Working 36 hours a week at my store, Granola Babies, and homeschooling a preschooler and a kindergartner has definitely been challenging. And I’ll be honest that there have been days when I think about how easy it’d be to just fix them a lunch to take to school, go into work at the store and then have their schooling taken care of by the State or a private school. But, since 2007, I’ve been committed to homeschooling and am still despite now working 36 hours a week.
Why is homeschooling so important to me? Well, first we’re unschoolers by nature here in this household, so I like that homeschooling allows me to tailor my children’s education based on their own interests. When my son is interested in dinosaurs, we get to learn all about them in various different ways that keep his interest in learning going and keeps it fun and enjoyable to him. When my daughter couldn’t get enough of ants, we learned all about ants, including how they worked together in a colony, how they survived, who their predators are and what they eat. And because it was education based on their interests and tailored to their learning styles, my children received the one on one customized learning that they needed.
Another reason why I’m committed to homeschooling is the outside influences. Kids now days know so much more than we did when I was little. I’ve been told enough stories by parents to know that homeschooling my kids is the right decision for my kids. I know that there will be a time that my kids will learn these things, but at least they don’t have to when they are 5 or 6 or 7 and when they do, they will be better prepared to learn them. And it will be because we went through it together instead of having to learn from another 5 year old.
How in the world do we homeschool and work full time? Well, it definitely takes planning and dedication. It’s harder than sending the kids to school, but for me the time and dedication is worth the benefits. I close the store on Mondays and we use that day for outdoor activities. The rest of the week, we work on schooling in the afternoon and then also do a lot of outdoor activities (outdoor learning is very big to us). My kids learn through hands on and daily life, as well as curriculum that is tailored to their learning styles and interest.
Is homeschooling for everyone? No, not at all. The most common reason I hear for not homeschooling is “I’m not that patient.” But, the main misconception about homeschooling is that it’s as long of learning time as it is when a child it is school. The reality is that homeschooling a preschooler and kindergartner take about 30 minutes a day. It really doesn’t take that much patience to do that amount of homeschooling. But each family has to look at their needs, their children needs and their views on schooling and then determine what is best for their family. For us, it’s homeschooling. It’s a commitment that takes dedication when working full time, but it’s extremely rewarding to watch my children learn in their own learning styles and receive the type of education and care they can’t get anywhere else.