Kate Tsubata writes in The Washington Times about one of the great benefits of homeschooling: the entire family is freed from being slaves to a schedule set by others.
She says: "Families that switch from institutional schooling to home-schooling always remark on how much more peaceful their lives have become."
We definitely found this to be true. When people ask how I have time to homeschool, I always mention that I'm no longer dropping off and picking up at three different schools and I'm not spending my evenings supervising homework or wading through school forms and papers. And I don't need to have teacher conferences to find out how my children are doing :).
Homeschooling is most definitely an investment of time, but it's not quite as much extra time as one might think, compared to the time spent by an involved parent whose children attend school.
At the same time, I love the freedom to do what we want when we want. If I want to take them on a field trip, we go! If I have to do a "rush" job for my business in the morning, I have the flexibility to have them work independently and then I work with them one-on-one in the evening instead of the morning. And if a child is caught up in a good book at bedtime, I've been known to let them stay up later reading and sleep in a little the next morning. I love that as parents we are now setting the schedule for our family, rather than meeting a schedule set by the school district.
At the same time I think it's worth noting that though freed from the school clock and daily homework grind, this doesn't mean homeschooled children are not learning valuable "life lessons" such as the importance of fulfilling responsibilities. They are simply learning such skills in different contexts, again determined by their parents and not the school system...which is the way most people in our country grew up, until the last hundred years or so and the advent of public education.
(Hat tip: HomeSchoolBuzz.)