Raise your hand if you don’t like school. If your hand is raised, chances are that you are not the only person who had a less than ideal school experience. Homeschooling is continuing to rise in popularity in western countries due to several reasons, but one major reason why homeschooling is being embraced is because of families’ growing dissatisfaction towards public schools. Public schools have some benefits; however, home education offers children and parents advantages that do not exist in a public school setting.
Homeschooling is not a new phenomenon. Rather, homeschooling as it is done today is a more modern revamp of how children were educated at home centuries ago prior to the introduction of compulsory education during the 19th century. Public school teachers have very little flexibility to devote time to each individual student because they must teach the coursework issued by the public school board. Children who pursue their educational studies at home do not have to deal with the distractions public school students face; distractions like disruptive students, teachers interrupting the lesson to discipline disruptive students, and classmates passing notes to each other while the teacher tries to teach the class. Children who are educated at home can study in peace and have more one-on-one time with their instructors.
Technology at home that might be considered to be distractions for public school students can actually be used as learning tools by home educated students. Television shows like Sesame Street, and Super Why!, teach children literacy and numeracy concepts. Computers at home can be used for school lessons being taught on the Internet. Some homeschooling families choose to use online K-12 schools to help their children study. Other homeschooling families prefer to un-school or design their own lesson plans. Public schools must rely on funding from the government to provide learning tools to their students, and they cannot always afford updated textbooks and technology that can train their students to be prepared for the future.
Bullying is rampant at public schools, and the harmful effects of bullying on students are plentiful; low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, and violence are just some of the dangerous results of public school bullying. Some schools are adopting anti-bullying policies, but the policies are not fool-proof. Students at public schools are vulnerable to being bullied and they are left to fend for themselves. Students who are home educated are for the most part, protected from the endless bullying that takes place at public schools.
As for socialization with other people, public schools are not the only places where children can make friends. There are many homeschooling community groups worldwide where parents, children, and educators can meet and build relationships with each other. Students who are educated at home have the flexibility and freedom to pursue extra-curricular activities like team sports, music lessons, and volunteering opportunities where they can meet and learn from people from all walks of life. Public schools segregate their students into classrooms according to their ages; not according to interests or learning styles. Not everyone who was born during the same calendar year will learn the same way or share similar interests, but public schools do not take that into account.
Home education is another form of private school with more flexibility and less expensive costs, and it is ideal for families that want more decision making authority over their children’s education. Not only is home education on the rise; work from home job opportunities are on the rise too, and parents can find ways to work from home and educate their children at home at the same time. Public school students are getting educational basics, but they must constantly deal with teachers potentially going on strike, potential violence from bullies, and limited opportunities for one-on-one instruction. Learning does not need to only take place in a classroom; it can take place at home, at the beach, anywhere. If you are considering which educational method to pursue for yourself or for your child, be sure to carefully consider whether public schooling or home education would be a better fit for your family.