With everything going on around us, I am taking the time to acknowledge what I am thankful for. And do you know what is at the top of my list? Homeschooling!
I am very thankful to be a South Carolina Option 3 homeschooler. As a former public school teacher, I know that the schools and teachers are working hard to educate their students, however, the public school setting is not the best fit for everyone.
I remember having so many ideas that I could not follow through with when I was a public school teacher. Big group projects, hands-on noisy learning, and veering from the curriculum for an in-depth study of a concept were some of the things I wanted to do. However, my school had paper thin walls, my classes were too big, my time with my students was limited, and I was told that I had to finish the textbook before standardized testing, so I was unable to do everything that I wanted.
Yet with homeschooling, I don’t have to worry about disturbing the teacher next door or finishing a textbook by a specific date. I can create a unique path for my children that is tailored to their interests and talents. And best of all, the world becomes our classroom.
I can use living books, field trips, or any other resource that best fits the needs of my daughters. My girls can wiggle, listen to music while studying, study outside, and take a break when needed. They can fix a warm lunch to their liking and snack whenever they need to. They can get excited about a topic and share all they want. They can even get off topic and learn something that we never intended to learn that day. They can get ahead, or they can spend as long as needed for them to grasp a concept.
You might be thinking, “That sounds great, but won’t a homeschooled child miss out?” Absolutely not!
Many families think that homeschooling will isolate their child, however, in South Carolina, homeschoolers are able to participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities at the school they are zoned for. There are also many homeschool sports leagues, classes, co-ops, honor societies, and other opportunities for extra-curricular activities without using the public school. The opportunities are plentiful!
Homeschoolers can even take advantage of higher level learning. AP and dual credit courses are an option for homeschoolers. Online schools, like VirtualSC, allow students to take AP courses, and homeschoolers can take a dual credit course at their local college or online. Homeschoolers can also take advantage of CLEP testing to start racking up college credits.
Beyond the academic side of homeschooling, I am also thankful for the time my family gains through homeschooling.
- Time to volunteer.
- Time to hang out with friends.
- Time to enjoy our home.
- Time to be with family.
- Time to pursue interests.
- Time to read.
- Time to play.
- Time to eat together as a family.
- Time to take trips any time we want.
- Time to take a day off, if needed.
- Time to get to really know each other.
- Time to just be.
My daughters are not spending most of their day away from home. We are not rushing out the door to make it to school on time. We are not spending evenings completing homework. We are not sleep deprived. Their school can be completed in less time because we do not have to switch classes, line up, or move at the pace of the class.
Homeschooling truly is a blessing for my family, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to homeschool. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but for those who choose to homeschool, I believe they will have homeschooling at the top of their thankful list, too!