In my experience, most people never consider homeschooling. I mean, isn’t it something crazy whacko’s do to keep their children locked up away from society and to indoctrinate them to a cult before they realize there’s a big wide world out there?
Okay, so maybe you didn’t think all that, but there’s definitely a stigma many homeschooling families face. So why are an ever increasing number of families choosing this? Here are some big reasons people choose to homeschool, but is by no means an exhaustive list:
Academics: Either the public school system isn’t motivating the young learner to achieve higher, or they are not addressing the needs of the child. In many cases it seems to be the gifted child not getting enough stimulation since most public schools will address the needs of children in need of special education before building programs for the gifted students. I understand, but this can be frustrating to parents that have children who excel.
Social Interaction: Between bullying, peer pressure and keeping up with the Jones’s, kids are facing a number of social battles. When a child is homeschooled, they still interact with a number of people throughout their week, but they aren’t necessarily bombarded with mixed messages from their peers. Homeschoolers have more opportunity to choose their friends out of shared interest more than convenience, and it’s okay for their friends to be a slightly different age (*gasp!* You mean, a 7th grader could be friends with an 8th grader?). Homeschooling doesn’t necessarily stifle social interaction. There are many homeschoolers who are outgoing and have many friends, but let’s not make that the measuring stick. What is so wrong with being shy anyway?
Values or Religious Beliefs: The majority of homeschoolers today profess a strong religious connection, with the majority in this group being conservative Christians. Even those who are not strongly connected with a religion, or do not have a religion at all, may want to homeschool because they want to raise their children with strong personal values that may be hard to maintain in a mainstream school setting. Most kids naturally want to blend in and be like their peers, and if the mainstream social norm is different than the values the parents hold, this can place the child in a hard spot. The homeschool schedule also allows for the kids to be instructed in their religion during the day, instead of only on the weekend.
Scheduling: It is amazing to me how many people start homeschooling because they want a more flexible schedule! Whether one of the parents travels for work, or the kids are heavily involved in sports, it works great to be able to do school when you can instead of on the strict schedule set by the school board. I love to do some work in the summer so we can be more relaxed in the spring and fall, when the weather is beautiful!
Homeschooling families are so diverse, and there are so many benefits to homeschooling! I could write a week’s worth of posts on why we love it, but I’ll instead just encourage you to find other homeschooling blogs to find out why they love homeschooling. Here are some of my favorites: