Perhaps one of the most wonderful things about homeschooling that I never knew about until I homeschooled was the flexibility.
First, there's the flexibility of time and scheduling. You choose what days to homeschool and what time of day to homeschool. Your life isn't dictated by someone else's schedule but totally by you. For my family, that means doing school year round, with lots of breaks throughout, and doing our school primarily in the afternoons. For some, it means a more traditional school year calendar. For some, it includes weekends. For some, it's a four-day school week. For some, it means early mornings and being through by noon. For some, it's evenings, when parents get home from work. It varies from family-to-family and sometimes, within a family, it varies from day-to-day. Essentially, it's whatever schedule meets the needs of the family.
Secondly, there's the flexibility of location. We live in a society that is perhaps more mobile than it was at times past. Sometimes, people move a lot for jobs. Sometimes, they may not uproot and move but do have jobs that include a lot of traveling. Some families even live life on the road, traveling from town-to-town via camper or RV. Some families like to travel. And some families have extended family all over the country which requires time away more often than others. And no matter how mobile your family is (a little or a lot), homeschooling allows you the freedom of location. I can say that our family has homeschooled in our home, in our yard, in our church (we're pastors), in the car, in hotels, in our camper, and so forth. We have truly taken advantage of being able to homeschool in any location.
Thirdly, there's the flexibility of pace. Not everyone learns at the same pace, and even among individuals, some subjects may be easier than others. And at home, the parent can make adjustments for pace a lot easier than elsewhere. I've seen homeschool kids graduate much earlier in life, go to college much earlier, or even finish high school with a couple of years of college completed at the same time due to dual enrollment. These, of course, are the ones who were excelling and able to go faster. On the other hand, I've seen kids who struggled and were essentially being left behind begin to understand, grow, and make great progress in subjects as they were able to do them at a pace that worked for them. Even in my own family, I have learned to adjust lessons based on needs. There's days that I mark out whole pages of work because they're too easy and boring that particular child. And then there's days that I stop work on a page because it's too much of a struggle, do some other things, and then come back to it a few days later when I feel like they may be ready for it.
Fourthly, there's the flexibility of methods and curriculum. These are two topics that cover a vast amount of information that I won't cover in detail here. But there are many methods, and many curriculums. And parents can choose whichever ones work for their kids. Many times, it will be an accumulation of various ones, but maybe not. Some kids do well with traditional textbooks. Some may do well with more hands on. Some families prefer for all kids to learn together. Some prefer more individual lessons. And sometimes, as has been the case with us, you will re-evaluate from year-to-year what works and what doesn't work. And each year, you'll make changes and prayerfully, improvements.
Flexibility is a great part of homeschooling. It gives the parent complete control of their home and family, and allows everything to be planned in such a way to meet the individual needs of each child. It's a treasure that may not be the reason you chose to homeschool, but it will definitely be a reason you love to homeschool.