Happy Home, Happy Homescool: 4 Reasons to Be Thankful for Homeschooling

I know we are supposed to be grateful this time of year. 

Grateful for the cozy fire, and time inside with our kids, and hot apple cider. Grateful for abundance and plenty–for America, for Jesus and our mamas, too…

But often, in homeschooling, November hits me like a ton of bricks. November follows October 31st–a day of sugar overindulgence, that kicks off the crazy holiday season where saying no to another holiday special celebration leaves me feeling awfully Grinchly, and saying yes leaves me overextended and wondering why I bothered buying any of this curriculum that we are neglecting to use, anyway. The kids are overstimulated, I’m worried about money and the looming Christmas expenses—and in many years, November is the month I research local private schools and alternative education drop-off programs in my area.

Do you remember the early days of Facebook? The days when, instead of an empty box for you to yell your current thoughts out into the cyber world, you were given a prompt, the start of a sentence? 

“Danielle is…” 

A few years in a row, November on social media was an absolute delight as my Facebook friends filled my feed with posts of gratitude for the whole month of November.

“Jennifer is grateful for new wool socks on hiking day.”

“Rebekah is thankful for sunshine and chirping birds.”
“Delilah is thankful for extra time with family.”

It turns out that education is an atmosphere for moms, too, and what we surround ourselves with influences our minds, too. 

I don’t expect to bring back “the good ol’ days” of social media (was that ever really actually a thing? I think probably not). But I do think taking some time to regularly pause and reflect on the goodness of this season can offer refreshment to our busy minds and spirits.

Homeschooling, in particular, offers us a few unique things to be thankful for, even in the midst of this busy season.

Here are 4 things homeschooling moms can be grateful for, even during overwhelming seasons.

  1. Flexibility

In addition to the flexibility of schedule for both you and your students, homeschooling allows you to do things completely differently than a traditional brick and mortar. With only one or a handful of students, it is possible to allow students to grow at their own pace, to tackle skill subjects like math and reading at a speed that accounts for individual development and interest, and allows the family to learn other core subjects like history and science together as a group. In my home, I have an elementary student who is working two grade levels behind in math, reading on approximate grade level in language arts, and memorizing college-level speeches from Shakespeare (shh, though–please don’t tell her). We have taken time away from our plans to deep dive science topics that interest us, and have spent a season or two deeply invested in a new baby. Because we have the built-in flexibility of homeschooling, there’s no competition and no one feels behind or ahead–they’re just learning the next thing. The pressure that sometimes accompanies classroom learning is, if not removed entirely, at least greatly reduced.

  1. The opportunity to be the primary influence in your child’s life. 

My kids do a lot of socializing and interacting with other adults. They have a lot of adult teachers and mentors; but homeschooling allows me to curate a culture and value system that is important to me, with fewer detractors. 

This also means that you have the opportunity to quickly notice an undesirable character quality in your child and adjust the environment to help the child mature in the way you hope.

  1. The opportunity to really know your child’s friends.

Gone are the days when homeschooling meant isolation! Co-ops, social meetups, park days, PE days, hiking clubs…we meet friends as a family, and I get to know my children’s friends–and their moms and siblings–as they do. It has been so fun to watch my kids develop friendships in front of me.

  1. Time.

Fourteen thousand extra hours.

Kids who go to a traditional brick and mortar school average 6 hours a day, 180 days a year, for 13 years. That’s 2,340 days spent with teachers and peers, away from the family–or about 14,000 hours!

Some days, all I wish for is a little bit of time AWAY from my kids–but the reality of it all is that I want my children to feel deeply connected to our family, and time provides a foundation for that to happen. 

Time allows insight into friendships, character and growth.

Time allows opportunity for culture creation. 

Time allows flexibility in time and study.

Homeschooling, of course, is not the only way to build a strong family or raise kids with good character–and neither is it a guarantee of success! But the time allowed by homeschooling is unparalleled for families who go separate directions for 6-9 hours each day. 

This season of thanksgiving, I am reminding myself to be thankful for the unique time that homeschooling has given me with my children. What a blessing it is!