What are some advantages of homeschooling? Here’s 101 advantages of homeschooling in 2021 and beyond!
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1. Sleep longer
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) published guidelines accepted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that school-aged children need 9-12 hours of sleep and teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep.
This is hard to accomplish when the bus rolls around at 6:30 a.m. and school begins by 8:00 a.m. Homeschool allows for a flexible schedule that allows your kids to sleep longer and feel well rested to start the day.
2. No dress code
You don’t have to worry about dress codes since everything in your child’s closet has already been homeschool approved! The school uniform can be a simple t-shirt and athletic shorts, or whatever your child finds most comfortable wearing.
An accident or spill during the day just requires a trip to the closet!
3. Multiple breaks
When one subject/assignment is finished and some down time is needed before starting the next, breaks can be scheduled accordingly.
4. Less high-stakes testing
Homeschool is not exempt from all forms of testing and the requirements vary from state to state. However, there are less tests than in a traditional public school and definitely less high-stakes testing. Some states require tests for certain grade levels or specific high school subjects, but you can schedule those when it works best for your child.
5. Conversational lunches
Talking during lunch at homeschool is welcomed and encouraged! Adults are allowed to talk on their lunch breaks and kids should be able to do the same. Lunches are casual and conversational, every day.
6. Free field trips
You can arrange as many field trips as the schedule and budget permits throughout the school year. There’s many free homeschool field trip options if you just get a little creative!
7. Backpack optional
There have been studies that show the negative long term impact of heavy backpacks, yet students in traditional schools still carry them full of books and supplies in order to get to classes on time. Homeschool backpacks are optional!
8. Pets allowed
Pets are known to have a therapeutic impact for reducing stress and anxiety. If you have pets in your home, there’s a good chance they will be regular and welcome attendees of your homeschool class.
Homeschool is family pet approved!
9. Naps allowed
Nap times for younger students in traditional schools are pretty much non-existent. Homeschool allows a schedule to be built that includes a nap time for young learners. Your middle schooler and teens may be fans of a power nap on occasion too!
10. Gum allowed
There have been studies that correlate chewing gum with increased attention and concentration. Chewing gum is usually against traditional school rules but it could be an option, or an occasional treat, in your homeschool.
11. No bus
AKA the Big Cheese. It really sets a tone for a hard start to the day when the bus rolls around and a student is running out the door to catch a ride. It’s not really the kind of adrenaline you want to start the school day. A traditional school bus ride is definitely an experience, but perhaps not for all the right reasons! Some kids are on a long, hot bus ride for up to an hour, twice a day.
The homeschool “bus” is otherwise known as the family car and (hopefully) it isn’t as hard to get everyone in at a designated time.
Interestingly, the school bus ride is what some homeschool kids who have not attended traditional schools want to experience. The next time your community is using school buses as a shuttle for special events, give them this experience and let them see what the bus ride is all about!
12. Practice horticulture at home
You can take homeschool classes outdoors anytime and that includes projects at home that provide opportunities for learning and improving your home.
Your homeschoolers could help with a garden, landscaping or care for various plants and vegetation. When students are older, these projects could also serve as high school electives for credit.
13. Parental discipline
You establish the boundaries and consequences at home and determine how your child is disciplined. It’s not left up to another person who may say or do things in a way that’s not in line with your preferences for discipline.
In a public school setting, systems and procedures are pre-established and you sign contracts to agree to them, even if it’s not what you believe about effective discipline.
14. Learn alongside your child
Going “back to school” in the form of a homeschool parent is an special opportunity to learn alongside your child. A child in a traditional public school may be too tired or overwhelmed from a school day to really tell you about what they are learning.
Homeschool is a very personalized education with parents as partners in the day to day learning process.
15. Work around special schedules
Some parents choose to homeschool out of a need for their kids to participate in special sports, performing arts or other unique experiences. Maybe your child has a high interest and talent in theater.
A homeschool environment allows a family to work school around special schedules, practices and events.
16. Customize lesson plans
Your lesson plans can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be. Unless your state has specific requirements for lesson plans, there is freedom to plan in a way that makes the most sense for your schedule, curriculum choices and family.
