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Top 5 Reasons to Home School

By Edited Sep 12, 2015 2 11

There are many reasons to home school children. The academic standards in your community may be low, or there may be shortages of teachers, physical facilities, or other problems in your area. But in any case, there are wonderful advantages to home schooling your children and many parents should consider it as a viable option. (There are excellent points to be made for the contrarian view, as well.)

 

You can adapt the coursework to each child.

 This is vital if your children have a learning disability, or show great affinity for one or more subjects. Although there are minimum requirements to be met, and you certainly will want to meet those requirements, you can control in large degree the content. This means that you can ensure your homeschooled child learns one or more foreign languages, has a well-rounded education in the arts, and can explore science in a meaningful way. If one or both parents, or a friend, has an expertise in some subject, you can build academics on those strengths by providing extra lessons in whatever their expertise is in: music, history, science, or have your neighbours who are immigrants come and talk to your children about their countries and what it is like to live there. By contrast, many public schools in the United States teach children to pass the academic tests, and the classroom is geared toward the average student, rather than helping individuals. Even very intelligent children sometimes don't "get" something, and the teachers may not have time or skill to explain it in a way that your child understands. And if you want your child to learn certain foreign languages, such as Latin, that may seem outdated to your school, or a skill such as cursive writing, which is no longer being taught in many schools, you don't have to pile extra work on your child after she or he has spent a full day in academic pursuits.

No Boredom!

 

Your schedule, not the school's.

This is great if one or both parents travel: incorporate field trips into your travel. If your child is an early riser and does his best work before breakfast, or a late sleeper, or one parent comes home late, adapt the school day so that it works well for everyone. In addition, you can schedule extracurricular activities with teachers who may not be available at times when school is out, and public schools won't let you pull a child out of class to take a cello lesson, even if it is with Yo-Yo Ma.

 

You can offer a more thorough preparation for adulthood.

 You may want to arrange an internship as a way for your children to gain experience through a parent's work, or perhaps a family friend or neighbour has a business that can help your offspring prepare for university or his or her first job. Because you're not tied to a particular daily schedule, you have more opportunities to add extra experiences to their education. In addition, you can add some curricula that you may want your child to learn, and that used to be taught in public school; cooking, sewing, basic home repair, and financial skills that they are likely to need: comparison shopping, reading a financial prospectus, and investing.

 

You can control the social environment.

Many schools are home to bullies, or have problems with drugs, gangs, or other bad influences. By homeschooling, you protect your children from these negative influences, while preparing them to meet those challenges in an environment that keeps them safe from physical and emotional harm. Some teachers are abusive or unskilled, and you can prevent years of educational or psychological damage by avoiding these teachers.

You can coordinate with other parents
 

You can still take advantage of public school activities.

 Public schools in many areas are required to accept homeschooled children for such activities as team sports, band, after-school activities and clubs, and school newspapers. Don't worry about your children not having enough of a social life—they will do just fine! If you feel your children need more social interaction, sites like Meetup offer plenty of activities.

Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Sep 12, 2015)
A great book that will help homeschooling parents decide what areas, topics, and content their children should be focusing on at each level. Not a book for those looking for religious resources, but a practical guide for what public schools require children to know at each grade.

Some reviewers complain that the links are outdated. If you find that is the case, a bit of searching on the internet will provide useful sources for the information you need.
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Comments

Sep 6, 2009 1:40am
midnitewriter
These are all good points. Might work if you have more than one child. Also have to join social groups and gym classes, maybe at the Y.
Sep 7, 2009 5:38pm

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midnitewriter: I agree, allowing your kid to be sociable is very important when deciding to homeschool.
Oct 27, 2009 3:02am
classicalgeek
A little basic training in the social graces will go a long way. Because homeschooled children interact largely with adults, they will be prepared to interact in adult life with other adults. Some social awkwardness is fine, but there are basic social skills that can be taught, such as introductions, small talk, table manners, remembering to say "please" and "thank you" and more. (Miss Manners' books are a great example of this.) After all, what's important in later life is the ability to interact with adults, and in this case homeschooled children will have the advantage.

