I homeschooled my kids. It was one of the best parenting decisions I've ever made.

The benefits were immediate and life-changing

Reading outdoors.
(Image credit: Jurgita Vaicikeviciene / Alamy Stock Photo)

When my son Trevor entered kindergarten, visions of his future academic delight danced in my head. I imagined him writing stories, competing in spelling bees, reading A Wrinkle in Time. But after a two-year stint in public school, he felt bored by the curriculum and stifled by school policies. By the end of first grade, we pulled Trevor from public school and homeschooled him for nearly 10 years. And to this day, we stand by our decision to take such an alternate educational path.

Although Trevor could already read before starting preschool, he endured the painstakingly slow process of "learning to read" all over again in kindergarten. He'd blow through the lessons in seconds and spend the rest of the time reading the bootleg books he brought from home. He favored The Magic Tree House chapter books, following the intriguing historical fantasy adventures of Jack and Annie and the mysterious Morgan le Fay while his classmates were busy sounding out one-syllable words in Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat. He couldn't even borrow more challenging books from the school library because they weren't on the "approved" grade-level reading list, one of many ridiculously shortsighted school policies. We literally smuggled books into his backpack to take to kindergarten.

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Lisa Beach

Lisa Beach is a freelance journalist, content marketing specialist, and copywriter. She's been published in Parents, USA Today Back to School, Edible Orlando, Woman's World, and dozens of other print/digital publications and websites. Find her at www.LisaBeachWrites.com.