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Benefits of Homeschooling My Children Examined

Denise homeschooled her 4 children and has stories. She provided art lessons for many children in the homeschool community for many years.

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My Experience

I homeschooled my children because of some serious problems we were having with the public school system in our area, and some of the children needed extra attention they were not getting in crowded classrooms. Because of this and so many other reasons, I was left with only one option: keeping them home for homeschool. I hated the idea at first because, well, I wasn’t even sure I LIKED my children that much. What happened that first school year was a surprise to everyone. I enjoyed their company, and they learned.

The Played Together Nicely

My kids were in 10, 11, and 12 years old when I began. Right away, the kids did something I didn’t expect. They got along famously. They used to bicker and quarrel, and they used to needle and tease one another. Now, they were challenging each other to a game of chess during our break times. I began to wonder when the mother ship was returning and where the pod people had put my REAL children. They were actually a joy to be around. Who could have imagined that happening?

Experiencing computers ay a young age. Notice these computers are very old.  This was 30 years ago.

Experiencing computers ay a young age. Notice these computers are very old. This was 30 years ago.

Cute When They Are Studious

Then something else happened that I didn’t expect. We were discussing some history lesson or another and the lights came on in their eyes. Do you know what I mean? It’s that moment when a child “gets it” and understands something they didn’t know before. It was positively illuminating. And they are adorable when they are studious. I had no idea.

Things That Need Work

If that wasn’t enough to encourage me, another perk came up. Deficiencies in their education became apparent. I learned things about my children that hadn’t been aware of before. I found out that my oldest was two years behind her grade level in math. Her biggest struggle was with fractions. I began concentrating on helping her recover lost time with fractions. We did fraction helps, fraction tutorials, and even fraction cooking. I announced one day that we had only enough ingredients to make one batch of chocolate chip cookies. Each of the four of them could have one-fourth of a batch to bake or eat raw, as they wished. All they had to do was go into the kitchen and make one-fourth a batch of the dough each. They had to figure things like ¼ of 2 ½ cups of flour, etc. With the hands-on methods, my daughter gained 2 years of math in that first year. That alone made it worth it.

Beginning the school year.  The fourth is taking the picture.

Beginning the school year. The fourth is taking the picture.

Next Door To Illiterate

My youngest was the biggest surprise. She was going into the 5th grade when we started homeschooling. When we took a trip to the library, she concentrated on the picture book isle. I told her that she needed to get a book closer to her reading level. And that’s when I found out that she had little more than a 1st-grade reading level. She was excellent at memorizing and found a way of fooling the public school teachers into thinking she was reading when she wasn’t. But she didn’t fool me. In that first year, I got her interested in chapter books and the rest, as they say, is history. Today you can’t keep a book out of her hands. If her deficiency had gone unnoticed much longer she may have wound up illiterate.

Colleges Prefer Homeschoolers

These are just a few of the reasons I decided to continue homeschooling even after that first year. My children excelled and even went to college. One college counselor told me that colleges preferred homeschooled students because the homeschoolers knew how to study best. This was news to me. I had actually been concerned that they may have problems getting into good colleges.

Downsides

There are some downsides to homeschooling. I had to make sure they met with other families regularly to have team sports and group science lessons. I had to study with them to be sure that they performed the necessary lessons correctly (mostly foreign languages like French and Latin). Once my middle daughter berated me for not giving her enough education. When I question what she felt deficient in she said that the boys teased her for not knowing the meanings of some dirty words. If that is the worst thing the kids can say about my educating them, I can accept that gladly.

“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”

— Gandhi

Where To Find The Answers

Honestly, they didn’t learn everything at home. What I wanted more than anything was for them to know where to find the information to any question they may encounter. We visited the library often and even had scavenger hunts for information. At one point I even had the children look up the phone numbers of experts in their fields (like the Biology Department of the local college) with questions to ask a professor. There are just some things you can’t find easily at the library. I can safely say they all know how to find information on any subject they may need.

Opportunities for short-term job experience because homeschool is flexible.  This was a shoe store close-out sale that lasted for 3 days.  Good experience.

Opportunities for short-term job experience because homeschool is flexible. This was a shoe store close-out sale that lasted for 3 days. Good experience.

Henry Ford

I read about a time in his later years when Henry Ford was on trial for competency. He was elderly and his children were trying to have him committed and he was trying to keep his rights. The lawyer asked him some difficult math questions and when he couldn’t figure the problem, he said he didn’t know but if he could have 5 minutes and a telephone he could give the judge the answer. The judge wanted to know what he wanted with a telephone. To which he answered that he may not have all the answers but he felt sure he employed someone who did. The judge found that a very sound answer. So do I. If my kids knew how to find the answers they would be able to succeed anywhere.

Last Thoughts

It came as a super surprise that they liked me and I liked them at the end. I look back over those years thinking I gave them all I had. I don’t have any regrets so many women my age have. Many tell me they wish they had spent more time with their kids while they had the time. I don’t have to think that at all. I spent ALL my time with them and I loved it. If you have any thoughts or questions I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Comments

Ann Carr from SW England on September 04, 2019:

I wanted to homeschool my two girls but found that I couldn't because I needed to earn money and I didn't have enough time. I wish now that I'd found a way around both those things. They've turned out fine but one of them had a hard time at secondary school and my regret is that I didn't help her enough. Life in retrospect is easy and I wish I had done much of it differently!

