These days, many people are turning to homeschooling for their children’s education. Some have started asking the question, ‘Should I homeschool my child,’ due to problems with school. Others feel they want to spend more time with their children. Still, others think they can do a better job of educating their children than a school can.
If you’re one of the parents asking these questions, you should know that homeschooling is not as hard as you think. So long as you’re a loving parent who is willing to go out socially with your children and put a little bit of time into helping them with their education, you should do fine.
Parents Agonizing Over the Choice to Homeschool
Making the choice to homeschool is not easy. Home education is considered an alternative choice and is looked upon with some suspicion by many. The stigma is lessening as the myths referring to weird unsocialized homeschoolers dissipate, but homeschooling parents still have to contend with the critics who hold that home education has significant disadvantages.
Initially, my parents never considered home education, but like many homeschooling parents, they were forced to look at home education when school failed to prevent the corruption of their children’s morals by peers.
My parents started our education by putting us in school. Referring to this period, my father said:
‘Everybody else was enrolling their children in school, and of course, as a parent you’re told that your children won’t get a decent education outside of school. Even though our children were crying and not happy at school, we diligently kept sending them back to ‘get an education’. When we decided to homeschool we really beleived our children would be educational drop-kicks – you know, checkout chicks and ditch diggers. However, one became an architect, the other a lawyer, and the other did a year of medical school. We were certainly surprised with the outcome!’
As my parents discovered more and more problems we were having in school, they became desperate to find an alternative. One homeschooling mother in our church suggested we homeschool, at which my mother laughed at the apparently ridiculous suggestion. My mother then replied, ‘I don’t have the educational background to homeschool my children.’ (This is a common objection that is addressed and overcome in this article.)
She then went home and told my father of the conversation. He stopped for a moment, looked at my mother, and said, ‘Well, why shouldn’t we homeschool?’
And that was how my new educational journey began. For me, going from school to homeschool felt like leaving a dark tunnel and stepping out into a warm meadow full of fragrant daisies!
Top Reasons People Choose to Home Educate
Not everyone begins their homeschooling journey the same way my parents did. Many hold different philosophies that clash with traditional educational methods. There are four big categories of reasons parents choose to teach their children at home including:
- Their child has special needs (or they’re homeschooling for medical reasons)
- They’re anti-establishment types (a lot of new-age thinkers or hippies)
- Their child has had a bad experience in school (so they’re home educating for safety reasons like bullying)
- Religious reasons are the biggest motivation for some (Christians, Muslims, Jews and so on)
Why Are More Parents Homeschooling?
The popularity of home education has exploded in the 21st century thanks to more parents realizing the moral (and religious) heritage in our schools is dying. They have given up trying to reform schools and many no longer believe (at least public) schools can pass on good values to their children.
Some of these disillusioned parents are beyond frustrated with schools and, while they don’t have complete confidence in their own ability to teach, think homeschooling couldn’t possibly be any worse than the school system is.
Arguments for Home Education
The arguments for homeschooling your child can be either positive or negative (or both!).
That is, you’re going to home educate because there’s something wrong with school (negative) or there’s something about home education you love (positive) and so that’s why you’re homeschooling.
Positive Reasons to Homeschool
Some of you are asking, ‘Should I homeschool my child,’ because you’ve seen other homeschooling families who seem calmer and happier compared to your family. Others might be home educating as this enables them to live certain lifestyles they’re fond of which wouldn’t be possible if their kids were in school (for example, traveling families, also known as world-schooling families).
Some other positive reasons to home educate are:
- Your child has special needs, a disability, autism, ADD or ADHD. Schools don’t always have resources to support parents like this.
- Most home learners can better interact with a wider variety of age groups.
- Homeschools let you spend more time with your children.
- At home, parents can better instil their religion with more efficacy than public school will allow.
- There are better learning opportunities like entrepreneurship which can start early.
- There’s better socialization.
- To let children develop better rhetoric and poise in conversation.
- Homeschoolers can start college early if they’re ready.
- Better family bonding and sibling relationships.
- Institute a more personalized education at home as you’re able to choose an educational method and curriculum that suits your family.
