Homeschooling was practiced long before parents began sending their children to school. It was a matter of necessity, because there were no schools to send children. The population was less and communities were spread farther apart, making it hard to get to a school when one did exist. Today, families are returning to homeschooling as an option for their child’s education. Not out of necessity, but as a free choice. Laws regarding homeschooling exist in every state in the United States, which supports the idea that the movement has progressed beyond just a few families who choose the go against the system.
Reasons for homeschooling vary from one family to another. In almost every situation, the family wants what is best for the child and feels they are providing that by keeping the child at home. Some send the child back to school after trying it at home and finding it isn’t a good fit for the family. Others keep it going until graduation with success.
One of the main reasons given for why parents choose to sacrifice their time, energy and finances to teach their children is the declining education standards in public schools. Test scores aren’t predictable factors to determine how well children are learning, because many teachers prepare the children for the tests. They go over the material for the week prior to the testing so the children can score high. After the testing, many of the children forget the material because they never really understood it in the first place.
When a parent is teaching at home, they can ensure the child truly understands the material. If not, then they don’t move forward until the concept is grasped. This leads to retention of the subject matter, which will help the child throughout life. Even with the best of intentions, it’s not fair to expect a teacher to make sure all of her students are grasping the concepts in the classroom for every student. It is much easier to do this when a parent is working one on one with a child. Children can pursue interests that may lead to important careers when they have more time at home. Schooling takes much less time to cover core subjects when the parent is working one on one. This allows time to study other subjects such as gardening, animal husbandry and mechanics or other interests.
Many parents feel as if the public school model does not fit real life scenarios. Children are required by law to sit in a classroom for six to eight hours a day. They have to attend classes they don’t enjoy and don’t have an option if they don’t get along with the teacher. They cannot change schools unless there’s more than one in the district. They are unable to adjust their hours or work within their interests.
Adults are not held to such stringent guidelines. They choose where they work and often determine their hours based on the available shifts. They have the freedom to quit a job if they don’t like the hours or the supervisors and can work anywhere they choose to. It is not mandated by law that they work, allowing for time off for family events or illnesses. While their personal finances dictate whether they work or not, they have much more freedom to choose where they work and what they do. In college or trade schools, adults determine what classes they need to take based on their desired occupation. This model is more closely related to the lifestyle of a homeschooling family.
Some schools are fantastic for children with special needs. They have the funding to hire the best teachers and provide the most effective resources to help children with all needs. However, there are many that provide a less than adequate education for the struggling child. Parents often resort to pulling a child out of school after numerous confrontations with school officials or other students. Many children cannot handle the long hours or the sensory stimulation of being in a classroom setting. They need constant routine and cannot cope with changing rapidly from one activity to another. This often causes meltdowns, which leads to Mom being called to take the child home. After long periods of this routine, the child is not learning or progressing, leading the parents to bring him home to learn.
Children with special needs often excel at home where schedules can be strict or lenient, based on the child’s needs. Therapy can take place, either by the parent or specialist. The child learns best where he feels the most comfortable. Often, parents see results almost immediately after being removed from the classroom setting. Children with serious physical needs are able to make doctor appointments without missing school. Those are ill most of the time are able to work around their illness to learn when they are feeling their best and more able to retain information.
The purpose of school is to teach children information they will need to know throughout life. Many circumstances happen that prevent this from happening in a typical classroom setting. Many families are opting to teach at home so that the child can still receive the best education possible for the individual. With so many resources available to homeschooling families, children are able to learn at their own pace and expand their interests, leading to successful futures.