So you’ve been tinkering around with the idea of whether or not to educate your youngins at home. Maybe your child is about to be school age and you aren’t sure that you want them to go to public school. Or maybe your kids are already in a learning institution and you are considering taking them out. Not sure you have reason enough? I’m going to give you several of the reasons that many successful families chose to homeschool.
1. Peer influence. Many parents spend the earlier parts of their children’s lives teaching them how to be polite and well mannered. And some of those same parents become disappointed with their once well behaved youngster, because they have fallen into the company of the school delinquent.–As a homeshooling parent, you have a chance to be more involved in whom your child interacts with. Met with a family that doesn’t teach model citizenship? You can choose not to have a second meeting. Too frank? Then join a local homeschool group and observe the multitude. Found some families you like? Invite them for tea and play. Either way you have some level of control.
2. Bullying. I believe that bullying is at an all-time high! It’s not just limited to the big kid pushing others around on the playground. Now teachers are guilty of physical and verbal abuse, and the multiple taunts are following the students home through social media.–Now, I can’t guarantee that your child will never be bullied in your care. In fact, some parents ARE the bully! Assuming this is not the case, it is not impossible for a sibling, cousin, or other family friend to push your kid around. But unlike a school scenario, you can implement discipline or limit the interaction of your child and others, if necessary. This could help your child to feel more secure and you more relaxed!
3. Common Core. The new national standard has not been a favorite of many parents. There are some benefits to this new method, such as if you move to another district, city or state, your child should be in the same grade and on the same level as their new classmates. But there has been argument that the material has been watered down and made more confusing especially with math. There has also been some discontent with the sexual content that is in some of the required reading material. It apparently is very detailed, and one book mentioned, “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison is said to have rape described. Now, I read “Tess of the D’urbervilles” in high school, and I know that an unkind situation happened to her. It was implied and there was a child that gave evidence and clarity to what happened. But the excerpts that I have read from the new required reading is not something that I would want myself to have read in high school, let alone, my own children. There are MANY more arguments that have been made, Google them and the book’s excerpts for yourselves, as everyone has their own thoughts about it.–With home education, you are the one able to find the method(s) and materials that will work best for your child. You can choose to use classic novels for your reading list if you don’t like the current national list. And if you move, there is no change in materials or teacher!
4. Progression. Many parents can feel one of two ways. The material being taught is either too slow of a pace or is too challenging for their child. With the responsibility of 20+ students, some of the students are likely to fall into one of these categories. Kids who excel may be given “busy work”, and those who struggle are sent to “special classes” to work with a student aid if they are fortunate.–At home, your child will be able to move at the pace they need so that they continue to foster a love for learning. There’s no need for embarrassment for a lack of understanding, and there is no hold up for having to wait on others to catch up.
5. Your beliefs. Whether they be religious or not, whatever your philosophies may be could be reason enough to homeschool. I won’t touch on religion too much, because to each is his own, but my husband and I do have certain religious values that we want to impart onto our children without the interference of others. We have known others to feel similar. Your reason could be that you don’t believe in vaccinations. So to lessen your kid’s chances of being exposed to certain things, you homeschool. Again, you are given a choice. One-room schoolhouse or even un-school your children, if that is what works best for your family.
6. Finances. Perhaps you want to send your children to a private institute, but you’re unable to foot the bill. Well, what private school is better than yours?–Now, I will be honest and tell you that it can get expensive if that is the route that you choose to go. Do not be discouraged though! There are plenty of free or inexpensive resources that could be your child’s main or supplemented source of education. Carole Joy Seid, tells how you can educate your child simply with a bible, math text, and a library card. It’ll take a little research on your part or hiring a consultant, but it can be done within your budget.
7. Social development. I saved this reason for last, because I find it to be the most attacked subject when it comes to homeschooling. So let’s define what social development is. “Social development involves learning the values, knowledge and skills that enable children to relate to others effectively and to contribute in positive ways to family, school and community.” (www.kidsmatter.edu.au) Now! With the definition in place, do you feel that you would be able to, in short, teach your child to have empathy and be helpful to others? I find that homeschooled kids are placed in more “real world” situations and are able to develop these skills more readily that those that are in learning institutes. Also, in my personal experience, older homeschooled children are more willing to help, play, and have conversation with younger than their counterparts. Whether or not a child will have a full blown conversation with someone does not make the socialized. In fact, there are many children in schools that won’t speak to many others because they are naturally shy. Does this mean that they aren’t socially developed? No! This is a matter of personality. And just because you may come across a family of homeschooled children that won’t smile, giggle, and joke around with every Tom, Dick, and Harry doesn’t mean that they aren’t socially developed either.–If you have a concern that your child needs to be with other children, then check around to see if there are any groups that meet in your area. Co-ops, places geared toward kids, and libraries are a few places to look at.
These are a few of the many reasons that others and myself have found to be important enough to steer away from the norm, and take our children’s education into our own hands. So if you decide that you have reason enough, remember that I’m in your corner and rooting you to success! Do you have the homeschool bug?