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Top 10 Things Homeschooled Children and Parents Get to do While Everyone Else is in School
by Sara Mcgrath
1. HOMESCHOOLERS GET TO SOCIALIZE! I always laugh whenever I encounter an argument against homeschooling based on children's need to socialize - As if you get to do that in school?! As a formerly schooled child, I distinctly remember my teacher saying, "You're not here to socialize!" While most kids are in school and their parents are at work, my children and I get to socialize. We socialize with one another - my favorite - and we get to interact with the community. My kids know the folks at the post office, grocery store, hardware store, and library. We run errands together every day.
2. HOMESCHOOLERS GET TO GO OUTSIDE. My kids and I love to get outside and enjoy a beautiful day. When the sun beckons through the windows, we head out our back door, walk through the woods, and come out at the playground where we find other happy homeschoolers with the same idea. If we time it right, my daughters get to play with the private school kids during their daily 20-minute recess. It comes and goes so quick!
3. HOMESCHOOLERS GET TO FOLLOW THEIR INTERESTS. My kids get to learn what they want to learn when they want to learn it. My daughters and I attended a rock and gem show and the girls got interested in rocks. We found ourselves digging for quartz at a local park. When we got home, we dug into resources on quartz and learned a ton. Then we put together some snazzy lap books showcasing what we learned. We had fun with glue, scissors, and markers, and the whole time we talked together, sharing thoughts and ideas and posing questions and thinking up ways to find the answers.
4. HOMESCHOOLERS GET TO LEARN DOMESTIC SKILLS. Most parents no longer have time for domestic skills such as sewing, gardening, canning, or even cooking meals. My 3-year-old is a blossoming chef. She has become my dedicated kitchen partner. She helps with harvesting from the garden, cooking, baking, canning, and making sauerkraut and pickles. My 5-year-old helps with sewing. She has begun making clothing for her dolls and hopes to get her own sewing machine. She sorts through the fabric my grandmother gave us and thinks up ideas for new sewing projects.
5. HOMESCHOOLERS GET TO ATTEND COMMUNITY CLASSES. After library story time on Tuesdays, I drop my 5-year-old daughter off at ballet class. She's preparing for a recital. While she's in class, my 3-year-old and I walk down to the river beach and bury our feet in the sand. On Wednesdays, my 5-year-old goes to art class. We keep the rest of the week free of scheduled activities. She's got a long list of future classes she wants to take: Taekwondo, pony riding, swimming, pottery, fencing, tap dancing . . . .
6. HOMESCHOOLERS GET TO ORGANIZE CLUBS AND FIELD TRIPS. Our homeschool group has over 150 member families. With that many folks involved, we never run out of activity opportunities. At our leisure, we attend park play dates and field trips to local businesses, recreational areas, and community events. We go to Lego club and holiday parties, and we participate in the science fair and the art show.
7. HOMESCHOOLERS GET TO TRAVEL. My kids and I hop on the train and ride down to see our family in the next state whenever we feel like it. We take whatever learning project we're working on with us. With six hours on the train, we have plenty of time to read a good story or put together a new lap book. We especially love road trips. My daughters have visited many of the beautiful state and national parks around us. While other kids were in school, my daughters were standing amongst glacial lakes, rock formations, and thousand-year-old trees.
8. HOMESCHOOLERS GET TO AVOID THE CROWDS. We get to go the zoo, aquarium, and multitude of local museums when the crowds are minimal. We use our zoo and aquarium membership whenever the mood strikes. We just pack a lunch, hop on the city bus, and spend the day. Same goes for the local islands, just a ferry ride away. Nothing beats a sunny day on an island beach.
9. HOMESCHOOLERS GET TO FOLLOW THEIR OWN STYLE. My kids dress creatively. They have time to choose outfits, change clothes, experiment with their style. They love body art and regularly decorate themselves with body crayons and jewelry. My 5-year-old wears a formal dress most days and my 3-year-old wears ballet clothes. They go barefoot when the mood strikes and enjoy the freedom to go nude in the back yard.
10. HOMESCHOOLERS GET TO TAKE TIME TO REST AND RELAX. My kids take time to themselves when they feel the need. It's not uncommon for one or the other to close her door and tell me that she's taking a break. They know when they need a break or some alone time and have the opportunity to follow their internal cues.
Last Edited on: 7/22/10 3:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1