Putting Your Child in School Gives You Less Freedom, Not More

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The Freedom

With a babe in arms, a three-year-old at your feet, and a just-about-school-age-child, you may be looking forward to dropping your eldest child off for his first day of school because then you’ll have a little more freedom. 

What you might not realize is that there are several advantages for you and your child when you keep him home, and that it’s vital to your family’s well-being that you delay school for as long as you can.

Regarding the former, children develop better character traits when they remain in the home rather than attend early education or kindergarten programs.

Maturity comes with learning how to be a responsible person, and the best place to teach your child responsibility is in the home. There are built-in opportunities to teach your child responsibility, which he will not find in school.

Children allowed to take responsibility and given a serious part in the larger world are always superior to those merely permitted to play and be passive.
— John Taylor Gatto

Responsibility Builds Character

One of the things he won’t have in school is younger siblings to help care for. Caring for his younger siblings will teach him many important things, and it will help you too. 

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The way he helps you is obvious: he occupies the sibling’s time so you can do other things. The way he helps himself is that by taking care of younger children, he learns to become a better person by developing habits such as being aware of other people’s needs instead of selfishly focusing on his own.

He learns how to give his time and energy to help another person, and this teaches him generosity. He also learns to stop what he’s doing when he’s called upon for help, and this teaches him to be more flexible in life because things don’t always go our way.

The way he helps his siblings is that they learn to see him as a role model and emulate his good behavior. They will also be more likely to have their needs met since there are two people in the home looking after them, not just one.

They’ll be less fussy and irritable. In turn, they, too, will feel happier, and they’ll become better people from being under his excellent influence. 

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

By learning to care for his younger siblings, you give him a childhood of opportunities to develop better character, and even science now confirms that good people are happy people. 

There are a joy and satisfaction that comes with giving that can’t be quantified, but discovering it (which so many people fail to do today) is one of the good fortunes in life. 

Unbreakable Bonds

Another factor to consider is that families who spend more time together have stronger bonds. By keeping your child home, and all the subsequent children too, you foster stronger relationships between yourself and your children and between each sibling. 

The tendency today is for children to be influenced more by their peers than their own family. One of the reasons for this is that children spend too many waking hours with their peers in school. When you keep your children home, you have plenty of valuable time to foster the strong bonds that all tightly-knit families enjoy. 

But when a child is sent off to school, he’s absent from the family. He spends less time at home and less time with his family. Naturally,  over the years, his bond with his family grows weaker as his bond with his peers grows stronger.

Think of his brothers and sisters who are left behind too. They’re used to playing with their older sibling, and they feel sad when they see him leave. I remember going to school as a little girl and leaving behind a younger brother. He would cry when I left. We were never as close after I went to school as we were before I went to school.

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What is more precious in life than a loving family? Members of a close-knit family will tell you how fortunate they feel to belong to such a family.

Anyone without this will tell you how much they would give to have a family that spent time together and enjoyed one another’s company and gave each other the kind of support that carries one through life and helps to keep their good spirits intact. 

Children don’t need to go to preschool and kindergarten. Everything they need when they’re young, they’ll find in the arms of a loving home.

I feel ashamed that so many of us cannot imagine a better way to do things than locking children up all day in cells instead of letting them grow up knowing their families, mingling with the world, assuming real obligations, striving to be independent and self-reliant and free.
— John Taylor Gatto

Are you wondering what kind of books you should read to your children? Get your free download: Ten Books Every Well-Educated Child Should Read.

Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in alternative medicine, “Love and Leadership” parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.

A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two successfully homeschooled children in college.