I have a few friends who have talked about homeschooling their children for various reasons. The number one reason they decided not to is because they don’t have the patience. I never really understood this, because I don’t picture myself as the most patient person.
And I am pretty sure if you asked my children, they wouldn’t describe me as a patient person either! I don’t know that parents who homeschool have been gifted with extra patience. (It would be helpful if we were, though).
But, when this new school year started, I figured out where this idea comes from. It was about the second week of school and my Facebook feed filled up with posts like these: “There is no way I am going to make it through homework time this year.”; “Homework took us three hours and we were both in tears.”; and “Doing homework with this child makes me want to poke my eyeballs out.”
And it dawned on me! Parents think homeschooling is like helping their children with homework. That they will be both be exhausted, in tears, and wanting to poke their eyeballs out by the end of it!
Well, after 4+ years of homeschooling, I can tell you that homeschooling is way easier than helping your child with homework. Sure, there are days I am tired and times I want to poke my eyeballs out. Regular parenting can do that to me, too!
But, overall I am way less frustrated than many parents I hear talking about helping their children with homework. I even had a former homeschooling mom tell me that when she decided to send her kids back to school that she spent the same number of hours in the evenings doing homework with them as she had previously spent homeschooling them!!
So here are the reasons why homeschooling is way easier than helping your children with their homework!
Your Children will be Rested
Let’s face it. If you just spent 6-7 hours at school using your brain and sitting for a good part of the day, would you want to come home and sit for another hour, 2, 3 and use your brain more? I know I wouldn’t!
When you homeschool, your kids are fresh and ready to learn! It will likely be the first time they have had to do higher level thinking in the day depending on your schedule. Their brains won’t be tired. This makes a huge difference!
Also, homeschooled children have more time to sleep in general. They don’t have to get up while it is still dark to spend 30-60 minutes waiting at a bus stop and sitting on the bus. That is an extra 30-60 minutes of sleep a day! You can also adjust their schedule to make sure they are getting the amount of sleep you think is best for them.
You Will Have Time For Breaks
If you are like most families, your evenings are crowded. You probably have a limited time to get homework done. This time might even be in the car on the way to soccer or dance or a number of other activities.
If your children are struggling with their homework, having trouble focusing, or just plain tired, they don’t have time to take a break. They need to get the work done! Of course, you all feel frustrated and impatient.
This is not the case with homeschooling. You can allot for breaks in your schedule and also give impromptu breaks when you can tell your child needs one. We often have 10 minute breaks between work periods in our home. We also might have a 1-2 minute yoga or exercise break in the middle of a work period.
Then, we have a big break (sometimes 90 minutes!) around lunch time. Our children never have to try to push through an assignment or lesson with a tired, unfocused brain.
You Will Be Working at Your Children’s Levels
When a teacher sends homework home, she or he knows it will be too easy and just busy work for some children, a perfect match for some children, and too hard for some children. But, most likely that teacher doesn’t have the time on top of the million other things she or he has to do to send the perfectly matched homework home with each child. (I worked in the schools in my past life and witnessed this firsthand.)
But, you know who can perfectly match the work to your children’s levels? That would be you! You have just a few children to teach and as you get to know your children’s academic levels, you will be able to match the work to each child.
You will see that they need to spend some extra time working on a particular skill. Or that they are bored and need to move quicker or even skip some lessons. This is especially helpful if you have a child with some learning challenges or a gifted child.
Your children will be much more willing to do work at their level than boring busy work or work they just aren’t ready for.
You Can Choose Topics That Interest Your Children
Not only can you choose the level of the work, you can choose topics that interest your child. Does your child love science? Maybe it’s the solar system or chemistry or animals. Revolve their learning around that subject. They can read about it, write about it, make art based on it, learn the history of it, etc.
Or maybe one child loves sports and you read, write, and the learn the history and science of sports. When your child is interested in a topic, it is amazing how far they can go independently in their learning.
You Can Choose Materials That Interest Your Children
Not only can you choose the topic and level of the work, but you can choose how your child will interact with the information. Do they like hands on materials? Maybe they prefer using manipulatives to learn math or want to do an art project for every topic. Or maybe they don’t like to get their hands dirty and prefer learning on the computer?
Do they get too distracted on the computer (I have one of those) and paper and pencil are a better option? Do they like to read books themselves or listen to read alouds or both? Find what works for your children, tweak it as you go, and you will have much happier learners.
You Don’t Have Due Dates
One problem with homework is you have to get it done by a certain date, usually the next day or by the end of the week. There are NO DUE DATES in homeschool. None!
My children know that if they have put in a good effort and we don’t finish everything for the day, then we just move it to later in the week. (I tend to plan less for Fridays so we can finish up lessons we didn’t finish earlier in the week.) We are even finishing our science curriculum from last year because it is ok!
They are still learning science, no matter how long it takes to get through the actual book. The lack of due dates will remove a lot of stress and frustration from all of you.
Your Children Won’t Lose Their Homework
Have you ever spent hours doing homework with your children just to have them forget to turn it in the next day or lose it on the bus? I would have no patience helping my child with homework either if this were happening! If you have a semi-organized space in your home for school then assignments are not traveling far and won’t get lost!
So, you see, homeschooling parents don’t have more patience. We have easier environments to operate in! If you are interested in learning more about starting homeschooling, check out the links below and/or drop a question in the comments!
For a limited time, you can get my Southeast U.S. Sorting Mats for free! These are a great multisensory review tool for your children, and they’re fun to use. I also have review mats on other subjects available in my store, and I’d love for you to check them out!
Check out these Free Homeschool Placement Tests if you aren’t sure where to start with your children’s academic levels.
Randi Smith is the owner of Peanut Butter Fish Lessons, where she provides encouragement, tips, and resources to help homeschool families use multisensory methods in their teaching. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Teachers Pay Teachers.
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