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If living a more and more conscious life is interesting for you, you’ve probably stumbled upon the subject of homeschooling. Because the default setting is sending kids to school, when you’ve seen the term homeschooling for the first time, probably you’ve thought: But why do people do this? Below I present 11 reasons to homeschool that are important to me and my husband based on our school and adult-life experiences (how have schools prepared us for the real life?) and on our values and worldviews of freedom-loving entrepreneurs.
Reasons to homeschool your kids
Because we are entrepreneurs and were small business owners which completely changes one’s viewpoint in comparison to the earlier corporation or government jobs, we highly value freedom, social skills, sales skills and all the knowledge and skills needed to lead a real, adult life. Which means that we prefer our kids to know what each type of employment means rather than to know the date of some historical treaty or the scheme of pine trees reproduction.
1 | stay close as a family
You’re at home with your infant, then baby, teaching it your rules and your worldviews, including him or her in your family daily schedule. There arise conflicts of interests, like everywhere between people. You want to watch a comedy, your husband a horror. You work on balancing these different needs.
Why the hell would you want to welcome and include another person, a stranger in your setup? Do you want your kid to believe another authority than you – his or her teacher?
To keep peace and as good relationships at home as it’s possible and to pass down our (and not the school’s) values to our kids, we choose to homeschool (now: homepreschool or to be honest: unpreschool).
So, don’t let other people take your place as the kids’ authority. Be the person who shows him or her the world. Be the teacher, be the example. Love.
And by giving up the school you create the opportunity to simply spend more time together with your family members! It’s simply my top one of reasons to homeschool kids.
2 | give your kids worldview and opinion that you believe in based on your life experience
Our next reasons to homeschool are connected with parents’ values, opinions and worldviews which may be different from what the authorities want us to believe in.
The school has some benefits for both parents and the government. Parents feel relieved when they can get rid of the little, too energetic creatures for a few hours every day. Especially when the school costs nothing (to be accurate, schools are never free, they’re funded by the taxes everyone pays). And the government profits because it has an easy and quite cheap tool to shape its people, to put into young minds what is beneficial to the government.
You can have different opinions than the government on many issues. You can also think that other subjects are important to talk about, not the subjects that the government makes our kids deal with at school.
Be your kids only teacher, especially in the early years of their lives. Acting opposite, you can let yourself to have an enemy at home who wouldn’t agree with you on anything!
3 | employ the best teachers for your kids
Now think of some really poor teachers that you had at school. And ask yourself, whether your parents or you would pay them personally X dollars monthly to teach you those subjects in that way for X hours a month? In my case, a negative answer would apply to many teachers. Maybe our parents would answer that they would pay even for the bad teachers… Just to have kids out of the home.
When you decide for homeschooling, you can teach your kids yourself, you can show them how to learn by themselves. You can also decide to employ a teacher to teach your kid a subject that he or she is especially interested in or which you want your kid to tackle but he or she has difficulties in which you cannot help.
In such a case, you choose the teacher. Isn’t it powerful?
4 | develop their social skills
Spending many hours a day for many years only in a group of people who all are in the same age as we, is weird, surely not natural.
Weren’t you excited as kids when you could play with a group of a bit older friends? I was!
A 3-year old can maybe learn something new, necessary and valuable from another 3-year old. But after two weeks of preschool, they’ll already have exchanged their skills and then…? Then they’ll get stupid ideas and forbidden words for each other.
And kids can surely learn something necessary and a bit difficult, challenging from older kids and from adults.
By taking your kid out of the non-developing same-aged group of kids, you free many hours of your kids’ day. The time kids can use for creating opportunities to interact with people of different ages.
5 | let them practice their passions
After a normal school day kids are tired. And often they have also to do homework for the next day. They have very little time for developing their passions.
I want to let my Boys be occupied with what interests and excites them for many hours a day instead of learning the theory of chemistry, advanced maths and right tributaries of Vistula.
I’ll leave them much time and energy for what they want to do and in what they want to develop: exercise, experiment, train, talk or read about.
6 | give them more physical activity and contact with nature
In our privileged culture, where we have so much knowledge, information, comfort and amusement, we lack physical movement. But our bodies haven’t changed as fast as our culture and to stay healthy, we need much psychical activity.
It is exactly the opposite of sitting in the classroom.
What our bodies need to be healthy and strong is exactly the opposite of hiding from the sun in buildings during the day.
Reasons to homeschool connected with health. We need vitamin D, we need fresh air, we need to look at the green color and at natural shapes to regain peace and eliminate stress. Have you heard of forest bathing? I’m in love with this phrase!
Homeschooling parents often go to a forest or other natural place to teach kids about plants, animals, weather, and ecosystems. There are also outdoor museums where kids can learn local history while breathing with fresh air.
And sports are so amusing and beneficial! Run, jump, hide, ride a bike, swim etc. And then watch how easily your normally too energetic boys fall asleep barely having put on their pajamas! (Spoiler: no, it’s not too much fun in the evening when the kids are sleeping if you also fall asleep after the exercises.)
7 | know what’s happening around your kid
If I’d send my Boys to daycare, kindergarten and then school, I’d worry what’s happening with them. Are they safe? Who they talk to? Doesn’t anyone harass them? And so on.
My little Boys are my sweet treasures. Don’t tell me that little human beings at the age of 4, 5 or 6 are ready to face the real world (institutions, strange people, rules, and places) without a company of a well-known and trusted adult.
I don’t want to give responsibility for my kids’ safety to people with proper government certificates – people I know nothing about.
I’m taking the responsibility for my Boys and I will let them go into more and more adult situations. Step by step. With trusted guidance.
