Would be homeschoolers may be curious about the benefits of homeschooling. Although the benefits will vary from location to location and family to family, generally the positive aspects of homeschooling remain similar for everyone.
If you talk to ten homeschool families, each will cite different reasons for homeschooling. One of the aspects of homeschooling that most people mention first is the close relationships their children have with each other. In a time when many siblings can barely tolerate each other for the short time they are together, homeschooled siblings often develop close friendships with one another. Because they are together much of the time they often develop similar interests and hobbies. This gives them common ground.
Another benefit of homeschooling is the strong relationship between parent and child. Time spent together talking, learning together, and working together results in a more intimate relationship. A parent that once counted the days until school was back in session will likely find, over a period of time, that she enjoys the companionship of her children. An added benefit of the time involvement is children who are more secure and communicate easily with their parents.
One of the criticisms of homeschooling is that the children will not be socialized properly. This could not be further from the truth. In a classroom situation, children are grouped together by age. Each child is at a similar level of maturity. Rather than learning to communicate and interact with a variety of people of all maturity levels they interact basically with people of the same age. Shy children are often at the fringe and children that are different are the subject of harassment. It is the only time in the life of a person that he will be in a group of people that are all the same age and academic level.
A homeschooled child is generally adept at socializing with everyone, small children to adults. Because he is around a variety of ages and maturity levels he learns to adjust to the group that he is interacting with at the moment.
Even an only child has plenty of chances for socialization. Some of them are:
- Church, temple, mosque, or other religious organizations
- Girl Scouts
- Boy Scouts
- Homeschool co-ops
Academic Benefits of Homeschooling
There is no argument that homeschooling has a lot of benefits academically. With close to a one on one teacher to student ratio, each child is more likely to get the help he needs. Areas that are difficult for the student will be apparent very quickly and can be addressed as needed. Learning styles become part of the learning process rather than a disability.Curriculum can be individualized to each student, allowing him to learn at his own pace and to spend more time on the subjects he has the most interest in. Delight directed learning takes place and the information is learned rather than memorized and later forgotten. Since the formal school day tends to be shorter than in a conventional school setting (generally about three to four hours at most) he has the opportunity to pursue interests that he would not have time for otherwise.
There are thousands of good things about homeschooling. Some more benefits are:
- Parents' moral and religious beliefs can been passed on to children.
- Children are not exposed to as many germs and stay healthier without medical intervention.
- There is less stress within the family. Home and family life is centered around the home and family rather than the schedules of public institutions.
- Homeschooling provides a safe learning environment. There are no bullies, negative peer pressure, sexual harassment, or worry about drugs.
- The parent can control what the student learns, and when.
- Natural talents are nurtured.
- Learning becomes part of the flow of the day rather than a separate activity.
- Homeschooled children are generally confident and tend to be comfortable in who they are.
- Homeschooled children tend to be more mature at an earlier age than conventionally educated children.
- Children learn life skills.
- Homeschooled children tend to come up with creative solutions because they have the opportunity to think outside the box.
Make a List
There will always be days where a homeschooling parent looks wistfully at the big yellow bus passing by. There are benefits of homeschooling but it is a huge commitment. There will be days that just don't go well. For this reason it is a good idea to keep a journal of the good things, the positive aspects of homeschooling. On difficult days you can read it and encourage yourself.Homeschooling your children is a rewarding choice that will have long term benefits for your family.