Are you ready? I’m going to say it. With so many great things to choose from, I’m actually picking one. It could be the friendship between siblings or the ability for children to work to their own learning styles,the deserted playgrounds, or the freedom to head of on holidays almost whenever you like, or even the sleep ins. But it’s not.
The best thing about homeschooling is that you run on homeschool time.
Homeschool time is fast: Children can rush past things they already know. They can cover concepts more quickly because the level is precisely what they need, at the time they need it, so the pace can be as fast as the child needs it to go. The ‘learning’ part of the day can be over very quickly, leaving lots of time for other things. (‘learning’ because children are learning all the time. It doesn’t need to be separate.)
Homeschool time is slow: Children can slow down if they don’t understand thing, or even stop, and come back to it another time. They can read a book until they want a break without having to pack up at 2:15 because its time for Science.
All of this means that children have time
- to doing the things they enjoy, going deeply into topics that interest them
- to figure out what they love doing, what is meaningful to them. There is not set time, so children can try something and see if it interests them.
- to change their minds. Discover they don’t actually like pottery as much as they thought they would. No worries, there’s plenty of time to try something else.
- to grow up. Children often don’t grow u in a neat trajectory, they grow in fits and starts, with lots of regressions. One day they seem so adult, the next they want to play with their stuffed teddies. Often, this natural way of growing is mocked. But homeschooled children can do this without fear.
- to play, the thing children’s brains are built to do. (And probably adults too, but that’s a whole ‘nother post)
- to get into flow, that state of mind that psychologists tell us is so important to wellbeing. Flow is hard to achieve if you are rushed, and yet it is so important.
What makes time my number one is the way it has such a huge ripple effect through so many aspects of the child’s and family’s lives. It seems like such a simple thing, but time is also so profound. Time is how we measure the lived experience of our lives. And that’s why it is my number one. Besides, my kids never let me sleep in anyway.