If you are an adult over the age of 30 who is reading this article, chances are, you were educated in a school system. After all, the popularity of the homeschooling movement rapidly grew during the 1980s because of parents and educational experts realizing that many children fare much better in learning environments that are not as restrictive as school systems. Restrictive, you wonder? Yes! Public schools and even private schools can be very restrictive for children because those environments can prevent children from being motivated and from learning the things that they need to know in order to do well in the “real world.”
Before compulsory education in government-run schools was introduced in North America during the 19th century, children were routinely educated at church-run private schools or at home by their parents and hired tutors. When the concept of homeschooling was re-introduced to the masses during the 1980s, many people were skeptical of whether or not homeschooled students could be successful in life. Some of the reasoning for the skepticism was that homeschooled children would not be able to cope in life unless they were being educated in the same way as their same-aged peers. Many homeschooled children have proved to themselves and to the public that they are more than capable of achieving their dreams academically and personally, and being homeschooled was a big reason why they were able to excel in the “real world.”
The school environment is extremely artificial. In the “real world,” it is up to adults to make their own decisions about how they want to earn money, where they want to live, and who they want to build relationships with. The school environment does not permit children and their parents to make appropriate decisions for themselves based on their goals, needs, and learning styles. Instead, children being educated in school systems are segregated by age and dictated to about what to learn. In real life, very few adults are working and interacting only with people who were born in the same calendar year as themselves; they interact with people of various ages and from all walks of life. In democratic countries, people are given free choice to apply their skills and talents towards their personal and professional lives. Children who are educated in school systems are forced to sit in classrooms for hours each day learning subjects that might not apply to what they are interested in or will make use of in the future.
Homeschooled children are taught very early on in their schooling career that they must take responsibility for their own learning. Usually, the parents teach their children, but some parents hire tutors to teach the children at home. Children who are educated at home are taught about confidence and the ability to confidently be the people that they are meant to be, not who the school system administrators label them to be. Some critics of homeschooling sneer that children who are protected from experiencing the rampant bullying and peer pressure that occurs in schools will have difficulty overcoming obstacles in life. These critics claim that bullying “toughens up” a child and makes them stronger. In “real life” however, adults who are bullied and threatened at work or in public can call the police and press assault charges or file complaints with their employers. Adults who are threatened at work are free to leave that environment; they are not encouraged to toughen up and tolerate abuse. Schoolchildren should not be encouraged to tolerate bullying and luckily, homeschooled children do not have to.
Homeschooled children are usually taught how to properly communicate with people of all ages. They are exposed to as much learning as they want to and aren’t restricted from learning Latin if they choose to! Homeschooled children also have more freedom to explore their passions and hobbies; just like adults are free to do in the “real world.” Many homeschooled children work very hard to learn and achieve because they are encouraged to be the best that they can be. Homeschooled children can also spend more time with their families and are free to choose their own friends instead of being forced to tolerate peers in their classroom who they may not get along with. A school teacher, no matter how nice he or she is, is no substitute for loving parents who have a child’s best interests at heart and provide the time, patience, and support that a child needs to feel encouraged and motivated. Free from the distractions of classroom peers who would rather be anywhere except in the classroom , many homeschooled children can plot their goals and work towards being the best that they can be in the real world for the present and towards the future.