Homeschooling was once considered an unconventional choice. It was thought that homeschoolers were the free-spirited hippy families, the ultra religious groups, or those who were trying to hide from society. The truth is that these were never the main groups homeschooling. The choice to home educate children grew out of a movement that included academics, concerned parents, and education reformers.
Today, homeschooling offers families the ability to give their children a personalized and flexible learning experience. From individualized learning to superior academic performance to better family bonding, homeschooling has advantages for children, parents, family, and society.
Many parents don’t give a second thought to sending their children to the public school down the street. It’s just what people do, right? But children don’t actually need school to learn and thrive. Compulsory public education rose out of the industrial revolution in an attempt to standardize education. This resulted in an education model that was less about true education and more about creating a workforce that could be easily trained for all the new industrialized work that was materializing. John Dewey believed that “education is a regulation of the process of coming to share in the social consciousness; and that the adjustment of individual activity on the basis of this social consciousness is the only sure method of social reconstruction.”
Better For Children
But how do children learn? What do they do when given the opportunity to pursue their interests? How can we best support children as they encounter new ideas? The answers to these questions is the heart of the homeschooling ideal.
Children learn best when they have parents who provide an attentive education that is customized to their needs and interests. They need the space and support to explore, experiment, and engage with the world around them.
The benefits of homeschooling for children are undeniable. They score higher on standardized tests than their public school counterparts, they have robust and rich social lives, they interact with people of all ages well and comfortably, and they pursue specialized courses of study and hobbies in freedom.
Better for Parents
Ask any new homeschool who recently pulled their kids out of public school what makes homeschooling better, and you’ll quickly hear the word “peace.” I’ve spoken to many homeschoolers who tell tales of the chaos of rushing out the door to drop kids off at a neighborhood school (or two or three if there is a large age span between siblings). There are out-of-school activities at the end of the day, homework, rushed dinners without everyone present, and very tired kids.
Homeschooling breaks these chains and puts the power back into the parents’ hands. Of course, modern life means that there are still appointments and co-ops and sports and church gatherings, but making the choice to homeschool lets you be in control of those things. You can choose what works for your family and skip the rest. Kids get enough rest and can have downtime when they need it.
As a parent, you will also finally have the ability to truly help your children, especially if they are struggling learners, have a disability, or simply have a personality or temperament that clashes with the public school set-up. If you have a gifted child, there is no holding you or your child back. If you want to spend extra time on math, you can do that. If you want learning to be mostly outdoor and involved in lots of activities, then you can tailor your children’s experiences as much as you’d like.
Better for Families
Many new homeschooling families will tell you that one of their bigger fears when making the leap was that there would be lots of fighting among siblings at home. The pleasant surprise is that homeschooling strengthens family bonds. The very nature of family learning, where there are shared experiences, collaboration, and flexibility leads to more cooperation among siblings.
There are also lots more opportunities for social and emotional growth. Your children aren’t spending the majority of their time with just kids their own age. The public school model doesn’t allow for much interaction between children of various ages. Homeschoolers are learning and interacting with everyone from babies to teens to adults in many different settings. From a field trip to the local aquarium to a part-time job at the library to learning in a homeschool co-op, both in-home and communal activities offer diverse social opportunities.
Better for Society
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the whole world suddenly began homeschooling. Many parents reported that they were seeing reduced stress levels in their children. But they were simultaneously noticing that the rigidity of the typical public school teaching model was not a good fit. It is understandable that schools tried to maintain their educational methods over Zoom classes, but most parents realized that this wasn’t very successful.
Since the pandemic, the popularity of homeschooling has continued to rise. The opportunity to stay at home and learn together as a family proved to be very attractive for many parents. One notable difference between typical public schooling and home education is the ability to specialize learning and provide extra support for our struggling learners. When children have all their needs met in a safe and productive environment, they will thrive.
Ideally, advocates of public schooling would open their eyes and minds to the enhanced and diverse learning approaches that the home education model offers. There is much to gain from tailoring curriculum to the unique and individual learning needs of students, fostering creativity, reducing the use of screens in learning, and giving students the time they need to master subjects before barreling through to the next checkbox on the scope and sequence list.
There is also a benefit to society when parents are active participants in their children’s education. Public school advocates agree that this is essential to a successful outcome. But the ability for truly engaged parents to partner with their children’s educators is limited by the very nature of the separation that comes from a public school model.
Homeschooling gives parents the opportunity to engage in daily discussions, do learning activities with their children, have long read-aloud sessions, and take their children out to see the world. And when your children see you learning right alongside them, they will grow to be lifelong learners. By encouraging them to pursue their passions and talents, they gain self-confidence that will benefit not only themselves, but the community they live in.
The Promise of More Advantages
As homeschooling becomes more popular, we’ll begin to see what else is in store for the children, families, and communities that benefit from this educational choice. The growth of a hybrid school model is one of those new innovations. Rather than sending your children away for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, they can participate in a hybrid academy, spending one or two days in communal learning, and having at-home time to focus on lessons and personal endeavors.
The revolution to a greater work-at-home workforce allows families to make choices that are best for them. They can travel when they want, and more families will have the freedom to move to a place that is ideal for their family instead of being stuck in a geographic location due to work and school.
Making the choice to homeschool allows you to create strong family bonds that will pass down from generation to generation. Your children will thrive, your family will grow stronger, and the world will benefit from less financial strain on public education systems. Win-win-win for everyone!
How to Homeschool
Homeschool Bravely: How to Squash Doubt, Trust God, and Teach Your Child with Co...
Homeschool Basics: How to Get Started, Keep Motivated, and Bring Out the Best in...
Home Learning Year by Year, Revised and Updated: How to Design a Creative and Co...
How to homeschool the kids you have: Advice from the kitchen table
The Homeschooling Starter Guide: How to Create and Adapt the Best Education Acti...
How To Homeschool: A Purse-Sized Guide to Getting Started
The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming the Wonder in Your Child's Educat...
The Everything Guide To Homeschooling: All You Need to Create the Best Curriculu...
Homeschool How-To: Simple Steps to Get You Started Today
How to Homeschool: A Guide for Progressive Parents