More and more parents are opting to be more involved in educating their children. Home education, or most commonly known as homeschooling, has increased its popularity over the years, especially in the United States. Homeschooling is where you or a tutor teaches your kids at home, instead of sending them to the more conventional classroom setting in public and private schools.
Parents cite many reasons why they choose to homeschool their children. The most prevalent reasons they cite are:
Lack of confidence in the conventional school system
Parents are not convinced the curriculum, teaching method or the quality of academic instruction is appropriate for their children. The conventional school system treats every children in the same level alike, ignoring the varying needs of each child. In contrast, homeschooling focuses on children as individuals. This is consistent with the notion that every child has unique needs and degree of aptitude. One method might be effective for some children in the class, but ineffective for others.
Flexibility of teaching methods
Homeschooling is also more dynamic and flexible. With homeschooling, teaching methodologies can be tailored to fit the capabilities and personality of one’s children. Parents can choose the teaching method or instruction that would fit the aptitude of their children, and better facilitate learning. By doing so, they can better cater for the varying individual aptitude of each children.
Homeschoolers have access to and can use varying teaching materials that are more appropriate for their children. They can select the teaching method and materials based on a child’s individual needs and capabilities. Homeschooling can also be used to teach responsibilities to your children. Parents can incorporate household chores in their teaching method so that children are taught to be responsible at home.
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Interest in participating to their children’s education and learning
Other parents prefer homeschooling so that they can have greater control and supervision over what and how their children are taught. Hands-on parents will want to come along their children’s educational journey. Homeschooling also allows parent to focus on their children’s strengths and weaknesses. They can further enrich their children’s strengths and supplement their weaknesses. In addition, parent-teachers can adjust the pace of how each subject is taught. They can go as fast or as slow in teaching a particular subject, depending on the ability of their children’s needs.
If their child excels in a subject or a particular are, they can accelerate his or her education in that subject or area. Non-conventional materials can be used to help their child learn a particular subject where he or she struggles. Parents can assess the strengths and weaknesses of their children and they can use this knowledge to design future homeschool plans and educational activities or instructions. Homeschooling also allows parent to focus on their children’s strengths and weaknesses. They can further enrich their children’s strengths and supplement their weaknesses.
With homeschooling, the schedule can be very flexible. For example, if the parents will be away from home to go to work, they can leave their children with assignments for tough subjects like math. Later on, they can sit down with their child, discuss the assignment, and show their child how to do math homework or solve math problems personally. This provides more quality one-on-one time for both the parent and the child. Homeschooling, especially for parents who are also the home teachers of their children, serves as a bonding time with their kids.
Unsafe school environment
If you are a parent, the safety of your children is your utmost priority. Ensuring that your children are safe and protected all the time is your number one duty. Parents might feel that their children are not safe in school or in the school environment. Bullying is the number one safety issue of parents with the school environment. Especially today in the age of social media, bullying is no longer restricted to physical harm. With cyber-bullying, bullying will not stop even after school. Unhealthy influence from peers and friends at school is another reason why parents choose to homeschool their children. Homeschooling your children can keep them away from bad habits due to peer influence like smoking, drinking, sexual misconduct and violence.
Although homeschooling has become popular in recent years, some parents are still not convinced that homeschooling is the way to go for their children. Parents cite two main reasons for not homeschooling their children:
Lack of socialization
This is the most common answer that you will get from people when asked why homeschooling is not right for their children. They will tell you that because children are not able to interact and get along with others beyond the members of their family they will not develop their social skills and it can hurt them in the future. This stigma is more of a myth than fact. This is only true if you lock your children inside your home and never allow them to go out and have meaningful outdoor activities. This can be avoided by letting your children join organizations where they can socialize. You can enroll them in a sports clinic, a class at your local science museum, or you can have them join your church choir or an orchestra among others. There are many ways, other than having your child go to school every day, to build their social skills.
Homeschooling is not well rounded
Another criticism of homeschooling is that kids may not get a well-rounded education, and not every parent is equipped to be a good teacher. Parents who are not qualified as teachers might limit the scope of a child’s education. The knowledge that the child will gain will be limited to what the parents think is appropriate, which can be incorrect. Homeschooling also lacks the competition that conventional school system provides. Thus, homeschooled children might miss the inspiration and boost that competition with fellow students might provide. That and other advantages of learning in a classroom setting which homeschooling cannot replicate are pointed as crucial in overall development of children. However, this can be remedied. Parents can always seek external help to ensure that they are doing home education the right way. They can consult experts, and other homeschooling parents for tips.
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So the answer is a resounding “NO, my kids will not miss out on anything if I homeschool them. On the contrary. With the right program in place, my children can have a better education by being homeschooled than if I put them in the local school system.”