First let me say one thing. There were things about public school that we actually did enjoy.
I loved helping out in my boys’ classrooms as well as volunteering in the school library during their library time and volunteering in their art class. I loved being their room mom, attending their class parties, their field trips and watching them enjoy field day. The boys loved all of these things as well. There were also school festivals, the Mother and Son Dances and other events we also all enjoyed.
Yes, there were some fun experiences they got in the public school system. But after a very long talk over many, many months, as a family we decided that we wanted something different.
We no longer wanted to be rushed in the mornings.
We no longer wanted to feel overwhelmed everyday.
We wanted a more relaxed, schedule-free and flexible pace of life.
We wanted to be present with each other for daily moments.
Since starting online school, one of the best perks is that my children are more well-rested. They are also much healthier. There is no rushing at night to get into bed and fall asleep. They no longer have to be woken up while it’s still dark outside. They no longer need to go out during the wee hours of the morning in the freezing cold or the pouring rain. They get to go to sleep when they want and wake up when their bodies are ready. They are able to enjoy the days of the gorgeous weather and on warm days, they can swim in our pool rather than sit in a stagnant building all day long.
My children have much more freedom. They eat when they want and the food choices are much healthier. If they get hungry or thirsty, they can get whatever they want. They don’t need permission. They also don’t need to ask for permission to use the bathroom. They no longer have to wait in line for anything. They are no longer being told to be quiet or to hurry up.
Another great perk is that illnesses have pretty much left my house. They are no longer around children whose parents send them to school sick. My boys used to get strep throat 5 or 6 times a school year. I can’t remember the last time they needed an antibiotic!
Online school gives my children the freedom to work on developing their own individual passions. When they were in public school, they were gone for 7.5 hours and then came home with hours of homework to complete. My children now finish their school work in a couple of hours and then have many hours throughout the day to develop their own passions such as music, 3D Art, drawing, writing movie scripts and more!
My boys can focus on their work without distractions from my other classmates.
For many students, school is such a huge distraction, especially where the focus in often more on socializing and fitting in rather then on learning.
I cannot tell you how often non-homeschooling people ask how I “socialize” my children outside of school. Well for one thing, I talk to them, they talk to each other, and they see their friends. We also go out often and they talk to people of all ages, which is more than I can say for school. Children who are interacting with others of all ages are exposed to much richer life experiences.
As much as people think children socialize in school, let’s be real: Socializing is strictly forbidden. The second a child walks into a classroom, they need to zip their lips and pay attention. How many times do children hear, “You’re not here to socialize.” Children literally only have a few minutes at recess and lunch or in between classes to talk. It’s no wonder why conversation devolves into slang and 4-letter words.
Some more reasons:
- Parents know and understand their children and are influential in their lives.
- Children are allowed to mature at their own speeds. There is no “hurried child” syndrome.
- Parents are the primary role models.
- An online education provides positive and appropriate socialization with both peers and adults.
- Peer pressure is almost non-existent.
- There is no exposure to drugs or alcohol.
- Children who have an online education are comfortable interacting with people of all ages.
- Family values and beliefs are central to social, emotional and academic development.
- Family life revolves around its own needs and priorities rather than the demands of school.
- Positive sibling relationships are created and maintained.
- Bullying does not exist.
- Good communication and emotional closeness within a family is created and maintained.
- Research shows that the two most important factors in reading and overall educational success are positive home influence and parental involvement. An online education provides both.
- A child’s natural thirst for learning is nurtured.
- Each child’s education can be tailored to his or her unique interests, pace, and learning style.
- There is an abundance of time to pursue special interests and talents.
- The flexibility is endless.
- Children become much more independent thinkers who are secure in their own convictions.
In summary, my children are happier than they have ever been. Life isn’t about a score on a standardize test. I see so many bumper stickers about someone’s child’s education. Sad. My children are so much more than a test score. They will remember the nurturing and love they received all while still being straight A students!
Quite frankly, I’ve seen the village and I don’t want it raising my children.