Lots of articles about why people homeschool approach it from a negative angle. Usually, they focus on what parents don't like about public school.
But for many people, the decision to homeschool is about the things they want to bring into their life, not the things they are trying to avoid.
Here's my own list of positive reasons to homeschool.
1. It's fun.
2. I learn stuff.I use homeschooling as an excuse to fill in the gaps from my own school days. Instead of memorizing dates, definitions, and formulas, we learn about interesting people from history, catch up on the latest discoveries in science, and explore the concepts behind the math problems. It's lifelong learning at its best.
3. My kids enjoy it.Every year I ask my kids if they'd like to try school. They've never seen a reason to. Almost all their friends homeschool -- which means they're around during the day to get together when their school friends are in class, football practice, band practice, or doing homework.
4. It lets kids show their enthusiasm.Most of the homeschooling kids I know have their own particular passions, areas that they can discuss like an expert. Very few of these areas -- modern art, Legos, analyzing horror films -- are the kind of things students learn about in school. I know from my own school experience that having an offbeat interest doesn't win you points with teachers and other students. But among homeschoolers, it's what makes your friends so interesting.
5. It introduces us to fascinating people.One thing I learned as a newspaper reporter: you hear the best stories when you ask people what they love to do. As homeschoolers, we spend our days visiting people and taking classes with teachers who do it because they really want to, not just because it's their job.
6. It teaches kids how to interact with adults.As a kid, I was really shy, especially around grown-ups. It didn't help that the only adults I saw all day were always looking down on me and telling me what to do. When homeschoolers interact with adults in the community, they learn how civil people treat each other in public. It's a kind of socialization most school kids don't experience until they're ready to go out into the world.
7. It brings parents and kids closer together.When I was looking into homeschooling for the first time, one of the greatest selling points was hearing from parents of grown homeschool students that their teens never felt the need to push them away. Sure they become independent. But they do it by taking on more and more of the responsibility for their own learning, not by fighting and rebelling against the adults in their lives.
8. It adapts to the family's schedule.No getting up before dawn to make the school bus. No agonizing about whether to take a family trip because it means missing class. Homeschooling gives families the flexibility to do the other important things in their lives, on their own schedule.
9. It makes me feel competent.Just as it has done for my kids, homeschooling has helped me learn that I can do a lot of things I never would have dreamed were possible. Including being the one to guide my kids from easy readers to trigonometry to college.
10. It helps reinforce our family values.
I don't consider myself extremist in any way. But there are things my family just doesn't believe in. Like paying kids (with pizza, candy, or amusement park admission) for reading a book. Or judging a person's worth by their sports prowess or their grades. My kids don't have the latest gadget, and they don't have to take classes in critical thinking, because they've been practicing it their whole lives. And that's why homeschooling is such a positive force for my family.
Looking for the flip side? Here are 10 Negative Reasons Why I Homeschool.