Why Homeschooling Can Be Better than Public Schooling
The question is often asked how parents can possibly teach their own children. They don't have any formal teacher training. Teachers often have specialized knowledge of their subjects that parents lack.
This is very true. Homeschooling parents generally have no formal teaching skills. They are often learning material right before they teach it to their children. So, why is it that homeschooling parents seem to be doing a much better job than public schools?
In another hub titled Do Homeschoolers Really Do Better on Standardized Tests?, I addressed the fact that homeschoolers tend to do better on standardized tests and are overrepresented in academic contests. While researching that particular hub, I was surprised and troubled to see how underrepresented public school students were. Why aren't the professionals doing a better job? A big reason is that homeschooling offers many benefits that classroom teachers simply don't enjoy.
Benefits of Homeschooling
- Teachers are part of a bureaucracy, so they are limited in what they can do. If a teacher thinks the mandated math curriculum isn't working, they can't change it. They have to do their best with the tools they are given. A homeschooling parent has the luxury of finding a curriculum that works for their child.
- A homeschooling parent knows immediately when a child doesn't understand the material or when they are tuning out. The parent can alter the lesson and try different approaches to help their child.
- Homeschooling is self-paced. If something is too easy, you can move on quickly. If a child is struggling with a concept, you can slow down and take more time. A classroom can't be paced to the level of each individual student.
- It is easier for a parent to bring material down to a child's level. We know what they know and what interests them. This makes it easier to connect new material to things they already know.
- Homeschoolers can cover material throughout the day and on the weekends. My daughter is currently learning skip counting and has been struggling with counting by 2's and 5's. We skip count in the car or right before reading at bedtime to improve her abilities. It is harder for a teacher with 20 to 30 students to know if one or a few of them are struggling with a concept. When they do find out, they have a limited amount of time in the school day to work with that child.
- A homeschooler can learn in a couple of hours what a student in a school would learn in a whole day. This gives homeschool children more time to read, draw, build legos, watch educational shows or whatever else they want to do. They can spend more time on personal interests.
- A parent knows when their child is hungry or frustrated and can schedule a break. A teacher can't schedule a break anytime they think their students need one. If a child is very tired, a parent may teach far less or focus on fun learning activities only. This way, children are always being taught when they are at their best.
Homeschooling has many advantages that group schooling lacks. Homeschool parents have so many luxuries that teachers lack, such as the ability to individually pace learning and individualize material. If done right, homeschooling can be far superior to school for many children.