“Being teacher, principal, secretary, advisor, field-trip arranger, school nurse, cook, lunch-room supervisor, janitor, and so on, all wrapped in one is not always easy, but homeschooling is one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Benefits of Homeschooling
by Mary Kay Smith
As I write this, I am preparing talks and gathering supplies for another mission trip. It’s such a privilege and a great deal of fun to be able to go somewhere year after year and share my faith, educational programs, and lots of hands-on projects with people in another country who wouldn’t otherwise have access to things like that.
That’s not to say it’s always easy. I just got another round of inoculations today and am nursing sore arms. This trip will be a little easier, but sometimes it’s a little like camping, where we’re dealing with bugs, cold showers, and intermittent electricity. Not really my favorite thing. Last year in an open-air classroom in a Kenyan slum, I had an asthmatic-type reaction to the toxic smoke (they burn everything) and really struggled to finish my teaching. I’ve occasionally gotten very sick. But, somehow, at the next request, I’m ready to go again.
You know what one of the wonderful things about many of my trips over the years has been? I got to take my kids. In fact many times I really needed my kids because the plan or number of participants was too much for one person to handle. My children all had specific assignments and helped design, prepare, and execute the programs. They have been with me helping out locally many times, but also helped in Zambia, Kenya, Japan, Hong Kong, and Portugal.
We could only do that because we were homeschooling.
Of course, being teacher, principal, secretary, advisor, field-trip arranger, school nurse, cook, lunch-room supervisor, janitor, and so on, all wrapped in one is not always easy, but homeschooling is one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Look at just some of the benefits: academic success because we have curriculum choice and provide one-on-one tutoring; flexibility in our day and year to work around individual temperaments, unexpected interruptions, opportunities related to kids’ interests, vacation time, and special trips; close relationships because we have lots of time together to develop friendships within the family and learn about encouragement, kindness, sharing, and caring; spiritual input because we happen to be there to talk about God as our children rise for the day, sit at home, walk along the road, and lie down at night (Deut.6:6,7); and practical training in keeping a home, learning a business, and so on.
I hope you are encouraged as you homeschool. You are doing a wonderful thing. May your homeschool journey now and beyond not only bring you great benefits but also great JOY!
Former homeschooler Mary Kay Smith is a writer and editor. She also creates and implements biblical and educational discovery events for local and international groups. This article first appeared as an editorial in TVHE, Winter 2020.