In this era of over-crowded classrooms, under-funding and focus turned from teaching to classroom management, homeschooling has become for many families, a viable, not to mention infinitely successful, alternative.
The current system is unable to accommodate anyone other than the most mainstream; children lying beyond that parameter tend to be left in the dust, either painfully behind or bored and disillusioned. Inspired learning is replaced by rigid adherence to curriculum and hours upon hours of required homework.
There is little to compare to the power of one-on-one attention and time spent with parents. And while the conventional system offers what it can in the form of special programs and classroom aids, with funding stretched and largely inadequate, they are rarely provided but in the most extreme of cases. Time to direct interests, feed passions and address specific issues is only truly available in a home-school environment. It is in the home, with loving and invested parents, where children are best able to explore what excites them, learn to love learning and even better, have a direct hand in their own learning, that makes the homeschooling experience superior to that offered by formal education.
As recent initiates, homeschooling our school-age children for the past year, the benefits and progress made in twelve months have been more than merely marked. Spurred into making the decision by our fourth-grader’s poor achievement in reading and writing, resulting in his growing stress, anxiety and low self-esteem, we have seen remarkable improvement. Had we continued relying on the conventional system, without a great deal of extra work, we would have had a child in grave danger of falling through the academic cracks. The simple truth was, as parents willing to put in the work, school was seeming at best redundant, and in reality, more of a hindrance.
Ultimately, the proof is in the home-school graduates. Home-schoolers typically graduate earlier than their conventional system counterparts, score better on standardized testing and show greater individual initiative in not only their education but their extra-curricular and professional endeavors as well. Rather than being ruled by arbitrary scheduling, the whims and demands of teachers, peers and unruly classrooms and external reinforcement, home-schooled children enjoy a freedom in learning that reflects better the demands of real life and the importance of individual responsibility and initiative.
Albert Einstein said it best, “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” His words exemplify what it is to home-school.