Once you know you’re bringing a new life into the world, where or how you will educate them becomes top of mind—even though you have five years until kindergarten! In recent years, homeschooling has turned from an alternative option to bordering on mainstream. If you’re thinking of joining them, here are some reasons you should.
Personalized Learning Experience
Not all children learn the same way. Some are visual learners; others are auditory, read/write, or kinesthetic. One child may learn best seated at a desk with a book in hand, while another loves to be out in nature, learning with their hands. Homeschooling allows each child to get individual attention from someone who knows them well.
Higher Academic Achievement
Regardless of a parent’s educational background, children with a home-based education tend to score higher academically than those in traditional schools. 78% of peer-reviewed studies on academic achievement show that homeschooled students perform significantly better than those in institutional schools (Ray, 2017). Some of this may be due to the child being able to place more focus on chosen fields, which increases motivation.
Without the restrictions of traditional schooling, children are open to more diverse social settings. They are commonly out on field trips and involved in scouting, sports teams, community volunteer work, and other activities outside their nuclear family and neighborhood.
Stronger Family Relationships
Especially if there are multiple children at home, home education can create bonding with siblings through shared educational activities. Parents are also able to foster a supportive environment conducive to learning and personal growth that they would not be a part of if their children left for school every day.
Homeschooling is not a locked-in schedule like traditional school is. This allows families to decide what time during the day, week, and year to work on school activities. Not morning people? Evening classes are an option. Parents who enjoy travel, or “world education,” also benefit from not being locked into winter, spring, and summer breaks.
Customized Curriculum Choices
Parents have the power to select the curriculum that best suits their educational philosophy. If a family has religious preferences, they’re free to teach them without pushback from the school or worry their child may learn something they don’t believe in. It can also be adjusted to accelerate what a child is great at and slow down the pace for things that don’t come as naturally.
Avoiding Negative School Environments
School can be stressful, and kids can be mean. Homeschool can be a refuge for children who have had issues with bullying, aggressive competition, and other negative experiences. Parents can easily monitor their child’s emotional and psychological state and quickly act to address signs of stress or discomfort.
Encouraging Creativity and Innovation
Getting creative with education is wide open with homeschoolers. Parents and students alike have the opportunity to play around with what school will look like for them. For example, if the child is obsessed with music but doesn’t love reading, work music into different subjects to make learning fun and exciting for them.
Effective Use of Time
We all love working from home. The lack of commute, the ability to wear what’s comfortable, the proximity to snacks… The same is true for students. Commute time to school and wasted time transitioning from classrooms are eliminated, as are hard stops in the educational process. If the student is on a roll with a subject, they can keep going instead of having to stop where they are and move to the next class.
Access to Diverse Educational Resources
In public schools, teachers are limited to the curriculum approved by the school board. When you homeschool, the world of possibilities is limitless. Parents can choose to teach multiple schools of thought from a variety of sources, including textbooks, the internet, community resources, and real-world experience. Why not learn about the pyramids in Egypt?
Tailored Learning for Special Needs
Advocating for a special needs child in the public school system can be a daunting task. When schooled at home, parents can manage the pace and needs of their child as well as include therapeutic activities in their curriculum. “Ensign (2000) found that homeschooling parents of a child with learning disabilities are more likely to go at the child’s speed, provide one-on-one tutoring, and expect their child to blossom, with the result that the child does well academically,” according to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
“Descriptive analysis reveals homeschool students possess higher ACT scores, grade point averages (GPAs), and graduation rates when compared to traditionally-educated students,” according to Michael F. Cogan. Because they’re often responsible for their own schedules, they also go to college with stronger time management and self-discipline.
Developing Life Skills
Some things we often hear people say they wish they learned in school are easily incorporated into homeschooling. Parents can choose to add cooking, budgeting, or even taxes to their curriculum plan, better preparing their children for life after school.
Embracing Personalized Learning
Not trying to make the home education system fit the traditional school dogma is key to getting the most out of the experience. Learning what works and doesn’t with your child is part of the experience, which means nothing is set in stone. If one way doesn’t work, try something else.
Reducing Peer Pressure and Competition
Homeschooling takes away peer competition without battling for being first in the class or being measured against other students. Children are able to focus on doing their best and not concern themselves with being better than the students next to them. Unless they have siblings, sibling rivalries will be what they are.
Opportunity for In-Depth Study
When a student is passionate about something, they’ll learn every drop of information there is to find. Homeschooling takes away the need to move on to the next thing because that’s what is in the syllabus. This mimics college in the way of focused studies and leads into life with choosing a career.
Flexibility in School Calendar
It can be frustrating to have to miss major family events because the kids can’t miss school, and traveling during school breaks is more expensive than traveling in the “off-season.” Homeschooling gives families their schedules back.
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