The traditional family routine is this: the parents wake the kids up and get them ready for school. Once everyone’s dressed and fed, the children go to school while Mom and Dad are off to work. Come evening, Mom and Dad spare the time to help the kids with their homework.
Today, there’s another type of family routine: one of the parents wakes up and goes to work. The other parent (whether it’s Mom or Dad) and the kids sleep in a little longer. After all, school doesn’t start until Mom or Dad says so because Mom or Dad IS the teacher.
Technically, parents who homeschool aren’t the official teachers. Instead, they serve as the children’s guide as they study on their own.
Approximately, 1,770,000 students (3.4 percent of the school-age population) are homeschooled in the United States. This new form of educational system has been on the rise in the country over the last ten years. If the current growth rate of homeschooling continues, the number of children under this educational program will surpass 2 million by 2018.
Parents who consider the homeschooling path have different reasons, but they have a common goal: to shape a better future for the kids.
So, how does this educational program help them achieve this?
A Higher Quality of Education at Home
With the decrease in state education budgets, implementation of Common Core in many states, overpopulated schools, and other factors, many parents no longer believe in the standard of education provided by public schools. In their opinion, the current academic instruction is below the standard — and studies are backing them up.
A survey from YouthTruth, a national non-profit organization, revealed that less than half of high school students are prepared from college. Other surveys revealed that college professors second this opinion. Only 28 percent of them believe that today’s high school students can handle college coursework.
Instead of “gambling” the kid’s future, a number of parents have decided to take matters in their own hands.
Homeschooling gives parents more control over what their children learn. They also equip the kids with a state-approved curriculum and a more personalized approach to instruction, which is missing in today’s educational system. Children can spend little or more time on a needed subject to ensure their mastery and confidence.
More studies prove homeschooling’s better quality of education. According to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), home-educated children score 15 to 30 percentile points above students in traditional schools on standardized academic achievement tests.
Better Social Interactions
Bullying is common in traditional schools. At home, it’s not. Parents choose to homeschool the kids to spare them from peer pressure and bullying. They don’t have to deal with the traumas of being picked on by the other kids.
A common misconception, however, is that homeschooling will deprive the kids of socialization.
On the contrary, homeschooling offers tailored social interactions that support the family’s values. Parents can do this by taking the course curriculum and creating a classroom of their own. While most students in traditional schools spend more time in classrooms, homeschool students have the luxury to learn outside of the house.
With a flexible homeschool schedule, families can go to parks, museums, and historical sites. They can also participate in community service activities.
Also, homeschool kids can meet other children like them during gatherings prepared by homeschooling parents.
Closer Relationships with the Parents
Parents who choose the homeschooling path understand that this will be a test of their patience. After all, it’s not easy to mentor a child (or even more). Some are wary of teaching their children because they can foresee the arguments and temper tantrums.
Homeschooling, however, is also one of the best ways to establish stronger relationships. Since parents interact more with their children, they don’t just impart to them academic instruction. They also learn more about the kids’ personalities and study habits. During class discussions, they can also address any personal struggle or concerns of the children.
Should You Homeschool Your Kids?
Homeschooling has become the mainstream option of parents who want better education for their children. You might be one of those families and your reasons are valid and commendable. But before you jump aboard the homeschooling train, consider the following questions:
- Is my spouse on board with homeschooling? It’s important to have the consent of your spouse or partner. Homeschooling would be difficult if one of the parents is not eager to support. If your spouse or partner is on board, they can help grade the papers and work with the kids.
- Are you committed to teaching the kids at home? Homeschooling is a big commitment. It involves time, energy, a dedicated space in your home, and money. If you feel that this method of instruction will be better for your children, there are ways to work around these factors. But if your heart is not in it, overcoming these challenges will be difficult.
Don’t decide to homeschool because you feel pressured. Instead, think about it some more. If you feel unsure with it, you’re free to proceed with your best decision.
- Do you have enough patience to homeschool? Teaching the kids require an understanding that they will not always succeed with their subjects. Most of the time, mentoring them will result in time-consuming arguments and flaring tempers.
The key to making homeschooling work is the willingness to work through the challenges. By training yourself to extend your patience for the kids, you can handle their requirements plus other factors that come with homeschooling.
- What if you don’t have an education background? It is not necessary to have a degree in education unless you live in a state that requires one. Remember: you’re just guiding the kids with their studies.
Homeschooling is the best option for parents who wish to control what their children learn. It is also ideal if you wish to establish the foundation of their values on your own. Before you consider homeschooling, consult with your partner and the children first to have their support.