Parents naturally want the best for their children, but figuring out exactly what is the best is often a process of trial and error. Ideally, you want to learn from the wisdom of others so that you can have more successes as a parent than failures. One area of your children’s lives that is important to consider is how they’ll receive their education. Public school is probably the most common route that parents take in educating their children, but more and more parents are turning to homeschooling as an alternative to public school. Dissatisfaction in the public school system is often one of the more significant factors that leads to this decision. Udemy has a great course on getting started with homeschooling if you’re interested in taking that route to your child’s education.
9 Benefits of Homeschooling
Homeschooling provides several benefits and opportunities that public school doesn’t provide. Here are 9 of the most important benefits.
1. Tailored Instruction
In a class of twenty to thirty students, not all of the students in the class can receive all of the attention and assistance they need from one teacher. Many teachers love the one-on-one interaction they get to have with their students, but they can also find it very frustrating when they feel they can’t give the individualized attention they feel that each student needs. Not all students learn the same way, but a public school teacher can only differentiate instruction so much for a class of twenty to thirty students.
If you choose to homeschool your children, you have a great opportunity to give your children the individualized attention they need as they’re learning. Even if you’re homeschooling more than one child, your ability to tailor the instruction to each of your children is a helpful benefit they could never get in a public school. You get to teach your child in the way that they learn best, and this helps your child to be more engaged in the learning process. You also have the opportunity to encourage and nurture your child’s unique gifts and talents in a way in which public school isn’t equipped. Check out this course on Udemy for more information about understanding different personality styles.
2. Choosing Your Child’s Curriculum
There are a number of curriculum options for parents to choose from. If you know how your child learns best, then you can choose a curriculum that is tailored to their specific learn style and educational needs. If you’re customizing the curriculum for your child, an added advantage is the ability to accelerate learning in the areas where your child excels. For example, your child might be great at English but not so great in Math. If this is the case, your child might be advancing at an 8th grade level of English while right on target at a 5th grade level in Math. In a public school environment, the teacher bases instruction off of curriculum that they’re responsible to get their students through. Unfortunately, there is a risk of students getting behind because they didn’t master a skill before moving on to one that required mastery of the previous skill. Homeschooling and individualized instruction means that a student gets the attention they need and the assistance they need to master the skills required before moving on to the next skill.
3. Flexible Learning Schedule and Environment
Public school students experience what often feels like a grueling day in and day out schedule of arriving at school in the morning, sitting through 8 hours of classes, then go home in the afternoon. If you have a full-time job, you probably work at your job at least 40 hours per week. Just think about how students experience the same amount of time at school each week and how they often have homework which requires additional time outside of school. Many students find the classroom to be a very dull and cold environment that doesn’t motivate learning. Teachers can decorate their rooms to alleviate some of this concern, but it rarely alleviates all of it. The typical student desk in a school is incredibly uncomfortable, and yet it’s the place a student has to sit all day long.
With homeschooling, you get to decide how to schedule your child’s daily instruction, and it doesn’t have to take nearly as much time in a day as it does in public school. You could start in the morning, or you could start in the afternoon and still have their daily instruction finished in time for other activities. A flexible learning schedule means more time for other things such as extra curricular activities or family time.
Homeschooling also provides a flexible environment for learning. There’s no requirement that you have to teach in the same location in your home every single day. You can teach in your child’s room one day, move it to the kitchen the next day, and to the family room another day. This flexibility allows you to go with what will work best for your situation on any given day.
4. Experiential Learning
Flexibility in learning environment is also great because your child’s learning time doesn’t have to be limited to the home. Students who are homeschooled often have more opportunity to participate in experiential learning activities that get them more engaged that they would be in a classroom. For example, your child could learn more about science by taking a nature walk than by filling out a worksheet, and the flexibility you have means that you can plan a nature walk or another other field trips that would contribute to whatever your child is learning at home. There’s also the opportunity to teach your child through project-based learning by allowing them to develop important life skills through projects that they’re genuinely interested in and require complex thinking and doing. Experiential learning is a benefit that allows a student to learn and have fun at the same time.
5. Independent Thinking and Character Formation
Students in public school are often victims of groupthink where students as a whole decide to behave in a certain way because they believe that it is the best and only way to belong to the group. Students feel the pressure to assume a certain type of identity that may or may not be their own and behave a certain way in order to feel like they are a part of something important. Unfortunately, the peer pressure that students face doesn’t tend to lead students in a healthy life direction. Students often find themselves in the midst of a social hierarchy in public schools, and this leads to feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem. Some students fall victim to bullying, which compounds the problem. With the social pressure that is created by the public school environment, it becomes very difficult for students to devote the attention and engagement they need to in their learning process.
Homeschooling allows you to create an environment where your child can be distanced from the negative peer pressure and bad influences that are found in the public school environment. If your child is with you each day, you have the opportunity to encourage them and help them develop a self-image that doesn’t depend on the opinions of others. When you send your child to public school, they’re not just learning academics; they’re learning how to interact in the world. Unfortunately, how to interact in the world isn’t typically an intentional component of a child’s education in public school. Instead, it’s caught by the way students interact with one another.
Homeschooling gives you the influence in your child’s life that would belong to their classmates in a public school. Many people who choose homeschooling do so because of faith-based convictions. They want to be able to guide their child in the formation of their character, and they realize that public school isn’t the best environment for character formation. Homeschooling allows you to intentionally train your children to be people of character so that they’ll have the strenght to behave with integrity when they do interact with others. Students who are homeschooled have the ability to develop the skill to think for themselves before considering the opinions of others in their decision-making. This is a vital life skill that public school students often miss. Get some tips on how to teach your children to be resilient and feel loved.
6. Closer Family Relationships
Though it’s not likely to be all wonderful all the time, homeschooling does give you the opportunity to build a strong enduring bond with your child. You’ll be available each day as a solid support for your child and you won’t have to miss out any of the important moments of discovery that your child experiences.
7. Social Benefits
Many people assume that homeschooled children end up having antisocial tendencies because they’re never around other kids their own age. However, this is a common misconception because parents who are intentional about getting their children involved in homeschool groups with other kids or extracurricular activities end up helping their kids be just as social, and sometimes even more social, than kids who are in public school. A homeschooled child’s social ability is largely dependent upon a parent creating or finding the opportunities for their child to develop their social skills. Because homeschooled children interact with their adult parent most of the time each day, they tend to be better at interacting with other adults than public school students.
8. Learning With Your Child
If you decide to homeschool, you’ll be teaching your child every subject they need to learn, and chances are that you’re not certified in any of the subjects. Homeschooling gives you the opportunity as the teacher the added benefit of learning new information and skills right alongside your child.
9. Academic Excellence
Studies have shown that students who are homeschooled tend to perform better academically overall than public school students. When it comes to standardized testing, homeschooled students tend to score 15 to 30 percentage points higher than public school students. An interesting finding is that homeschooled students tend to perform better than public school students whether their teaching parent is a certified teacher or not. Homeschooling seems to produce students who are smarter and more mature than their public school counterparts.
Homeschooling isn’t for everyone. Though public school has its disadvantages, there are some students that thrive there. However, that’s not the case for all students, and only you can decide what is best for your child. If the benefits of homeschooling have you seriously considering homeschooling for your child, there’s a course on raising creative thinkers at Udemy that gives you more information on homeschooling.