It might seem intimidating to homeschool, but it doesn’t have to be! And 100% worth it when you consider these surprising reasons to homeschool.
I’ll admit: before I had kids, homeschooling was never really on my radar.
It just felt overwhelming, and I really liked the idea of sending my kids off to school while I did other stuff during the day.
Then I was blessed with my son and… well, my thoughts changed.
The thing is, he’s super smart. He has no issue learning new things… but he’s also an independent thinker who challenges everything.
He’s also super active and learns best when he is up and about.
Thus, it’s kind of hard to picture him sitting quietly at a desk, listening to a teacher, then filling out a worksheet.
At least, doing so without a huge fight and getting absolutely no educational value out of it.
Even knowing this, I was pretty nervous about homeschooling. So far, however, it’s been awesome. The more we do it, the more I love it.
Maybe you are on the fence about homeschooling. Maybe you’re not happy with the current school system and just started considering the alternatives. Maybe you never considered it at all and are just curious what I have to say about it (thanks for your time!)
In any case, these are amazing reasons to homeschool for any family – but definitely have special impact on police families.
7 Good Reasons to Homeschool As A Police Family
Homeschooling is more flexible.
This is, no doubt, one of the most compelling reasons to homeschool for law enforcement families.
After all, when one parent’s schedule is constantly changing, it can be a bummer that kids never have the opportunity to hang out with them. Choosing to homeschool gives you the opportunity to have that flexibility.
For instance, if you’re homeschooling and your husband is on night shifts, maybe your kids could plan to stay up late or get up early and do some nighttime nature exploration with Daddy.
Or, heck, even play some video games with him and help him just relax – especially after a tough shift.
And maybe you as a family just function better staying up late and waking up later in the morning than most public school schedules would require you to. If you homeschool, you have the freedom to get up whenever you choose.
When you have younger kids, your flexibility is a little more limited regardless of whether you homeschool or do public school, but even then, this is a benefit.
You don’t have to do the whole school pick-up and drop-off routine to tackle. You don’t have to juggle the schedules of multiple kids or nap schedules quite the same way, because you get to choose which activities they participate in and often at what time.
Especially when part of your family has a schedule that’s different from the “typical” family, being able to choose your kids’ school schedule is a huge benefit.
There are more opportunities to bond with family.
While I touched on this already, this is a huge reason to homeschool in its own right.
When you send your kids to public school, there is a significant portion of their lives that is spent away from you. They have lives of their own which you know basically nothing about.
I mean, seriously – remember how much you told your parents about what happened at school?
“How was school today?”
“What did you do?”
“What did you learn?”
“I don’t know.”
Tell me I’m not the only one who had this conversation basically every day?
Also, when your kids are in school, they still don’t necessarily have free time when they get home. There is homework to consider, after all. We’re talking like 30 minutes a night for elementary school kids up to 17 hours a week for high schoolers – which precludes time spent doing other things that might be more beneficial in the long run.
Because while academics are important, there’s definitely value in nurturing your relationships and learning to be a productive, well-rounded human being.
Consider the impact of your kids having more time with their parents. Having more high-quality time with parental figures improves kids’ relationships with them, which helps them feel supported throughout all the trials they face in life.
This only becomes more important the older your kids grow.
After all, the better your relationship with your kids, the more likely they are to listen to you when it comes to the tough stuff. That tough stuff only seems to get tougher each day.
In addition to social opportunities outside the home, your kids will be better able to socialize with their siblings.
Mixed age play (both within and outside of sibling groups) has been shown to benefit older and younger kids alike. Not only does the traditional school system preclude these opportunities, but it also gets in the way of kids playing that way with siblings.
Is sibling time together always harmonious? No, of course not – but that’s okay.
Everyone has to learn to get along with others – especially their family – and there’s no better time to learn that than with homeschooling.
That’s why being able to spend more time with family is a great reason to consider homeschooling.
It takes less time than you think.
If you’re picturing spending six hours a day homeschooling, think again. It takes far less time than that.
Think about how much time gets wasted in an average school day – from transition times, to busywork given by either teachers or substitutes, assemblies, and so on and so forth. I sure remember all that.
Then there are snow days, field trips, late starts, early releases, and all sorts of other things that reduce the amount of actual time spent in school.
And, of course, there’s the last month of the school year where basically nothing gets done.
It’s not like kids in public school get 6 straight hours of nonstop quality education Monday-Friday.
If you’re homeschooling, even if you cover all the same subjects, you can likely cover all of it (and more) in less than half the time each day.
Also, there are a lot more things that “count” for education that you can do at home, like baking, exploring nature, or even watching documentaries.
This post on how many hours it takes to homeschool is a great overview of a real world experience of someone who takes a more structured approach than myself.
Seriously, even if you take a super structured approach to homeschooling your kids, you’ll spend way less time each day doing a better job than the school system ever could.
This is a huge benefit as a police wife when you already spend a lot of your time feeling like a married single mom – it frees up a ton of your time and allows you to spend more time doing stuff you enjoy (more on that later.)
Your kids will get more (and higher quality) social opportunities – not less.
The myth of the weird, unsocialized homeschooler is just that – a myth.
