I have been giving this a bit of thought lately and decided to compile a list of my favourite aspects of having our child learning at home. There can be so many good (and not so good) aspects so I thought I would write a few down. In no particular order:-
1. We learn together
It is not only the student that is learning. We are learning and discovering new things together. We are learning alongside each other at the same time. We can discuss things together, learn from each other, and draw on each other’s experiences and memories as well.
2. We don’t have a timetable
There are set tasks that must be completed, but we don’t set down a time frame for when to do those tasks and we don’t allocate a set amount of time in which to do the task. This just doesn’t work for us. It is totally impractical. As long as it is completed I’m not too fussed when it is done or how long it takes.
3. We can take our time getting out of bed
Most days we don’t have anywhere to be at a particular time, so we don’t have the stress and frantic pace of getting up, getting ready and getting out the door to join the daily grind. We have a much more relaxed and slower start to our days.
4. Every day is a learning day
Although we are using some text books to cover the set curriculum and provide evidence the work is being done, learning is not restricted to books, Monday to Friday, between 9am to 3pm. Every single day we are learning something new. Even on Saturdays and Sundays!
5. We are not restricted as a family where we go or what we do
If we need to, or want to go out of town for the day, for a few hours, or for a few weeks, it is easy for us to just get in the car and go. We don’t have to stop and think or prepare ahead. We don’t have to be back at a certain time and we don’t have to organise for someone else to pick our child up. He just comes with us and either does his work while we are away, or does it after we come back if it wasn’t completed before we went away.
6. We are a closer family unit
We are one of those weird families where we all get along and don’t mind each other’s company. We all pretty well much know what each other likes and doesn’t like. We are happy doing things together. We are much more connected and we actually enjoy doing things together. It feels like a complete unit as we are all together and doing things together.
7. Concepts now make sense when they didn’t when I went to school
As I am having to teach our son concepts on all manner of things, I have to understand them to start with so I can explain them to him. It can be very hard to do this when you don’t understand the concept yourself though. An example of this is fractions. Fractions did my head in at school as they just didn’t make sense to me. Basic fractions were fine and basic sums were too. It was the mixed fractions concept that I couldn’t understand. I dreaded having to explain them to our son. From looking at books and sites on-line, I was able to teach myself how to do them and they weren’t so scary or confusing anymore. This made it a lot easier to teach and I could spend as much time as we needed until it was understood.
8. There is more than one way to learn something
There is more than enough time for us to go slow and understand a concept. If something doesn’t make sense the way it is explained the first time, we stop and have a think about it so we can try and work out another way that does make sense. We may also let it lie for a while and come back to it later until it has had a bit of time to be digested.
9. We can put off until tomorrow what we didn’t do today
If something comes up that we need or want to do, written work takes a back seat to be done another time. It does get done, just not perhaps when we initially thought it would be. Things pop up all the time that seem just that bit more important or interesting than doing ‘school work’
10. We don’t have to stop what we are doing in the middle of the afternoon to collect children from school
That was one of the things that annoyed me a lot when my children were at school. You are settled doing a task, happy with the progress you were making, pleased with how much you had achieved, and then you had to stop part way through, or had to rush through so you could collect your children from school. Not anymore!
11. We don’t have to go out anywhere
When the weather is not too flash – it’s too wet, or windy or humid, or we just don’t feel like going anywhere, we can stay at home. We don’t have to go out, do drop offs or pick-ups. We just stay at home in our comfy clothes.
12. There is room for individuality
I found that in a classroom setting, you tended to copy what someone else was doing, or you tried to do what everyone else was doing so you would seem to fit in and be just like everyone else. I can also remember times when if you didn’t do things exactly as the teacher was showing you, it wasn’t classified as being correct. There only seemed to be one way to do things and if things weren’t done that way you were doing it wrong. There was no room for personal expression, no room for creativity or individuality. We tend to follow our own methods and our own ways at home. We may start out leading by example and showing a way, but we encourage thinking outside the box to see what else can happen or what else we can create. There is no wrong or right way, there is just experimenting and learning.
13. We learn in the real world
As we are not restricted with times and places and ideas like most people, we get out in the real world where real things are happening and experience what is happening and going on near us. It is much easier to learn about nature by being out in it. It is much easier to learn about art by being creative. It is much easier to witness change by checking back in, or re-visiting places. It is much easier to learn about the things we are interested in by being hands on, getting dirty and doing it ourselves.
There you have it 13 Reasons Why I Like Learning At Home
I am sure there are many more things I could’ve included, but these are the ones that jumped into my head quickly. Don’t get me wrong, learning at home can be tiresome and make you want to pull your hair out, but it is far outweighed by the points I have mentioned above.