But people are picking home schooling for the wrong reasons.
Home Schooling Is Not Good for your Child.
Obviously there are exceptions, but are you one of those?
1) "You can pick what they learn"
Do children really know what they want to learn? Or are you trying to teach them what you think they should learn? Either way, you can still let them go to school and teach them your values in your own time. However school is useful for learning a broad range of topics and preparing them for a healthy future - wouldn't it be most upsetting if your child couldn't converse about Hume or understand a witty remark about Miller?
School has developed in such a way to give you the best base of education. On top of that, they are learning how to reach deadlines, how to organize their work, how to interact, and so forth. Most of these are not achieved in a home schooling environment.
2) "You can teach them what they really want to know!"
Unless your child is 17 or in his last two schooling years, your child is unlikely to know what he or she wants to be in the future. In fact, most teenagers will change their minds at the very last second before choosing which university to go into.
If your child is under 16, he or she has the right to learn and experience a broad range of topics even if they complain about it. Just because your child doesn't like the topic maths, and will never touch maths in their life again, doesn't mean it is an advantage to simply cut it out of their educational diet. Some things simply have to be learnt, and you can only help them by support, not snipping corners!
sure he works hard on his worst subjects too.
3) "You can have a flexible timetable!"
In the career world, there is little room for flexibility. Thousands of graduates will be willing to snap up jobs and work until 9pm, but what if your child grows up to be an early sleeper? What if he thinks that its okay to miss work if he simply 'isn't in the mood'?
A flexible timetable is not at all good for setting a regular education. The only time this should be permitted is if the child has a condition making it difficult to attend school, or lives in an isolated area. Otherwise, this is not an ideal excuse for parents or children to simply ditch school and work at home.
Besides. Going to school every day develops routine and time management. You didn't think school was just for learning about subjects, did you?
4) "You can control the environment."
Yes. You can.
But you cannot control it forever. Sooner or later, your child will bump into a stranger, or get into a pub fight, and so forth. The later your child learns how to react in these social situations, the more disadvantaged he or she is in the real world.
"But Starfly, there are loads of bullies and gangs at our schools!" I hear you say. Running away from them does not make the problem go away, in fact, school environments will only deteriorate if parents continue to think that they can't do anything about it. The truth is, you can. Take action. Help your own child and hundreds of future children by being proactive.
Don't let bullies chase YOU out of school.
Turn your school into a happier place, or who else will?
"But Starfly, is it really worth risking my childs mental and physical health?"
You're only putting your child at a risk if you think the school will take care of every single matter. Parents have their own duty to make sure their child is mentally healthy and not recieving abuse from school. There are actions which you can take. If your school happens to be an outrageously violent one, then perhaps you should take your child out of it and take your case to a higher authority.
But for the majority of the time, schools are able to crunch out problems if you're willing to make an effort too.
5) "You can organize more field trips and learning styles."
Field trips can be organized outside of class time. Not much more can be added to this.
If you believe your child requires, or works better with, a certain format of teaching, then you can also do this on top of school. Perhaps help organize his or her notes into something he can work with. Perhaps give him some extra work he can work with to understand class. Unfortunately simply because your child prefers pictures over words, or sounds over pictures, does not mean you should cut out the other two out of their educational diet.
In fact, you will be doing them a favour by helping them develop their worst area of attention; perhaps it is reading and writing. An important skill every person must know, or at least should attempt to know.
This is a fairly blunt article for reasons why not to resort to home schooling, and is not meant to offend anyone. This article only aims to provide an alternative view.
Here are some candidates who are more likely to do, and may benefit greater from, Home Schooling:
- Children with Disabilities (both mental and physical)
- Children living in isolated areas with no school for miles around
- Children in truly rough environments, in which case you may even want to consider moving out entirely.
Children who are not ideal candidates summary:
- They have difficulty with a particular subject
- They heavily dislike a particular subject
- You want to teach them what you want them to learn
- They dislike the times which school starts and ends
- School has mild-medium bully issues
- They are below 14 and have decided what they want to be (You will be trapping them if you cut out other subjects, and they are still able to learn what they want to learn at school. Refer to first two points.)