- Education and Science
5 Reasons You Should Consider Homeschooling
Welcome guest writer, Sarah Butland.
Yes, I get it – you breathe a sigh of relief when your child boards the bus and you have the day to yourself but is it really worth it? Depending on someone else to teach your child what they see fit at the time while you clean the house or run errands? You may think it’s best for your family or your personal sanity now but what about the long term?
More and more people are considering an alternative to sending their child off to public school. Instead of relying on the education system more and more people complain about, parents are keeping their kids home and enjoying it. Both unschooling and homeschooling are alternatives to “mainstream” education and can arguably better prepare a child for long term success – including seeking a college or university education.
Coming from a full 12 years in a public school I get that there are many benefits to that format and completely support anyone who decides that way IF they have considered all options first. To assume attending public school is mandatory is detrimental to our future as, with everything in life, there are plenty of options to consider.
Here are five reasons why I urge you to reconsider:
#1 Social Aspect
Yes, you read that right despite what you may first think. When we first considered homeschooling our son that was the immediate, and still ongoing, argument –“but what about the social aspect of school? He’ll never know how to act among his peers!” And yet he does and he does so well. Mind you, he has been enrolled in some sort of athletic program all of his life but it’s more than that.
Save your pennies and connect with other homeschoolers for day trips, take your child to the grocery store with you and to other public events. Homeschooling doesn’t mean you only school at home, sitting in your pajama’s all day waiting for bed time- it simply means you don’t send him off to sit in a classroom we typically envision for school aged children. In the classroom, sitting next to their friend can get them in trouble if they get too distracting by trying to be social. The only real free play time you have in public school is recess and lunch- not actually school at all.
#2 No Codes
Whichever side you stand on, public schools are not prone to practicing a variety of codes in order to keep their students and teachers/staff safe. While I loved fire drills and the bus evacuation days, these were thought of as accidents and not intentional danger. Now we have our schools practicing drills of a gunman in the school or bomb threats and I have to wonder if this is teaching kids how to be safe or giving them ideas on how to express themselves.
While we can discuss dangers at home in school we can do so in a positive and more constructive manner instead of leaving it up to the teachers. Some of these code drills can be terrifying and instill fear in students when a school should be a safe place.
#3 Lesson Flexibility
With homeschooling or unschooling you can focus on what your child/ student is interested in and go with that flow. If at four years old your child is interested in trains, for example, use that to teach colors, math, physics, etc – the options are endless. A teacher has 22-30 students on average, they cannot possible adapt their lesson plan to what each pupil is interested in and I admire them for having the ability to generalize it enough in effort of keeping everyone’s attention.
With homeschooling, no matter how many kids you have at home, you have the flexibility of hearing every one of them and ensuring they all get a voice to help you plan each day.
#4 Life Skills
While unschooling or homeschooling are not specific to staying in the house there is a lot to be learned while you are home that public school just don’t have the resources for. Having your child help with chores around the home is schooling as you are teaching them to do their own laundry, wash dishes, cook meals and more. When you do have to run errands you can take advantage of the outing to teach your student math, budgeting, nutrition and more through grocery shopping, and it makes an adventure out of it for both of you.
With your child at home you are not restricted to going away when there’s a school holiday. March Break, for example, is a hectic time of year both for many companies as well as for family friendly businesses as the majority of your community will be taking advantage of this one time to attend these events. With homeschooling you can stay inside that week when school is out and have a much shorter line to wait in the week before or after the school holiday.
No, you don’t live in a bubble when you decide to take your kid out of school as they are still subjected to bullying and the fad of the week through other means but you have a special bond with your children not many can say they have.
Homeschooling is not for everyone all the time but there are definitely things to consider when your child is struggling at school or has reached school age.
Let me know what you think.