- Teach children to learn how to learn and learn and to not have to rely on being spoon-fed information as happens in school.
- Use the most amazing book in the world as your textbook – the Bible…definitely not allowed in public school.
- Give boys more time to be energetic, and spend less time at their desks.
- Have more time to do community projects with the family.
- Choose when and where you want to study.
- Get the school holiday destination you like, without the crowds!
- Most children are happier at home.
Negative Reasons to Homeschool
Some of you are asking, ‘Should I homeschool my child’ because your children have been bullied – or a school-mate showed your 7-year-old pornography. The negative reasons parents choose to home educate include:
- They don’t believe schools are giving their children good moral guidance
- Reduced contact with drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, bullying, sexting, sex, pop culture, LGBTIQ+ agenda (great reasons to be homeschooled in high school)
- Home schools avoid paying lip-service to political agendas
- Schools don’t give teens adequate amounts of rest and this can lead to impaired learning abilities.
- Avoid the anxiety that school causes for some children
- Skip filler work (AKA busywork)
- Avoid insane amounts of unnecessary homework
- You don’t have to travel to school every morning and afternoon
“I Just Don’t Think I Have the Patience to Homeschool My Child.”
Many parents question whether they would make good home educators as they don’t believe they have enough patience to homeschool. One home educating mom answered this query concisely when she said:
I planned on public school right up until the moment the teacher told me she didn’t want my son in her class. She suggested I homeschool. For the record, I thought she was crazy! I didn’t have the patience for that. And guess what? I was right, I did not have the patience for it, but I learned, and he learned and we fell in love!
Another mom tackled this question by saying:
I’ve known so many who’s main comment against homeschooling is that they don’t have patience. They say, “Oh, I could never homeschool, I just don’t have the patience for it!” as if homeschool moms are just mystically imbued with the stuff.
Having true patience is obviously not a requirement, or no one would homeschool!
It is definitely necessary in day to day living with children, but the big picture is more attainable I feel for most.
Actually, I feel it takes more patience from me to deal with outsiders than it does to home educate. Homeschooling is a breeze compared to defending our choices or responding to criticism and ignorance! I don’t think it takes any more patience to homeschool than it does to have kids in general, it’s the naysayers that I need patience for.
Why I Struggle When Someone Asks Me, ‘Should I Homeschool My Child?’
Personally, I really struggle when someone asks me, ‘Should I homeschool my child?’ The ‘old man’ within me wants to say something like, “Yes. Quite frankly, everyone, except a small minority of parents should be homeschooling because public school is a schmuck system designed to socialize, more than to educate and it’s really a socialization system dressed up to be an educational system.”
From experience, I’ve learned this generally gets awful reactions. This is because education is a hot topic. Many people are as devoted to their schools as they are to their country. If anyone tries to attack these institutions, the listener often defends them or goes into their shell and discontinues the conversation.
When I was young and impetuous I didn’t understand this and hence ruined my fair share of relationships due to my overt zeal and preference for homeschooling. But, homeschoolers are often similar to school students in defending their educational background. Many, including me when I was younger, became highly defensive and sensitive of my educational background.
These days when someone asks me whether they should homeschool, I say, “Home education is a great option and you’ll probably love it especially if you stick at it and iron out all the teething problems that initially arise.”
But, the other day, I realized that what I really wanted to say was what Penelope Trunk said:
The biggest lie homeschoolers tell is that home education is not right for everyone. School is totally ineffective. We all know our schools are broken. We are trying to fix them. So the kids in schools are guinea pigs. The bar is very low for how much better life needs to be outside of school for it to be better than school. [Penelope Trunk Education]
While a lot of moms will say, ‘You’ve got to choose what’s right for you,’ and ‘Consider the pros and cons and weigh it all up,’ I am going to just come out and say it. Yes, you should homeschool your child. School’s not hard to beat. I know this because I wrote a book about it with plenty of statistics on all of these issues. I’ve looked at the pros and cons of home education closely and experienced these for myself. I can now say with confidence, homeschooling wins hands-down.