As parents, one of your top concerns is the education of your children. You go to great lengths and sometimes great expense to insure your children have the opportunity to succeed. This parental drive has led many parents to take a look at homeschooling vs the public school system to find the best way to provide a quality education.
With the inception of the No Child left Behind Act of 2001, it was believed the public school system would bloom into a magnificent system spitting out scholars left and right and elevating the United States students into position to rival the top learners in the world. Unfortunately it fell short. Coupled with stringent budget cuts in Education that continue to close public schools across the nation annually, creating classrooms with as many as 35 students per teacher, parents are scrambling for ways to help their child excel not just make the grade.
For many parents, the startling statistics on the growth and achievement of homeschooling and homeschooled students, has them looking closely at the possibility for their own children. Currently over 2 million students our being homeschooled across the nation. These students tend to score better on all standardized tests ranking into the 80th-89th percentile vs public school students who consistently rank 50th percentile.
There are other aspects to consider before pulling your child from public school. If you are considering homeschooling your child, here are a few pros and cons from other homeschooling parents. It is important for you to create your own pro/con list with those things that are important to you and your family; another parent’s pro may be your con.
You get to choose the curriculum, or lack thereof, for each of your children. You can find many online at homeschool sites and even at store sites like Amazon.com. You can choose mainstream learning or go for a more religious curriculum. If you prefer, there are accredited online schools that will provide the curriculum and will often include some supplies and text books.
Homeschooling allows you and your family a lot more flexibility. You begin school when you wish, you put in as many hours as you wish, you can chooses to school in the morning or afternoon, you choose your vacation days and other days off all according to what works best for you and your family. Bear in mind, you will need to meet the requirements of your states educational bi-laws if you choose to return your children to the school system in the future. You are required 180 days of school per year; however, do your research about the breakdowns for your state.
More Time With Your Child
This is especially important if your child has learning disabilities or has certain emotional needs. You will be together 24/7. This can be a wonderful time for you to enjoy being together as a family as well as learning the day’s lesson. Your child can participate in the cooking, cleaning, shopping, budgeting and still be learning. This also falls under life skills. Often our lives are so busy our children don’t learn life skills at home and they are no longer offered in many schools due to budget cuts.
It is important to allow children to learn at their own rate. There is less pressure to quickly complete an assignment your child is struggling with when you are his teacher. He can take the time he needs on the subjects that more difficult for him to accomplish. However, it is important to remember you are in effect his teacher not just his parent; you can give him more time, help him one-on-one to understand what is needed, and give him positive encouragement but he must still learn the lesson.
Homeschooling can be hard on the budget, especially if your children have been in a free public school. The cost will depend on what you need to purchase; text books, curriculums, computer, lab supplies for the sciences, and the usual pens, pencils, markers, papers, etc.
Lack Of Socialization
Many families already have a built in social circle with family members of various ages and large church family to learn social skills from. Unfortunately that isn’t true for everyone. You may have to get creative about social settings like enrolling your child in community sports or theatre or choir or perhaps a part time job if your child is old enough, to provide a look at the world he will one day need to inhabit.
Being With Your Child 24/7
For some parents and children this is very difficult. It is important to be honest and weigh this aspect very carefully. Everyone needs a little alone time whether it is a twenty minute walk to regroup or two hours to recoup. You need to know the needs of every member of the family in this area to keep things running smoothly.
You have to be organized. How organized depends on the program you choose to go with and how many children you’re homeschooling. You need to think ahead. Even if you never put your children into public or private school, there are things you will need when your child applies for college.
Keep track of courses, grades, extra-curriculum activities, and any special awards. You can find a basic rundown of what you might need on most homeschool websites. Start early, stay organized.
Homeschooling is a big decision that shouldn’t be made in haste. Do some research, make up your own pro/con list, and talk with your family before making your decision. Homeschooling may not be for everyone but everyone has the right to choose to homeschool.