Why Home School?
As someone who has been home schooled all my life I thought it might be helpful to give parents who are considering home schooling their children some insight about why they should chose to do so. I will also be addressing some “problems” with home schooling, and I will show that in many cases these are just common misconceptions that have simple solutions. However, that’s only the issues about the children. Let me be clear up front, when it comes to the issues concerning the parents most of the problems are true. As a parent you will need to have at least one stay at home parent, especially if you have younger children that would make it illegal top leave them at home unsupervised. Home schooling can also be a little more costly and you won’t get things like free rec-center passes and local student discounts, but it doesn’t always have to be pricy which we’ll discuss in a later article. As the teacher you will have to keep one step ahead of you children, and this can be a bit of a pain with so many subjects, but that leads into a positive because when it comes to reading you can just assign a good book and let the kids do the work!
For many parents the idea of home schooling comes as a reaction to existing situations such as a child with disabilities or a child being bullied. This is a reasonable reaction because home schooling offers such a drastically different environment from public school and an amount of control that no teacher can ever have over the education of a single child. For the child educated in the home environment there is no risk of being bullied or ignored by a teacher. The parent has control over issues like proper diet, drug use, exercise, and education level. As a parent you understand what medications your child might need and as their teacher you will have a greater understanding of their educational needs.
When it comes to the actual education part of home schooling many parents appreciate the amount of control they assume as the teacher. Because parents often home school to teach a greater appreciation of religion or to focus on a child who is struggling academically the curriculum is often much more broad and free than is found in the public school system. What parents need to know for sure is whether your state has any laws regarding regulated testing or applying for home schooling. If you have laws regarding standardized testing your curriculum should follow the public school’s time table, although you don’t need to use the same text books as the schools; in fact, I would almost never recommend using text books and I’ll explain that in a later artical.
Because as a home schooled family you will need to expand a little extra energy in finding social activities you will have the ability to do something that public school never will. You will be able to separate learning from socializing. This is a good thing because it allows separate focus on learning (and loving it) and socializing, which will not only help your child’s learning comprehension but will also allow for fun time to be nothing but fun time. That’s not to say that learning won’t be fun, because my one piece of advice to any parent would be to get passes to any local museums, parks, the zoo, ect. These will give you chances for field trips for education and fun and they will always be having events to keep your kids interested and active.
As I already said, there is going to have to be sacrifices on the part of the parents when it comes to time and money if home schooling is something you want to do. However, when it comes to the one big objection to home schooling, the dreaded “But don’t they lack social skills?” there is almost no reason that this has to be true! There are many ways for your home schooled child to get out and make friends. Options include girl and boy scouts, church groups, volunteer groups, clubs that your library and other local institutions offer, and most importantly other home schoolers! Times have changed since I was a kid; home schooling has become much more accepted and there are now numerous groups of home schoolers who now do activities together as well as home school conventions that allow for plenty of interaction. If you join a home school group (which you can find online or through conventions) not only will your kids all have something in common but you have some control over why your child interacts with on a daily basis.
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