Let's face it, with all the time parents spend helping their kids do homework, they may as well be homeschooling. In fact, if you're a parent who's helping your kids do their homework, you are homeschooling!
But homeschooling is actually a lot easier than helping your kids with their homework because you are the teacher. You will never find yourself in the demeaning position of trying to figure out what the teacher wants your child to do, compounded especially on those nights when you can't figure out what she wants him to do!
Your child might also look at you during those moments as if you should know something that you don't know. In a subtle way, there's even a tiny speck of your parental authority being nicked ever so slightly. And your loving authority is your greatest asset as a parent, that and your love for your child.
And what about the children?
They're in school all day, and then they have to come home and do homework, and sometimes this extends into the weekends and even family vacations. Where is the time for pursuing personal interests or family time? Isn't this terribly stressful for not just them but for the entire family?
As one student participating in a Stanford study on homework put it (Galloway, Conner & Pope, 2013):
“I don’t have time to be with my friends and family. Also, I don’t have time to get enough exercise and build my other talents.”
And another child:
"There is hardly any time for me to enjoy being a kid when I have to go to school all day and then go home and do homework all night."
I know when I have to work nights or weekends to meet a deadline, I can feel overwhelmed and low-spirited. Why should we expect it to be any different for our children?
Especially when studies show that too much homework is counterproductive academically, not to mention the ill effects it can have on children's physical and emotional health.
One hundred and fifty years ago parents and educators thought children developed nervous conditions because of the lack of sunshine and fresh air from too much homework.
Juxtapose the schooled child's day to a homeschooler's day:
He (or she) wakes up, gets dressed, eats breakfast, does his daily chores, and he's ready to study. No tears. No missed buses. No forgotten lunches.
Not bad so far, right? But how should you, a mom or dad, be expected to know what to teach? How are you going to homeschool your kids!
The teaching part is easy. Most of the material you'll use is designed for homeschooling parents, so the lessons are clear and simple to teach. Some of them even come scripted. Not my idea of a great book, but some people like the scripts.
You'll start by giving your child a lesson for about ten minutes, say a grammar lesson. He/she spends about 30 minutes doing the exercises. Maybe you move onto spelling or math, and later your child will do some reading and writing.
Homeschooled children finish their core subjects in about two to four hours, depending on their age.
With 3 hours being the average time most kids spend on homework, your children will finish their core subjects in about the same time, and they'll have time left over for chores (essential for character development), family, friends, hobbies, and fresh air and sunshine.
How is this possible?
You have to remember that homeschooling is one-on-one tutoring. Your children will learn much faster at home than they do in a classroom of 30 students and a teacher teaching to the average.
You, on the other hand, are teaching one child and you're teaching him or her at exactly their level.
Sometimes, if you have several children and you're working with one child, an older child may help by teaching his younger sibling.
Doing this helps the older children understand their lessons better, and it builds a sweet relationship between the kids. It also makes your day a little less taxing.
In the afternoon, you might sit together in whatever cozy spot you have in your home and study geography or history together. Maybe you'll go out someplace to conduct an "on-location" science experiment. Maybe you'll take a homeschool outing with other families.
Homeschooling moms and dads take pride in teaching their kids things they would never learn in public school such as the other side of why the South lost the Civil War or how the banking cartel was formed. Homeschooling can be very interesting!
And you're teaching your children things that are important for them to know.
I should mention too that when you're homeschooling, there's no panic every morning to get everyone ready and out the door. Your home is the schoolhouse.
Evenings are free. Weekends are free. The bell tolls for no one.
And the best part is that there is no confounded homework!
Next time you're feeling overwhelmed by the homework your kids bring home, you see their stress levels climbing and taking yours up with them, and you're wondering what happened to the happy family time you used to enjoy, then you might consider homeschooling even if just for the elementary years.
And, yes, studies have shown that your kids will get into college!
If you enjoyed this, you might like my free download Ten Books Every Well-Educated Child Should Read.
If you need help with your homeschooling, please schedule a one-hour consultation with me (that's usually all you'll need) http://bit.ly/2GJAZEr