Reason #5: Natural Learning OpportunitiesThere are so many more things Laynie can learn through homeschooling than she can in the typical classroom.We won’t be so worried about squeezing stuff in just to be prepared for the yearly “standardized tests.” You know you’ll get it all in, because you don’t have 20-30 other children to worry about “getting it.” Once you’ve got it, you move on, and often you’ll probably be ahead of the game anyway. So, the stress of “teaching to the test” just won’t exist.Of course we’ll make sure Laynie knows “What Your Child Needs to Know in Grade [X]…” But we won’t cover just the main subject areas. We can also explore numerous other topics that she shows a particular interest in. As one homeschooling friend said, “We once spent an entire week studying birds of prey when we found a wounded hawk in our yard after a severe wind storm.” If Laynie has a love for animals, we may make some extra trips to the zoo, to learn specifically about the animals she’s interested in. We’ll take pictures of them together (and learn a little bit about photography as well as the science of animal study) and then we may use them to make a graph about what we’ve learned about them (in Math). We’ll report our findings to Dad or Grandparents, or friends (learning public speaking and confidence). And we may find out ways we can personally be involved in protecting endangered animals. Who knows what adventures we’ll have simply from following one interest? We can also decide to focus on extra-curricular activities she may take an interest in: for example, art, music, dance, or golf (my hubby’s hope– he’s a golf pro, LOL). The ideas for integrating Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies in just about anything are just flowing through my head. She’ll be having so much fun she won’t even realize she’s learning! The possibilities are endless!
Reason #4: Flexibility
We’ll be using our own flexible curriculum and methods for schooling: If Laynie is really enjoying Language Arts one day, we’ll keep going, and set aside Math for tomorrow if time runs out. If she’s getting frustrated with Social Studies, we can set it aside and take a break to play outside for a while, and pick up where we left off a little while later. If a certain curriculum choice isn’t working for us, we can switch it at anytime and try something different.We’ll be at our own flexible location: School won’t be confined to hours spent sitting in a chair at a desk. We can do work while sprawled out on the living room floor or on a blanket in the grass on a warm spring day. If Grandmother has a vacation planned to visit New York City, and wants to take us along, no problem, no make-up work, no catching up, we’ll just learn about the Statue of Liberty, the Rockettes (LOL), and whatever else we come across while we’re there, and pick up with our schoolwork when we get back. We’ll have our own flexible dress code: Who needs stiff or itchy uniforms or requirements for what color your sweater and pants should be, or who cares what brand name your t-shirt has on it, or that your jeans came from Walmart and your shoes aren’t Skechers or Uggs? We’ll learn about fractions in our pajamas and bedroom slippers if we feel like it.We’ll be on our own flexible time schedule. We’ll set aside normal “school” hours, but if something comes up, like a special exhibit at a museum or an art lesson at the park with friends, we can simply set aside our schoolwork, and go! We can sleep late and not worry about being late for school, taking time for a nice hot breakfast instead of rushing out the door to catch the bus with a pop-tart in hand. There will also be more time for exercise and outdoor play, and leisurely reading. Plus, since schoolwork won’t take us very long to complete, we’ll have more free time for whatever else we want to do.