One advantage of homeschooling is the ability to create an educational system that’s geared toward an individual child. Since we’re all unique, as children we may be strong in some areas but weak in others. In traditional schooling, this leads to more focus on the weakness to the point of neglecting a child’s strengths. This can lead to frustration, even in children that are well-rounded in most subjects.
Developing a Child’s Gifts
Even at an early age, children often display abilities that if developed can make them extraordinary adults. What happens to future artists, musicians, and other creative thinkers if they are taught that their skills are not as valued because they can’t be tested or measured by a rank or grade?
The basics of English, math, and science should not be neglected, but as adults it’s what makes us unique that leads to our success in almost any field. Children need to be encouraged to learn to their full potential, not just what a standardized test says is the 100% boundary.
Lessening the Impact of Weak Areas
If you start out being weak in an area in traditional schooling, what is typically done? You get put in a class with other kids that are struggling. Instead of being pulled forward, you’re pulled farther and farther behind. You become how people treat you, and if people say you’re weak in an area long enough you’ll give up trying to improve.
In student-paced learning, it’s not about letting a child get by with not “keeping up” with their peers. It’s giving them time to develop and move forward in an area. Even if it’s at a slower pace, it’s still progress and long-term the results can be the same for two different children. The important thing is to not give up hope or become so discouraged you don’t try.
The Advantages to “Gifted” Children
For children that are able to learn quickly, student-paced learning prevents boredom and related behavioral problems due to boredom. If you take a typical school day, if 25-50% of it is spent waiting for other children to learn the material, that’s time that can be better spent.
Homeschooling and student-paced learning is not for everyone and obviously goes against a lot of traditional thinking. It’s important to remember however that there are often more than one approach to getting to the same solution to an issue. Given the results, these are educational options that are at least worth considering.