8 | save kids from consumerism (+ saving money)
Let’s go to maybe a less-obvious of all the reasons to homeschool.
When I started school, no one cared who wears what and which brand of pencil case other kids have. But soon it changed. Brands came to my country. You were better when you had clothes and rucksack from certain shops and pencil cases, rubbers with a certain logo.
Today kids have even to compare: smartphones, other gadgets, shoes, bags (when I started school everyone had a rucksack) and even parents’ cars, parents’ appearance, homes and devices, accessories that are placed in them.
Under my article showing how to easily create kids’ capsule wardrobe, there is a comment from a mom writing that she doesn’t dare to dress her kid in the same outfit two days in a row. A kindergartner! This is today’s social pressure. And, please, explain to me, why shouldn’t we use the same clothes the next day (except the underwear and socks) if they haven’t got dirty? There’s no reason to not wear the same clothes again and again except for filling big companies pockets with more cash.
Advertisement to little people is a problem. Not understanding this problem by most adults is another problem. Classmates or other groups, especially non-voluntary groups only make the problem bigger (comparison and ideas from ads of what is proper or better).
I want my Boys to chase their dreams, lose energy on pursuing their passions and not to go after trendy things that won’t fulfill them.
Keep the little kids surrounded by your values of simple, purposeful, common sense living. And from the age when they’ll be able to understand it, start to explain to them the mechanism of advertising, sales, and market.
And on the way: save so much money in comparison to parents who surrender to the advertisement and social pressures!
You can read my Minimalist’s Guide and Reflections about the Back to School Season.
9 | let them play
Talking about reasons to homeschool, let’s go back to the historical times when people fought against kids’ labor in mines, factories and many other places. Kids were forced to lift weights too heavy for their bodies, worked too long and often in an unhealthy environment, not seeing the sun, not breathing the fresh air.
Why do we force our kids to work again, maybe not as physical workers, but ruining their health just like in the past? Today little government office workers are taking backpacks that are too heavy for their backbones. They are lifting them five days in a week from home to the office and then back to use their contents in an unhealthily loud, unhealthily stressful environment, having almost no contact with the sun and fresh air for the most of the day. Wifi waves contribute to the disturbance in the functioning of the bodies that haven’t yet fully developed. Kids have to follow the rules written by the government and listen to an authority with government certificate. Their well-being and safety can be disturbed by a stranger who’s higher on the corpo ladder than kids.
What an awful description of an awful world! I’d rather have my Boys running, playing, having naps, learning relationships with each other, with parents, grandparents, extended family, neighbors, and strangers (with the company of a parent).
Why should we let kids play? (Even more reasons to homeschool).
1 | Kids need to play to get enough physical movement. Their bodies haven’t yet fully developed, so don’t let them harm themselves by sitting for hours (which is harmful also for adults)!
2 | In a play, kids often repeat situations they’ve experienced, for example, they pretend to be shop assistants, parents, and kids, drivers etc. In this way, they learn how the world works and they learn human relationships.
3 | They learn so much by play! You can make letters teaching fun but they learn also such simple and basic things like the laws of physics and durability of materials. And when something is discovered or experienced by them own, it’s much better remembered than something learned by heart from a book, because there is a test the next day.
4 | And hey, life is not labor, life is not a work, life is not a sacrifice, life is not torture! Let be satisfied, let have fun, let smile, laugh, do enjoyable things and let our kids act the same.
10 | don’t rob kids of 12 years of their lives
This point is the most straight-forward of our reasons to homeschool.
I feel like I was robbed of 12+ years of my life because of school and studies. From the perspective of today’s me – freedom loving and more conscious than people living default lives – it was like scrunching these years into a ball and throwing them into the trash.
I’m writing about my feelings but if you prefer to be more logical, analytical and objective, you can count the hours of life that your kid will spend yearly in an air-conditioned building, mostly sitting, bored or stressed and of course compared. Then convert hours to days, weeks, months. For what part of the year do people close their kids in justified and sugar-coated jails?
Yes, there is time after school and weekends, but most of the evening kids are tired, have homeschool to do, can suffer from stress or be supposed to shop for items of a better brand.
Robbing someone of 12 years of his or her life is a big crime. It’s like you’d be destined to live 80 years but you (or your parents) choose to shoot yourself in the head at the age of 68.
11 | teach them responsibility, making choices and foreseeing consequences
At school, teachers are authorities – teachers who decide, who give commands and then reward or punish based on rules written by the government. Kids (and parents) have nothing to say. Kids are like soldiers. Their main goal which will be rewarded and which will give them recognition is obedience.
But how does the adult life looks like? Ok, you can accept to live where your parents lived, to pay what others tell you to pay and to be obedient to a boss.
But I think in our times we have marvelous opportunities we just should take advantage of. We can be so much more (and so much happier!) than a passive cog in the machine. Because we can make decisions in our lives. We can choose in so many areas of our lives: where do we live, how we spend our time, who we meet, how we look, where and how we make money etc.
We don’t have to follow anyone’s commands to shape our lives. But following commands is what kids are learned at school. Instead, I want my little ones to be taught responsibility, creative thinking, how to make choices, decision, foresee and then suffer or enjoy consequences.
These are main reasons why it’s worth to homeschool our kids, reasons to homeschool which came fast to my mind. There are even more arguments for homeschooling. For people who are interested in this subject, next week I’ll publish a basic list of sources: articles about this family lifestyle and homeschooling methods, and curriculums. To be sure you won’t miss the next article, you can subscribe for email notification (only info about new articles, no sales, no private letters)