- Education and Science
Why You Should Homeschool Your Child
Over 1.7 Million Children Are Home Schooled In the U.S.
This subject has been written about often, but I’m not sure that all the advantages of home schooling have been discussed. Lots of people who favor or choose to home school their children still don’t seem to think outside of the box and tend to structure their home school after public and private schools.
For people concerned about teaching their children social skills; how to get along with many different kinds of people, and how to work as part of a team towards a common goal, please see my article on Home School and Socializing Your Child. You can access it just above the comments box, or by clicking on my photo on the upper right side of this article.
Home Schooling Offers Many Advantages
Moving At Your Child's Learning Pace
One of the advantages of home schooling is that you can choose how you want to structure your day and you can choose your curriculum to fit your student (child). Here is a list of advantages you may not have thought of . . .
Perhaps the most important advantage of home schooling your child is that you can move at your child’s pace.
Most public and private schools go at the same pace for every child in the classroom as well as every child at a particular academic grade level.
In public school, every child gets pretty much the same treatment, sort of like widgets on an assembly line or conveyor belt in a factory. That is generally too fast for some children and too slow for others. The slower children get lost and fall behind, and the quicker students get bored to tears and fidget, and sometimes become distractions in the classroom.
Even the brightest students will sometimes have trouble grasping certain concepts, so when I say slower students, that doesn’t necessarily reflect on any student’s overall ability. It simply means that some students may need more time than others to absorb the concepts of a particular subject, while other students may need less time.
With so many students to accommodate in public schools, it usually is not possible to take the needs of individual children into consideration -- children who are not the average. With home school, you can go as fast as your child is capable of going, or as slowly as your child needs to go, through the material you are presenting.
You will probably find that your child grasps some subjects more easily and quickly than others, and that is the reason it is so important to be able to slow down or speed up according to your child’s ability in different subjects.
It is possible too, that with individual instruction like you can provide for your child in home school, your child will grasp concepts more quickly and move along faster than s/he would do in a formal classroom setting.
If your child is having trouble with a particular subject or material within that subject in a formal classroom setting with several other students, your child would likely be left to muddle through on his or her own.
Or if your child grasps new information quickly, s/he may end up bored sitting on their hard seats waiting for other children in the room to grasp the new concepts. Neither scenario is desirable. Home schooling is an excellent solution to this type of problem.
Include Your Child's Favorite Things In Lessons
Another advantage to home schooling is that you can structure many of the things your child needs to learn around your child’s specific interests.
Obviously your child needs to learn a variety of things to have a well rounded comprehensive education, but when learning to read for example, you might choose to read more books on your child’s interest in baseball, space travel, dancing, or animals, or whatever your child’s interest happens to be, during the actual process of learning to read.
Including your child's favorite things in the curriculum as much as possible will make learning more interesting and fun for your child.
Learning should be fun as much as possible. When a child is enjoying what they are doing, they learn more quickly and easily.
You can introduce other subjects gradually as your child’s reading skills become stronger, but for the initial learning process, books on your child’s favorite subjects will likely make learning to read easier and faster. This is often true more for boys since some boys tend to learn reading and language skills more slowly than girls.
When introducing new subjects, formulating the lessons as much as possible around subjects that you know interest your child can make learning the new information easier and more fun for him or her. It can also give a child an incentive to want to learn more because s/he is able to link the material in his or her own mind, to things they already care about.
An example of what I am trying to explain: When I was teaching my own child about money, and how to add and subtract money, I used mail order catalogs as a teaching tool for part of the lessons.
My daughter liked to shop, so I assigned her some lessons where she would choose a few items from one of the mail order toy catalogs we had received. Her assignment was to make out the order form correctly with all purchases, plus shipping, and sales tax, added together with a total for the order. She had to read and follow the instructions for placing an order and could ask questions as necessary if she needed help.
That lesson required that she add the total of her purchases along with shipping charges and sales tax together using decimals to separate dollars from cents. She learned to add money correctly, and at the same time she learned how to place a mail or telephone order. She strengthened her skill for reading and following instructions. She exercised her decision-making skills.
