Today, I’m sharing why we homeschool. I hope this is helpful, if you are considering homeschooling as an alternative to public school.
As a second generation homeschooler, I often get asked why we homeschool our kids. So I’m going to share a few personal reasons why homeschool works for us. There are always pros and cons with homeschooling and public school. Ultimately, you’ll decide what is best for you and your child.
Before I begin, a disclaimer. These are my own personal reasons. I don’t speak for anyone else nor will I apologize for any of my reasons.
Children Learn At Their Own Pace
The beauty of homeschooling, is that you can go as fast or as slow as your child needs. If your child struggles in math, you can take as much time as you need. You go over the same material until your child fully grasps the concepts.
In fact, some homeschoolers, avoid yearly grades altogether and instead adopt a mastery style of graduation. They do away with the idea that you need to learn this by grade one or that by grade 5. They allow the child to move as quickly or as slowly as they need through each subject. If your child does great at Math and Science, they can zip through that. If they are struggling in English, they can slow down until they master it. They move on when they master it, not simply because the year is over.
To Teach Self Motivation
Homeschooling highly encourages your child to participate in their own education and progress. In fact, some curriculum is designed to be student-led as opposed to teacher-led. You choose the level of responsibility for your child at every age.
Homeschooling also allows you to incorporate life skills as part of the curriculum. For example, my oldest son will learn gardening, soap making, and basic cooking this next school year. By the time I was in high school, I was almost completely student-led (the exception was calculus and Science). This prepares students for college as well as learning as an adult. Homeschooling largely focuses on teaching children how to learn, not what to learn.
To Avoid Indoctrination
This is a controversial subject, but many homeschoolers like myself, refuse to allow the government to indoctrinate children. Public schooling is based on the industrial Prussian education model. This antiquated concept standardizes education (like those stressful standardized state tests) into a sort of a factory-like method of teaching with little room for personalization.
Thankfully, homeschooling is an option for parents wanting to customize education. Some states like Texas have incredible flexibility with little government interference. Homeschoolers need to continue to protect those freedoms. In fact, in Germany and many other European countries, homeschooling is illegal. Public education is often the transportation method to indoctrinate children into liberal, communist, and socialistic propaganda. Furthermore, they demand compliance. Public schools have gradually taken over many parental responsibilities.
Over the years, public schools have become more brazen when it comes to conditioning children. Drag queen story time for first graders. Kindergarten sex education. There is a time and a place to teach children about such things. As a homeschooler, you will decide what and when your child learns these things. This is one of the primary reasons why we homeschool.
According to many recent studies, teacher-child sexual relationships are on the rise. That does not include the 4.5 million children who are exposed to pornography at school. Schooling a child at home gives you a lot of peace of mind about their safety. With homeschooling, you don’t need to worry about mass shootings and bomb threats at your child’s school. You don’t fear sexual predators grabbing your child at a bus stop. Obviously, you can’t ever totally protect your children, but there is great peace of mind when they are with you.
“What about socialization?” I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked that question. Recent statistics show that one in four children are bullied at school. Young girls are body-shamed. There are campus sexual assaults. Sixty-eight percent of 12th graders have tried alcohol while 35% have tried Marijuana. Nearly 25% use illicit drugs.
We have family members who are teachers in Ohio. In their small town school district, six children committed suicide in one year. It’s suspected the suicides clustered after the original child was memorialized and recognized. Public schoolers can have their “socialization.” Homeschoolers desire something better for their kids.
There are so many social resources for homeschoolers. Band, art classes, debate, science labs, orchestra, sports, and other activities are available for homeschoolers. The difference it is done with parents (and under your direct supervision) instead of strangers. Through homeschooling, you can be highly selective with whom your kids socialize. Also, this isn’t the same as sheltering your kids. It’s about grounding them before they’re let fully free into the world.
With homeschooling, you select the days you have school. If you have to take a day off mid-week, it can easily be made up on the weekend. Sick? No problem. Just move the curriculum over by a day.
In Texas, there isn’t even a minimum number of school days! You can even vacation any time you want. No need to wait for the unbearable summer heat to travel. (Disney in the off season? Yes, please.) This is especially easy if you homeschool year round. Homeschooling year round allows you to take more time off during the school year when you or your child need a break. It also stops children from “forgetting things” or getting “rusty” over the summer.
One thing I loved about being homeschooled was that I could start and finish my day at any time. In high school, for example, I used to start my school day early (like 5 a.m.) and then be done around lunchtime. This allowed me time for other things – like graduating a year early.
Choose Your Own Curriculum
I’ve heard numerous teachers in my family and friend circle, complain about curriculum. In public school, you have no control over what or how your child is taught.
Also, one size does not fit all. Some children, often boys, are tactile learners and benefit from more hands-on learning. Early in my homeschooling journey I discovered my eldest son hated flash cards and worksheets, so I introduced some hands-on activities instead. By homeschooling you can alter the curriculum to best fit your student instead of forcing your child to conform to that particular style of teaching.
A veteran homeschooling mom of twelve (yes, twelve) once said to me, “if you and your child are both frustrated and burnt out, it’s almost always the curriculum.” Having control of your child’s curriculum, means that if you or your child are struggling it can easily be changed, even mid-year. I felt unchallenged in school, but once I was homeschooled and was able to move my own pace, my own way, I found my groove.
Freedom of Religion
In 1960, atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore public school system. This suit ultimately led to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against compulsory prayer in public school. Since then, religious rights have slowly eroded away in public schools. Students can no longer fully practice or live out their Christian faith without risking persecution, judgment, or penalty. Homeschooling permits the full teaching and exercise of your faith, even if it isn’t Christianity.
Next week, I’ll be debunking common myths around homeschooling. Be sure to follow my blog so you don’t miss any homeschooling posts. I’ll also have teaching resources very soon!