17. Life skills
Homeschool includes many opportunities for teaching life skills and skills your child will utilize into adulthood. They can learn these skills through specific courses, but they can also learn just as much as they help you run errands, do chores and help with managing the home.
18. One-on-one time
Homeschool with multiple children creates a busy day, but it still allows for more one on one time with each child throughout the day as you guide and support them with their learning. In a typical brick and mortar classroom, it’s difficult if not impossible to give individual students extended one-on-one attention.
19. Encourage independence
Homeschool students can become more independent and take on more responsibility for their learning, especially as they transition to middle and high school. Often, older students will learn to structure their day to get school work done more quickly so that they can pursue other interests or hobbies.
Parents can be there for support but also encourage independence as each student achieves their goals.
20. Resolve sibling conflict positively
Sibling conflict and schisms are inevitable, homeschool or not. In a homeschool environment you can help your kids work through conflict as positively and peacefully as possible.
Homeschooled siblings tend to be especially close and this probably one of the reasons why that is true. When you must spend hours together and it’s required to find a way to get along (or face a consequence) most siblings will work it out.
21. Control over content
A homeschool education gives parents an opportunity to control when and how students learn certain concepts. It allows parents to decide if their content is religious based or secular, and pull from resources that most closely line up with family values.
22. Free access to snacks
Huge homeschool advantage… snacks are free! Well, free in a sense that your child is not limited to a certain time that they can eat them or have to purchase them from a vending machine. If your child(ren) know where snacks are located and when they are allowed then it’s definitely a perk of homeschool to have access to a “snack bar” when needed.
23. Flexible scheduling
Not every day of homeschool will go as planned. Every day is not perfect. You may have days where everyone is off, or sick, or unexpected events distract from the school day. Homeschool offers flexible scheduling where you can adjust as needed based on various circumstances.
24. Sick days as needed
Homeschool permits sick time without getting behind. That child will get to focus on getting well and then picking up where they left off once they have recovered from an illness or injury. There’s no pressure to return to get back to school before he or she is feeling better.
Sadly, safety at a public school should not be one of the top reasons that families choose to homeschool, but acts of violence and bullying at school are very much on the minds of parents as they consider whether or not to homeschool.
26. Opportunities for travel
Traveling around the school year makes it hard for families to experience unique opportunities “off peak season” or to take a vacation at times that are more affordable during the year. Traditional school attendance policies make it difficult, if not impossible, to travel except for holidays or summer. This is when travel is expensive and crowded and may not be as optimal for parents who work outside of the home.
Opportunities for travel at random times of the year is an advantage of a homeschool education.
27. Monitored peer influence
As homeschoolers start connecting with other groups and become more involved in the community, parents are able to monitor peer influence. Any interactions that present issues with bullying, cliques, or exposure to negative peer pressures can be addressed.
Peer influence is more closely monitored than is possible on a traditional trick and mortar school campus.
28. Encourage self-motivation in your kids
As students progress through homeschool, they begin to take more control of their learning and they also figure out that self-motivation will lead to spending more time on their terms.
29. More time for special interests
A homeschool day does not mirror a similar instructional schedule as a school day in a brick and mortar setting. It does not take as long to complete school work in an environment that has less transitions and interruptions. The shorter length of time for a school day leaves plenty of time for exploring special interests. Some homeschool families pursue these interests as a family, such as learning a musical instrument, and others give their kids freedom to work on independent projects and interests outside of their studies.
30. Less drama
Hopefully there is less drama between siblings than there would be among same age peers in a traditional school setting, especially at the high school level.
31. No commute
Depending on where you live, a trip to the local public school could be within walking distance or it could be a commute of twenty minutes or more. The time saved from not having a commute is more time for a flexible schedule that works best for your family. It’s less time on the road during heavy school traffic so that your kids can have a less rushed start to their day.
32. Learning takes place beyond the home
Homeschool could also be called “anytime, anywhere school.” It can take place on the road when needed, in a family member’s home, on a trip, indoors or outdoors.
33. Children mature at their own speed
If you have a child who is more advanced or more immature than typical age peers, it could set up for potential conflict in a traditional school setting. Students on both ends of the maturity spectrum are often targeted as “different” and could struggle to make friends.
