Finding Unexpected Perks as a New Homeschool Family

I have to admit that when I began homeschooling, I was concerned that I would never have any time to myself and that this fact would drive me a little crazy over time. While it is true that I have close to zero “me time,” I have found unexpected joy in spending so much time one on one with my son. I have adored seeing him grow academically, grow to enjoy the school experience and work hard on his impulse control. Sure, some moments are difficult – no child ever wants to do some school assignments all the time! But my initial fears have turned out to be unfounded. Spending more time with my son has grown our bond, decreased his anxiety, and helped to increase our patience with one another over the past five weeks of homeschooling. As I have been reflecting on what else I have learned at the beginning of this homeschool journey, I thought I would write a bit more about some of the unexpected joys I have found homeschooling my first grader!

  • From about day three, I realized how exciting it was to be able to influence my son’s curriculum so strongly. In New York, where we live, there are many topics that must be covered in our curricula, but that does not mean that homeschooling doesn’t still provide us with a lot more freedom in what we learn than traditional public school! My son and I start each day with a devotion time and then we have a meditation practice for ten minutes. While meditation is catching on in some schools, it has not made its way to our systems yet and it is a great practice during the school day. My son has gone from barely able to stop talking during the ten minutes, no less sitting still, to being able to sit still and quietly and follow the guided meditation within weeks! Adding this calming, centering start to our day between the devotion and meditation has made a big difference for us.
  • It is so much easier to schedule doctors’ appointments. Seriously. Doctors, dentists, and other health professionals are always so relieved when I tell them he can be seen during the day since he is homeschooled. It has drastically reduced our wait times for appointments – major win!
  • We have also planned field trips to interesting places with other homeschoolers that the schools will not get to for years – museums, planetariums, nature centers, there is still surprisingly a lot to do in the winter. We can take what we are learning in our home classroom on the road and see it in practice; when we did a week’s assignment on the lifecycle of a frog, we went to the local fish hatchery and saw the whole life cycle up close! We have been learning about outer space and are attending a planetarium show in a few weeks. As we learn more about our nation’s history, I plan on taking a trip to visit my friends in Washington DC and Boston. There’s so much world out there to see and learn about!

    These are just a few of the unexpected perks of homeschooling I have discovered after a few short weeks. We have yet to do school in our pajamas, but I hear that’s a perk we can enjoy as homeschoolers too 🙂

Melanie Ollett is a mom of one joyful little boy whom she adopted from foster care in 2018. She lives on Long Island with her son, dog, and two cats who all insist on sleeping in her bed more nights than she really prefers. Melanie is the solo pastor of a United Methodist church in the New York Annual Conference, and loves working back home close to where she grew up with the support of friends and family to help support her crazy schedule. 

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