Homeschooling is one of the fastest growing trends in education, and many families are turning to their own in-home schools in order to deliver their children a tailored education solution. The benefits of homeschooling are many, and understanding them will help parents to decide if it is right for their families.
In the past, the families that were most likely to homeschool were those who did so for religious reasons. They decided to teach their children at home to impart the religious teachings that the schools did not. Now the reasons for homeschooling vary greatly, but the prominent reason is still curriculum choice.
Homeschooling gives parents the ability to select exactly what their children are learning each year. They don’t have to follow a standardized curriculum. They can teach reading and writing more often than they teach math or integrate their reading lessons into their civics teaching. If parents want to teach their children robotics, cake decorating, art or instrumental music as part of the curriculum, this is their choice.
Homeschooling is Great for Outliers
Traditional schools are designed for the average student. The outliers—students who perform above or below average–often find themselves lacking in challenge or lagging behind. Homeschooling allows parents to give advanced students more challenging work and spend more time on subjects in which students are struggling.
More Social Outlets
When many people hear that a student is homeschooled, they automatically assume that they are lacking in social outlets. This is a common myth. Many homeschoolers are involved in numerous activities like scouting, sports, arts and religious activities. Because homeschooling families can tailor their instructional schedules, homeschooled students often have more time for social activities. Homeschool co-ops and specialty classes often allow for extended time for free play and social time for students in a range of ages.
In major cities, there are sports leagues for homeschooled students as well. It is not uncommon to see little league softball teams, pee wee football and swim teams made up exclusively of homeschoolers. There are even homeschool proms and graduations!
More Access to Resources
While the average traditional school student may go on two to three field trips per semester, homeschooled students often attend field trips weekly. Without the constraints of the classroom, homeschooled students can do research at the library, see dinosaur bones up close at the museum and learn about plants at the local botanic garden. Instead of studying about national parks in a textbook, homeschooling families can travel there with their kids and see them up close.
With homeschooling becoming more popular, many organizations are scrambling to provide additional resources for them. Museums often offer homeschool classes, while zoos, libraries and sports centers have introduced new programs just for them.
However, parents don’t have to worry about having to do everything their selves. If a child is falling behind in a certain subject, there are tutors who specialize in homeschooled students ready to help them catch up!
When it comes to homeschooling, families are finding a wealth of benefits that make it an attractive educational option. No longer the arena only of the religious or rural families, many families of color, secular families and those in major cities are turning to this new trend and reaping the benefits.