Growing in popularity, homeschooling is both academically rigorous and personally rewarding. Here’s the stuff you always wanted to know, but were hesitant to ask.
1. It’s Legal: Mention homeschooling and one of the first questions people typically ask is if it’s legal. Not only is homeschooling legal, it’s a Constitutional right.
2. It’s Customized: Individual states vary relative to the reporting requirements and academic guidelines imposed on those homeschooling within their borders. Parents, however, use their own discretion and personal knowledge of their kids’ learning styles to determine the best way to teach them the material they need to learn.
3. It Works: Academic material that is tailored to a child’s individual learning style is more easily assimilated. The ‘aha’ moments come sooner and the learning curve is shortened. Skeptical? Well, the proof is in the research. A 2010 study conducted by NHERI indicated that, on average, homeschoolers consistently finish in the 84th-89th percentile academically, irrespective of subject.
4. It’s Growing: When something works it’s only a matter of time before people notice and repeat it. A recent Brietbert report indicated that homeschooling is growing seven times faster than the number of students entering the public school system. Currently, 2.04 million students are homeschooled.
5. It’s Personal: Despite its undeniable success, many parents homeschool their children to spend a quantity of quality time with them, not exclusively for academic reasons.
6. It’s Diverse: Homeschooling is conducted by a variety of people in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons. No two families homeschool the same way or for the same reason. Nor are homeschoolers a homogenous population. As with any affinity group, there are similarities and shared experiences among homeschoolers, but the two most consistent characteristics are relationships and results.
7. It’s Rewarding: Anything worthwhile requires effort. At the end of the day, is there a wiser investment one can make then in the next generation? Knowledge that they have put first things first often leaves homeschool parents with a deep sense of personal satisfaction…and well-earned exhaustion.
8. It’s Accessible: Anyone who has a desire to homeschool their children can easily do so if their life circumstances accommodate it. Homeschool materials are easy to obtain and use. In the early years, parents learn alongside their children and grow with them. For those who do not feel confident to teach, they can opt to ‘facilitate’ their kids’ educations through a variety of multi-media, online, and community college-related resources. Co-ops and personal tutors are also available at the local level to help, too.
9. It’s Doable: Many who would like to homeschool their kids are dissuaded from doing so because they feel they are too disorganized. Ironically, the sense of personal responsibility parents feel for their child’s education helps them to create the order and structure necessary for education to occur, which typically makes the home run more smoothly, too.
10. It’s Efficient: Because of the small class size, reduced teacher-student ratio, and lack of crowd control, homeschooled students often finish their school day in a fraction of the time it typically takes their peers to complete their work. -This leaves ample time for additional study in specialized areas of interest, as well as time to participate in sports, community service, internships, and work.
11. It’s Social: One of homeschooling’s greatest myths is that homeschoolers are sequestered at home, completely isolated from others. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, homeschooled children typically have excellent social skills and graces. Accustomed to interacting with people of all ages, they are comfortable talking with adults as well as peers, but are generally not as peer-dependent as others their age.
12. It’s Portable: Homeschooled students often take classes outside the home at community colleges and co-ops. School can (and does) happen anywhere they can tote their books and lap top.
13. It’s Normal: ‘Normal’ people homeschool their children. That’s right, normal doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, secretaries, and nurses all lay aside their careers to teach their children at home for a time. The common threads that bind them together are a love of children and a determination to do whatever’s necessary to equip their kids for life.