New to homeschooling? Feeling stressed and overwhelmed? We are here to offer some encouragement and inspiration!
If you’d never imagined yourself homeschooling, but the school you’d put your hopes on is no longer a viable option in this worldwide crisis, give yourself time to acknowledge and embrace your understandable disappointment.
Once you come to terms with the fact that, ready or not, you’ll be homeschooling, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover that homeschooling offers many advantages to your family. We’d like to point out some of them.
The Jewish Advantage
As homeschoolers, we live Judaism rather than just learn about it. Homeschooling gives us the opportunity to teach our children the live and vibrant version of Judaism, not just the dry textbook one. It’s not an academic subject to study, but a way of life that is absorbed by our children through our home atmosphere and our own enthusiasm for Jewish learning and practice. At home, Judaism is experiential, and we create positive associations, and many fond memories, when we prepare for Shabbos or a Jewish holiday together as a family. To this day, my children think that Pesach preparations are fun. They’ve developed an emotional connection to all aspects of Judaism.
The Relationship Advantage
Homeschooling gives us an opportunity to bond as a family, to build close and meaningful relationships among family members. Homeschooled siblings tend to have closer relationships than siblings who spend their days apart at school. We get to know each other and learn to appreciate each other. Parents have a more influential role in their children’s lives and are able to transmit their deepest values in pleasant ways. The home atmosphere is more peaceful and relaxed.
The Educational Advantage
Homeschooling fosters love of learning. Children retain their natural curiosity and are free to explore and follow their interests. When children are interested in a subject, they learn a lot more about it than they would have learned in school. They also learn how to learn and where to find information they are seeking. These are life skills that will benefit them throughout life.
The Individualization Advantage
At home, each child can learn in the way that works best for them. The curriculum can be customized to meet the child’s learning needs and pace. It can be adjusted to capitalize on the child’s strengths and to best address their weaknesses. Instead of being tied to a specific grade level, a child could work on higher grade levels in some subjects and on lower grade levels in others. If a previously selected curriculum ends up not working for the child, you can switch to a different one. There is a lot more flexibility at home than at school.
The Emotional Advantage
At home, there is no bullying or any other school-related drama and trauma. The children are free to be themselves, to get to know themselves and to get comfortable with who they are. They can succeed without feeling pressured, and they can learn from their mistakes, as we all inevitably do, without damage to their self-esteem or self-confidence. They can acknowledge their weaknesses and shortcomings without fear of social repercussions. They can work on themselves, and grow and improve, in a positive and loving environment.
Feeling better about homeschooling? Hear from real live homeschoolers at our Inspiration for New Jewish Homeschoolers page.
Looking for more hand holding? Need help with curriculum and planning your year? Book a private consultation.