Reasons to be Thankful for Homeschooling in 2020

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which is a great time to remember all the reasons to be thankful for homeschooling, especially during 2020.

  1. Not having to deal with remote learning

I have friends and relatives who are teachers. I know that they are all doing their best under incredibly difficult circumstances. I am in awe of what they are trying to do. At the same time, I am so thankful that I don’t have to deal with it. Homeschoolers can choose to do classes online if they want to, but it doesn’t need to be an all-day, every day experience.

2. Having a pre-made “pod”

This year has seen many families struggling to connect in a world where in-person school and extra-curricular activities have gone by the wayside. While homeschoolers have certainly had to adjust as well – I don’t think any of us spent anywhere near as much time at home as we did this year – we already had a network of fellow homeschoolers to connect with.

3. The Chance to Share our Catholic Faith on a Daily Basis with My Children

I never thought we’d see a time when churches would be closed and the sacraments unavailable. While I am incredibly thankful to be able to once again attend Mass in person, this year has emphasized the need for solid Catholic catechesis in the home. Homeschoolers an create an environment where daily prayer and learning about the faith is the norm.

4. The Ability to Customize an Education

Homeschooling allows you to teach each child individually and to respond to what that child needs. All three of my children have been unique, each with their own gifts and challenges. None of them would have fit in the traditional school environment. I have been happy that I’ve been able to make adjustments, meet their needs, and let them grow and learn at their own pace.

5.  The Chance to Enjoy my Children as They Grow Up

If there has been one gift of 2020, it is that families have been spending way more time together. It can be a challenge. Even homeschoolers have been spending more time together, but in general, I’m happy to have been able to spend a good amount of time with my children as they grow up. Two of my children are adults now. I know that the adage that “the days are long, but the years are short” is true. I am thankful that I got to be with my children in both the good and bad moments.

In homeschooling, there is time to have many positive interactions in the course of a day. We have the opportunity to spend time together talking, reading, going for a walk, cooking, or playing a game. Whatever my children might hold against me in my parenting (and I freely admit I have my faults), they won’t be able to say that I didn’t spend time with them or that we didn’t have fun together. That means a lot to me.

6. The Gift of Time

Homeschooling takes less time than traditional school. The ability to work one-on-one with each student means that you can target instruction on areas of difficulty while moving quickly over concepts that are grasped easily. There is also no need for the administrative tasks and waiting for others that take up so much of a school day.

As a result, children have more time to explore their own interests. Younger children have more time to play, create, and imagine. Older children and teens can begin to figure out what they want to do with their lives and focus on those areas of interest. Both age groups can take part in outside activities without the stress of coming home to a pile of homework.

7. The Gift of Wonderful Friends
Through our local Catholic homeschool group, both my children and I have made some amazing friends. I’m so thankful to have a community of women to learn and pray with. We support and encourage each other on both the good and bad days. My children have developed lasting friendships as well, not only with others their own age, but with those older and younger.

Homeschooling is a gift. I’ve always been thankful for it, but 2020 has offered even more reasons to be grateful.

Author: Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, editor of "Today's Catholic Homeschooling", is the mother of two biological sons and one adopted daughter. She is in her fourteenth year of homeschooling. She has a B.A. in History and Fine Art and a Master's Degree in Applied Theology. She is the author of "The Crash Course Guide to Catholic Homeschooling" and "The Power of Forgiveness". She blogs at spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com