Homeschool is a safe environment where kids can mature at their own speed and can learn the skills they need whey they are ready.
34. Master topics before moving on to the next
There’s not a lot of opportunity in a traditional school to slow down as needed to allow for mastery of a topic. Some parents choose to homeschool because they notice gaps in a subject area and homeschool allows them to set the pace and re-teach concepts that their kids will need later on.
35. No homework
Kids spend all day at school and then come home to… do more school. It creates a cycle of burn out and takes away from family time that’s already limited after the work day. It does not always line up with real world experiences as most workers are able finish their expected duties and have time off after those duties are complete.
36. Curiosity is welcome and encouraged
Questions, ideas, “what if’s” and the wonderful gift of childhood curiosity (and hopefully on into adulthood) is valued and given a place in homeschool instruction.
Kids can’t always ask all the questions they want to ask in traditional school, or explore ideas more in depth in a traditional school setting. It’s usually not intentional on the teacher’s part as he or she is just not capable of answering multiple questions of twenty or more five-year-olds all day long. They put systems in place for kids to work quietly and orderly, which doesn’t support the natural curiosity level of kids.
37. Less shared germs
Kids share a lot of things in school, including germs. Everything from lice to the stomach bug often makes its way through a classroom. Despite efforts to sanitize and keep a clean classroom, you have kids who sit side by side in hallways waiting for school to start, backpacks and lunch boxes that hang side by side or end up piled in the floor, water fountains, pencils and supplies that are all touched by multiple children throughout the day.
Germs are still present in homes as well among siblings, but it’s much less exposure to all different kinds of illnesses and issues.
38. Kids can be themselves
Your child can completely be himself or herself at home. You may have a stubborn, strong-willed child who asks a lot of “why” and a quiet, sensitive child who needs a lot of reassurance. Both can thrive with an environment that allows them to completely be themselves.
39. Music is allowed
Music can be a powerful productivity tool for some kids, especially older kids who appreciate and enjoy all forms of music. As long as your homeschoolers are age appropriate for pacing and independent work, music can be a regular part of their school at home day. Younger students may also enjoy some structured and unstructured time with music included in the background.
40. Personalized curriculum choices
When you teach at home, you have a wide variety of choice of instructional curriculum tools. This will allow you to find a fit for all kinds of learning styles and from different points of view.
There are families who may choose an all in one curriculum with a biblical worldview, families who choose a secular online curriculum, families who pick and choose materials based on a particular topic or theme and really any type of curriculum framework that is a fit for your family.
41. Celebrate birthdays all day
You can celebrate your child’s big day starting with their favorite breakfast and special perks through the homeschool day!
42. Time to eat
Homeschool students do not have to feel the rush to eat in a set amount of time, including the time it took to wait in line. While homeschoolers may have a set time for meals, an advantage over the school cafeteria is that they can finish eating without the pressure of having to leave because another student needs their seat.
43. Extra recess… every day
Homeschool includes extra recess, every day. Kids need time to pretend, play and just be kids! Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, time to play is a definite advantage of homeschool.
Kids who need a challenge because they have covered a subject can move on or get an additional layer of work to make it more of a challenge.
45. Less “filler” work
Homeschool students get the assignments they need for the day/topic/skill done and do not need extra assignments to fill the time because they are finished early or, as is common in a traditional school, get to school early or stay later to wait on the bus.
46. Less pressure with grades
Grade requirements vary from state to state, but most do not mandate a certain number of grades to average a final grade. That’s less emphasis on grades and more attention to learning for the sake of learning.
47. Shorter school days
Many homeschool students finish their school day by noon, or early afternoon, depending on what time of day they start their school work. Older students may finish some assignments in the afternoon, but that’s usually based on how they structured their day.
48. Moves are not dependent on school district
As a homeschooling family, you no longer have to move to an area or buy a home based on the school district. You can move based on the area and housing that works best for your family’s needs.
49. No need to label clothing or search the lost and found
Younger kids have a lot to keep up with at school, especially during the winter season. It’s a struggle for 5 year olds (and teachers with a class full of them) to remember coats, gloves, toboggans, lunch boxes, etc. when the end of the day bell rings. While things may still get lost at home, at least it does not require a drive back to school or cleaning out a lunch box or backpack (with an uneaten banana) left at school over the weekend!