When she had completed that part of her lesson, I asked her to remove a couple of the items from her order that she had chosen in order to lower the total expense. That required that she make decisions about what items to remove and then take the total of their costs away from the original order total that she was already working with. She had to first subtract the items not being purchased from the total purchases, and then re-figure the shipping and tax. This required not only adding and subtracting money with decimals involved, but also included a decision-making aspect on her part.
This is just one example of how you might incorporate your child’s interests into his or her lessons. This was just a lesson and my daughter knew from the beginning that this was just an exercise, and that none of the items would actually be ordered or purchased.
Weather and Emergencies Are Easier To Manage
When you home school your child(ren) there is less concern for the weather. If there is a rainstorm, your child does not have to stand in the rain waiting for the school bus, or walk to school in the rain.
If there is a blizzard, you do not have to worry whether or not the school will close, whether you child will be sent home early from school, or whether the school bus driver will be able to navigate the situation safely.
Tornado warnings, strong winds, and severe weather of all kinds will no longer be an issue of concern for your child’s safety when you home school.
Your child will be at home with you so that you can act according to what you believe is in his or her best interests and safety regarding any emergency situation, not just those that are weather related.
Your Child Is Less Likely to Miss School and Fall Behind
Your child need not miss school and fall behind in what is expected of him or her. You can even allow your child some time to play outside and enjoy the snow with the other children in the neighborhood if that is the situation, and lessons can be made up before or after that unexpected, unplanned playtime.
You can make up missed lessons on the weekend if something interferes with them during your usual school time, or in the evening. Your home school can be far more versatile and react more quickly to whatever situation or challenge presents itself. There is no bureaucracy to wait for to see what that bureaucratic decision will be.
If your child gets sick you can restructure your lessons to fit around their illness. If they have a mild cold that might have prevented them from attending public school, it may not prevent them from doing some lessons in home school. You may choose to lighten the usual curriculum to allow for more rest, but there may be some lessons that could still go forward.
It is possible that your child will catch fewer colds and be exposed to germs far less in home school than they would in a public school setting. Much depends on how many outside activities your child is involved in where they may be exposed to germs, but still not on the same level as being in public school all day long.
In Home School Your Child Cannot Avoid Class Participation
In public school your child may manage to get by not doing his or her homework, and may find a way to avoid class participation for days or weeks at a time.
This can result in your child’s teacher not being aware of whether or not your child is grasping his or her lessons as well as they should and possibly falling behind, or not having a firm understanding of the material. In home school, that should not happen.
My daughter had no chance of avoiding her need to be able to answer questions during lessons because she was the only student. If there was a problem with her understanding something, it was immediately evident so that it could be addressed.
The ability to give your child the necessary attention and instruction s/he needs to complete lessons successfully is a huge advantage of home schooling.
Identifying any problems with comprehension of the material can be done quickly and avoided so that you child will have a good grasp of all of the material.
You Have More Control Over the Influences in Your Child’s Life
Being able to control the influences in your child’s life is also a benefit of home schooling. No one can control what their child sees and hears 100 percent of the time, but home school can certainly increase a parent’s ability to minimize the time their child(ren) spends with other young people who may be a bad influence in behavior and attitude.
No doubt a lot of people will be offended by this statement, but many children end up on drugs or involved in risky sexual situations, or worse, because they were influenced or pressured by other students in their public or private school.
As a home schooling parent you can control who most of the other people in your child’s life are and you may choose outside activities accordingly.
Providing a Well-Rounded Education is Essential
Preventing your child(ren) from getting to know other people who may be different is not a good way to give them a well-rounded education.
Ideally you will want your child(ren) to get to know people with different religious and political views, and whose family may live a lifestyle different from your own, but allowing them to hang out with other children who smoke or are involved in questionable activities is another matter.
Children need to learn that there are many philosophies in this world and most of the time it is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of tolerating differences and learning to live with people who see the world differently.
Simply being different or having a different perspective is not a bad thing. Getting involved in crime, using drugs, smoking, and engaging in risky sexual behavior is another matter.
Your Thoughts On Homeschooling
Nearly 1.5 million children are homeschooled in this country and more parents are choosing homeschool everyday. What is your opinion of homeschool?
