There are many deciding factors that go through a parents mind when deciding to home educate. This is a lifestyle, and an option for some families. They have to decide what is best for their child(ren) and weigh up all the pros and cons. This decision is not always made lightly; you are deciding what is good for your children and their future.
If a quality, happy, healthy education, family time, flexibility, and learning in the real world are valued by you, then home schooling may be for you. Home educating allows parents and children greater control of the education process. Besides, if home ed doesn’t end up suiting your child/family, or at some point the child wants to go back to school, then they can always re-enter the system.
As with so many things in life, home education is not a black and white issue. There are parents who assume that this is not an option for them, but like many other assumptions, this can be self-fulfilling.
Some of the positive things that can cause a parent to decide on whether to home school or not are your child will get more attention, rather than competing with 30+ other kids for the teacher’s attention. Another pro would be that if the child were having problems in one area it wouldn’t go overlooked because their parents are the ones teaching them. Or if the curriculum wasn’t right for them. Or if they were being being bullied. MORE REASONS
More positives are the fact that home schooled children do better because they can relax about learning and not have to worry about other kids bullying them or any of the distractions that come with going to a regular school. They can learn a lot quicker in this setting too. And if the curriculum doesn’t suit your child, it DOES NOT have to be followed. You can tailor your childs education to suit them and you.
Some of the negatives associated with home educating – well the major one that often rears its ugly head is SOCIALISATION. Especially ‘well meaning’ or ignorant people will comment on this. For starters, forced association is not socialisation.
Parents may worry that children are home educated alone, unless they have siblings, and may be cut off from other children/friends all day. The social aspect has to be considered very carefully, but there are solutions and it isn’t as bad as the critics make out. For instance, there is an 8 year gap between our children, so for many years it was just Inky… well, socialisation was never, and has never, been a problem. When Inky was 2 I found local home educators through a forum on line, hooked up with them and have never looked back. Inky takes part in many activities where she gets to mix with others – these include trampolining, swimming and gymnastics. On top of this she attends art, drama, literacy, history, science and various other home ed groups. Just last weekend she had 4 girls stay for a sleepover. Something that happens A LOT in our household is sleepovers. Sometimes home ed is just one giant social whirl, event after event taking place and children coming over to play, or Inky going somewhere for the day…
Some parents may worry that their children are unable to participate in school sports, but sometimes there has to be a sacrifice. A good education is surely more important than being in a football or netball team….besides as you have read Inky takes part in sporty things. There are tons of sporty classes that can be taken outside of a school setting, and if they are really in to their sport there is so much more time to do it!
More negatives are that maybe the parent does not feel they have enough patience, but patience is cultivated when obstacles are overcome. You grow with your responsibilities.Imagine the feeling when your child learns something new and you are the one who has taught him or her. Some parents may feel that they aren’t qualified for the role of teacher, but it doesn’t matter! One of the wonderful things about home schooling is that you learn as much as your child in the process. I feel that home educating is just a natural extension of parenting – you never gave up on them as a baby, or your ability as a parent. So why doubt yourself now?
There are numerous books and ready made curriculum’s available if you wish to utilise these, which can make life easier so you don’t have to design them yourself if you don’t want to. There will be some expenses involved as you will need to purchase some books and materials to help with the curriculum. I guess some may see this as a negative attribute, but personally, I don’t. We love browsing charity shops for books and also the local library,
There are families that may be concerned that they might have problems finding resources to use for a home education. On the web however, newsletter articles, reviews, resources, web sites, books and lots of other information are available to help you. as well as Facebook groups!
The positive aspects far outweigh the negative aspects of home schooling.
And though it can be a challenge at times, it is generally always more enjoyable and rewarding. If it never rained we wouldn’t appreciate the sun and vice versa. Whatever you decide, remember they only have one childhood :p