Have you ever wondered about the value of homeschooling? Yes, they read books, play, do math problems, and more. But there is so much more than that! If you’ve made the decision to homeschool this year, you may feel a bit overwhelmed and uncertain about the year.
Today, guest post is by veteran homeschool mom, Laurie Devernoe. Let’s keep reading together as she shares the values she found in homeschooling.
I surprised even myself when I landed in the position of becoming a homeschool mom. As a young bride working as an accountant, I never looked into my future seeing homeschooling on the horizon. With fresh new school supplies and curriculum labeled for our triplets plus one (eighteen months younger), our journey began as they turned school-age. I quickly discovered homeschooling to be similar to parenting.
There are the good days when everything is running smoothly, and you feel your family should go on the cover of Parenting magazine. And then there are the other days, where you wonder if boarding school would have been the better option.
The Value of Homeschooling
Regardless of what your homeschool brand looks like, your unique journey will most certainly take you places you otherwise would not have gone. Homeschooling facilitates more than a means of providing education at home.
There are many values of homeschooling if we just stop and look. Homeschooling is an investment that reaps rewards beyond any job a diploma could provide.
Building Family Memories
What I didn’t expect in our quest to educate our children at home, was that we were actually creating family memories to last a lifetime while also building new family traditions. We still laugh today about how the kids preferred to spend their entire school days in their pajamas, only to change into another pair in the evening.
Daily household activities became the classroom, especially in our kitchen. What started as object lessons with measuring cups advanced into experiments with baking. As the kids grew in their love for baking, new family traditions evolved.
We everything from annual Christmas baking with aging loved ones to frequent apple & berry picking “field trips”. Many fruits of our labor were baked into healthy treats to share our sentiment of baking with others, out of the pure joy of doing so.
Value of Homechooling Freedom
Since we were not forced to abide by a set schedule, we had the freedom to spend extra time on activities and schoolwork when necessary. I did not foresee the benefits of being in charge of our own School Calendar. As homeschoolers, we did not have to keep a traditional school calendar for days off. As a result, we would plan our vacations specifically when we knew “regular” school was in session. We would often vacation the week after Labor Day when the oceans were still warm and the traveling rates would go down, and there were fewer crowds.
Flexibility In Our Days
The flexibility in tailoring an individual homeschool calendar made room for life to happen. We enjoyed the excitement of welcoming our fifth child into our family and adjusted our “school” hours as needed to accommodate managing another child. Likewise, we were also able to navigate through crisis. Two of our children were in and out of the hospital for over a two-year period.
During this time, I watched the other kids come together as a team to maintain their daily workflow, and care for their youngest sibling while my husband and I took turns being at the hospital. Times of crisis will interrupt any homeschool, but the character that emerges from our children as they actively participate in the adjustments and sacrifices that must be made during a crisis, cannot be bought or taught, only lived out.
Value of Homeschooling Curriculum
As homeschoolers, we are responsible for our child’s education, but we do not have to be the sole source of their instruction. My husband kept his office on the side of our home. By doing so, he could take time to work with our children in between his appointments. When subjects/topics just didn’t seem to click for our kids using our curriculum, we would use online resources like Kahn Academy and local tutors when necessary. We also participated in Homeschool co-ops where other families worked together to further creative aspects of education, especially with art and music.
Our homeschool music class would visit local nursing homes to bless the residents there. As our kids became interested in studying individual instruments, we worked with local instructors and music organizations in the community. Little did we know then, the impact those classes and moments would have. Now all my kids are involved in music in some way, one of my daughters is going to school for music performance and one of my sons came out with his first EP.
Trusting the Process
As we educate our kids at home, the days are often so full of unending to-do lists, it seems like it’s never going to end. What I didn’t realize, was how quickly this part of the journey would go by and that College Professors would one day say that they can always tell who their homeschooled students are because they come to college ready to learn.
What I didn’t realize as a homeschool mom was that God had answered my prayers of having a strong family bond with faith as our backdrop. The benefits of homeschooling provided the building blocks we needed to grow as a family. A close family. Together, we cultivated our love for learning and a daily choice to love God, love people, and serve those around them with their talents and abilities.
The only qualification was the pre-requisite of being their mom and the willingness to set aside my dreams to invest and equip them in theirs. That became the fulfiliment of the greatest dream I didn’t even know I had in me.
How can you find value in homeschooling? Leave some thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear about them.
Laurie Devernoe & her husband Ron have been married for 20+ years. They and their 5 children reside together in upstate New York. Laurie continues to homeschool their youngest son and the 4 oldest attend colleges nearby. Laurie loves to share her faith and learn about others over coffee. If your interested in contacting Laurie directly, you can reach her at: Coffeehouseparenting@gmail.com
Keep your eyes open for Coffeehouse Parenting coming soon on Social Media!
*Need more homeschool encouragement? You may enjoy reading this guest post from last week: From Grumpiness to Joy
*Have you heard about Morning Time in your homeschool? Check out Your Morning Basket with Pam Barnhill to read all about it. There’s a podcast too!