Why Homeschool Children At All
Main Reasons For Homeschooling
The public education system often does an incredible job. It’s produced quite a number of successful people and industry giants, all for relatively little out of pocket. It definitely has its problems, though. Sometimes the instruction isn’t conducive to a child’s particular learning style, sometimes the school isn’t a healthy environment for a child to be in, and sometimes parents just want to exert a little more influence over what and how their kids learn. These are just a few of the motivators for homeschooling children. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the important things to consider before and after embarking on this journey.
Some people seem to believe that parents can teach their kids whatever they want if they’re homeschooling them. While technically this is true, states maintain a set of standards that homeschooling parents should abide by if they want their child to have the same chances everyone else has when applying for university and to have knowledge comparable to that of traditionally schooled children. Instead of going through all the work of developing curricula to cater to all of these standards independently, parents have the option of purchasing pre-developed, standards-compliant curricula for different subjects. This is obviously faster and easier than building courses oneself.
These curricula don’t have to be followed strictly, however. Parents are free to omit or add information to these courses; they act more as baselines off of which to work than anything else, and for that reason, can be powerful and necessary tools for homeschooling parents.
Because homeschooled children aren’t exposed to the same social climate that traditionally schooled children are, many worry that their social skills and development might suffer. While this is interestingly not usually the case, it can be addressed by attending various conventions and activities offered to and by the homeschooling community, and by enrolling children in privately run sports leagues or extracurriculars. In many ways, this allows them a fuller exposure to the community, as these leagues and conventions are not restricted to students of a particular school. It’s even occasionally possible to join the local public school’s sports teams, which might be a better option for some people.
When testing in a homeschooling environment, parents have to be careful not to be biased. To encourage this, most tests are proctored and graded by someone with no relation to the child or the parent. While this seems obvious, it’s important that universities have your proctor records if they are to look at the grades your child has received in a favorable light. It is, after all, the only way they can ensure the grading is consistent with the scales at competing public schools.
On the positive side of things is the fact that parents can develop tests in a way they believe fairly evaluate their child’s knowledge. This has to be done carefully, as well, but creating an exam that really gets to the heart of the matter is not something the educational system is well-known for, so the ability to rectify it is a valuable one.