Homeschooling is growing in popularity for a number of reasons which include unlimited learning possibilities for children, variety, flexibility and control over the learning materials and also the parental advantages.
Homeschooling is a nurturing environment rich with opportunity.
The homeschooling parent has many opportunities for one-on-one interaction with her child. Making the most of these opportunities make it possible to develop an intimate knowledge of the child’s academic strengths and weaknesses. This gives the parent great flexibility in tailoring each child’s work to that child’s particular needs.
This one-on-one time also has pay-offs for the family itself: strengthening bonds, developing intimacy and nurturing deep relationships. Due to this intimacy, the parent has a unique advantage compared to the best of trained teachers. No one can possibly know a child like his parents. This intimate knowledge is the most solid foundation possible for guiding a child’s education. Parents also have a deep investment in their child’s success. Homeschool parents can develop a broader sense of what a child’s “success” means, way beyond the scope of standardized test scores.
A homeschool parent will search further for alternative strategies, experiment when current strategies are failing and persevere through difficult times. Realistically, no school and no teacher will ever have that level of commitment to a child.
Homeschooling offers great flexibility in making changes to the learning environment.
Move to a comfortable room to work with the child or turn the t.v. captioning on. There are no parent-teacher meetings, monitoring or budget battles.
While it does take some planning, the homeschool parent can also customize the curriculum. There is much greater flexibility when incorporating field trips, outings and hands-on work than is possible in a school setting. A customized curriculum might mean working on 4th grade math and 6th grade reading and college level science experiments, or it might mean significant use of hands-on activities. The parent has many choices that are simply not available within school structures.
This advantage is inherent in the nature of homeschooling, but still worth pointing out. The child will never be left “behind” the other students, nor will he have to sit through boring reviews of material he understands well.
Homeschooling saves time
There is no commute time transporting children to and from school, no evening homework time, no parent-teacher meetings or PTA events and no time spent stressing over the deficiencies of educational services provided.
A wide variety of social opportunities are also open to homeschoolers. They have the chance each day, to interact with people of all ages in a variety of settings. Homeschoolers, through local homeschool groups, also have the opportunity to develop long-lasting, intimate friendships.
How much of an advantage homeschooling has depends upon the family’s level of involvement with the local public school system. If significant services are being provided, then, obviously, there will be much more interaction with the school system. For the most part, however, there will not be struggles over appropriate goals, issues over implementation of the IEP, monitoring to ensure services are being provided, etc.
The communication method that the family chooses to use will be the communication method used with no argument, no battle, no struggle. Deciding to homeschool your children is no easy task and should be taken seriously. But there are some compelling reasons to consider homeschooling, so take a look and decide for yourself.
Joyce Jackson is an educational expert and consultant in northern California. For her latest book and information see http://www.homeschoolingeasy.com.
Buy the Book: So Why Do You Homeschool
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