As I peruse social media, I always see lots of images and articles about school-related issues.
Since I homeschool our 4 kids and feel that school is not necessary at all, I thought about all the things we don’t have to do since the kids don’t attend school!
12 Things Homeschoolers Don’t Have to Do
Get up Early
I am so, so, so happy we don’t have to get up early to catch a bus or make it to school on time. If my kids went to school, there would be three different drop-offs: elementary, middle school, and high school! I can’t imagine the logistics. We can sleep in and do whatever we want in the mornings rather than inhaling a non-nutritious Pop-Tart and rushing to a school to sit all day and be brainwashed.
Back to School
I don’t have to worry about back to school lists. I can buy whatever supplies we need whenever we need them. We don’t have to buy uniforms or school clothes. While I do stock up on a few things during those BTS sales, like glue…we are not concerned with the stress of this time period. We school year-round. We can transition our curricula any time of year! We love to enjoy the end of summer and beginning of fall as natural transitions.
School Picture Day
Ah, the dreaded school pictures. I can remember when they were simple and it was expected that kids wore their Sunday best. But, those laser backgrounds? Maybe not the best choice. And my hair in 7th grade? I shudder. Now, it seems the picture companies are really into profits and the purchase packages are unbelievable. Who needs a pricey 16×24 stretched canvas or body pillow of their kid?
Sit at a Desk all.day.long.
We don’t sit around all day. I remember how exhausting it was to just sit all day long, under those fluorescent lights. We do what we want, when we want. We rush outside when it’s nice weather. We play games. We go to the library. We go hiking or on nature walks. We watch the birds. We garden. We read, watch Netflix, research. We have dance parties. We snuggle on the sofa for reading. We cook, clean, make arts and crafts. The girls love to knit and crochet and cross-stitch. We shoot a target in the backyard with a BB gun. We rarely sit at desks or tables. We don’t have to relinquish our creativity.
How I hated selling cookie dough and wrapping paper. How I hate it when kids come to my house, hawking stuff I don’t want or need. How I hate the contests for kids and classes for pizza parties or a skate night or tickets to the water park. Maybe we should have a better system or allocate money where it’s needed better? If the school fundraiser sold whiskey, then maybe I’d consider buying.
Teacher Appreciation Gifts
I remember getting a few gifts when I taught school – the coffee mugs, stuffed animals, gift cards. Pinterest is full of creative and horrific teacher gifts. It’s obviously a competition to see who can outdo the other parents with the best or weirdest upcycled gift. Bribery much? Teachers just want more respect and fewer standardized tests. They really have a tough job. It’s a battle on all fronts.
Follow a Schedule
So much time is wasted at school on transition time. Line up to go to lunch. Line up to go to art, music, PE, library, computer lab. Line up for restroom and water break. We have no schedule, or at the least, a very rough schedule. We get up when we want. We eat when we’re hungry. We use the bathroom when the need arises. We go outside when we want. We play, read, create when we desire. Downtime is thinking time. We follow natural rhythms.
Homework is unnecessary. We complete lessons in only a few minutes. We don’t have to beat the dead horse with 40+ math problems unless they think math drills are fun. We don’t have to circle verbs in red and underline adjectives in blue in 20+ sentences ever. School kids attend classes 6+ hours every day and still have several hours of worthless homework? It’s ridiculous. We don’t do worksheets or extra work. We learn to mastery. We don’t even have to follow a curriculum! We can learn how we want!
We don’t do grades. We don’t do tests. We don’t encourage that kind of competition. It’s meaningless and creates such discontent. No one has ever asked me as an adult what I made in 11th grade algebra II or senior English or 3rd year Spanish. No one cares about my master’s Faulkner course. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t teach anything or ensure success. We learn for the sheer love of it.
So Much Sickness
A friend of mine had to send her special needs son to school because it’s German law. She complained that in the first month, he came home with diarrhea, Fifth’s disease, a cold, and more. He’d never been sick before. Schools are little breeding grounds for illness. Ew. I know teachers and students get sick so frequently, especially after summer and winter breaks. It’s not that we never get sick, but we seldom do. The kids play in the dirt, eat well, get plenty of rest, and have healthy immune systems.
Keeping up with Fads
My kids don’t even know what’s popular except when their public schoolteacher aunt asks if they’re into Rainbow Loom or something that her public-schooled children and students are into. My kids don’t care about popularity, fashion, fads, or anything like that. We’re not exposed to advertisements or competition with other kids.
My kids know how to stand in line. If they’re ever in a classroom environment, they know to raise their hand before speaking. They are polite and courteous. They don’t need arbitrary rules to control them, to make them behave or obey. We’ve encountered some strange rules at different organizations we’ve attended for music lessons or field trips. While I understand there is sometimes a need to protect others and property, it’s disheartening to see my homeschooled kids treated like criminals. Automatically guilty. Children are naturally empathetic and desire to please. Too many rules are just a setup rebellion.