Is your child a visual learner? You know the saying, Do you need me to paint a picture for you? Even though this phrase is usually meant to be condescending it is a question we should ask in a kinder tone. You can tell someone something a million-and-one times, but if you show them, they will learn it and never forget it.
In the public school system, one-on-one teaching is hard to accomplish because of the average size of classes and the unique learning needs of each student. Each child is like a different recipe, with different ingredients and cooking times. With only one teacher to prepare and cook the twenty-plus meals, this can get messy. Though teachers still perform this difficult task with excellence, some children may still get left behind. Not everyone will learn in the same way or at the same speed. Homeschooling gives each child the opportunity to learn at their own pace and not get dragged along if they don’t understand. This is not an article bashing public education but is instead a collection of the benefits of homeschooling.
If homeschooled, a child can advance a grade in a specified subject if they are ahead of the curve. They are not required to have all subjects in the same grade. If a student excels at math and needs to advance a grade this can be done easily. The same concept works in reverse. If a student is struggling in science, they can take their time to go over lower-grade material until they have a well-rounded understanding.
Another highly praised attribute of homeschooling is that it teaches students to educate themselves. It instructs them how to find information on their own and learn from it. A student is not just completing their work for the day, they are learning to use their brains to think for themselves while learning how to self-educate. This is what learning is all about.
Students are not repeating mindless words to pass a test. With one-on-one teaching, they will have a hard time going through the motions mindlessly and will be required to learn each subject as they advance.
Each state has its own guidelines for what is needed to graduate middle school and/or high school, and parents need to be vigilant in their research. Homeschooling is not as easy as printing off a worksheet and handing it over to a student. There is an incredible amount of effort that is put in by the parents as well.
Now do not fear, most homeschool programs like Switched-On-Schoolhouse (Online Homeschool Program (PreK-12) | Power Homeschool) and Abeka Academy (Abeka Homeschool Curriculum – Christianbook.com) already have this laid out for parents.
Another amazing benefit is parents can gear curriculum to what their student is interested in. Do they excel in science and desire to learn more? They can take more than one science class.
Do they prefer to learn ASL over Spanish? They can choose that and enable themselves to learn skills they are more likely to use in their unique space. Do they want to learn an instrument or a trade? Great way to give them extra credit!
Homeschooling puts the child first, ahead of standardized tests. It develops their minds, and hearts, to enter the adult world.
Now a common complaint about homeschooling is it lacks social engagement and human interaction. With homeschooling becoming more widely accepted, there are more opportunities to interact with peers than ever before. Homeschool Co-Ops and field trip days are becoming more popular. Check your area for groups like this to enrich your child socially. Did you know that most states grant your child the right to participate in public school sports if they desire? Many states even let them attend local public graduation ceremonies with their peers when they complete their education.
Homeschooling is not for everyone, but it is a blessing to many. Homeschool parents/ teachers will have more responsibilities and demands than those who choose public education. It usually requires a stay-at-home or part-time working parent to devote the time needed for the education of the student. But the benefits far outweigh the added workload.
Whatever your choice may be, just know judgment from others does not matter. Whatever is best for you and your child is what is important.
If you are one of the lucky ones to have a supporting family to help you with the added workload, congrats! But if not, just know there are many who have had to overcome this hurdle and you will not be alone. There are many Facebook groups and online resources to get you contented with other homeschooling families.
If you have children ready to enter school, please consider homeschooling. Despite the hard days and the long nights, the payoff will be worth it. The relationships and memories built with your child are priceless.