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 And if you want your child to learn certain foreign languages, such as Latin, that may seem outdated to your school, or a skill such as cursive writing, which is no longer being taught in many schools, you don't have to pile extra work on your child after she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.Credit: Public Domain
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 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.
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