This is an inspiring hub. I would advise any parent to homeschool if they found their children were getting a bad deal at school or even if they just wanted to do it. As you say, the social aspect and team activities are the most difficult to provide but there's a way to overcome that as you've proved.

Well done you! I admire you. Your children sound delightful and the fact that you found out how great they were was an added bonus for all concerned!

Ann

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on August 12, 2019:

RTalloni,

I think so. It is a lot of work but really rewarding. Thanks so much for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

RTalloni on August 12, 2019:

Thank you for sharing about your home education experience. If parents only knew how viable the option is, how valuable it is, many more would make the choice to to home school, especially today with so many wonderful resources available.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on August 09, 2019:

Linda Crampton,

I'm glad I dedicated that time for them because now they are all grown and I feel good about the job I did. It was a lot of work for me at the time though. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 08, 2019:

This is a very interesting and thought-provoking article. It sounds like you did a great job in educating your children, Denise.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on August 06, 2019:

Marie Flint,

Maybe it is a lens. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on August 06, 2019:

Lora Hollings,

Thanks so much for the encouraging words. So many people just didn't understand or agree with my reasons and accused me of cloistering my kids when in truth the opposite was true because we were part of so many outside activities. You know I never would have taken on the task if they were in a good place in the public schools. Not that the public schools or teachers were bad but the bullies and other situations were just not working for us. I think God was with me and helped me dedicate myself to the task. My dear husband had to take on 2 jobs and a part-time weekend job just so I could stay home with the kids. I'm glad it wasn't a forever thing and there was light at the end when they all left home for colleges of their choice. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on August 06, 2019:

I love this article, or as the new term seems to be "lens."

I will be sharing your experiences. Thank you!

Lora Hollings on August 05, 2019:

Denise, it sounds like you did an extraordinary job teaching your children and I give you much credit for taking this challenge on and obviously succeeding at it! I think most people are very intimidated in taking on such a task and perhaps they feel that they don't have the necessary skills or the patience. Although, I didn't homeschool my daughter, I feel that she still did get an excellent education as the schools in our community were so good and she was selected to go to a charter school that really was a top middle school. We were very fortunate! I visited there many times, and was always impressed with the awesome teachers there and the very challenging curriculum they had for the students. She went to a great public high school as well and was able to take many AP classes, so it certainly kept her out of mischief! My daughter also participated in extracurricular activities which were very good for her (as you point out in your article.) She loved music and art and really became quite accomplished in both these areas. But, you make an excellent point in your enlightening article about, often times, parents who don't take the time to read with their children or do homework with them, may not really even know what level their children are at in a number of subjects. We all need to know this and if they need help, we need to get them to the level they should be at before they fall way behind! If a parent can't do it, then they need to find a good tutor who can. I applaud you for your dedication and love for your children! Thanks for sharing your experience.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on August 05, 2019:

Linda Lum,

Thank you Linda, that's really sweet of you to say. I believe it was a positive experience and I'm glad I took it on. I'm was also glad when it was over and the last kid left home for college. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on August 05, 2019:

Denise, I am simply in awe of you. The gift that you gave your children was priceless. And it sounds as though you got back as much as you gave. You built a relationship that you might not have had with them otherwise. So happy for all of you. Thank you for sharing your experience; I have no doubt that your words will help others to make this choice.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on August 05, 2019:

Eric Dierker,

That's right, take a chill pill. They seem to learn more and faster at home because there is one-on-one attention that public school cannot afford. I found I did not have to continue school after noon until the high school grades because they could take in plenty in the morning even with breaks and lunch. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on August 05, 2019:

Nithya Venkat,

Yes, it is a lot of hard work but there is an end when they go off to college. It isn't a lifelong career. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 05, 2019:

So cool and more cool. We don't have enough room for our books. Henry Ford was so great with that scenario. My young son and his older ones went to school in the public. I just never thought nor did my wives that that was a replacement for homeschooling. Schucks, during the school year I am so busy preparing lessons that I need him in classes longer ;-) Today we will do recycling and worms and planting. This is while we quiz each other on words and numbers. By 6 pm I will be exhausted, especially after the library and I think reading about cockroaches today.

Sometimes I feel like I have to hurry to get in all the stuff he must learn. //Take a chillout Eric//

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on August 05, 2019:

Homeschooling needs a lot of hard work and dedication, you have excelled in this field.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on August 04, 2019:

Patricia Scott,

I think we are kindred spirits. I did some art classes in public schools and know some pretty fabulous teachers I think are heroes. But in my case, I was backed against the wall with bullies and social issues that just weren't going away. I think it is definitely a viable choice if you are willing to work for your children 24-7. I knew one homeschool mom who spent the day calling friends and letting children "do" their work on their own, which wasn't anything at all. I finally told her to put them in public school because she wasn't doing the job. It is a job, but so rewarding if you embrace it and do it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Blessings,

Denise

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 04, 2019:

Homeschooling is a choice I would make if I were a parent of a school age child. I taught in public school for 42 years and found it fulfilling and ever so rewarding. That stopped when the over the stop unnecessary testing crept in. However I will not bash public schools---some are excellent and are staffed with teachers who give more than 110 percent. That being said I would home school because I would know what was filling my child's mind and what direction her or his values was seeking. Well said...thank you for sharing ps