I remember the day my parents told me they were taking me out of the public school system and placing me in a new school. Home. I remember thinking, as a second grader, this means pajama day everyday, sleeping in, field trips every Friday, and additional TV privileges. When I asked who my teacher would be, my parents told me that my second grade teacher would in fact be Mom.
At first, it was about figuring out how this homeschooling thing went. We were a part of organizations, I was involved in dance lessons, and my Mom and spent lots of time together. While my younger sister still went to kindergarten, I relished at the fact that I was able to do much more at home than at school. Soon, my sister was begging to be homeschooled too.
But it was not all fun and games. Having our Mom for our teacher was both challenging and rewarding. While my friends were learning about spelling and basic mathematical equations, we were learning how to sew, play the piano, bake cookies, and build baking soda volcanos, in addition to our usual subjects.
Although homeschooling taught me so many things, here are just ten things that I loved about having my Mom as the best teacher ever.
1. I had time to pursue things I wanted to learn.
I remember the many times we went to the library and I was able to roam the shelves, perusing through countless books. This quickly became one of my favorite outings. Growing up in downtown Winchester, Virginia, the Handley Regional Library was by far the best library ever. It had the most sections I’ve ever seen, beautiful mosaic ceilings, and plenty of floors to explore. We attended book events, dress up contests, and book signings, just to name a few. This library was where I discovered my love for writing. I spent hours in the juvenile section with a pen and paper, simply coming up with creative title for stories I would eventually write or not at all.
By being homeschooled, I was able to explore my passions. Reading and writing were just some of the things I loved, but being able to figure those out for myself helped me in my later years.
2. Being homeschooled taught me to own my work
My Mom made sure I knew that my work was my responsibility. She also made sure I had the joys of ownership, like getting to pick topics that interested me (within guidelines). Queen Elizabeth I, the Romanov family, and Greek mythology were historical subjects that spawned many writing sessions and discussions at the dinner table.
Mom made sure that the work I was assigned was completed before play time. That meant no dance practice, no time with friends, and no free writing unless my work was done. Although I managed to squeeze some of my creative writing into my daily routine, I still had to own my work and make sure it was all complete or privileges would be taken away.
3. I was able to experience history
When we lived in Virginia, we visited The White House, the Lincoln Memorial, Gettysburg, the Washington Monument, and so many other historical landmarks that not many people get to experience. And of course, I was assigned homework after our adventures.
4. I learned practical skills
I learned anatomy from the animals my dad would bring home after a hunting trip. I learned how to crochet a scarf. I learned how to bake homemade bread. When I went to college years later and lived on my own, I was able to do my own laundry, cooking, cleaning, and other household chores because my Mom had me as her minion throughout my childhood.
5. Being homeschooled made me a learner
To this day, I like to learn how to do things. And if I don’t know how something works, I am sure to find out how. It made me curious about the world. Being homeschooled allowed me to research, explore, and experience the world around me.
6. It taught me to be brave
There were some kids who judged me for being homeschooled. But being homeschooled helped me be brave to stand up and explain to those people who didn’t see the benefits of learning at home. Later, those same kids who saw me as “socially awkward,” told me later that they wished they had been homeschooled too.
7. Being homeschooled taught me about fairness and mercy
My Mom was fair. She was never partial in handing out rewards, punishments, grades, or consequences. She also demonstrated mercy and a LOT of patience. Being able to witness how she managed her house and still had time to teach me says a lot about her heart. I only hope to be half the woman she is.
8. Being homeschooled taught me time management
Mom made sure I learned time management in high school so that by the time I got to college, I knew how to organize my schedule and get everything done on time.
9.It enabled me to meet a variety of people
My after-school activities allowed me to meet people who had different values than my family’s. Afternoons at the ice skating rink, evenings in ballet classes, gymnastics and soccer were just a few of the activities I was involved in that allowed me to get my social time in, while being able to experience other people’s morals, goals, and values. This allowed me to form my own worldview.
10. I was around my family
Another perk of being homeschooled, was that I was able to spend time with my parents and sister. While some kids wish they had more time with their parents, I had them around for hours a day and on the weekends.
Being homeschooled allowed me to have a unique education, and I am thankful for having my parents as teachers. I will always remember these lessons for the rest of my life and be appreciative for their taking me on the homeschooling journey.