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Five reasons to homeschool by a teacher and a mum. By Donna Schaffrick

About Me


I have always been in education; first as a pupil in primary and secondary schools and then four years studying at university to train to become a teacher. Finally, I taught for twenty years in various countries from the UK to Spain, China and Russia. In each of those countries, I was teaching the UK national curriculum and loved it. So why did we choose to home educate our daughter when the public school system has been the bedrock of my life? Read on to find out.


Are You Thinking About Homeschooling?


If you ask twenty homeschooling families how they homeschool you will get twenty different answers. In fact, if you asked me, a trained teacher, how we homeschool the answer would be that it is different every year. As our daughter grows and develops, so our style changes to fit with where she is and what she needs. I thought I would share with you the reasons we homeschool and why it has been so beneficial for our family, because maybe you are thinking about it too and wondering if it is right for you.


Reason 1: Flexibility


This has been a cornerstone ideal in our homeschooling journey. We can be flexible with when we homeschool throughout the year, as well as how many hours in a day and how many days in a week. This could mean that some weeks we might do six hours a day for five days and other weeks we might do three hours a day for three days.


We can be flexible about which learning methods we use to engage our little learner from auditory to kinesthetic to visual. It  depends on the subject and skills being taught and also what works best for our daughter on any given day. We are free to  cater to her needs in that moment which is extremely valuable for her learning. 


But most importantly, we can be flexible with the pace of learning. This is a huge one for us. We work at the pace of our daughter. If she needs more time in an area of maths, then we can give it to her. If she demonstrates that she has grasped a skill swiftly, we can move on quickly. Therefore, we are building a solid foundation of skills with no gaps that we need to revisit and fill later. 


Reason 2: Curriculum


What we teach our daughter is another principal reason why we homeschool. We have no constrictions with outside policies or ideals of a particular organisation, so we are able to teach her what we feel is essential for her growth and success as a human, in this ever changing and complicated world. Obviously, she needs the basics of maths, grammar, spelling, writing etc. but we can also take into account life skills including money matters, cooking, public speaking and survival competencies. So we have been able to customize her education to make it relevant and useful for her and how she can be effective in today’s society. 


In addition, our daughter is given time to pursue subjects and areas of learning that she is interested in and this has been anything from learning about a country she is visiting to exploring the origins of animals like whales. So essentially, she also helps create her own curriculum which encourages greater engagement and learning. 


Reason 3: One-to-One Attention


A salient reason for our homeschooling voyage is allowing our daughter to have access to adult teaching in a one-to-one environment. This enables her to ask questions if she is unsure and crucially allows us to establish if she has understood what is being taught. This freedom of one-to-one teaching guarantees that our daughter gets the attention she needs in every single lesson. 


Reason 4: Creating a Life-Long Learner & Growth Mindset


Our core belief as parents is that learning is a life long process and when our daughter was young we talked about helping her become a life long learner and raising her with a growth mindset. We have fostered a love of learning through homeschooling so that is part of everyday family life. It is seamlessly interwoven with every day activities and can be done anytime, any day of the week and anywhere. We engage in activities that not only allow her to succeeded and feel accomplished but also encourage her to persevere and become resilient so that she thrives on challenges in a safe and engaged environment, thus inspiring her to grow and develop as a learner. 


Reason 5: Social Skills


Finally, this is one reason you might be surprised at because it is one of the most misunderstood areas of homeschooling. Our daughter mixes with a huge variety of different ages from young toddlers to seniors and doesn’t see friends as being synonymous with peers of a particular age group. She spends time with adults, toddlers and children of different ages and in various environments such as on playdates, at clubs, at the shops and in one-to-one lessons with private tutors such as her German and piano teachers. She has been taught that friends can be of different ages, which is very much like what happens when you enter adulthood. 


Final Thoughts


If I could go back and redo my child’s homeschooling education would I change it? Absolutely not. I might give myself more grace and not be so hard on myself on the days that do not work out the way I planned them, but I would never change our homeschooling journey. So far, it has been a privilege to assist our daughter to grow, develop and learn and to see her shape into a thoughtful, resilient girl who loves learning and has many talents. 


I hope that our reasons for homeschooling have resonated with you and maybe encouraged you to consider taking the plunge. It certainly has so many rewards and allows your child to get a solid foundation that benefits them for life. 

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