6.5% Rise In Homeschooling, But Why?

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Stats don’t lie. At the moment, they say the number of kids who are homeschooled across the US is 1,500,000. Compare this to 2016 and the number was 1,300,000, a rise of 6.5%. There is no doubt that homeschooling is becoming more popular, but the question is why?

Homework routine

Source: Wikimedia Commons

After all, the majority of parents see education as vital to their kids’ upbringing and rely on ‘professionals.’ The reasons are underneath, just a few of them.

 

Education Inequality

In 2016, theatlantic.com did a bit of digging and found some disturbing figures. On average, the publication concluded that schools in higher income areas spend $6,000 more than poorer schools. Quite simply, there is a huge divide between rich and poor/middle-class kids in America. So even if you put your child in the local public school, if you live in a poorer school district, you will not get the same education as the families from gated communities. Public school does not always mean the same access to the same resources for all children.

 

Cost Effective Materials

Yes, but how can parents bridge the financial gap? Let’s face it – kids that go to public schools tend to come from deprived backgrounds. So, it doesn’t seem that the families who can benefit the most will have the resources. It is a savvy distinction to make, but it isn’t the case thanks to thrifty parents. Moms and dads know that resources like DontPayFull.com are excellent places to find reading and teaching materials. Plus, a single iPad or mobile device is not difficult to find online. Then, there is the personal time, which doesn’t cost a penny.

 

One-On-One Time

Because schools are underfunded, teaching resources are at breaking point. That doesn’t just mean the computers and textbooks. The main resource, the teacher, is in a catch-22 position. They want to improve the quality of the teaching, but it is hard when they have 30 to 40 kids per classroom. As a result, the personal, one-on-one time for most kids need isn’t forthcoming. When they are at home, the teacher only has one or two pupils to educate. OK, maybe four or five. It’s still less than 30. Therefore, there is additional quality time and more opportunity for the children to learn.

 

Curriculum Tweaks

To get results, teachers opt for the tried and tested route. This might sound like a good idea, but one size doesn’t fit all. Indeed, kids are unique in every way, and a teacher needs to make tweaks for this reason. At home, you are the boss and you choose what and how your children learn. The flexibility which comes with homeschooling is something parents and kids alike love. It originates from the fact that you know them the best, so you understand what works.

 

Bullying

School is not only about learning. There is a social aspect, and it isn’t always positive. In the United States, 40% of kids in grades 4-12 say they get bullied at school. As a parent, it is your job to make sure your children are safe and happy at all times, but the stats don’t lie. As a result, it is not rare for moms and dads to take their kids out of school to negate bullying altogether.

 

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Deciding to Homeschool

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It took me years to make this decision. Here’s the background…

Back in 1993, I moved from Romania to the United States on a college scholarship. Some of my classmates had been homeschooled K-12. Their maturity level and quality of social interaction were well above average. Mental note #1.

I read Dr. Raymond Moore’s “Better Late Than Early” for my Education minor. Mental note #2.

In 1999 and in 2001, I worked alongside Dr. Moore himself. I understood a bit more about homeschooling as I watched the tutors at The Moore Foundation counsel with parents over the phone. Mental note #3.

A decade, a wedding, and two children later, I started looking at educational options for my children. My private school of choice was one hour away. Not feasible. Our public school system produces National Merit Scholars, but I felt a tug at my heart about teaching my own. Besides the tug, I felt insecurity and fear that I would not know how to homeschool. I prayed for wisdom and figured that if this were a calling, things would fall into place.

I also decided knowledge would be power, so I got knowledge. I spent hundreds of hours pouring over how-to-homeschool manuals, magazines and blogs, over a period of eighteen months. Kind of like a master’s degree in education, but without the $30,000+ piece of paper called “Diploma.”

What I found was inspiring and liberating. I felt I was home free. Literally. Mental note #4.

My husband and I decided it was worth a try. I am leaving out many details, which I will tackle one at a time in future posts.

This blog is my way of giving back to the cyber space which offered me so much information and asked for nothing in return.

2013 may be the year we start homeschooling officially, but we already have eight years under our belts as parent teachers. How so? I hear you ask. Well, tell me, dear reader, don’t we all teach our children since birth? Every step they take, every word they say, every skill they acquire, they all come with guidance from parents. Not to mention colors, shapes, letters, numbers, animals, manners, Latin… Well, maybe not quite the Latin part yet, but you get my point.

Then, I count each child’s age separately, not cumulatively. Why? Because every child is unique. Every child learns differently. That requires different skills and methods from me as their teacher. My children are three and five as I type. As such, I have 3+5=8 years of experience in preschool. Voilà! Eight years in the trenches, molding and shaping little hands, hearts and heads.

My hope for this blog is that it will become a forum where questions can be asked and answered by people interested in home education.

What about you? How did you decide (not) to homeschool?

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No Dress Rehearsal

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Hello there! Thanks for stopping by. I like you already.

This is my blog’s first post. Who am I? What is this blog about?

I am a teacher in a private school that is so exclusive, one must be born into it. You guessed it. I homeschool.

People homeschool for many reasons these days. I homeschool because life does not come with a dress rehearsal. This is it. My children are small only once. I love them and I like them and I want to spend time with them.

In the United States, where I live, school is seven hours a day, which means my children would spend more of their awake time with their teachers and classmates than with me. I’m not OK with that. More on that, in future blog posts.

I created this blog to record our official homeschooling journey from the beginning, as our oldest starts kindergarten this fall.

In this blog, I also plan to:

  • identify the problems a homeschooling mom may face and how to solve them
  • celebrate the joys and the a-ha moments
  • ask questions about homeschooling nuts and bolts and see about the answers
  • share what I find in my research and, maybe, help somebody in the process.

Expect two posts a week, on Monday and Friday (except for launch week, when I post daily in order to hit the cyber ground running). Occasionally though, as things happen and inspiration strikes, I will post on other days of the week as well. So be sure to subscribe via RSS feed or email or follow along through Facebook for fun updates, helpful tips and encouraging words.

Have you ever thought of homeschooling? Please leave me a comment below and…

Happy reading!

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