If more people realized how many reasons there are to homeschool, and what joy it can bring parents (let alone their children), I believe many more parents would be home educating.
In 2017, I wrote a book to try to convince one of my best friends, Lauren, to home educate her Christian children. I called it Why on Earth Homeschool: The Case for Christian Homeschooling and dedicated it to her.
Lauren and her family are now homeschooling and knowing the plethora of reasons for doing so has strengthened her confidence in this alternative educational method.
As homeschooling parents, it’s vital to have a good apologetic in our minds for the reasons we’re educating our kids ourselves. Inevitably we’ll face opposition (perhaps even persecution) for our choices. Knowing the benefits of homeschooling (I’ve found) easily silences the opposition.
In fact, when you know the advantages of homeschooling and can communicate them gracefully, you’ll find people who oppose your choice to home educate at the beginning of the conversation are wondering if it’s something their family might be able to do as well by the end of the conversation!
The following articles will be able to help you educate yourself on these issues:
- 100 reasons to home educate
- Should I homeschool my child
- Why I’m a little bit anti-school
- Negative peer-pressure in schools
- Quotes about peer pressure
During our recent apologetic series at church, we studied common objections to Christianity by using the following framework: Resonate, Dismantle and [show objectors relevance of the] Gospel. It struck me that the first two points can also be used to defend many arguments you might hear about homeschooling.
- Resonate – try to understand where the other person is coming from. Some people genuinely don’t know the answer to the socialization question, so don’t get frustrated when they ask if your child might be missing the social element if they homeschool. (By being patient and answering their questions gently, you might win a homeschooling convert. I’ve seen this in practice and can point to a few families who are now going to homeschool, even though they had no intention of doing so before they met me or other homeschoolers.)
- Dismantle – gently pick holes in the person’s argument and point out the flaws. For example, when they say, ‘How does your child learn to socialize at home?’ tell them how by giving them a list of how you socialize homeschoolers BUT also point to schoolchildren and ask if they really think school socialization is superior and why you don’t think this is the case.
By doing this, you will find more people around you will start looking favourably at homeschooling.
Special needs reasons to home educate
While many parents with neuro-typical children tend to home educate for very good reasons, parents with children who have special needs tend to homeschool for slightly different reasons.
Home provides a quite, often stress-free environment for students which means children with autism tend to find it a more relaxing space to learn in (and consequently many learn more than they would in school).
Children with disabilities can study at times they’re feeling well and can take time off when they’re unwell or if they need to attend a medical appointment.
Gifted children can also work at their own pace and develop their unique talents and gifts. This often means their education is less frustrating than it would have been in school.
Essentially, the flexibility at home is greatly increased leading to more opportunities and less strict schedule-following as occurs in school. These are often great reasons to homeschool for many children with special needs.