Teaching Values and Judgment
Giving children time to develop good judgment and confidence in their judgment before they must confront peer pressure to get involved in undesirable activities is important.
Giving children time to acquire good judgment and confidence goes a long way in helping children avoid so many of the problems we see young people fall prey to in public and private schools everyday.
Children need to learn to use good judgment and make good decisions. They need to learn how to deal with people of questionable character who may attempt to pressure them into engaging in unwise behaviors. They will do that more successfully when they are older and have developed confidence in who they are and what their values are.
Young people are not always confident in standing up for what they know is correct. They want to fit in and they want to be liked.
Sometimes young people place more importance on fitting in than perhaps they should when they are ages 5 through 18.
Helping them establish good values and build confidence in their values will give them the tools they need to stand up to people who may try to influence them adversely.
With good instruction starting early on, children are more likely to form good values. They are less likely to form bad habits and engage in risky activities.
Children and young people are less inclined to feel the need to fit in with people of questionable character when they feel confident that they can stand up to anyone pressuring them to do things they know are risky.
At an older age when they have had a chance to build confidence in good values and behaviors, they are more likely to choose not to smoke or use drugs when confronted with those opportunities.
When children and young people are older and more confident in their abilities and decisions, they are less likely to engage in risky sexual activities and crime when dared or encouraged by peers.
With good instruction, and the time needed to build their confidence and values, young people are far less likely to want to fit in or concern themselves with being liked by people who will bring them down and get them into trouble.
More from Au Fait and Friends on Education and Home Schooling
- Homeschooling: Ways To Socialize Your Child While Homeschooling
Ways you can teach children important social skills while home schooling. Public and private schools are not the only places where a child can learn these skills.
- Who Can Teach Your Home Schooled Children? Must You Do It Or Can You Get Someone Else To Do It?
Must you teach your children yourself if you choose to home school them? Or can you hire someone else to do the teaching? How to handle the instruction of subjects that may not be your forté, or suggestions on how to home school if you are working fu
- Teaching Your Children Empathy and Helping Them Develop Emotional Literacy
Ways to teach your children empathy (caring for other people and caring for animals), and why that is so important. Being empathetic is essential to success in all areas of a person's life. Empathy begins at home.
- When Should Children Start Learning Music and How to Play An Instrument?
When should your child begin learning music and/or how to play an instrument? Studies show that children who learn music improve their learning ability in other areas, like math and reading too.
- Home School Update: What Ever Became of the Colfax Boys?
An update on the Colfax boys from "Homeschooling For Excellence" Fame. Their successes and what they are doing now.
- Best Home School Schedule For Your Child and Your Family
Planning your home school schedule. Making a schedule for home school that works for your child and for you and your whole family.
- Give Your Baby a Head Start -- It's never too early to start preparing your child for success.
Activities that are both fun for your baby and developmentally useful in helping your child get an early start on learning.
- Give Your Toddler a Head Start -- Part 2 of Educating Your Child For Success
Part 2, as promised, in the educating your child for success series. This article takes up where the article about giving your baby a head start left off.
- Homeschooling Questionnaire: Is Home Schooling Right For You?
Questionnaire to help parents determine if home schooling is right for their children and their family.
- Book Review: The Core-Knowledge Series edited by E. D. Hirsch, Jr.
A review of The Core-Knowledge Series of books edited by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. These books are an excellent guide for home schooling parents and all parents who want to make sure important subject matter isn't being left out of their child's educational e
- Education: This High School Dropout Went to Harvard!
High school dropouts can make their dreams come true in spite of a mistake made as a teenager. This is the story of one high school dropout who did just that. So get out your dreams and dust them off!
- Single Sex Classrooms -- Dividing the Instruction and Education That Girls and Boys Receive
Public schools are going single sex in the classroom. Segregation in the classroom has always been a negative. Dr. Leonard Sax says children get confused when they do not have stereotypical toys and he believes children should be taught manhood and w
- Measuring Reading Fluency
Phonological, orthographic, semantic, and contextual levels of lingusitic awareness are necessary for measuring reading fluency. Take a short simple test to see if you demonstrate reading fluency.
© 2011 C E Clark