The advantages to homeschooling your children far outweigh any supposed disadvantages. Let’s consider just a few:
Time together –
We hear it repeated often in the public forum – spending quality time with your children is important! What better way to do that than to be at home with them. Yours is the face they first see when they wake up. You are a consistent presence in their lives as they work and play. Our children are easily impressed and imprinted upon by those who spend the most time with them. It makes sense that it should be a loving parent, if at all possible.
Teaching values –
What do you want your children to learn about life and love and personal responsibility? When you are their primary instructor, you have more time and opportunity to teach (and model) those values that are important to you. In the home school setting, you have the privilege and freedom to teach them about faith, family, friendship, finances and so much more. This is not always the case in other states or countries where home schooling is strictly regulated or even prohibited.
Personal tutoring –
When children struggle with a subject, a personal tutor is often recommended. This is due to several reasons, one being the ratio of teacher to student. The fewer students a teacher has, the greater assistance per student. As a home school parent, you are giving your children a great advantage by being a personal tutor. When they have questions about a subject or need some encouragement, you are there to assist. You also have the joy of seeing their eyes light up with understanding, their fist punching the air and hearing them shout, “Yes!”
Choosing curriculum –
In the public school setting, your state board adopts guidelines for curriculum. In your home school, you have the advantage of choosing your own materials for study. If you firmly believe in creation vs. evolution, you can choose textbooks that won’t conflict with your belief. Why not visit a home school fair and browse the displays? Ask questions, listen carefully, and then choose the curriculum that best reflects your values and suits your child’s learning style. Save money by purchasing gently-used materials if possible. Pick and choose what you want to use for each subject and then adapt it to your teaching methods.
Creative teaching –
Be creative in your home school experience! Don’t feel obligated to have a traditional-style classroom if you’d rather study at the kitchen table or outside on a pretty day. Display colorful maps and charts and rotate them often. Make unique time-lines for historic events or hang a hand-made solar system in the family room. Illustrate math problems with dried beans, buttons, marbles or elbow macaroni. Need some time to plan supper? Send kids to their rooms for uninterrupted time with their favorite book. Reading builds vocabulary and writing skills. You can choose when and how to teach in your own home, so be creative!
Early advancement –
In your home school, students don’t have to advance by grade levels. Give them great materials and allow them to advance at their own pace. If your ten-year-old speeds through her science text, let her advance to the next level. If she whizzes through that, too, visit the public library and let her check out armloads of books on her favorite science topic. Whether she’s into growing herbs or charting weather patterns, individual research and study is an excellent way to advance. Holding a child back to fit a scheduled grade change is unnecessary when you home school.
Traveling together –
Okay, so the opportunity to travel comes in the middle of September instead of summer. What to do? By all means, pack your bags and go! Your child’s education won’t suffer for it, because travel and sightseeing makes for a a tremendous education in itself. Study maps, make a list of towns you pass through, read travel brochures. Seeing Mount Rushmore in person is far better than just reading about it. And getting up close and personal with a live dolphin gives your kids a sensory learning experience. As they see it perform, touch its skin and hear its squeaks, they get a far better visual of dolphins than a flat picture in a textbook.
There are so many advantages to home schooling your children: You have quality family time, the freedom to instill important family values, a chance to be creative in the teaching and learning process, the ability to choose your own curriculum, the opportunity to combine education with an unexpected vacation, and much, much more. What more could a parent ask?