Looking back now, I am deeply grateful to my mother for choosing to homeschool my brother and me. I often reflect upon the wonderful gifts I found in our homeschool. In this post, I’d like to share the rewards I have reaped and remind you that you are giving your child something unique and beautiful through the choice to homeschool.

Here are seven of the wonderful advantages homeschooling gave me.

1. A Love of Learning

Perhaps the greatest gift homeschooling gave me was a deep love of learning.

In our family, the day our books arrived in the mail was always a day of celebration. Why? Because learning was fun.

Inside those books were new things to be discovered, learned, and treasured. Of course, I might have developed a love of learning had I experienced a more “conventional” form of schooling, but homeschooling gave my parents the exclusive ability to create an environment in which the prevailing attitude in which I was immersed was that learning was a fun, interesting, exciting journey.

2. The Ability to Self-Start

Photo by Jessica Cross

If you are currently homeschooling, you are aware of the need for your child to take the initiative in his or her learning.

Though this might feel like a curse at times, in the end, it is truly a gift. When your child arrives at college, he or she will be hard-wired with a set of self-starting skills that are essential in higher education. Even if you use an online program that basically sets up a virtual classroom, the learning your child achieves at home is still accomplished in a large part by his or her own efforts and mental tenacity.

3. A Nurturing Learning Environment

One of my fondest memories from my homeschool is learning to read on my mother’s lap. I was a good reader, but I lacked confidence. Nestled in my mom’s lap, I had a safe place in which I could build confidence and also make a lot of sweet memories.

Homeschooling can provide one of the most nurturing environments for a child. In the loving arms of a parent, the child is free to develop at a pace that is natural to him or her.

4. Opportunities in Entrepreneurship

One of the beauties of homeschooling is that it allows time to pursue education outside of the traditional classroom environment. My family capitalized on this opportunity by helping both me and my brother start our own small businesses.

At the age of nine, I started my own bread business. Every Friday was my business day. I would look at my orders and bake accordingly. I actually made quite a bit of money and opened my first checking account. The sense of accomplishment for a nine-year-old was great. Plus, I learned how to make homemade bread! All of this was considered part of my “schooling.”

5. Close Family Relationships

Photo by Danny Bruce

While any family can be close regardless of educational choice, homeschooling lends itself towards close family ties. Spending hours in the same classroom with siblings may bring conflict, but it also brings closeness.

The memories and bond my brother and I share from our years of being homeschooled together are priceless to us.

6. Diverse Learning Environments

Do you know any children who learned their twelve times tables by boxing chicken eggs? Well, I did! Granted, we lived on a farm, but it was the freedom that came with homeschooling that allowed me to learn things like math in the context of daily life.

The opportunities and options for this are endless in a homeschool setting. Is your child drawn to cooking? A lot of chemistry can be learned in the kitchen! Learning about photosynthesis? Let your children help in the garden.

Homeschool gives parents the freedom and time to pursue these unique learning environments.

7. The Capacity to Dream

Finally, our homeschool gave me a capacity to dream. Education was something that was within my grasp. If I wanted to learn something new, I could!

Now, even as an adult, I still have the same feeling that the next educational or career step is only an effort away.

Anything can be learned if one simply seeks to learn it.

What do you hope your children will take away when they graduate from your homeschool?

Comments

  1. I love this post! It’s always so wonderful to hear the stories of homeschoolers who have grown up. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like your parents did a fantastic job!
    soultravelers3′s latest post: Around The World With Kids

  2. Thank you so much for this.
    I think I feel like I’m constantly rationalizing our choice to homeschool with folks who don’t and this post really gave me a boost of confidence that our path is the one we believe in.
    I want our kids to take away a sense of wonder and discovery from homeschooling that allows them to dream big, act on those dreams and have the skills/belief in their abilities to follow them through.
    Robin’s latest post: Register for the Fall 2010 NeighbourWood Walks

  3. Great post. We are starting out on our own homeschooling journey this year. This just reinforced my reasons for doing it.

  4. Thank You so much! I have home schooled 3 boys. 2 are in college 1 left. I wasn’t looking forward to this new year. It’s my last year and it’s filed with very mixed emotions. I whole heartily agree with the author. I have seen all of these wonderful advantages in my sons. I would do it all over again.

  5. Always appreciative of reinforcement– this is our first year!

  6. Thanks so much for this post. It is very encouraging to me as I start homeschooling my oldest this year.

  7. Thanks for this lovely post. I actually got a little teary-eyed over the “sibling closeness.” I always focus on how much my kids tease and argue. You gave me a reminder that there is closeness and when they grow older they will have a wonderful bond and memories.
    Shannon’s latest post: Don’t Always Take The Easy Way Out

  8. As a homeschool graduate myself, I am in wholehearted agreement! I’m planning on homeschooling my son next year when he starts kindergarten, and your article has helped reinforce my decision. Thanks!
    Jennifer’s latest post: Budding Chefs- Learning to Contribute

  9. Thanks for the encouragement! As a homeschool mama of 9 or so years, I still have those moments where I flash ahead to the future and wonder how homeschooling will affect my six children’s lives. I wonder how many of us today could have hacked it back in the 80s and 90s when homeschooling was so uncommon and so unsupported? I’m grateful for the pioneers who laid roads for me to journey.
    Melissa’s latest post: Top 10 Things Not to Do Your 1st Week Back to Homeschool

  10. This was wonderful! So much so that I linked to it at my blog about our young son’s homeschooling journey. It’s a private blog, so I won’t put the link here, but I sure appreciate a concise, well written explanation of the benefits of being taught at home!
    Kelly Cook’s latest post: Looking for New Property

  11. Thank you for the reminders of the benefits of homeschooling! I have a 7th, 9th and 12th grader that I have had the privilege to have at home throughout their schooling! I will never try to pretend that it has been an easy journey, but It is very rewarding and worth every minute of it! To all of you who are just getting started, I encourage you to hang in there, stay close to The Lord and He will give you the strength and courage to teach the precious children that He has entrusted to you!

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