Anyone who has homeschooled for any length of time has no doubt heard this reaction to the news that they educate their kids at home:
You homeschool?? I could never do that.
This isn’t something I take offense at because I used to feel this way, too. While most people who make this statement don’t feel any inclination to homeschool anyway, unfortunately, I know there are many parents who would like to, but feel ill-equipped. Whether it’s a perceived lack of patience or a lack of confidence in their qualifications, they literally feel that they could never do it, to which I say this:
If you can help your kids with their homework, you can homeschool.
10 Ways Helping Kids with Homework Can Be Harder Than Homeschooling
1. When you are the facilitator, you already know what’s being learned.
How many times have your kids come home from school needing help with something you’ve never even heard of before? I graduated high school in the 90s, and the difference between what I learned vs what kids today learn is astounding.
One huge benefit of homeschooling is that you are there with your kids right from the get-go. Rather than unexpectedly being thrown into the trenches of homework help, you’ve been there from start to finish. You know what your kids are learning, you know what assistance they need, and, best yet, you can learn right beside them, if need be.
2. Homeschooling can be leisurely completed throughout the day, rather than crammed in after dinner.
One of my worst memories of when my kids were in school was the mad rush for everyone to get their homework done. Everyone always needed me at the same time, of course, and there never seemed to be enough time to help them all. I can’t count the number of times I was sitting up with my oldest son until almost midnight helping him when he was in high school.
In contrast, the homeschool life has enabled us to find a rhythm that works for our family. No rushing and no late nights (unless my teens prefer it that way) 😉
3. Homeschooling enables you to assign work that “fits” your children.
If you take a look at the average homework assignment, it’s easy to see that it follows a generic model that best works with a visual/auditory learner.
But what if your kids don’t learn like that?
The fact is, there are millions of children who learn best either while moving or from hands-on activities. These kids simply aren’t wired for worksheets. No wonder there are so many homework battles.
Tailoring your children’s work to meet their needs is something that can only happen in a homeschool atmosphere.
4. Homeschooling allows for more flexibility in how an assignment is completed.
I used to hate when my kids would bring home math homework that required students to use one certain method to get the answer.
Newsflash: Not all kids think alike!
My son with ADHD used to get so frustrated because he would get the right answers, but it wasn’t the way he was “supposed” to get the answer, so it would be marked wrong.
The right answer is the right answer. Period.
5. No Common Core.
Homeschooling allows you to teach your kids reality, like 2+2=4, rather than tempting you to pull your hair out because you’re supposed to help your kids figure out how 2+2 can equal 3.
And we wonder why our schools are failing.
6. Homeschooling allows your children to have a say in what’s being learned.
Let’s face it. One of the reasons kids fight homework so much is because it’s boring and has no relation to the real world.
A homeschooled child can have the opportunity to learn about what they are interested in. Granted, there are some things a child should learn whether they want to or not, but doesn’t it make sense that there should be a balance to their education? After all, even adults are more enthusiastic about learning something new when it’s something they’ve chosen to pursue.
A balanced education ensures a more agreeable child.
7. Homeschooling allows for more flexibility.
Whether it’s the rules and regulations for how things need to get done or an absolute rigidity about when things need to get done, the pressure for kids in school is real.
Unlike a school setting which treats schooling as the be all and end all of everything, homeschooling takes into account something way more important than a homework assignment – life.
It’s a guarantee that there will sometimes be circumstances, predicaments, or even opportunities that may encumber a child’s ability to get an assignment completed on time. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that can be considered in a school environment. Work must be completed on time, or else.
Home education offers the freedom to take these unexpected circumstances and treat them as what they are – learning experiences – without giving demerits for an assignment turned in late.
8. Homeschoolers have the option of skipping the busywork.
Let’s be honest here. The vast majority of homework is busywork. It’s redundant, shallow, and completely unnecessary. Is it really vitally important that your 2nd grader complete that search-a-word? Does your kindergartener have to color 100 apples? And what about that fill-in-the-blank worksheet your 12-year-old brought home? Wasn’t the 7+ hours in school enough time to get the point across?
Now there are many homeschoolers who may choose to do activities like those above with their children, but the key is that it is their choice. Just as often, there are many other homeschoolers who tend to avoid those sorts of activities to make time for life learning.
Take heart, friends. These busywork homework assignments are taking precious time away from your family. Is it worth it?
9. Homeschooling allows you, the parent, to set limits.
As a student, one of the most stressful things about homework for me was that I had seven different classes a day, and none of the teachers cared about how much homework our other teachers had already to assigned us.
There were days I had a term paper, a final, a quiz, and an essay all due on the same day. I heard someone mention the other day that her high school age neighbor told her that she often stays up until 2am doing her homework.
Is it any wonder they’re cranky when you try to help them??
A homeschool parent has the glorious job of being the only teacher (usually). Accompanying that, therefore, is the ability to schedule things in a more considerate manner.
There is no reason a child should have to be in school all day, only to be up until 2am completing more school work. And no parent should ever be in the predicament of having to enable it. It’s a crying shame.
Which brings me to…
10. Homeschooling will not drive your child to exhaustion.
One thing I think parents often overlook when they’re focusing on the bad attitudes and lack of cooperation in their children while completing homework is that these kids have already been continuously working all day. They wake up early, sit at a desk listening to lectures or reading from textbooks, write, write, and write some more, and then often attend after-school programs or daycare. By the time these kids get home it’s often been 9 hours that they’ve been going non-stop.
But it doesn’t stop there. Because then they’re often expected to do chores, and….drum roll…
Do their homework. After being at it all. day. long.
While technically speaking, if a child is homeschooled, all of their work is “home work,” in reality, in most homeschools, there is no such thing as homework. Period.
I hope I’ve given you something to think about today. The prospect of homeschooling can seem intimidating, I’ll admit, but when faced with the choice of homework or homeschool, I’d pick homeschool every. single. time.