Many parents have chosen an established school (public, private, or Christian) for their children. There are other parents, however, who have chosen a different approach, one called homeschooling. While many people have heard of this method of education, some have questions about it. For those who are interested, the rest of this article may help to bring understanding in some of those areas of question.
Homeschooling is an exciting topic to discuss because the benefits seem almost endless and can be eternally significant in the life of a child. To make it easier to read, some of those benefits will be summarized under 4 different categories: Academics/Curriculum, Family Relationships, Socialization, and Learning Environment.
The atmosphere created by the parent in the home school will result in whatever level of academic excellence you desire for your child. Encouragement, support, stability, and the choice of the best curriculum for your children from hundreds of professionally developed plans, will result in academic excellence.
This kind of schooling takes place, not in an environment of competition and regimented learning, but rather in an atmosphere where the desire to learn is fostered by flexible methods that are based on the child’s learning style and needs. With positive attitudes, determination, planning, and so much superb curriculum material to choose from, superior learning can be achieved in the home.
Children will always find a role model, someone they begin to emulate and pattern their behavior after. While the children are young and impressionable homeschooling ensures that their role models are persons of good character. Though being together in the home does not guarantee good relating, when you home school you have the best possible opportunity to work on building respectful, fun, and openly communicative relationships.
You and your children can discuss your thoughts, and feelings, and how the various methods of homeschooling are working out. (And you can choose a different way if an idea has not been effective.) You can work together on being the kind of people you desire to be. This kind of daily give and take makes everyone feel valuable and contributes to healthy relationships. For many parents, this area may be one of the most important because it provides not only an inroad to shaping their child’s character but also an environment conducive to better relationships.
Detailed studies have been done on this subject due to the concerns of parents and teachers alike. These studies have shown sociological development as one of the most pronounced benefits of homeschooling. In homeschooling, there generally is no peer dominance and consequently no peer dependence. This means that where a child may be exposed to negative examples of relating in public school, socialization in the home school can be guided by direct supervision of an adult.
When children are exposed daily to a variety of age groups rather than primarily peers, they learn to relate well with others of their age group as well as with adults. Rather than being taught according to immature peer values they are guided through healthy interactions with everyone they come in contact with.
This may be one of the most important issues for parents in school systems where drugs, guns, and a variety of negative influences are common for their children to face. We all know that the environment we deal with daily has a powerful effect on all that we do, especially for young and moldable children. Being able to prevent a child from the dangers of such bad influences is a very important benefit of schooling your child at home.
Homeschooling does not leave you at the mercy of an uncontrollable environment but instead gives you the power to create the environment you believe is best for your child. Nothing prevents you from establishing the optimal atmosphere that will encourage and support your child in academics, character, and anything else you desire to accomplish when you school at home.
There will be those who do not see the benefits of homeschooling. Your discernment and values must determine the outcome of your choice for your children’s schooling. If you think it very important to have healthy relationships; to raise and train your kids according to your beliefs and values; to protect them from the negative and dangerous influences of the world until they are old enough to respond to them maturely; and to exercise your God-given role as a parent, then the benefits of homeschooling may be appealing to your family.
Anyone who has experienced the benefits of homeschooling could likely come up with many more advantages of homeschooling beyond those mentioned. Talking to other parents who homeschool would undoubtedly be of aid to anyone considering this option. If you don’t know anyone who home schools, the Home School Legal Defense Association will gladly help you to locate someone in your area. You will be glad you went to the effort, for the benefits of homeschooling are worth full consideration and examination.