Other than their obvious cute factor, animals can provide a variety of added benefits for your homeschool family that are sure to last a lifetime. Here are five reasons to consider pets in your homeschool.
5 Reasons to Homeschool with Pets
1) Teaches Responsibility
Your child will take on the role of caregiver. A child as young as three can start with simple tasks like filling up a water dish, and as they get older, their responsibly can increase to daily dog walks for the older children. While doing this, they will learn empathy and compassion. Your child will understand they need to feed their pet every day and not just the days they feel like it; because, pets need to grow just like them, and feel hunger just as they do.
2) Positive Influence on Mental Health
Along with these traits, your child’s mental health will have positive effects. According to Pets in the Classroom, roughly 40% of children who feel sad turn to their pets for comfort and emotional support. Other studies dating back to the 80’s have shown that just petting an animal can reduce stress and anxiety. Furthermore, developing a connection with the animal you are petting has proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and blood pressure even more. I can speak from experience that after a long day, a hug from my cat (okay, a hug from me to my cat) feels a lot like a deep breath. I’m sure you’ve felt the ease before, too.
3) Aids in Developing Social Skills
Pets also help children develop social skills simply by being an outlet for them. When I was younger, I used to have anxiety speaking in front of other people. I began practicing speeches aloud to my cat and eventually overcame my anxiety. It sounds a little funny writing that sentence now, but it really did help me. Take it one-step further, and add a book. When children read aloud with to their pets, they are increasing their vocabulary and overall comprehension.
4) Other Benefits to the Classroom
Pets encourage children to think for themselves, which sparks interests an array of subject areas. Can turtles hear? (Science); How much does a cat weigh? (Math); Where do parrots originate from? (Geography).
5) Because We Can!
And, let’s be honest…we should include pets in homeschooling simply because WE CAN! Who can say they brought their dog to math class today? Homeschoolers can. Who can write their dictations to the sound of purrs on their lap? That’s right, homeschoolers can!