50. Less distracting safety drills
Public schools are mandated to perform monthly, and sometimes more often, safety drills. There are fire drills, severe weather drills, lock down drills and others that often come with little warning and a loud alarm in the middle of class.
To some young (and older too) kids, these are startling and induce anxiety. Some kids have daily stress anticipating the next alarm or drill. While you may practice or discuss similar things at home like fire safety or your family’s plan in the event of severe weather, it’s nothing like hearing a shrill sound in the middle of reading a book!
51. Older students can change own schedules
Due to the schedule complexity in traditional public schools, sometimes older students are stuck with a class that they never signed up for or wanted. Schedule changes may require a lot of steps and visits with an academic advisor or they may not be possible.
52. Move freely in a home work space
A homeschool space does not have to be confined to one area (although that may work best for some kids). Kids can take a book outdoors, work in their rooms, or move freely according to how they feel and where they work best. This is an advantage of homeschool that typical brick and mortar schools cannot accommodate, especially as the higher grades fill up with more students than space!
53. Change curriculum if it’s not working
It is frustrating to find out that you’ve invested- perhaps time, money or both- into a curriculum that your child doesn’t enjoy or finds difficult. But the beauty of homeschool is that you’re not bound by one curriculum or one way of teaching. You can change your instructional format or materials at any time to better meet the needs of your kids individual learning styles.
54. Daily hot lunches
Traditional schools offer daily hot lunches too. However, the menu is set and your child would have to bring a lunch on mystery meat days. There is no access to a hot lunch on those days unless a child has a “brunch” time for lunch and it would stay warm in a thermos.
Homeschool takes care of the hot lunch issue unless your family prefers a big breakfast and a light lunch. Either way, it’s based on what your kids like to eat… and seasonings and condiments are usually an option!
55. Don’t miss out on childhood
Most school calendars are an average of 180 days a year with a minimum of 6 hours seat time. That’s a lot of childhood time! Homeschool still requires meeting various state to state instructional hour requirements but it’s on your time and you get a front row seat to an experience that would otherwise be given to someone else.
56. Skip the boring economics teacher
Remember “anyone, anyone….?” There are still some of those boring economics teachers out there!
57. Turn boredom into hobbies
Kids become bored no matter the form of schooling. In homeschool, they can pursue hobbies more intensely and purposefully. You never know when those hobbies may turn into lifelong careers or interests.
58. Teach growth & development topics when mature enough
Schools are pretty much on a routine schedule of when and how growth and development topics are taught in addition to the curriculum. So, for example, puberty topics are typically talked about in a 5th grade classroom. Some kids are just not ready to process those topics at that time, especially with a classroom full of their peers (even though the boys and girls are separated). In homeschool, parents can teach growth and develop topics when their child is mature enough and choose their own way or materials.
59. Community service
A flexible schedule allows homeschool families to invest in the community in different ways and times. It allows students to contribute and become involved by assisting neighbors or volunteering for hometown projects during the day.
60. Set your school year calendar
Determine your own school year calendar around family work schedules and when you would like to take breaks. You could homeschool year-round with regular breaks, you could follow the same calendar as the school system, or you could make a custom schedule for the needs of your family.
61. Toys allowed
Homeschool kids can have regular unstructured times to play with their toys. Years ago, there were more early learning toys and play built into the traditional school setting for young learners, but that is more of an exception now.
62. Visitors allowed
Family or friends who stop by do not need a visitor’s pass and they are welcome to join in on the learning day, lunch, or for a visit.
63. Board games are part of class
There is a lot of learning and skills that can come from board games. Many homeschool families use and encourage them as a regular part of the day. They encourage critical thinking, communication and a way to practice being a good sport about wins and losses.
64. Practice skills with home improvement projects
Kids learn so much from DIY skills! They are learning lifelong skills when assisting with something that needs to be repaired, painted or built for home improvement projects.
65. The Internet
Never has there been a better time for homeschool learning resources at your finger tips! There are thousands upon thousands of printables, online courses, ideas and answers to homeschool questions. This is a great time to be learning at home!
