3 Gifts That Homeschooling Can Offer Your Family

Amanda Idleman

Contributing Writer
Published Mar 22, 2024
3 Gifts That Homeschooling Can Offer Your Family

There are some really cool benefits that homeschooling can provide for your family if you feel called to give it a try. Here are a few of the gifts that homeschooling has made space for in our home over the past seven years.

Seven years ago, I very reluctantly joined a homeschool co-op, a year before my son was actually set to start Kindergarten. I really had no clue what this co-op was about, it was just the only one I knew of in the community, so I signed up just to see what the homeschool community looked like in our area. The years since then have seemingly zoomed by! That nearly four-year-old we started this journey with is wrapping up Elementary school this spring. 

My first few years of homeschooling felt monumentally difficult! As I reflect back on those earlier years, I think it was a combination of a lot of pressure I put on myself to produce a super genius as well as the idea in my mind that homeschooling was only for a certain stereotypical mom I really didn’t want to be. I’ve always envisioned myself as a cooler mom than I actually am. 

One positive of the recent pandemic is that the whole world temporarily became homeschoolers, so the stereotype I feared becoming has crumbled and people from all different walks of life are seeing the benefits of a home-based education. For many, the pressures, influences, and shortcomings of our public education system have pushed them to think outside the box for their kids. Giving their kids the gift of an extended childhood, a life that includes hours upon hours enjoying the outdoors, and more! 

I’ve also realized that I don’t have the power to create a super genius. Each of my kids is so different. I have one that is a super quick learner and masters things like Rubik's cube algorithms in his free time. Another one of my kids struggled to learn to read, despite trying multiple curriculums, tutors, and more. It finally clicked for him, but it took much longer and a lot more work than I had bargained for. And I have three more kids that are growing fast, and each one has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. My takeaway is that they each have their own journey, strengths, and struggles, and my job is to help teach and nurture them. Each of them has their own bits of genius but not everyone's brain is made to memorize math facts, and some kids need extra time to learn how to read and write. Patience is what is most required of me, which is that remaining patient instead of giving in to the pressure we put on ourselves and our kids to perform can be one of the hardest parts of teaching your kids. 

Homeschooling is a privilege, and it’s not always the best fit for a family. But there are some really cool benefits that it can provide for your family if you feel called to give it a try. Here are a few of the gifts that homeschooling has made space for in our home over the past seven years: 

1. A Flexible Schedule

I often joke that I don't know how parents get up early and get all their kids out the door by 8 am to make sure everyone makes it to school, daycare, and work! I’ve become so accustomed to unhurried mornings that I think it would be a challenge to shift away from the flexible schedule we enjoy. Homeschooling gives your family more control over your time. We all feel the pressure to fit in extracurricular activities, homework, family time, church meetings, work functions, and social gatherings into the week! As homeschoolers, we aren’t exempt from full schedules, but the flexibility that comes with a home-based education does relieve some of the pressure families feel to get it all in after the traditional school day ends. 

Our family can take some days of the week to enjoy some extra sleep and fit in some extracurriculars such as dance and music during the school day. My kids have time to rest in the afternoon before heading to their evening sports. We have time to fit in field trips that bring to life topics that we study. Several days out of the week, we have friends pop by for a few hours just so we can be together. I can attend weekly Bible study with my kids. We also enjoy the community that our Classical Conversations co-op offers. 

When my kids are sick or have doctor’s appointments, we can shift our day around so no school is missed. When a need arises in our community, we also have the chance to step up and help. We have delivered meals and supplies to foster families and adjusted our learning schedules to accommodate the foster kids that have joined our family over the years too!

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages 

2. Homeschooling Gives Space for Relationship 

Relationships are the way we learn and grow in a healthy way. Connection fuels the brain more than a specific curriculum or educational philosophy. Schools, at times, can be a place where amazing teachers learn to love your kids and meaningful friendships are made, but increasingly this is becoming harder for schools to accomplish. The pressures placed on teachers as well as the needs of incoming students, make connecting in the class tough. 

Homeschooling gives your family the power to build a strong, intentional community. I won’t lie - creating this community takes work! It means lots of playdates, showing up to co-op field trips, Mom’s nights, and clearing time just to be with people. I promise the work is worth it, though. Our kids have the time and space to connect in an organic way with kids and adults when their whole day is not programmed from morning until bedtime. My ten-year-old loves playing with our two-year-old and his buddies just as much as he is able to talk to other adults or his preteen cousins. He is accustomed to interacting on a regular basis with more than his same-aged peers and, consequently, is comfortable interacting with people of different ages and backgrounds. 

Homeschooling also gives your family a special chance to be together and grow together over the course of your kids' young lives. Every day I spend significant time with each of my kids. Sometimes this is the bane of my existence, and I’ve learned that I need breaks from these lovely people, but the plus side is that we know each other really well. I know how my kids learn best, what they are excelling at, what they need extra help in, who their friends are, what they are worried about, their favorite books, games, eating habits, how they treat others, and more! As my kids get older, I appreciate this extra time to connect more and more. 

I love that my kids are each other's primary playmates. My older kids help take care of our toddlers. They take them in the backyard to kick the ball or push them on the swing. They build forts together, do chores together, learn history together, play video games together, and more. They also fight a lot, but we work through the challenges of being a family together too! 

3. Homeschooling Gives You a Chance to Learn about What You Love

My husband and I both began our careers as public school teachers. We thought for sure we’d send our kids to public school when the time came, but our insider's view of the institution gave us pause. One thing I wanted for my kids was for them to learn to love God’s world. It’s really tough as a classroom teacher to teach in a way that inspires. It’s not really anyone's fault. You are just restricted in so many ways. Some of it is the number of kids in your class. It’s the blank cinder block walls that hold your class in. The long list of curriculums you are supposed to master in a day and more. 

Home gives you the chance to be so much more creative together as a family! I say this as a not-very-creative mom. But just the basics of our setup lead to a richer learning environment. We can take our scripted math book and talk through our lesson on our back deck while taking in the sounds of nature. We get to write papers about people from history that intrigue us. We conduct science experiments on our kitchen table where we can make a big mess and fail without fear. 

Every car ride is a chance to dive into a new audiobook in between running errands. Nothing I’m doing here is overly complicated or requires lots of expertise (although if you want to go the extra mile, go for it), but because we engage in our learning as a group of 6 or less and often do it in God’s beautiful creation, it's richer. We have space to ask questions together and explore ideas that we are interested in. Our family can spend time exploring things like playing drums or piano, mastering Minecraft, Lego building, perfecting soccer skills in the backyard, or learning to draw Star Wars characters from YouTube videos. 

Now seven years in, I finally see the benefits of the homeschooling lifestyle really beginning to pay off. As my kids approach the pre-teen and teenage years, I’m comforted to know that we’ve built a strong foundation to grow them. There are no guarantees as to what the future may hold for us, but I know we’ve given them the chance to experience truth and beauty at every turn. I think that all on its own, is a sweet gift that we have shared together. The community we’ve invested in is now life extra family. I’m constantly beginning to bring a different set of kids to my backyard to play, and I love them all. I’m grateful for the gift of homeschooling and the community it has brought us. 

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/vadimguzhva 

Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.