When I decided to homeschool our children everyone from family to strangers had an opinion on what was best. Some folks thought we were crazy, some assumed I had lots of patience, some were encouraging, and some shared their concerns that our children would be missing out. For the record homeschool moms do not naturally have more patience than non-homeschool moms, but that is a post for another day.
Some of the most common concerns that people had are actually reasons that I am most thankful to be going ‘back to homeschool’ for another year of learning and growing as a family. Today we are going to discuss the three ‘F’s. Friends and field trips were two things that some people assumed my homeschooled children would be missing out on. The thrid ‘F’ concern was family time, not a lack of it but having too much time together.
Friends (or socialization) is a homeschool concern that is shared so much that it is a running joke in most homeschool circles. While there are exceptions both with homeschoolers and traditionally schooled children, homeschoolers in general have no lack of friends or social opportunities. In a regular school setting my children would spend the majority of their waking hours with the same group of same age children each day. In our lives as homeschoolers my children interact with many different groups of people throughout the week.
They have friends that are younger, friends that are older, and they interact with a variety of adults. When I look at my life outside of a classroom, my social interactions and my friends are made up of a variety of people from all ages and walks of life. In the natural flow of life we interact with a variety of people and I’m thankful that my children get that opportunity so frequently. They have friends they hike with, friends they do 4H with, friends in church, Trail Life, American Heritage Girls, friends that live in our town, friends that live several towns over, and a even a few friends we have to go visit out of state.
Field trips are one of the best educational opportunities available. When I was a student I enjoyed them and then as a teacher we used them to help provide experiences that would supplement our classroom instruction. In a school setting those opportunities were limited by funds, logistics, and often county policy. Funds can still be a limiting factor in our homeschool at times but we are able to take advantage of many opportunities for field trips and real life learning experiences. Everything from our twice monthly group hikes to a family trip to Washington DC become fun and educational trips. My children have had far more field trip opportunities in our homeschool than they would have had in a traditional school setting. I have not set up all of our trips but I already know in September that they will attend a concert, two hikes, apple picking, a visit to the mountains, and a trip to a cheese factory.
The third ‘F’ is family time and honestly it is the one that makes me the saddest. This is the one where they tell me they couldn’t’ stand to be with their children all day. I don’t want to paint some unrealistic rosy picture where I never get frustrated with my children and I don’t enjoy a quiet dinner out with my husband on occasion. However, I am so very grateful that I have the opportunity to be with my children each day. I am the one that gets to teach them and share life with them. Of course there are days when I just want to lock myself in the closet with a candy bar for a few minutes of golden silence, but all in all I love doing life with my family. Homeschooling means that we can travel together, eat our meals together, spend time with my husband around his work schedule, and continue to learn and grow together.
Those are three of the many reasons that I’m thankful to homeschool. I’d love for you to share the reasons you are thankful to homeschool.
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Check out these posts from other Review Crew Members:
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
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Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama
Marla @ Jump Into Genius
Meredith @ Powerline Productions: Being World Changers/Raising World Changers
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through The Open Window
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling