Homeschooling: 5 Reasons Why You Can

by Emily on March 28, 2014

It happens to me all the time, especially as my children get older and we go out during “school” hours. We may be standing in line at the store or perhaps we are at the zoo. Wherever it happens the conversation is almost always the same: perhaps they politely ask why my children are not in school or  they may make a comment on how nice it is that they are home from school with mom. However it happens, whenever someone finds out I homeschool my three boys the response is almost always exactly the same: “Oh wow, you must be supermom, I could never homeschool my children, you must have the patience of a saint”. I always smile politely and say one of several kind comments but on the inside sometimes I want to laugh and other times I want to cry. If you really knew me you would know that I neither supermom nor am I abounding in patience. Actually, patient would be one of the very last words I would use to describe myself.

I will be the first to say that homeschooling is not for everyone, but probably not for the reasons you would think. Before you jump to the immediate thought that you could never homeschool your children there are some things you really should think about:

1. It Really Isn’t that Hard

No really, it isn’t. Maybe 10-15 years ago it was a massive amount of work to homeschool, but not anymore. Since 1999 the number of children being homeschooled has increased by 75% and the amount of children being homeschooled is growing seven times faster than public school enrollment. That all means that there are more homeschooling options than ever before. There are more curriculums available than you can possibly imagine and many of them have all the planning done and literally even give you a teaching script. The fill up huge convention halls with all the curriculum options, it is absolutely overwhelming that they have so many awesome choices. I personally spend about 15 minutes each Sunday night planning out my week and then I am done.

A small view of what a Homeschool Curriculum Convention looks like

A small view of what a Homeschool Curriculum Convention looks like

2. Socialization is a Problem of the Past

When someone seems concerned about the socialization of my children I laugh. With their weekly homeschool group, swimming lessons, church at least two days a week, karate, field trips, and the myriad of social activities we participate in each week my children sometimes ask to just stay home and not play with anyone. How much socialization really takes place in school anyway? They can’t really talk in class, recess time has been cut back, and at many schools they can’t even talk at lunch.

Filed Trip Fun

Filed Trip Fun

3. The Moms Don’t Wear Denim Jumpers

Sometimes I think society has this idea about homeschool moms all wearing denim jumpers with their hair in buns while chasing around a minimum of ten children. This is so not the case anymore. The community of moms I have met through our Classical Conversations group have become some of my very closest friends. At the end of the day we are all still just normal women who love a new pair of shoes, a good glass of wine, or a fun movie night. Just this past week nine of us gathered at a Bahama Breeze for dinner and drinks one evening and we stayed out until almost 11 o’clock talking and laughing. We snapped a quick picture in the middle of the night and take a look, not a single denim jumper in sight:

My Beautiful Homeschooling Mom Friends - Not a Single Denim Jumper

My Beautiful Homeschooling Mom Friends – Not a Single Denim Jumper

In all seriousness, a homeschooling community is what make homeschooling so doable. We help each other with doctor appointments and family crises. We bounce ideas off each other and encourage one another. We share curriculum and toys and ideas.

4. Not Having Teaching Experience Actually Helps

Before having children I was a teacher (go ahead with your “oooooh that is why she can homeschool and I can’t, she knows what she is doing” comments) but I have a confession: being a former teacher made homeschooling more difficult for me. Yep, you read that right. Teaching my own children is so completely different from teaching a classroom of children I get to send home at the end of the day I don’t even have word to express how different it is. When you teach your children from home the beauty of it is you all learn together.  You also teach your children to teach themselves and be independent thinkers that are not dependent on a talking head telling them what to do and when to do it all day long. If you are worried about not being qualified to teach a particular subject (I am dreading algebra for example) and the teaching manuals you have don’t have enough information that is the beauty in being a part of a community, there is almost always someone there who is able to help.

1601388_10202167975575437_339243616_n

A fun math lesson together

5. The Benefits that have Little to do with Education are the Best Part

Sleeping in. Do I really need to say more here? No rushing out the door to get to school on time, no waking up earlier than you (or your kids) want to. No dragging them out of bed. Not to mention the flexible schedule in the evenings. My kids get to participate in some great church activities because they don’t have to get up so early the following morning. If my husband works late they can stay up a little bit and spend time with him. However, I have to say my very favorite benefit of homeschooling is vacations and fun trips. Do you know that we get the best deals on vacations because we can go when no one else can? Disney World the week before Presidents Day or the week after Thanksgiving? DEAD (not to mention way cheaper)! The Zoo on Fridays around 1:00? DEAD. We get to enjoy the best experiences and vacations while all the other families have children in school. I have also loved the illnesses  we aren’t getting as often  due to my children not being in a big building with thousands of other children and their germs. I  love being able to educate my children on subjects that I find most important. No need to spend six weeks on multiplication if my child gets it in one week. Lastly, I love being able to have a front row seat to my children’s growth. First word they read, first time they wrote their name without help, first time they finally get how to count money and so much more I get to see for myself and not hear about it.

Our Disney trip this year was made possible by off season pricing.

Our Disney trip this year was made possible by off season pricing.

 

Of course there are challenges to homeschooling, just as there are to sending your children to school, but I think so often we are quick to throw the idea of homeschooling out the window without even a second thought. I don’t homeschool because I am a supermom or because I have never ending patience, I homeschool because I feel it is a calling for my family. And through the process not only have my children learned and grown, but I have found myself growing (hopefully in patience) as well. Never before has homeschooling been so easy and so beneficial to our children. The idea of homeschooling absolutely deserves a second glance when deciding how you are going to educate your children. If homeschooling is something you may want to consider don’t throw yourself under the bus, you absolutely CAN do this!

{ 0 comments }

We knew last fall that our family needed a vacation. My husband works long hours and we had, had a stressful few years. We had taken a few long weekend trips here and there but the last real vacation we had taken was our Honeymoon, almost 10 years ago. I had always dreamed of taking our family to Disney, but I always figured it would cost us at least $5,000. A friend of mine went to Disney last spring and I mentioned how I wish we could afford it and she told me how cheap it was. I was shocked. So last fall we decided to plan a trip after the Christmas crowds died down and reveal it to our children on Christmas morning. The last time I had been to Disney was when I was 14 (well over 15 years ago). The idea of planning it all was a little nerve wrecking. That same friend referred me to Debbie Nebel at Pixie Vacations and I came to be so thankful for her over the next few months.

Pixie_Vacations_Logo_Disney_Vacations2

Getting Started

When we first started Debbie spent about 30-45 minutes on the phone with me finding out about our family, our travel dates, our budget and what we were looking for. I shared some of my travel idiosyncrasies (like being a hotel and food snob) and my oldest son’s gluten intolerances. She went to work right away and sent me several different options. She always responded to my emails right away and was so nice. She handles everything for the trip all I had to do was show up for check in. This was a huge help for this first time Disney mom.

Last Minute Changes

Christmas morning came and the boys opened their big gift. At first they were a little confused and even a little angry. Since they have never been to Disney or any theme park they didn’t quite understand the gift. We spent Christmas night at my mom’s house and learned that our hotel room with only two queen beds was not going to work. So I emailed Debbie that night, but by morning the prices had all gone up and everything was out of our budget for an upgrade.  She got to work anyway and within a few days we had a better hotel room with an extra bed, and our tickets were upgraded to Park Hoppers for only an $11 up-charge. We were so excited and were counting down the days. She even sent us a PDF guide of insider tips such as when to ride what, the best views for parades and fireworks and lots of other great tips.

The Big Reveal on Christmas Morning

The Big Reveal on Christmas Morning

Last Minute Chaos

Just about 11 days before we were set to leave for Disney my husband had to have emergency surgery and our entire trip was in jeopardy. Those few weeks after his surgery were some of the most difficult days I have had in a long time. As Debbie once again went to work trying to rearrange our travel plans the entire eastern seaboard was hit with snow making it impossible for people in Disney to leave, thus making a week that was supposed to be one of the slowest at Disney not so slow. The night before our new departure date I got the confirmation of our new hotel only to see there were only two double beds in the room, which was so not gong to work for our very tall family of 5. I would be lying if I didn’t have a little breakdown at home that night. I sent her an email that evening and prayed for the best. We got up early the next morning took my husband to meet with his surgeon one last time before our trip, and headed down still not sure what the plan was. Once again Debbie saved our trip and got us an entire cabin which was a huge step up in a hotel for a minimal up-charge and throughout the entire experience we also didn’t ever have to pay a change fee. She was amazing.

Gratitude

I think I must have apologized to Debbie about a dozen times over the weeks after my husband’s surgery. Our entire life was in upheaval and I was sleep deprived, stressed, and worried about my husband. I know there were more than a few times where I came across just a tiny bit emotional and she was always more than kind and professional to me. All the work she did to rearrange our trip was awesome. She truly went above and beyond to make sure our family had a amazing trip and boy did we ever. This picture of my children meeting Mickey for the first time says it all:

A2e258a046e4458b658c0c514eebe95c992fc44a5

Words of Wisdom

If you are planning a trip to Disney, I could not possibly recommend Debbie more. I paid nothing to her (Disney pays her) and she worked tirelessly for my family to have the best vacation ever. She really does take care of everything and gets you the best deal possible. Many times when we thought that we were stuck she made it happen.

Debbie’s Contact Information

Debbie has given her permission for me to share her contact information with you. You will not be sorry that you let her plan your trip for you, especially if you have special diet requests or accommodations. She really knows those parks inside and out.

Debbie Nebel
DebbieN@pixievacations.com
404-229-4026

*And if you do contact her, please tell her you read about her here, hubby and I are planning on spending our 10 year anniversary in Disney this fall and we get a little referral discount.

{ 0 comments }

Emergency Surgery,Food Poisoning, Disney, and Gluten Reactions

March 2, 2014

It has been a little quiet here for awhile, but all with good reason. Life is a roller coaster and I never know what is around the bend. Let me first say that I am still working out and progressing on my journey. I also realize my final challenge pictures a overdue, but life has […]

Read More

Setting the Record Straight: The Flu Shot

December 12, 2013

I get asked often if our family gets the flu shot, especially in this season. I wrote the following post on my feelings on the flu shot back in February of 2011 while our family was battling the flu. Today when I sat down to tackle this subject I thought I would expand on the […]

Read More

How “Green” is Your Tree?

December 6, 2013

It is the age old debate: real or fake? I have seen it mentioned on facebook several times that fake trees are more eco-friendly than real trees because trees are not being cut down or “killed” only to be enjoyed for a few weeks. As it turns out there is a whole lot more to consider […]

Read More

The Real Santa – Making Peace with Santa and Christ in Christmas

December 3, 2013

 It is that time of year again: time to go see Santa. The shock on Santa’s face when he meets my children for the first time never gets old, ever. As a mom I treasure those cute pictures of my growing children with Santa, some are downright hilarious, but we do things a little differently in our house. […]

Read More

Supermom

November 15, 2013

Last week I was teaching a class on healthy eating during the holidays. Teaching classes is one of my favorite parts of my job. I love meeting new moms and encouraging them on their journey to a healthy family. At the end of every class I always leave at least 20 minutes for Q and […]

Read More

Easy Kamut Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

November 14, 2013

I ran out of wheat this week and my next co-op pickup isn’t until next week so I have been scrambling trying to figure out how to change my recipes to use the Kamut I have left. I tried searching for some recipes this morning and was less than impressed, so I decided to give […]

Read More

BA3B: 1 Month to Go, Sneak Peek!

November 5, 2013

<div align=”center”><a href=”http://www.mommymadegreen.com/category/bikini-after-3-boys/” title=”Mommy Made Green”><img src=”http://www.mommymadegreen.com/images/BA3B.jpg” alt=”Mommy Made Green” style=”border:none;” /></a></div> Almost There! My 30th birthday and challenge deadline is one month away from this week. I can’t believe it is almost here! I have been busy making party preparations and now deciding on what to wear for the photo shoot. If you have […]

Read More

BA3B: Less than 3 Months to Go!

October 11, 2013

<div align=”center”><a href=”http://www.mommymadegreen.com/category/bikini-after-3-boys/” title=”Mommy Made Green”><img src=”http://www.mommymadegreen.com/images/BA3B.jpg” alt=”Mommy Made Green” style=”border:none;” /></a></div> Overcoming Setbacks This summer was rough on my progress. I started out the summer with the worst stomach virus I have ever had in my life. About 2 weeks and 1 ER visit later, I was finally getting in the groove of 6 […]

Read More
=