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Benefits of Homeschooling
Homeschooling has many benefits, and different families will put more importance on some benefits than others. I have homeschooled since 2003 and have graduated one child and am about to graduate a second this year; I still have 2 more at home. Before we started homeschooling my children went to public and private schools, so I can contrast their homeschooling experience with their regular 'school' experiences. Looking back over the years, these are the 4 major benefits we have derived from homeschooling.
1. A Learning Style to Fit Each Child
If you have more than one child, you will know that each child has a very different personality. They also will each have their own learning styles. Some are auditory learners, some visual, some hands-on and some a combination of these.
In a typical classroom situation it is impossible for a teacher to let each child learn in the style that suits them best - but it is very easy to do this if you homeschool. You can tailor your homeschool program to fit the learning style of each child.
This will enable your child to assimilate new information as quickly as possible, and without getting frustrated.
Books on learning styles
This was one of the reasons we chose to homeschool. My husband travels abroad regularly, and we wanted to be able to accompany him occasionally. Homeschooling has given us the flexibility to do this - in fact we took a 7 week trip around Asia and Europe a few years ago. (We took school with us). You can also make local trips when you want to, without your children's education suffering.
Of course there are other areas of flexibility too - when you start school each year, whether you school year-round or not, what curriculum you use. As a homeschooler you get to decide all these things - and you can make them fit your family and your schedule.
A homeschool family's travels through the 50 States
My girls loved this book. The writer traveled through all 50 states at the age of 12 collecting the signatures of all the governors. This trip tells the story. Of course, she was homeschooled to be able to do this.
3. A Rich Educational Experience
There are some great public and private school teachers out there (I know - I follow some of their blogs!) and kids in their classes will be getting a great education. But sadly, many students have sub-standard educational experiences at school. As a homeschool parent you can be sure your children are stimulated and finding enjoyment in their studies.
There are so many resources available today - I use curriculum that incorporates wonderful books that make our studies come to life, and then I add in computer games and jigsaw puzzles and movies and board games and hands-on kits that relate to what we have learned. As a result my kids love to learn.
In addition, I can tweak their educational experience to fit their interests and abilities. I have allowed my kids to select electives that interest them. Some electives they have chosen have been Game Theory, Logic, Computer Graphic Design and History of Cinema. This allows them to delve deeper into areas they may be considering for a future career.
Some of our Favorite Resources
Use detective skills to figure out whether a famous work of art is the original - or a fraud. A fun way to study art history.
A fabulous and fun travel documentary. Michael Palin seeks to emulate Phineas Fogg's feat and circumvent the globe in 80 days - using only transport Phineas could have used. No better way to learn geography!
My boys LOVED these videos - and now you can get the whole series (552 minutes) as a set. They watch science in action!
A great way to learn Geography - put the world together! Each puzzle piece is in the shape of the country it represents.
Explore Ancient Egypt in this gripping adventure game. It does have a few scary moments, so save this for older elementary and up students.
A fun way to expose your children to classical music. Zany lyrics are set to upbeat classical music. Click through to Amazon to listen to samples for yourself.
4. Teaching from your Worldview
No education is neutral. Any teacher teaches with their worldview, their assumptions coloring everything they teach. Homeschooling allows you to teach from your worldview. I appreciate being able to filter everything we learn through a biblical worldview. If your children are in school, you may or may not agree with the worldviews of their teachers. Of course, you can still discuss what they are learning at home - but it is so much harder to do that effectively.
I choose to teach my children what other people believe as well, so
they can compare worldviews. For instance, we study the theory of
evolution even though I believe in God, the intelligent designer of our
universe. We study global warming, even though I think there are many fallacies in the theories proposed by scientists who believe in it. I would not like my children to be in a school where only one worldview is taught ... I would rather teach my children to be able to evaluate conflicting ideas for themselves.
Homeschooled or Homeschooler?
What would be your main reason to homeschool?
Some pages I have written to help homeschool parents
- All about Education ... and how to make it fun! (My blog)
- Fun Ways to Teach Kids Geography
Do your children know where India is? Or what the capital of Wisconsin is? Do they know where they could see Ayers Rock and what language is spoken in Egypt? As computers and the internet and air travel turn our world into a global village, it is mor
- Teach your Kids Computer Programming
Parents all know their kids need as many computer skills as possible. But they don't always know where to start. This is particularly true when it comes to computer programming. Parents may not be able to program themselves, or if they can, the langu