66. Strong co-op connections
Homeschool has become so mainstream that chances are you already have an established group in your area. If not, you can start one! These are groups who most likely meet up on a weekly basis for activities or provide helpful information that is specific to your local area.
67. Schedule appointments any time
Appointments can be scheduled at any time of the day. Homeschool leaves much flexibility and often a preferred time of the day or week when it comes to appointments.
68. Science experiments
Science experiments are limited to scheduled labs in a classroom yet they are so important for exploring science concepts and making real connections to learning. They can be simple, yet really help hands-on and visual learners to grasp certain concepts. In a homeschool setting, these can be a regular part of instruction and take place indoors or outdoors. Even something as simple as boiling an egg that’s used for lunch can be part of explaining the concept of changes of process with matter.
69. Get family involved
Perhaps one of the most special benefits of homeschool education is the involvement of family who are often eager to share their areas of expertise.
Homeschoolers could greatly benefit from gardening with a grandparent and learning parts of the whole process from farm to table. Maybe you have a seamstress or tailor in the family who can teach your child how to thread a needle and basic sewing. The skills are great, but the time with these special people is even more valuable.
70. Curriculum choices
Many beginning homeschool families begin the search of curriculum to find that it is entirely overwhelming with the amount of choices available. This is a good problem to have! It means that there are all kinds of learning materials to support different types of learners.
71. Smaller class size
Unless you’re a supersize family, chances are your homeschool will be smaller than a traditional classroom size. Multiple research studies find that this is a strong indicator of students being more successful yet it is hard to find in a traditional brick and mortar setting.
72. Communication skills
Your students at home will be observing and participating in the day to day communication skills needed to navigate life successfully. For those parents who balance work from home and homeschooling, students observe the communication skills needed to conduct business and work with others. This will translate well to their post secondary education choices.
73. Watch (educational) TV
The possibilities that streaming has made for educational t.v. options have greatly expanded! Remember way back in the day when a traditional classroom pretty much scheduled the day around Sesame Street in the early grades, then VHS & DVD’s brought in Reading Rainbow, Bill Nye and other collection sets that could be shown in the classroom? Now, streaming options make it possible to find all kinds of informative and interesting educational content to add to the homeschool curriculum.
74. Schedule chores
Not sure how many homeschoolers would agree that this is an advantage, but when chores are scheduled and finished during a portion of the day, it frees up evenings and weeks for other activities.
75. Less mandates
While homeschool mandates vary from state to state, there is more freedom from federal or state mandates than traditional schools who have accountability measures in place tied to funding. That type of funding tied to mandates means that someone really can tell the lunchroom that they will no longer use salt or a teacher that he or she will not longer be able to use a text book.
76. Lunch how and where preferred
Take lunch outside on a pretty day or older students may want to eat while working to finish up their work a little earlier to make time for other activities.
77. Practical Field Trips
Field trips are not considered “extracurricular.” They are an important part of instruction and extend the learning process to real world application. Day to day errands and practical skills, such as mailing a package or paying a bill, create practical learning opportunities.
78. In-depth studies
You can take a deep dive into subjects with your child and teach them parts that may get left out under the time constraints of a typical classroom.
79. No parent signatures needed
Homeschool parents do not have to sign a daily communication log or send in a doctor’s note!
80. Permission to be Quirky
Children (and adults) all have their quirks. But negative peer pressure can cause kids to be embarrassed or lose self-esteem for all those special quirks. Learning in a comfortable home environment allows kid to be themselves, and quirks are just part of what makes them individual and unique!
81. Encourage independence with routines
Independence is encouraged by students who have certain “non-negotiables” through the day that may be for school or for care of the home, pets and daily responsibilities. Over time, they can set their morning routine and continue to add parts to the school day until they can pretty much follow the routine without much help from adults.
82. Supplies within reach
Homeschool books and supplies are within your student’s reach and there’s no need for a backpack unless you’re taking class to another location for the day! This helps develop organization skills and life skills as they use the right tools as needed to get their work done. Because of the amount of students using supplies in a traditional classroom, there is often wait time or special permission needed to access supplies.
83. Practice practical skills
Your homeschoolers can practice letter writing and then put the stamp on the envelope and walk it to the mailbox. There are so many practical skills that can be incorporated directly into their day to day lessons.
