Moms: are you seriously considering home schooling your child?
This is a big decision to make. But make no mistake:
There are many benefits to homeschooling. For both parents and children.
In 2016 approximately 2.3 million children were homeschooled in the United States. This is not something on the fringe of society anymore. Homeschooling is a legitimate option for many of us, and for many different reasons.
The pros of home schooling these days will far outweigh the perceived negatives for most of us.
Time has moved on, and educating your child at home no longer means they’re going to be secluded and outcast from their peers. In fact part of homeschooling is making sure that doesn’t happen. And don’t worry – it’s nowhere near as hard as some people might like you to think.
Let’s look at the pros of homeschooling so you can start looking at this with a new state of mind, and from a new angle (I say this from the point of view of someone who is well experienced in hearing the negative comments from so many directions about my interest in home schooling).
The benefits of home education/schooling include:
There’s no way around it: home schooling means your child has a curriculum all to him or herself. Yes, you’ll be following the recommended learning outcomes for your child’s year, but you will have a lot of room to move still when it comes to creating a much more individual learning environment.
You will know your child’s interests and their strengths. As they get older you might choose to focus much more heavily on certain subjects and outcomes.
In a standard classroom environment, a student’s strengths will not necessarily be discovered let alone followed through with more in depth and tailored learning – but this is something you will be in a perfect position to do when homeschooling.
Homeschooling surveys repeatedly pinpoint safety as one of the reasons parents have made the decision to educate their child at home.
It’s not a stretch to understand why given the fraught world we live in today. Being concerned about your child’s safety doesn’t mean they are being “wrapped in cotton wool”.
There’s simply no escaping that safety and security is consistently stated as a widespread reason for some parents in making their decision to home school.
While home schooling requires discipline and routine, you also get more room to be flexible. And that’s not only when it comes to time flexibility (after all, you will very likely be wanting to stick to school hours as much as possible).
It also means flexibility about what is being taught, at what level, and for how long. You can change lessons or subjects at a moment’s notice if necessary, and your child can provide feedback about what can be improved.
Making these changes on the fly with a classroom full of students is near impossible for a teacher, but at home it’s the increased flexibility that can provide great benefits to a child.
One on One
In a classroom of 20 or 30 children, your child is rarely going to get any one on one time with the teacher. Teachers are run off their feet with increasingly larger classes, and varying levels of need from each individual child in the class.
At home, your child gets total one on one time.
Whether it’s from you, or from a tutor who might assist from time to time. Put simply this allows the complete catering of each lesson to your child’s level, and the advancement at the pace that suits your child.
He or she won’t be held back by other students, nor will the learning go at too fast of a pace where your child can be left behind. This one on one environment is certainly one of the major advantages of home schooling and one of the big reasons many parents go down this path.
With modern day hectic schedules, family members can become like strangers.
Kids who rarely see their parents due to heavy work schedules, and this in itself can lead to anxiety within the family. As a parent who is considering homeschooling, your own work schedule is an equal part of the equation that you’ll be considering when it comes to planning home learning.
If you can make it work, the extra time spent with your children provides significant benefits to all. It can be difficult for a young child to see it this way, but in time many home schooled kids can come to greatly appreciate the stronger family bond that has formed.
The trend of homeschooling in the United States has been steadily increasing over the past 20 years.
The impacts of Covid has led to a homeschooling surge, but whether or not that dramatic increase will continue is something we will need to wait and see.
In any case, the continual upward trend of homeschooling for ages 5 to 17 is a clear indicator that more and more parents have found this to be a viable and effective option for part or all of their child’s education.
Is homeschooling really worth it?
Around 7% of school aged children in the US are being home schooled, and this number has been steadily rising. This means the parents of over 3 million school aged kids in the United States have found that homeschool is worth it - for a great variety of reasons. Parent-led home based learning continues to provide parents with an option for shaping their child's education outside the traditional school system - but with outcomes that can equal or exceed it.
Are homeschooled students more successful?
Measuring outcomes of any schooling environment is complex. What is a successfully educated child and how is that measured?
What we do know is that to date there is no evidence that homeschooled students have lesser quality outcomes or lower achievements than those educated in the public school system.(1)
Why do parents decide to homeschool their child?
There are countless reasons why millions of parents have chosen to homeschool their children. This often includes religious reasons, but modern day increases in homeschooling are occurring for reasons well beyond religious or moral based reasons. It includes safety and environmental factors, convenience, and peer pressure or bullying related reasons. More and more parents in the US are also naming dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at school as being a primary reason for homeschooling.
How does homeschooling work in USA?
Homeschooling is mostly regulated by the states in the US. Each state can have vastly different requirements and guidelines for educating your child at home. New York has some of the most stringent requirements and documentation, while at the other end of the spectrum is a state such as Alaska which has minimal oversight or reporting requirements. So it's critical that you are aware of the legal requirements for home education in your own state.
1. A Review of research on Homeschooling and what might educators learn? Brian Ray