In our homeschool, we recently made the jump from a parent-led curriculum to BJU’s distance learning, in our core subjects. For years I have fought the online (or video) route for our children. I always felt that it was the “easy out” or not the “true” way to homeschool. Now I am so glad to have made the switch to online learning! So if you are considering making the leap, I want to share with you the ways that online learning made me a better homeschool mom.
1). I recovered from burnout
Recovering from burnout was my most significant blessing from online learning. Five years of homeschooling left me utterly spent. My brain became cluttered with mental schedules, lists, and goals. For five years I taught every math lesson, graded every English paper, and prepped every reading lesson. I have (almost) taught two children to read, and one to do multiplication. I became tired and burnt out. Distance learning lifted an enormous weight from my shoulders. The sole responsibility for their education is still mine; I just outsourced some of the work.
(Related Reading: 5 Steps to a Homeschool Mom Makeover)
2). It allows me to focus on the fun stuff
Guess what, when you are super busy trying to teach math, and English, that fresh new art project just gets pushed to the side. Read-a-louds just become another item to check off your to-do list, instead of quality time with my children. Now, mom handles the fun stuff. I still teach history, as well as some science, but leave the hard things to the professionals.
3). More quality education in the same amount of time
In this house, there is one mom and two children, both of whom like to finish school at the same time. When I was trying to juggle teaching both grades someone inevitably suffered. I was merely spread too thin. With distance learning, each child has a teacher that is devoted to them alone. This individual learning makes a HUGE difference in the amount of material they can cover in a day. Plus mom is always available to step in and help with a difficult concept.
4). Review, Review, Review
My oldest struggles in math, and truthfully, it’s my fault. I was so busy teaching the curriculum that I often left out important review time. I’ll be honest, after I had covered all the other subjects, the last thing on my mind was flash cards. Now things have changed. I’m still fresh at the end of every day, so “homework” time isn’t such a struggle for me. We now review every evening.
5). Better balance
After five years of this homeschooling gig, I have learned that I can’t do it all. I am not supermom. The laundry piles up, the dishes need to be washed, and dinner needs to be fixed. Homeschooling is a successful juggling act on its best day, and a chaotic mess on it’s worst. Distance learning makes it easier to “get it all done.” I can fold the laundry while my kids are working on math. While they are reading, I can clean the kitchen. I finish when they finish. We can snuggle up and read a book, or play a game. Now there’s time for me to be the mom, instead of the teacher.
(Related Reading: Finding Balance as a Homeschool Mom)
There you have it, my reasons why online learning made me a better homeschool mom. Please don’t assume that online learning is a magic solution to all your problems. Loads of papers will still need grading, and the oldest will still struggle with math. I am still always available to step in and help. However, I am no longer giving snippets of myself to multiple tasks, which overall makes me a better mom. How about you? Have you ever tried distance learning?
(Are you still deciding on a curriculum? Jump over to my post on Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum to see some helpful tips!)