This Homeschooling Adventure: Advantages & Disadvantages

Just the other day...I prayerfully but hesitantly decided that I was going to homeschool. I had a lot of fear of the unknown, fear that I could actually teach my own child. I could only wrap my brain around getting through one year, so that's what I told people, "I am committing to this for one year. I don't know what route we will take after that." I knew I could surely do one year. Well, thank God that I followed His leading to homeschool (even though I was sooooo afraid)! I can say without one ounce of hesitation that it has been an absolutely precious experience. I would not trade it for all the money in the world! Of course, we have had our bad days when I questioned myself and wanted to pull my hair out, but the good days far surpassed the bad. If you ever feel the Lord tugging on your heart to surrender in this area, please do it. Seriously, it's an adventure for the whole family! Trusting in God when you know you can't possibly do it without Him is the way to go, I promise (it always is)! He will provide all that you need and He will show up in ways that will leave you in awe!

As promised, I wanted to share a list of all the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling (that my little brain could think of anyways). Of course, this list could be added upon by others, and please free to do so if you want. In fact, that would make it more fun! Alrighty then...since you already know that I'm pretty sold on homeschooling, I'll start with the list of disadvantages...
  • My children don't have as many friends as I had in public school. However, the few girlfriends they do have are awesome, so I'm just trusting God in this area. I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me not to get to throw big old birthday parties for them though. I'm just keeping it real!
  • Lack of group activities...but that will change soon when I meet with a group of other homeschooling mommies to plan some outings in a week or so. I didn't feel like I could handle the "group" stuff last year with a newborn, preschooler, and kindergartner in tow. I'm stepping it up this year! Also, the girls started taking dance lessons this past week, so that should help.
  • All the materials can get quite expensive, but the Lord will provide (He certainly has for us)!
  • Materials for homeschooling pile up quickly, so it takes some serious organization. Last year, we did school at the kitchen table, with books piled in another room. Thankfully, we now have a room just for homeschooling (another provision of the Lord).
  • Writing down every single thing you do for school can get tedious and boring, but it is a necessary evil.
  • Public opinion of homeschoolers is not always the greatest, so we have dealt with a few "snubs" from others. In general, people usually say something like, "Oh, how wonderful! I wish I had done that with my kids."  
  • Some days you will butt heads with your child and they will shut down and so will you. It's just a fact. In that case, we give it up for the day and add on an extra one somewhere later. However, sometimes all it takes is a few hours of playing and then they are ready to get down to business.
  • My kids are with me twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Sometimes, I need a break!!!!! My ears get very tired.
Okay, are you ready?! Time to list the advantages of homeschooling. I'm so excited!
  • The TOP advantage is the closeness and intimacy that so much "togetherness" has brought to my family. If I believed in magic, I would say that it is simply magical! Over all of it...in all of it...love reigns in my household. I do not, for one second, take that for granted. It is a gift from God.
  • I really enjoy getting to hand-pick the curriculum my children are going to learn. I get to teach them the truth about God and about how He has worked throughout history...that it is His plan that has always prevailed. Each day that we sit down to learn, I am passing down family values and establishing a Christian heritage. How awesome is that?!?!
  • The flexibility of homeschooling is wonderful! If we want to start school late, fine. If we want to do school outside, fine. If we want to have pajama day at school, fine. If we want to pack up and do school on a mini-vacation, fine. If we want to learn about something on location, fine. If a child needs to go to the doctor or dentist in the middle of the day, fine. I love being unhindered! :)
  • I know my children better than anyone else, so I am equipped to teach them better than anyone else. If they aren't getting something, then I know it and we don't move on until they understand. However, they are usually getting things so fast, that we end up doing work that is a grade level ahead. I've heard that this is true for most homeschoolers. I am able to focus all of my attention on just a few kids rather than twenty or more, so it is just logical that they complete things at a faster pace.
  • We "do school" even when we aren't really "doing school". Again, I know what they are studying, so I tie in different things that pertain to what is being learned all day long.
  • I get to emphasize art and music...things not always appreciated in public schools. {I know some schools still have great programs, so pretty please don't bash me on this point.}
  • Less germs...need I say more?!
  • Last but not least, we save lots of gas money:)
So, there you have it...the very unofficial list of advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling! My purpose in sharing is truly to give those of you who are "on the fence" a little taste of what you have to look forward to, should you decide to homeschool. Homeschooling is not always the easy, as mentioned before, some days are quite hard, but in the end, it is worth every bit of effort. Please don't ever hesitate to ask me for advice if you are considering it. I would love to help!