Of course in America there are many options to educating our children. There are public schools, private schools, charter schools, Montessori schools and, of course, the option of home schooling. There are advocates of both home schooling and public schooling. Those of us who don’t home school, which is still the majority of Americans, need to fully understand the reasons why people choose to home school their children.
Religious or Philosophical Convictions:
Religion is not permitted in the public schools. Many families feel that religion needs to be a larger part of their child’s education than that which the public schools allow.
People who have deep religious beliefs show great passion. These are the individuals who are passionate about their children’s education and feel that only they are able to teach them to the best of their ability and the content that they feel they should be learning. The home schooling parent is in charge, they call the shots and they like it that way.
Some people that don’t understand home schooling believe that it is confining rather than socializing. But those individuals that believe that are stuck in thinking about the stereotypical socialization of an age-based classroom. Children that are home schooled are exposed to social situations in a mixed age range. They have “age-mates” instead of “class-mates”.
Many home schoolers feel that their children need to be exposed to the appropriate ways to behave not inappropriate. They feel that their child should be exposed to the model behavior of people who have learned to make decisions and handle themselves in various social settings. By being exposed to appropriate modeling of social behavior, home-schooled children will learn how to act appropriately.
Parents of home schooled children can also see when their child “gets-it” when they model for a younger child appropriate behavior.
Home-schooled children get a reality based social lesson. On a daily basis they see adults they know, love and trust manage and balance life day to day. Modeled for them is academics balanced with real life chores; caring for a sick friend or neighbor, shoveling the driveway and walkway, doing the grocery shopping and dropping of the dry cleaning, cooking dinner while folding laundry, putting laundry away and talking on the phone with Aunt Sara. These are real life situations that home schoolers are exposed to and public school children are often sheltered from or are privy to a controlled school environment.
Home schoolers have several advantages over publicly schooled children. The curriculum is designed specifically for them – not for children their age and what children at a particular age are expected to know and learn. Public schools differentiate instruction the best they can. However, a home-schooled child has a curriculum tailored to their needs. They may read at a 4 th grade level, spell at a 3 rd grade level and complete math at a 6 th grade level.
A home-schooled child is neither rushed nor not given enough time. There are no other children to “keep busy” so they are free to work at their pace and move as quickly or as slowly as need be.
Much research has been done on how children learn best. A home-schooled child is not only taught by the person who knows them best in the entire world but also since they are the only student, the learning style never has to be varied. If a student learns best through music, then the curriculum of a home-schooled child can be tailored to meet their needs so they will be more successful.
Home-schooled children get to spend more quality time as a family. They are not trapped in a traditional school setting for 6 hours a day but are free to spend quality time as a family every day.
It is said that parents are a child’s first teacher. Families that home school want to continue to be their child’s teacher because they feel that their children need the guidance of their family and God and not the guidance of someone hired to do a job that is naturally theirs from the day their child was born.
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