Homeschooling is an excellent option for parents and caregivers who want to educate their children at home. Here are some reasons why homeschooling should be considered by parents who have decided on this option.
Homeschooling can be a good option for a variety of reasons, some of which are:
- Customization: Homeschooling allows for a more personalized education, where parents can tailor the curriculum and teaching methods to their child’s individual needs and interests.
- Flexibility: Homeschooling can offer a more flexible schedule, allowing parents to work around other commitments and responsibilities.
- One-on-one attention: Homeschooling provides more one-on-one attention, allowing parents to understand better and address their child’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Closer relationship: Homeschooling can foster a more intimate relationship between parents and children as they spend more time together.
- Hands-on learning: Homeschooling allows more opportunities for hands-on learning and real-world experiences.
- Avoiding hostile environments: Homeschooling can provide an alternative for children not thriving in a traditional school setting, whether due to bullying, lack of support, or other issues.
- Religious or philosophical beliefs: Homeschooling can be a good option for families who want to provide education in line with their religious or philosophical beliefs.
- Educational autonomy: Homeschooling allows parents to have more control over their child’s education and to choose the curriculum that best suits their child’s needs.
With parental guidance, your child can study whatever they want, whenever and wherever it suits them. It’s ideal for families wishing to educate their children without being tied down by external forces.
In this article, we’ll look at why homeschooling is good, compare homeschooling to public schooling (including charter schools), examine the pros and cons of homeschooling, discuss some common forms of homeschool programs, and consider alternative approaches to learning.
Read further to discover how homeschooling compares to public education.
Homeschooling vs. Public Education
Public education requires us all to pay taxes. The money goes into government coffers, where politicians spend it on military bases, highways, national parks, scientific research, foreign aid, etc. There isn’t enough money to fund every local educational institution equally, which leads to competition over resources.
Schools compete against each other for property, teachers, textbooks, funding, facilities and space, sports teams, and recognition, just like any business would. Private school students receive fewer funds per pupil than public school students, and some states allow vouchers for low-income students while others require special permission.
By contrast, homeschooling offers flexibility and control. Unlike public schools, parents aren’t required to send their children anywhere at particular times during specific years of life. Instead, homeschooled students attend classes according to individual schedules based on age, interest, and availability. Parents also set curriculum standards.
Many homeschool organizations provide information on recommended subjects, books, lesson plans, exams, field trips, community involvement, fundraising, safety issues, socialization opportunities, and communication among fellow homeschoolers.
Most importantly, parents determine everything about their child’s education. Children become accustomed to working independently rather than following strict rules dictated by authority figures. Because they don’t need to worry about grades, tests, or high marks, young homeschoolers tend to be less stressed than older ones in traditional classrooms.
Finally, it should be noted that many studies show that homeschooled children perform as well academically as those enrolled in regular schools. As long as parents keep track of progress through periodic checkups, quizzes, and projects, they shouldn’t encounter problems keeping tabs on their kids’ homework.
Likewise, since homeschooled children can continue pursuing additional training after graduation, they might prefer to skip college altogether in favor of starting a career sooner.
Problems with Public Education
While public education provides access to plenty of job prospects, many argue its drawbacks outweigh these benefits. For example, unlike homeschoolers, public school graduates must navigate unfamiliar territories.
Students enter a strange new environment and leave familiar surroundings behind, making it challenging to develop friendships, build self-confidence and feel safe within groups. Also, because of scheduling constraints, public school children usually miss out on extracurricular activities such as clubs, camps, plays, and vacations.
Another problem involves overcrowded classrooms. While public schools strive to give each student equal attention, the same cannot always be said for inner city schools plagued with violence and gangs. Worse yet, certain public schools restrict religious freedom by banning prayer, Bible reading, evangelism, and similar practices.
Advantages of Homeschooling
One significant advantage of homeschooling is cost savings. Since state governments only cover basic needs, the price tag associated with homeschooling can be lower than paying tuition fees. However, costs can increase dramatically depending on location, type of program, number of students, supplies, equipment, and transportation.
Prices vary widely across countries due to differences in tax laws and expenses related to distance from urban centers.
Another significant benefit of homeschooling is quality time. Compared to public schools, homeschoolers typically spend more time together. Families can schedule lessons when everyone returns from work, volunteer, cook meals, play video games, watch TV, read stories, practice music, and participate in discussions.
Homeschoolers also gain valuable life experience interacting directly with adults and peers of various ages. This helps prepare them for adult roles later in life.
Finally, homeschooling gives children more freedom. Aside from the obvious fact that they don’t have to travel daily to reach class, homeschooled children enjoy greater personal liberties. They have no worries about arriving late to school, getting lost or distracted on the way to class, or missing out on recess or lunchtime fun.
Sitting alone in front of a computer screen, enduring grueling standardized testing, and trying to deal with noisy classmates or annoying teachers are a thing of the past. On top of all this, homeschooled children seldom miss important dates like birthday parties, graduations, weddings, funerals, holidays, sporting events, or concerts.
Common Forms of Homeschool Programs
There are three main categories of homeschool curricula: correspondence courses, textbook instruction, and home-based independent study. Correspondence courses involve sending written assignments via mail, email, or programs with sharing capabilities like Dropbox.
Textbook instructions require students to purchase textbooks and follow detailed directions. Independent study allows students to complete coursework using materials online or provided by the instructor. Regardless of the method used, most homeschool programs share a few features, including:
- Specialized knowledge base covering multiple disciplines
- Lessons taught sequentially
- Ability to receive credit for completed courses
- Flexibility regarding subject matter coverage and depth
- Can supplement existing vocations
- Coaching services available
- Student mentoring options
- Parent involvement encouraged
As mentioned earlier, most homeschool programs focus on providing general knowledge. These include topics ranging from science, math, history, art, literature, and geography to dozens of others. To obtain certification, homeschool instructors must pass a test developed by the National Home Education Research Institute.
Now let’s consider some alternatives to homeschooling.
Alternate Approaches to Learning
Although homeschooling certainly has its downsides, proponents believe it could help solve numerous societal problems. Some critics claim homeschooling encourages isolation and limits interaction with others. Others say modern society doesn’t promote independence anymore. Still, others point to the potential dangers involved with teaching younger children.
Here are just a few examples:
Since many homeschoolers live far away from urban areas, commuting to school becomes problematic for both parent and child. Without proper supervision, many kids are forced to drop out of school and join the workforce prematurely. One solution is homebound schooling. Under this system, children remain at home and teach themselves using instructional material provided by parents.
Many children today lack role models and mentors. By encouraging parental involvement, homeschooling creates positive interactions between parents and children. Moreover, since parents know exactly what their children are studying, they can serve as mentors to help their children avoid dangerous situations.
Research shows that socializing improves critical thinking skills. Therefore, homeschooling can encourage kids to interact with other individuals, fostering teamwork and leadership qualities.
Because most homeschoolers don’t rely on grade levels to assess their success, they acquire superior preparation skills relative to public educators.
Parents who homeschool their children maintain more significant contact with their offspring. Studies indicate that homeschooled children score higher on achievement tests than their public school counterparts. Furthermore, many experts praise homeschooling for improving intergenerational relationships. It seems clear that homeschooling has definite advantages over public education.