The public school system is a source of concern for many parents who want the best education for their children. When considering schooling options, parents should think carefully about homeschooling before deciding for or against this popular alternative.
Why to Home School Your Child
Despite the criticisms of homeschooling, this alternative schooling option has been growing in popularity. There may well be over 2 million home schooled children in the United States today according to various sources. So why do parents chose to home school their children?
Educational Benefits to Homeschooling
Homeschooling may be a better option for those children who need to be taught at a faster or slower pace than the school curriculum allows. Homeschooling parents can teach in a way that specifically targets their children’s particular learning styles. They can provide immediate and appropriate feedback for their children’s efforts and allow them the time to explore their interests related to what they are learning. Homeschooling also teaches children that learning can happen anywhere, not just within the school building.
Social Benefits to Homeschooling
Many critics of homeschooling point to a lack of social interaction as a major problem. Instead of seeing this as a problem, many parents are looking for ways to have their children interact with others across a more broad age spectrum. Instead of simply having their children interact with their peers in the same age bracket each day, they are able to have their children interact with children and adults across a variety of ages, teaching them how to appropriately interact with all ages.
Moral Benefits to Homeschooling
When teaching their children at home, parents have the opportunity to teach and reinforce their morals each day in every situation that comes up, both in the educational setting as well as in the real world setting. Homeschooling enables parents to bring their children with them when running errands and actively teach each day how morals affect every decision they make, instead of to having to discuss the child’s decisions after the fact in the evenings after school. Homeschooling allows more time for families to spend with their children, teaching and guiding them instead of leaving that job to the public or private school teachers for the majority of the day.
Why to Not Home School Your Child
Homeschooling can be time consuming and costly, and parents who are not ready to spend the time, money and effort that it takes to give their children the best education possible should not homeschool. Each state has different laws regarding homeschooling families in an effort to protect the children from parents who are incapable or unwilling to teach their children appropriately.
There are a lot of resources and support groups for home school families, and yet it is not an easy choice. Parents who need to both work or who are unable or unwilling to spend the extra time, money and effort to properly educate their children need to consider either public or private schooling options.
Much time and thought should be put into the decision to home school. Thinking through the educational, social and moral ramifications of homeschooling is only part of the decision. Parents must also think about their time, their children’s educational needs and whether they feel capable of teaching their children at home.
Parents who do make the decision to home school should make the commitment for one year only, and after the conclusion of the school year, reevaluate the decision to ensure that it is working for their children.