Homeschooling is one of those subjects that will likely bring out an array of opinions from different people. Additionally, there is also a degree to which homeschooling experiences can be highly subjective as opposed to ones that can simply be generalized. As far as I am concerned, homeschooling is really what a student wants to make of it. Through it, an individuals personality will undoubtedly be realized. I was homeschooled for much of my life, and as such have formulated some pretty hefty opinions about it. While I think that on the whole it was a relatively neutral experience, there have certainly been both advantages and disadvantages through it. In this article, I will highlight 5 advantages of being homeschooled; and in another article I will be listing some significant disadvantages I have found.
1). Homeschooling often allows students to work at their own pace.
Many of the years I spent in homeschool allowed me to essentially work on school related things when I felt like it. Some mornings I would wake up at 5am and begin work, and others 10am sounded like a good time to get started. The adantage of this is not simply because of being able to work at whatever time I wanted during the day, it also allowed me to make plans and not really have to work around my school schedule as much; since it was flexible.
The key to success here is being a responsible student. I always had my work finished, and even ranked fairly high in my class. In a lot of ways, this method of flexibility is much more "adult-like" than the typical high school fair students encounter in the public school system. Some days, I was even able to wade through my work in the matter of a few hours; then I had the rest of the day to myself to do other things I enjoyed.
2). With good grades comes early opportunities.
The primary reason I was homeschooled was because of the opportunity I had to attend college early, virtually free of charge. In fact, by the time I graduated high school I had essentially completed my Associates degree from a local community college. Additionally, I was able to work basically full-time hours while attending during high school. I was saving money for college, while going to college for free. Of course, it was suggested by the school I was enrolled in to only take one or two courses while in high school; but I decided to take the entire course load to get through college quicker. I am now working towards BA's in both psychology and philosophy, which were sped up themselves because of credits from my Associates degree transfering to this university I attend.
3). You can avoid a lot of "extra" problems which tend to come with public school.
For better and for worse, students who are homeschooled do not really have to deal with the harrassment many students receive while at school. Some say they should "suck it up", however I have seen first-hand how damaging bullies can be to other students. I myself was picked on for the longest time (and honestly still am even in college). It is a sort of unavoidable aspect of life, but as a young developing person; I found it better to not have all the stressors that can be associated with other students being idiots.
As a note, I do not think your children should be sheltered from the reality of the world because they are homeschooled. They should be social and have friends. However, no one wants to be harrassed daily by bullies. Unfortunately, the public school system does not do a good job at persecuting students who are bullying others; often leaving lines of victims in their wake who faulter in their classes, social, and family life because of an inability to focus on "what is important" as they revert to a psychological state of needing to feel safe in their environment.
4). Homeschooled students tend to "outperform" their public school equivilents.
According to this series of research studies, it is evident that students who are homeschooled have a tendency to get higher grades then other students. I feel this is in many ways due to the fact that students are able to focus more on their studies, then having to be concerned about extra school-related problems (such as bullies identified above). There are other factors as well, and if you are particularly interested I would suggest you click that link above and check out the study for yourself. Don't take my word for it when it is highly documented.
5). The flexibility in the schedule allows "gifted" students to travel and perform.
One thing I was always aware of was the ability to go on vacations, travel the country (or world), and bring my schooling with me. A majority of my school work was found online (through sites like Blackboard), so it was accessible virtually anywhere with an internet connection. While I did not particularly need to take advantage of this system, it is a great avenue to go if your child is a performer (for example). Say he or she is involved in a band, and is going to do a series of shows around the country. They would no longer have to drop out of school, as was the case many years ago. Rather, they can perform and continue their schooling while on the road.
While I am sure not everyone is taking advantage of this fact, many people are!
As you can see, there are quite a few advantages which homeschooled students receive that are often not available to public school counterparts. That is not to say that homeschooling is perfect, or necessarily the choice for everyone; but it is a viable potential schooling outlet which is available in addition to private and public schools. It is, however, important to note that the quality of homeschool education is in many ways dependent on the quality and motivation of the individual. For some, homeschooling will be an academic struggle, for others (like myself) it was the easiest thing I could possibly do.