Okay, there are more than four reasons why I love homeschooling. The reasons just fit so neatly into four topics. Contrary to what most people assume, my son’s conditions did not dictate my choice to homeschool but rather, empower me to curate a safe and loving environment. I always envisioned myself being a homeschooler (on the rare occasion that I envisioned myself having a kid). Before I share with you why I love homeschooling, I feel the need to preface this post with admitting I live in one of thee most liberal homeschool states in the country.
Yes okay, in a liberal homeschool state freedom is obvious, I guess. But I’m guiding a not-so-average bear and the freedoms we need to be most successful deviate far from the norms. The most notable is the need to integrate therapies into our every day and homeschool.
Homeschool offers the freedom to learn based on interest and guide in a manner in which Liam learns and becomes more interested and invested in a topic.
He doesn’t come to me and say, “Mom! I’m interested in math” or “I’d like to improve my coordination and focus.” Instead, he’s interested in dinosaurs, space, animals (okay anything science-based is his jam), and I take those interests, apply all subjects and therapies to that topic. We can seamlessly flow from one topic to another like farming to food, nutrition, health, anatomy, etc or jump randomly from construction to polar habitats simply because he sees construction zones and polar bears in the same season. (We visit the Detroit Zoo mostly in the summer because I’m not tryin’ to get hypothermia, okay).
Field trips don’t have to wait until the end of the semester or when there are enough parent volunteers. We can pop into any museum, any time we want with our own agenda. We get to have experiences with an authentic perspective rather than a follow cookie cutter itinerary.
Our schedule isn’t dictated by a harvest season or even a clock. We homeschool all year round, which allows us to be more active in the summer, more chill in the winter, and take advantage of learning opportunities that have seasonal availability. Somedays we begin in the morning and others, we start after naptime. When we need to slow down or take time off, we do!
This is BIG! I think most people worry a bit about sending their kidlets off to school. We live in a country where public schools have become commonplace for some really scary shit! But aside from that, I could link (I’m not because reading that flares up my anxiety) a bunch of credible sources with statistics about kids with special needs; specifically, kids with autism. These stats describe their risk of being bullied by peers, mistreated by adults, mishandled during a conflict, mishandled during emergencies, wandering unsupervised, dying by a result of wandering, sexually abused, and suicide for fuck sake is grossly inflated compared to an average bear of a similar age.
To be honest, I feel like if I can get my kid to adulthood without all this, I’m gonna be expecting my cape and trophy.
I recognize all this stuff can still happen outside of public school. I’m not a public school hater….Well…No… I’m not a public school hater. I’m more of an I-have-no-confidence-in-public-school believer. I give a hint to why in the About Us introduction and perhaps in a future post, I’ll explain.
Public schools don’t offer anything greater than what a dedicated and mindful parent can offer at home. Schools are, however, many kids’ first experiences in socialization. The unfortunate truth is social cliques and stereotypes happen at an early age. Although Liam is incredibly social and unfailingly kind, I know sending him to public school would be social sabotage. Ultimately, being mentally and emotionally destructive.
Homeschool provides the means to learn self-regulation, self and social awareness, self-respect, and self-love without the social ramifications of the stigmas his labels bear. Click To Tweet
Home is a forgiving place to fail, be nonvocal, not know how to hold a pencil or jump with both feet; to lose focus when spidey senses are activated (our code for sensory overload), or go banana sandwich (my term for losing one’s shit). There’s no pressure associated with the lack of understanding or slow processing. Liam isn’t tethered to grade levels with erroneous expectations to learn within the confines of what a syllabus says he should know or should not be concerned with yet. There isn’t a dangling threat of being held back; isolated to a special ed room or his curiosity hushed.
Homeschool is my favorite part of mom life. I, as a child, would’ve been best friends with Liam. I genuinely like this kid and enjoy kickin’ it with him. I’ve spent these years getting to know him in order to teach him about himself and the metaphorical world and there’s been great progress.
When thinking about the values and character traits I want in my son, I recognize I am responsible for instilling and leading by example. Given our abnormal normal, I can’t rationalize sending him away for seven hours with people he nor I, know and expect to get results that nurture his health and happiness.
Simply put, public education isn’t an inclusive place set up to encourage different social and learning abilities to the extent that offers all children an equitable chance to thrive and be successful. Click To Tweet
Homeschooling is part of a lifestyle with a seemingly infinite amount of benefits. These are just four big things I value most. Homeschooling allows us to curate our own lives. I cherish the time we have to build our relationship, learn from each other, grow together, and experience new things. Ultimately, there are so many things that are inherently more important than being able to sit quietly at a desk.