Sure, you run into weird homeschoolers, but you run into weird public schooled kids, too. Some people are just weird.
The fact is, most of the homeschooled kids I run into are far better able to hold a conversation than other kids.
A lot of that is from where they are learning to socialize, which for homeschoolers, tends to be from the adults around them.
This is a lot better than kids learning to socialize from peers who also don’t know what they’re doing. Talk about the blind leading the blind.
They also have exposure to lots of different people of different ages, with different backgrounds, in different contexts.
Compare that to the normal school routine of being grouped with other kids who happen to share the same birth year as they do.
This also translates to a lower likelihood of being bullied. After all, homeschooled get more say in who they want to spend their time around. If someone is rude, they aren’t stuck with them 6 hours a day.
Still worried your kids won’t have enough opportunities to socialize with other kids? There are tons of homeschool co-ops you can join, with more seemingly popping up every day.
Want to see what kinds of groups are in your area? Here’s a local homeschool resource locator you can use to investigate!
You get more say in the curriculum.
Do you cringe when you hear about stories of insanely inappropriate material being taught to kids in school?
There are so many examples of things taught in public school that terrify me – this is just one recent example of sexually explicit material (warning: extremely graphic.) that’s part of the curriculum for 9th-12th graders in one high school.
That example alone is one of the reasons to homeschool that makes me want to not take my kid to public school… but that’s not all.
Then there are things like critical race theory and gender theory being taught, among other questionable ideas.
Some schools are now openly teaching that police officers are all racist to even the youngest of kids.
Talk about a whammy if your parent is a police officer.
What happens if your kids’ school begins using that curriculum? Is that the kind of environment they should be subjected to when they should be learning math and reading?
What happens when your kid is bullied because he’s the child of a police officer, or hears death threats against his dad, or any other awful thing he could face?
None of these things are conducive to a good education.
When you hear about these things, the idea of sending your kids off to a virtual stranger to be educated can be a little terrifying.
Who’s to say what they’ll teach, and when (or if) you’ll find out about it?
But even if you were to leave these issues aside, homeschooling also allows you to get a say in how you teach the curriculum.
Have you always dreamed of sending your kids to a Montessori school, but it wasn’t in the budget? If you homeschool, you can use Montessori curriculum.
Same with Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, interest-led learning, unschooling, or whatever other style calls to you or fits your kids.
(We tend toward unschooling, for what it’s worth!)
There are tons of options, both paid and free, for curriculum, like the super popular Christian-based The Good And The Beautiful, which offers a surprising amount of stuff for free.
You can also often buy curriculum secondhand, especially if you find a local homeschool co-op where you can connect with others.
If you’re not sure, no worries! You have plenty of time to figure out what works best for your family, even if it’s a blend of more than one approach.
The point is, your family gets to choose what works best – not someone with no direct knowledge of you and your children.
Better education overall.
Basically all available data suggests that homeschooled kids ultimately end up with a better education than their public schooled peers – just look at some of these stats from the National Home Education Research Institute:
- Homeschooled kids usually score 15-30 percentile points higher on standardized tests (including the SAT and ACT) than public school educated kids (who, by the way, spend a good chunk of their time specifically preparing for those tests).
- This is true regardless of how formally educated their parents are or how much their parents make each year, and totally unrelated to the parents being certified teachers.
- Worried about college? Colleges often highly prefer homeschooled students. Those students tend to be better able to be self-sufficient than their public schooled counterparts.
In addition, so many schools have obliterated arts and music programs, which are incredibly useful to help growing kids manage their emotions more healthfully.
You don’t have to. You can make it as big a part of your curriculum as you want.
Most schools have also nixed home economics courses that taught how to pay bills and take care of a home. It’s why we have so many kids who can’t “adult” nearly as well as their predecessors were able to.
You can teach this by showing your kids how you manage your household and having them help – which means they’ll be far more successful when they are adults.
On top of all that, there’s the simple fact that a kid who is homeschooled is taught by someone who is more invested in them than even the best teacher could be.
Nobody will ever love your kids more than you.
Nobody has a higher emotional investment in your kids’ future success than you.
Because of that, homeschooled kids get a more individualized education that helps them – not them and the 30 other kids in the class – succeed at whatever they are best at.
It’s indisputable that one of the best reasons to homeschool is the higher quality of education your kids can receive.
It’s a lot more fun.
Seriously, with how many things count as educational experiences, homeschooling is way more fun for both you and your kids.
Rather than chaperoning the occasional field trip where you’re herding a group of 5-6 kids around for a couple hours at a zoo, you can spend all day with YOUR kids at the zoo and focus on what they’re interested in.
Heck, you can spend all day looking at one specific animal if they so choose, and really get into what you’re learning.
You get to explore together and learn together.
You get to rekindle the love of learning most kids have early on but don’t always keep.
And you get to love on your kids for the short time they’re in your home before they grow up.
There’s really nothing better than that.
All in all, the reasons to homeschool far outweigh the reasons against it, especially for law enforcement families!
- 3 Ways Being Raised In A Police Family Affects Kids (And How To Help)
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- How To Get More Quality Time With Kids As A Police Family
- 5 Reasons Being A Police Wife Has Made Me A Better Mom