With everything that has been going on this year, all things we would normally do are a little bit different now. And this is even true when we are talking about schooling our children. This year I started homeschooling my oldest, which has been a great experience. Then when the pandemic hit, we found ourselves in the position of pretty much homeschooling the other 4 children. This was a bit more than I originally signed up for, but it was actually a really good experience.
Since a lot of school systems across the nation are still deciding how school is going to look next year, this might be a good time to consider homeschooling your children instead. I know we are certainly considering it, for a multitude of reasons.
When we were first thrust into the inadvertent homeschooling of all 5 kids, we weren’t sure how it was going to go. But the first thing we noticed was that our lives were a lot less hectic. And, we didn’t have to spend nearly as much time in the car. Which was awesome!
Normally, we have to drive 4 kids to 3 different schools across the county. And at different times. This requires a lot of time, gas and wear and tear on our vehicles. Plus, by the time we drop off the first kids, we have to kill another hour and a half before we can drop off the next set of kids. Then go to work, or back home to homeschool the other child for a few hours. And after only having not quite 4 hours in between all of that, we have to go back out and start the pick up routine. Which has another hour and a half in between to kill somehow.
In case you haven’t noticed, this is a lot of time when we aren’t being productive and just driving kids back and forth.
Since the pandemic hit, all of the schools near us implemented virtual learning. Which meant that we didn’t have to spend all that wasted time in the car. We also got to get up about an hour later and enjoy our breakfast as a family before everyone started their schooling for the day. Ultimately, we each only have to fill up our gas tanks once, or maybe possibly twice a month now, instead of at least once a week or more. That is a huge savings just in gas alone!
On top of the reduced transportation costs, we have also saved a lot of money on food costs. Our kids all pack their lunches to take to school. And there are certain things they prefer to take to school because they are easier to eat. Which, unfortunately, usually costs a bit more than the food they normally eat at home.
Since the kids all stay at home now for schooling, they just eat what they would normally eat for lunch instead. This means they eat more fruits and veggies because they have no problems getting out knives and cutting boards when they are at home. Making healthier lunches are much more difficult when they have to pack their lunches because they don’t want to have to heat anything up. But, at home, that is much easier for them to do also.
Overall, instead of spending approximately $4-$5 per child per lunch per day, we have reduced our lunch costs to around $2 per child per day. That means we are spending at least half as much on lunch food for 5 kids than we would normally be spending. I like those numbers a lot!
While we love saving money on the transportation and food costs front, education is what it is really about. We weren’t sure how it was going to go during the pandemic with this component. However, I already found that my son was getting a much better education by being homeschooled with me before the pandemic hit.
So, I was lucky enough to have some of the homeschooling tools already. When the other kids stopped going to regular school and were home all the time, I used some of those skills to continue their education.
There are so many ways you can choose to homeschool. But with the plethora of free online resources, homeschooling can be a really frugal way to educate your children.
I had some of the older kids help me determine where the younger kids might be lacking to begin with. And then I added each child to my student network on Khan Academy. By using this platform, I can pick and choose which classes are the best fit for each child and assign them different lessons with due dates. I can then go in and see their progress, as well as where they might be struggling. This helps me narrow down what I need to work with them further on.
Outside the Box
Just this one practice has helped the kids jump leaps and bounds with their knowledge since they have left the traditional school setting. Plus, I can teach them a lot of things that the regular school system can’t, or won’t. By this I mean that if one of the kids has questions about things outside of their grade level, I can still address it. Sometimes I have to figure out a better way to explain the subject matter at their level of understanding, but that teaches me to be creative. Which is a skill I think we should all have, so I’m up for the challenge!
And the kids have been loving the open dialogue and availability to ask any burning questions they have without getting told that it’s beyond their grade level. After all, it’s our job as parents to teach our children to the best of our ability and get them ready for adulthood. And sometimes that means getting outside of our comfort zone to achieve this goal. Which makes homeschooling your children such a great option.
Wasted Educational Time
The other great benefit we have noticed is that we get a lot more family time now. Since we don’t have to spend hours transporting children back and forth to school, we can use that time to spend with each other. Not only are we saving the time on transportation, but the kids aren’t spending superfluous time during the school day doing nothing.
This was something I noticed a few years ago with my oldest. He first got a phone in middle school because he would walk home from the bus stop alone. It was only supposed to be for emergencies and to let me know he was home safe. But, not too long after he got the phone, he began to text me throughout the day from school.
He would text me when he was bored during class because he was done with his work, or at lunch. Also, when teachers were making the kids do busy work so they could step out of the classroom.
My daughter started doing the same thing this past year in 6th grade when she got a phone also. In fact, she would text me daily during one whole class because the teacher always left the school to go get fast food during that class. WHAT?!
Basically, the kids were telling me that they spent very little time during class time doing actual work. And this is a complaint of many homeschool parents across the nation. Schools these days aren’t spending nearly as much time actually teaching the kids as their curriculum says they should be. They spend all the time trying to prepare them for standardized tests instead. How ridiculous is that?
More Family Time
So, with the kids being homeschooled with us instead, they only end up working for about 3-4 hours a day. We eat breakfast, start the school work and are done by lunch time. Sometimes we will do extracurricular learning activities after that, because we have plenty of time for that now. Which only increases their level of learning. But now, when they are doing school work, they are doing school work diligently. And then they a have the rest of the day to play and be kids.
I compare homeschooling to working from home. If you work at an office, there is a lot of wasted time not working. But if you work from home, most people spend less time actually working. This is because they work hard for fewer hours to get their work knocked out. That way they have more free time to do what they want once their work is done. Homeschooling is the same way. And this just makes a lot more logical sense to us.These are fantastic reasons to consider homeschooling your children next year! Click To Tweet
Homeschooling Your Children Summary
Overall, none of us know how the traditional school system is going to look this next year. But, as parents, we have the choice regarding how our children are educated. And it just seems to make more sense to continue homeschooling our children.
It not only saves us money on transportation and food costs, but it saves us a heck of a lot of time. Which we get to use however we want. But, we love that we get to spend more time together and further our children’s education at the same time.
The hope is that this will benefit them greatly in the future.
Have you considered homeschooling your children next year?