Homeschooling was a popular option for millions of parents, students and home tutors around the world even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But now even more parents are considering whether to continue homeschooling their children in the future.
If you are one of those parents then read this article to find out more about what homeschooling is and about the top-five benefits it can provide (not only to your child but to your family in general).
What is homeschooling?
Homeschooling is the practice of educating one’s child at home instead of enrolling them into a traditional educational institution. When the children are young parents can manage to teach them everything they need to know however as children become teenagers some parents may opt to hire a professional tutor (or tutors) to achieve better results.
There is no one single reason why families choose to homeschool their children. Many parents do it because they are dissatisfied with the current educational system in the place where they live, others might do it for various religious or philosophical reasons.
Whatever the reason homeschooling can be beneficial for a child if it is done properly.
1. A flexible schedule affects the whole family
Who among us hasn’t slept through an alarm in the morning and then had to rush around the house in an attempt to get to school on time? Even if you do manage to get up on time the morning pre-school routine is quite difficult to complete without getting agitated, especially if you have more than one child. But when you’re homeschooling there is no time pressure in the mornings; if you stay in bed for an extra half an hour it is not a problem; you decide when your child’s school day starts.
In addition, if you want to take a short trip in the middle of the school year you can do that, you don’t have to plan your family holidays around your children’s school schedule. And if they are learning about some interesting historical event, you can visit a museum to find out more about it instead of just reading about it in the history books.
2. Homeschooled children make progress faster
The public school system nowadays is often criticized for being overcrowded. Many parents complain that there are too many pupils sitting in the same class and the teacher simply doesn’t have time to talk to each student and address the questions they might have. As a result, students might feel confused about the topics they’re supposed to be learning. Homeschooling helps us avoid such confusion since children get one-on-one tutoring sessions and subsequently make progress in their studies comparatively faster. And you don’t even have to tutor your children by yourself; you can hire experienced professional tutors who will be able to do the job much better.
3. Homeschooling might make the child more independent and productive
One survey asked college students to describe their childhood homeschooling experience; according to this survey, adult students reported that as a result of homeschooling they were more independent as children. It helped them develop their critical thinking skills and learn how to think differently from the crowd.
Another interesting research was conducted by Dr. Ray in 2003. He wanted to find out what kind of adults homeschooled children turned out to be. He studied a group of 7300 adults 5000 of which had been homeschooled for over seven years. According to the survey, the adults who had been homeschooled as children are more active in their social life and their communities compared to their public school counterparts. In addition, a much higher percentage of homeschooled adults pursued higher education and what’s more, they received higher scores on the happiness scale.
Interestingly in 1999, the number of homeschooled students accepted to Stanford University was two times higher than the number of students educated in public and private schools.
4. Homeschooling is better for special needs children
If a child is born with special needs attending a public school might be tricky (both physically and psychologically). Firstly, their peers might pick on them and make them feel inadequate; secondly, not all schools are appropriately equipped to assist a person with special needs. All of this creates a negative environment that might damage your child’s self-esteem and discourage them from studying.
On the other hand, if a child with special needs is homeschooled, they will be surrounded by their loved ones who will make sure to create a positive and supportive learning environment. Special needs children are always a number one priority in any family and nobody can make sure their needs are well catered for like their parents.
If a child suffers from a learning disability, they can study at their own pace and if they have ADD (attention deficit disorder) at home their learning process is less likely to be disrupted by external distractions.
5. Homeschooled children score better on various tests
With everything we have discussed in the previous sections of this article, you will not be surprised to find out that the children who have been homeschooled get higher marks at exams and there is even research that supports this. One study looked at 20,000 homeschooled children and their test results. The study concluded that homeschooled children (particularly those who had been homeschooled right through the high school years) coped significantly better with the tests.
Another study compared the SAT scores of homeschooled children to the scores of those who attended traditional educational institutions. This study found out that homeschooled students scored on average 67 points higher than the national average at that time.
These are just some of the benefits homeschooling can offer you; however, if you decide to do it then you will need to put in a significant amount of energy and time to make sure that the attention and the guidance your child gets at home, is on par with (and even exceeds) what he/she would have gotten from the public school educator. Only if you put and effort into homeschooling your children will you see the desirable results.