We all glean different benefits from homeschooling. Here are a few of the benefits my family has enjoyed.
~ Honoring our natural clocks. Everyone has a bad night or reasons why they can't sleep. It's nice to know they can sleep in if they need to. Also, all of my children are night owls. They are much more productive later in the day. Our society caters to the early birds. In fact, we insist our children get up even earlier so that they are in school before parents need to get to work. My children will get up early for something they really want to do, but that means they need to crash by one or two in the afternoon. I remember feeling that way in school, but you can't exactly take a nap in class.
~ Better spending habits. Homeschooling is as expensive or cheap as you want it to be. We only buy supplies we need and finish them. Some notebooks and writing and art supplies lasted years. Schools in our area post back-to-school lists for parents at local office supply stores, noting particular brands and amounts to buy. I've heard many complaints about them. We may pay for a class or two, but I tend to try to find free or inexpensive learning resources by using the library and finding mentors in the community.
~ Better eating habits. My kids eat when they are hungry. They all know how to cook and bake to some extent. They use recipes more than the microwave. We don't eat out a lot. We discuss nutrition and healthy choices. I've been in school cafeterias as a student and as a teacher's aide. They are loud, chaotic atmospheres where students have little time to actually eat. You can't expect a child to make smart choices about their diet when they are starved and rushed. I'm not saying my kids never eat prepackaged food. They just don't crave it because they have the time to decide what they really want to eat.
~ Closer ties. When I tell people how much Chase and Sierra miss their big sister while she's away at college, they usually joke about how happy their younger children were when an older child left. Sometimes I feel we work harder to make friends outside of the family than we do to make friends with the people we have the most in common with--our siblings. I'm glad my kids are close. I hope they will always be there for each other.
How about you? What benefits has your family gained from homeschooling?