Submitted by: J. Thum
Are you considering homeschooling? Or are you already homeschooling and need to remind yourself why you’re doing it? If so, read on. I asked the experts—my six grown, homeschooled, offspring—for their input. The list below represents their responses, along with my own, to the question “What are some of the benefits of homeschooling?”
- Protection from school bullies or other mean-spirited people
- No exposure to contagious sicknesses passed around in public schools
- Drama, theatre, arts and crafts, music, foreign languages, hobby interests, apprenticeship activities, and more in the curriculum
- Curriculum takes into consideration individual ability and talents
- Very bright/gifted children are not held back, slower children are not stigmatized and labeled
- Individual learning styles can be matched with appropriate materials
- Student-to-teacher ratio allows for individualized attention.
- Parents as teachers adds an emotional/psychological component that boosts the learning experience, strengthens family bonds
- Can move through the lesson plans at faster or slower paces as needed
- Not restricted to classrooms with only same age children
- Curriculum is based on ability, not age
- Preschoolers watching older siblings do school work are influenced to also want to learn
- Older siblings can tutor younger siblings, nurturing their relationship, building positive character traits, developing leadership skills
- No school dress code or pressure to conform to the dictates of current fads in fashion
- Available learning time is not spent driving to a school building, waiting for attendance, or walking from classroom to classroom, so more gets done in a day
- Freedom to eat and drink whenever (according to parent’s rules), or go to the bathroom without having to ask for permission
- Schedule can be shifted/adjusted to allow more sleep or time off to accommodate stressful cycles, sickness, or puberty
- High school age teens can take college classes without having to go through the approval of a principal or counselor, a process that in some states is very selective and limited
- Apprenticeship training can be provided at any age as part of the curriculum
- Children become resourceful, independent, self-directed learners
- No more worries about safety during a time when school shootings and other violent acts on school grounds have become frequent.
- Concerns about children’s identification with or rejection by school cliques is not a problem
- Freedom from labelling of children based on GPA or academic performance and the associated problem of self-fulfilling prophecy
- Don’t have to worry about children being influenced by negative peer pressure
- Full control over curriculum
- Not forced to deal with teachers, textbooks, and lesson plans you do not agree with
- Prayer and religious training may be added to the school curriculum
- History that public schools do not teach related to religious figures, leaders, saints, or missionaries may be taught
- Refresh and review material you learned long ago while you teach
- Learn new material as you teach
- No need to start the day in a mad rush to get children dressed, fed, and out the door
- Transporting children back and forth to a school building is no longer a necessity
- No cancellation of school due to snow days
- More time and opportunities for parents to help their children develop positive character traits
- More freedom and flexibility to allow for deeper study of those topics that children show a greater interest in.
- Schedule can be changed to accommodate the needs of the parents
- Family bonds are strengthened as more quality time is spent together
- More homecooked meals, lunches may be eaten together as a family
- School lunch issues are eliminated, no more forgotten lunches or lunch money accidentally left at home, no more having to send in money for the school’s cafeteria food
- Schedule is more flexible and can accommodate the changing needs of the family
- Families have control over the school days, which days of the week and length of the day their school days will be, and the length of the school year.
- Homeschool may operate year-round
- Time off for holidays, holy days, or special occasions, is determined by the family
- Vacation time can be taken any time of the year.
- Homeschool can be in session while on the road, travelling and exploring new places, making geography, history, and culture come alive
So, there you have it! One family’s favorite benefits of homeschooling. There are many more that we haven’t addressed, but this list will surely show that there’s more to homeschooling than a casual glance affords.
In the end, whether you homeschool or not, it’s important to keep in mind these needs concerning the education of our children: to maintain our parental rights regarding educating our own, to protect our children from harm and from influences that are not to our liking, to protect their individuality and uniqueness, to give them daily religious training, and to make sure they are being taught in ways that foster strong family ties and family values.