There are many reasons why people teach their children at home, and it seems that it works for many families – ours included. It is not for everyone, but if you are unhappy with the education your children are currently getting, perhaps homeschooling could be the perfect answer.
Our homeschool journey started when our oldest was going into first grade. He had complete preschool and kindergarten in the public school system and was always seen as advanced. No matter how advanced he was they still wouldn’t consider moving him up or modify his lessons to reflect his abilities.
With this (and current events) in mind, let’s chat about seven reasons to homeschool your child in 2019.
Let’s Start With Bullies
Bullies in schools are a big problem, and it doesn’t always have to be a fight or stealing lunch money. Verbal bullying can be just as bad and for the child that is always being called names or swore at, life can become hell. The old saying of ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me;’ is so untrue for children that are the victims.
Some schools are so underfunded they do not have the resources to stop this behavior. They sometimes do not have enough educational resources, let alone staff to watch what the children are up to. It is hoped that initiatives such as a crowd-funding via Teacher Funder, can help reduce the problem. Although this is good for teachers it does highlight an issue with schools and money.
With more supervision in schools it will be easier to stop bullies. In the meantime, parents will continue to remove their children from schools and choose to teach them at home.
Teaching Them To Enjoy Learning
School tends to be something that kids either love or hate. For those that hate it, life can become unbearable. Having them out of this environment gives parents the chance to teach them to enjoy learning, and that seems to be the outcome for many of the families that do this. They can learn through play, learn at a pace that suits them, and they can learn subjects that might not be part of the curriculum but that they have an interest in.
From a parents point of view it can be very rewarding teaching your own children, and from the children’s point of view, they are generally happier. Studies have shown that children that are taught at home generally get better results in federal and state exams.
This makes you wonder where the schools are failing.
A Confidence Booster
For some children, being placed anywhere other than in the top few places in exams knocks their confidence. For other children, they may seem like they are struggling when they’re really not. All children have the potential to do well at something, but they are not all a genius in math or geography (and that’s totally okay!).
One-on-one teaching from parents (and sometimes help from siblings) is more likely to unlock their potential, and for many, it is the secret to them becoming successful as adults. A lack of confidence can affect their whole life. If homeschooling gives that back, then if for no other reason it is worth considering.
Most people will remember what it is like to be an outcast at school, even if it was just for a few days over something minor. You may also remember being told that, “School isn’t the place to socialize!” This is not true socialization because once in the classroom the students have to sit quietly and are not allowed to talk. Let’s not even talk about the pockets of cliques and groups that can leave some children feeling left out.
When kids are homeschooled they are allowed to talk, socialize with others, and be part of groups with similar interests and intents. They will probably speak with more people than they would at school, and certainly will not feel like a social outcast. They generally find it easier to talk to people of all ages as well as their peers, and that is another thing that will boost their confidence.
Homeschooling is not just about teaching kids science and English. They are also taught life skills such as how to respect and interact with other people. With these skills alone it should be no surprise that homeschoolers often achieve more in their careers.
They Can Follow Their Dreams
Because of the constraints the education system puts on children, there are many who do not get to follow their dreams. They may be a brilliant artist, but the school will be more concerned that they pass their history exam. They could be great at playing the drums, but the teachers will just want them to do well in science.
And so it goes on. Lots of things they are good at are rarely followed up on. This is often because the school does not have the resources but also because they have different priorities.
When parents are teaching them at home, their passion can be part of their daily routine. If they are really good at something, it can be followed up on and the child is more likely to be able to follow through with their dream.
They Can Learn The Things That Matter
You can probably think back to those subjects taught in school that you have not used and probably never will. Unless your child is planning to go into the medical profession, will chemistry be of much use to them? And unless they intend to become an architect, they most likely will not need a level of math higher than pre-algebra. Yet they are forced to learn these subjects when there are other things that if learned in more depth could be much more useful to them.
We are also living in an ever-advancing technological world. Most children may be better off learning more about computers and technology versus learning the chemical symbol for something such as an acid that they will never need to use.
Although many parents that teach at home follow popular and common core curricula, they are able to drop some of the subjects they feel are unimportant and substitute them with subjects that will relate more to the world we live in.
The Ability to Choose
Speaking of curriculum, homeschooling allows for the ability to choose overall what is best for your family. In some cases, online learning is the best option, whereas for other families incorporating a COOP program is best. You also have liberty to choose what kind of learning style is best for your family.
Regardless of what avenues a homeschooling family chooses to take, the fact remains that they are in control of their child’s education.
Are Private Schools Any Better?
All the moans so far have been about public schools and you may be wondering if private schools are any better. Put very simply, the answer is no. Most of them are accredited which means they teach in the same way as the public schools. They may not have the funding problems, but before anyone pays out big bucks to them, they should remember that school is school and a child can have the same problems in a private school as in a public one.
Bullying can still happen, kids still are taught lessons that can be a waste of invested time, and they still stand the chance to be socially stunted. Disclaimer: to be fair, I understand there are charter schools and preparatory schools that teach according to specific fields of study; however, they are few.
Now Is The Time To Start
If you are unhappy about the way your child is progressing at school, consider your options and explore if homeschooling is a route you can take. Ask yourself several questions, such as:
- Is it because they are not settled?
- Are they being bullied?
- Is there a teacher that upsets them?
- Are their academic needs being met?
Answers to these questions can help you decide what to do next. Next being, seriously consider homeschooling before their (and your) unhappiness turns to anxiety and depression. I have talked to many homeschooling mothers who have expressed overwhelming concerns with their children’s emotional well-being due to the public school environment.
It is not as difficult (or expensive) as you may think as long as you are properly prepared. When you see the change in them, how much happier they become, and how they start to enjoy learning – it will be worth all the effort.
I can tell you from helping other families begin their homeschooling journey that you may go back and forth with the should I or shouldn’t I and the how-to or what not to do… but here’s what I recommend – stop thinking and just do it! It will not be long before you realize that you have made the right choice.
If you are interested in taking the leap to homeschooling and would like help, contact Michelle!
CHIME IN: Do you homeschool? How did the journey start for you (from public school to homeschool, always homeschooled, etc.)? Let me know in the comments!