84. Flexibility to pursue outside interests
Families who may start to homeschool temporarily often end up making it a more long-term situation because of the flexibility it provides to students for pursuing outside interests and extracurriculars during the school day.
85. Choose your own adventure (course)
Older homeschool students have more input into the selection of courses and are not dependent on an advisor to change schedules (although they may want to consult with parents first). Due to the structure of homeschool being very interest-driven, there’s a good chance that most classes will work out as they are chosen.
86. Pacing adjusted as needed
It’s hard for a student (or teacher for that matter) to be absent in a traditional public school. The pace moves on a schedule that doesn’t allow for a lot of time to re-teach new concepts. This makes it difficult when a child is absent because they return to school to a pile of make-up work in addition to their regular work. Homeschool pacing allows time to start where students left off and eliminate gaps.
87. Messes allowed
Planned (or sometimes unplanned) educational messes create some of the best opportunities for hands-on learning. Really messy activities can be moved outdoors or parents can make use of old sheets or plastic tablecloths to create messy, but meaningful learning activities.
88. High school student college & career options
Some older homeschool students are finished for the day at mid-day or earlier and have jobs, internships or participate in homeschool high school dual enrollment. The flexibility and length of the school day allow plenty of time for exploration.
89. Learn time management
When school work is done at home, it’s done. Older students may divide their time to finish studies in the evening but in doing so they learn the valuable skill of time management and how to pace themselves to finish what needs to get done.
90. Fidget devices welcome
The past decade has produced some amazing devices to help kiddos cope with fidgeting. Everything from fidget spinners, cubes, balls and much more to help kids transfer extra energy. However, these are often banned in traditional schools because they can also create distractions. Homeschool can and should be adapted to give students the tools and devices they need to perform their best.
91. Limit the “hangries”
One issue with traditional public school is that the number of students mean that lunch and snack times may not be optimal. A student may not get lunch until 1:00 and then doesn’t really need a snack, but they are hungry (or hangry) before lunchtime without an opportunity to get a snack. They could also be on the earliest lunch shift, eating lunch at 10:45 to come home hungry. You can adjust the snack/lunch schedule with a homeschool environment to best fit the needs of your kids.
92. Unlimited hugs and high fives
Whether your child approves or not, hugs and high fives will be part of the daily schedule. Your children may not remember every fact and figure they learned, but they will undoubtedly remember how much support and encouragement you provided as both a parent and teacher.
93. No bathroom pass needed
Bathroom breaks are taken whenever and as needed. No hall pass or special permission needed!
94. Recharge as needed
If you were in a traditional school, most likely you remember the feeling of that class after lunch or the last block of the day where it may have been a struggle to keep your eyes open, much less concentrate! Homeschool allows time to recharge as needed by taking a walk outdoors, or strategically scheduling subjects at the time when your child is the most motivated.
95. Failure is not an option, it’s a teacher
In a traditional school setting, kids continue to move through grade levels except in the case of failing a grade level, which doesn’t always “fix” the reason the student failed to begin with! In the homeschool setting, failure is not an option, it’s a teacher. Some concepts may have to be taught in multiple ways to achieve success. More importantly, it’s a safe environment where students feel safe to learn despite failures along the way.
96. Fun Fridays
Finish assignment goals through the week in order to make time for fun flex Fridays!
97. Reading choices
Choices of reading material is often limited in a traditional school setting and may be based on a set genre, level or goal and not necessarily student interest. Homeschool families are frequent library patrons and buy, borrow and trade books to keep students engaged in high-interest reading materials.
98. Earbuds or headphones allowed
If you have an older student who is motivated by their individual music preference, earbuds or headphones are not an issue in homeschool. Dancing and singing is also home school approved!
99. Create lasting memories
Homeschool is becoming more and more mainstream. As more parents work from home or figure out a ways to manage both school and work, home education is becoming an option for families to create lasting memories of time spent with their children during the fun and formative years of growth.
Many homeschool parents choose home education for the day to day freedom it offers. They seek time spent based on the terms of a family and not a governing board or committee.
101. Graduate early
Your homeschooler can move on when they are ready and that includes earning high school credits when they are ready to do so. A student who is very motivated to graduate early can do so.