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The cool advantages of being a homeschool parent
by Bonnie Harris Price
Moms and Dads, you’re probably got this homeschooling thing down to a routine. Your children are up at a certain hour. They have their instructions. You can probably squeeze in a little afternoon delight.
Whatever you have going on, you’re probably somewhere in between feeling accomplished and feeling overwhelmed, isolated even. During their backyard recess time, you might find yourself watching Netflix on your phone. Don’t be embarrassed; I’m guilty of sneaking a peek while pretending to watch him go down the slide for the millionth time too.
We’ve all done that.
Do you think it would be easier for you if your area had better schools? Maybe if the threat of mandated tests wasn’t looming over your head, you wouldn’t worry about your child’s grades. If only they allowed prayer in school.
Stop beating yourself up for your decision to homeschool. Homeschooling isn’t a burden, it’s a privilege to be able to teach your kids especially now with all the technology available.
But Bonnie, I miss coffee with my girlfriends, my spin class, Sunday night football, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Yes, those things are fun, but Mom and Dad, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Homeschooling frees you from adulting.
Oh yes, in some ways homeschooling frees you from adulting. You see, the difference between your pals who send their kiddos to school and you are you create your own universe. You are the captain, emperor, and queen and king.
That means you run the show. And not just at home either; homeschooling has adult benefits as well. Take a look-see.
- Tax breaks
- Household expenses
- Healthier Lifestyle
- Adult Pass
This is a tricky one, but one you can use to your advantage if you follow the rules. While you can’t write off any money you spent buying materials and supplies for your children’s education, you can write off materials that you donate once your child outgrows them. The money you spent on books, the whiteboard, the desk, can be donated to your local charities.
You can also start a tutoring service for other homeschoolers. You can deduct the money you spend on supplies and materials while making a little cash on the side. You can also start a side business product testing on your website using your home computer as a tax deduction for business.
Moms and Dads don’t paying Uncle Sam less make you feel like a kid in a candy store?
Here’s another biggie for you. The amount of money you spend on gas, groceries, PTA dues, fundraisers, uniforms, expensive clothing, and other stuff goes way down when your children leave public school. Thrift stores become your best friends and your children learn to love peanut butter and jelly again.
Homeschooling also brings out the creativity in parents. Used paper towel rolls, shoestrings from old sneakers, and lima beans with a side of Elmer’s Glue make cool rainmakers. A homeschool military family I met during the summer told me they saved hundreds of dollars on family vacations because they go in the offseason.
Yay, fewer crowds! Yay, less competition. Yay, no more financing vacations on credit cards!
Moms and Dads, I can’t even explain how much healthier Keith eats when he’s home. Public schools are doing are a better job of keeping unhealthy food to a minimum, but what about allergies? It’s estimated 15 million people have food allergies.
Keith is allergic to cow’s milk and soy yet the little scamp managed to score ice cream at school. Although his allergy isn’t life-threatening, I break out in my Snoopy dance when I don’t have to fight with him about what the other kids get to eat.
Here’s a couple of exemptions I didn’t find out about until today. I do advise you check with your state or county first. Parents with children under age 12 in Bexar County may be exempt from jury duty.
Whooooooo-hoooooooo! Six years no jury duty!
Want a bonus, homeschool Moms, and Dads? Again check with your state, as long as my son is homeschooled, he is exempt from taking that God awful STAAR test. This standardized test has been up for debate for years and was almost dismissed in the state capital but unfortunately was kept.
I don’t know how it is in your state, but if a child fails this test, the child fails for the year. This is regardless if they’re passing their classes. Side note: this is how jails are built because children who fail are more likely to commit crimes as adults.
Me, Big Keith, Little Keith at Retama Race Park
I saved the best for last Mom and Dads. Homeschooling your children means from time to time, you get a pass. You can get silly, take a break when you need it, and be a real person.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an excuse to get lazy and do whatever; you have responsibilities. The bigger picture is, you get to be creative. You don’t have to be like your stick in the mud second-grade teacher.
You can get on the trampoline with your kids at recess. You can teach them life skills they can actually use, like cooking, cleaning, simple home repair. You can make learning fun and have fun doing it.
How about you?
Are you struggling with homeschooling your child? Do you think strict routines are the only way to teach? Do you know some fun ways to keep your interested in learning? I’d love to read your comments.
I also like to read your stories. If you’re interested in sharing your homeschooling story with other readers, click on The No Judgement Zone page to send me an email. I’d love to post your story.
Until then, remember all children are created extraordinary!