"As a first time homeschool mom, I was very timid when deciding whether to choose to homeschool. After researching Sonlight, I came to love how the program is run and how each grade is set up. I love how much literature my son heard is his Kindergarten year. I absolutely love being able to stay home and allow him to continue to be a child most of the day. School takes us only a couple hours a day or less, and with all the extra time he is able to play and be a kid. It warms my heart to see his relationship with his siblings continue to grow whereas in public school he would be gone all day. I love that he can wear anything he chooses or work anywhere we wants. The flexibility is truly amazing. Sonlight is an excellent choice for our family."Ashley H. of Cheyenne, WY
- religious freedom
- individualized instruction
- more time for family
But as you find your homeschool groove, you discover a load of seemingly insignificant perks that you may not have originally realized. These little joys add up in a big way and, for my family, have quickly become major benefits of learning at home.
1. Sleeping in Late
Sure, it’s awesome not to have to wake up to a blaring alarm, but allowing children to get enough sleep is also critical for learning. Not only does rest elevate their capacity to learn, well rested bodies are more capable of caring about what they are learning.
As all educators know, motivation is key. Research has also shown that allowing for later start times may be especially beneficial for adolescents.
2. Pajamas as Uniform
It's a common homeschool joke—kids learning at home while wearing pajamas, being only partially dressed, or even sporting a costume. It's funny, but there's a deeper perk here. We are enjoying our children’s freedom from daily pressure to match their friends. While we may break out the tennis shoes and jeans for co-op days, our regular routine allows us a great deal of freedom for individual expression and relaxed attire.
3. Learning Alongside Your Child
For many homeschooling parents, getting a chance to relearn world history or getting a second chance to figure out how to use watercolors is a huge perk.
What we often overlook is how important learning alongside our children is for modeling lifelong learning. By joining our children in their learning adventures we are not only supporting them, we are also showing them that learning can be joyful, challenging, even hard, and beneficial at every age.
Learning never stops.
4. Laundry and Cooking Count as Class
Chores like cooking or cleaning during the homeschool day are often labeled life skills among homeschoolers. While humorous, it’s also true.
Being able to care for yourself, your home, and your family are critical skills that are typically overlooked in traditional schools. Learning how to be an adult totally counts as school!
5. Ease in Scheduling Appointments
Our doctors and dentists are often relieved when we are able to book an appointment in the middle of the day. We rarely have to wait and are often able to get all our children seen within a single time window. That’s nice, no joke, but that schedule flexibility becomes a huge benefit when you think of the many other things this allows our children to pursue. Music lessons, job shadowing, and work don’t have to eat up evening family time. This flexibility is a huge homeschool perk!
6. Fidgeting Doesn’t Matter
For young children, sitting still and quiet for long periods of time is not developmentally appropriate. Fortunately, when you're homeschooling, fidgeting doesn’t matter.
7. More Time for Play
Education is such a serious business, but for kids play is a huge part of the learning. In many ways it’s the main part. This is true even as they age.
Need an example? Go watch a group of pre-teens gathered around a Pokemon table. You have never seen such intensity, and man do those kids ever know the value of what cards they hold in their hands. It’s easy to assume that nothing is being learned, but that’s a huge mistake. This is high stakes play for many of them. They are playing games and interacting socially in a world where what you trade and what you make defines whether you win the game.
8. Snack Time All the Time
While we often joke about homeschoolers needing second breakfast, the reality is that eating when you are hungry and refraining when you aren’t makes good sense. As homeschoolers, we can snack in our classroom and choose to stock our refrigerator with healthy options that result in good dietary choices.
9. School Outside
Fresh air and sunshine are a homeschool perk with benefits beyond those of getting to read outside. Spending time outside has positive psychological benefits for both children and adults. Problem solving, risk assessment, and social skills are all exercised through time in a natural environment.
Kids find themselves governed more by the natural laws of gravity, velocity, and buoyancy than parent- or teacher-imposed restrictions.
10. No Coupon Book Fundraisers
Around here, the public schools sell coupon books for classroom funds. There is usually a reward program where, depending on how many books are sold, kids can attend a classroom party or ice cream social. There is a lot of pressure to help the school raise money, and kids are often the ones that feel the pressure and disappointment the most.
As homeschoolers, we have freedom to choose our own means of funding our curriculum, supplies, and field trips. Our children can work for funds either through traditional jobs, direct selling, or alternative paths instead of outside-imposed fundraisers.
Enjoy your homeschool perks! The cumulative effect of these small benefits reaps massive rewards for our kids and for our families!
Learn more about those larger benefits of homeschooling with this FREE GUIDE.