But there are plenty of opportunities for homeschooled children to interact with their peers--summer camps, field trips, neighbourhood play, and many more opportunities. Parents can find plenty of occasions for their children to get to know other children with similar interests if they will do a little digging.
Apr 1, 2010 5:21am
eileen
Very good information, As long as the parents take the childs interests and lessons seriously. Great idea and well written article
Apr 7, 2010 9:30am
CaSundara
I'm currently home-schooling my eldest, because his grades slipped so much when he started senior school. I totally agree with your points and wrote a similar article for another site last year. My son has finally decided what he wants to do and we can now focus on that more, dropping unnecessary subjects and talioring his education to his exact needs and preferences.
Great article!
May 17, 2010 3:14am
starfly
I have to disagree with most of the points in this article - apart from maybe tailoring education for an older student or someone with special needs.
May 17, 2010 10:37am
classicalgeek
It would be nice to know in what ways you disagree, rather than your just stating that I am wrong. I was home schooled after going to public school all day, because my public school standards were so low that I did not learn anything at all in class. I learnt absolutely nothing in public school (and was often punished for knowing more than the teachers) but managed to complete a Master's degree with an almost perfect record of grades and test scores.
May 18, 2010 12:51am
starfly
Ah, sorry, I was going to write why but I thought it might take up too much space plus be a little abrasive. (It's not really a discussion forum here) plus it was only an opinion, not a statement.

If we're going from personal experience, I came from a school where bullying would be considered extreme. However instead of pulling me out of school, the first choice was to improve the school as much as possible not only just for *me* but for all future generations. This is what I believe taking 'education in our hands' to be. I never regretted a day I spent there, even though I was a victim of abuse. Most disabled kids at my school had told me they'd rather be at school than at home. There are so many reasons for why school should be encouraged.

But I don't want to point out anything more because it's not going to be productive, like I said, it's just an opinion. I did not mean to call you wrong.
May 18, 2010 8:51am
classicalgeek
I was also bullied, and my parents spent six years trying to change the school, only to be told that 1) they would have the change the attitude of all the parents and students and 2) that even though I was coming home with torn clothing, cuts and bruises, I was "too sensitive". Even some of the teachers were horrified at the abuse I received, while others thought that I brought it on myself. (As an example, while I was hurrying home to get away from the other girls, they would catch up to me, knock me down, rifle through my papers to see if I got an A, and then beat me up if I had, which was usually the case).

When the administration laughs at you for trying to improve the school; when the favourite math teacher at your school never took a single college mathematics course and does not recognize algebra when she sees it, but wears really short skirts every day; when your principal is exposed by a local magazine for cruelty in corporal punishment; when your child cannot go to school in normal clothing because it will get shredded; and when you get laughed at and bullied worse for trying to change the school, well, maybe it's time to homeschool. I was kept in public school only because it would have been illegal in my state to homeschool me, so I got homeschooled after public school so that I would be able to get into college (only a few girls who were in elementary school with me went on to college at all, those who did never graduated).

In addition, many schools are just not equipped to deal with highly intelligent children, and most teachers are threatened by gifted children. Most families discover that instead of six to eight hours a day, that the coursework can be done in two or three hours at home, leaving the family time for additional learning activities (I know a fourteen-year-old that runs his own business, and has been on field trips to China, Guatemala and Mexico, speaks Latin, Greek, Spanish and Chinese fluently, reads abstracts from medical journals, and plays classical piano and has outstanding achievement test scores. He plans to go into robotics and has won several competitions. No matter how good the school, he never would have had those opportunities at an organized school, simply because he would not be excused to go to China or Guatemala for several months each year).
May 18, 2010 5:35pm
starfly
I'm not sure exactly how to respond to this; clearly this is of a very personal issue for you. Of course home schooling is the logical choice for: Extreme bullying, corrupt systems, genius kids, disabled kids... (By the by, not every child is a 14 year old genius.)

I'm sorry to have caused offense, I was merely voicing my opinion on ideal candidates. Should you feel the need to continue this discussion perhaps then we could do this elsewhere.
May 18, 2010 8:21pm
classicalgeek
I am not in the least offended. I don't think either of us has anything to fear from reasonable debate, and I have read your excellent contrarian article (which can be found at http://www.infobarrel.com/Why_Home_Schooling_is_Not_a_Good_Idea) and you make some excellent points, some of which I am almost inclined to agree with, and I certainly respect your point of view. I believe there are times when homeschooling is more appropriate, and times when it is less appropriate. When one lives in a state where the textbooks do not mention evolution, or Thomas Jefferson, one has to wonder what public schools are teaching these days and whether the average parent might do a better job. Certainly the highly-educated parent should at least entertain the possibility.

In any case, I see no reason to deprive readers of either article from exposure to politely presented opposing views, and I have linked to your article from mine because I feel people will be interested in your views.
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