As of 2018, there are over 2.3 million homeschooled students in the United States. The homeschool population is growing so fast that it is now considered a more “mainstream” style of education, where just 10 years ago, it was considered “alternative.” Research is showing that homeschooled students tend to do better on tests and in college than their peers in public schools. Besides that fact alone, there are many other reasons to consider homeschooling your children. Here are 12 of the reasons why more parents are choosing to teach their children at home:
12 Reasons to Consider Homeschooling
1. Kids learn at their own pace.
Let’s be honest, not every kid learns at the same speed or with the same processes. One child may learn better through reading, while another need a more visual approach. One child may excel at language classes while another excels in math. Children in public schools are often pushed to learn more quickly than they need to fully understand something. Or they learn more quickly than the rest of their peers and then get bored. With homeschooling, you get to dictate the pace and style. You know how your child best learns and can give extra attention or more advanced work when needed.
2. They can study a wide variety of topics.
Kids in public school these days are pretty much taught the very basics of education, and not much else. Only when you get into college are you able to take more varied and focused elective classes, but by then it may be too little, too late. If your child wants to learn everything about playing the violin, but the public school doesn’t offer classes for string instruments, he is missing out on something he may be really good at or passionate about. If a child wants to learn how to sew or knit or bake . . . not many public schools offer these types of things. But a homeschooler can dive deep into a wide variety of subjects and skills, while still learning all the basics.
3. You can create your own curriculum.
As already discussed, every child is different with different learning styles and interests and strengths and weaknesses. Every parent is different too. One homeschool mama might want to be very hands-on in educating her child while another mom prefers the child self-teach in some respects. No two homeschooling families teach or learn the same, and that’s the beauty of being able to build your own curriculum. And there are a plethora of options out there! From Christian-based to completely secular to anything in between, you can pick and choose how you set up your school year for your family.
4. Kids can learn anytime, anywhere.
Back in the good old days, kids would learn how to count, add, subtract and multiply by helping out at the family store. Kids would learn how plants grew by tending a garden. Most, if not all, learning was done with practical application and not in a classroom. In my opinion, kids learn best when they learn at their pace and outside the confines of a schoolroom. Homeschooling kids can learn at the kitchen table, out on the patio, at their desk, or while waiting on a sibling to finish dance classes.
5. They can learn important life skills.
One thing public schools do not teach anymore is practical life skills. Even when I was in public school (a million years ago, it seems) no one taught us how to balance a checkbook or how to understand loan amortization schedules. These things would have greatly benefitted me when I entered college and had to manage my own finances (and got a bunch of student loans I didn’t fully understand). It’s a shame that our kids aren’t being taught how to survive in the real world on a practical level, and instead being forced to pass calculus despite the fact that most will never need to use it.
6. Creativity and imagination is nurtured, not stifled.
It’s a very sad thing to me that many public schools are cutting creative programs because they don’t have the funding. This means that art, music, dance, theater and other creative outlets are being removed from our kids’ learning resources. For me, this is not acceptable. I come from a legacy of creative minds and the arts are life to my family and many other families. Pursuing creative interests also stimulates parts of a child’s brain that are essential to proper learning and development. With homeschooling, you can nurture your child’s particular talents and creative interests and watch them shine!
7. Kids are taught to be lifelong learners.
When you’re allowed to learn at your own pace, encouraged to dig into subjects that interest you, and allowed to express your creativity, why wouldn’t you want to learn for the rest of your life?
8. They can learn to play with and appreciate kids of all ages.
How do homeschooled kids get to practice socialization if they’re stuck at home all day? Most homeschool families have their children enrolled in activities that provide plenty of social interaction with other kids of all ages. Activities such as dance classes, art or cooking classes, church activities or community service programs. Additionally, a lot of homeschool families participate in homeschool co-ops. Homeschool co-ops are a group of families that meet together and work cooperatively toward a common goal, such as academics, sports, creative activities, etc. There is no lack of opportunity for social interaction with kids of all ages when you’re a homeschooled child.
9. Kids can learn with fewer distractions.
When children are learning at home, there is far less opportunity for them to become distracted. There are no noisy or disrespectful classmates or other common distractions that happen in a traditional classroom. Moreover, homeschooling can be a lifesaver for kids who have behavioral or attention issues. This goes back to the child having the opportunity to learn at his own pace. This may include slowing down and taking breaks as needed. Easily distracted kids will often thrive in the homeschooled environment.
10. You are able to work on behavior issues and work ethic.
It is far easier to address behavioral issues when a child is homeschooled. Teachers who are overseeing 20+ kids often don’t have time or energy to cater to the behavioral issues of one or two children. So the underlying causes of these issues may never be flushed out and corrected. Similarly, a child whose work ethic may need a little work will benefit from the personalized attention of a homeschool environment.
11. You can teach your own values.
Many homeschool parents choose to homeschool because they want to control the values that are being fed to their children in their learning environment. Christian parents often want to teach Biblical values along with traditional academic studies. Secular parents can make sure their kids aren’t being taught religious values they may not subscribe to. Whatever the case may be, these parents get to choose the underlying current of values and morals that their children are ingesting on a daily basis.
12. You can customize your own schedule.
This is a huge perk of homeschooling, in my opinion! Many homeschooling families complete their daily studies in half the time that traditional school students do. They’re then free to spend the remainder of the day learning in other unique ways. Such as extra curricular activities or co-op groups or just simple practical life skills. Moreover, these families are not constrained by a strict school year schedule. They can take vacation or time off as needed while still getting their school work done.
I am sure most homeschool families would be able to offer many more benefits to this list of why homeschooling is something to consider for your child. Regardless of how you choose to educate your child, having supportive and attentive parents at home make a world of difference in how well a child does in his or her formative school years.