Once upon a time, “homeschooling” was the only way to receive an education, if you received one at all. In the many years since that time, society has undergone massive changes, and the reasons for wanting to get back to homeschooling have changed as well. Those reasons are as diverse as the families that choose to take on the task. Some cite Christian reasons for educating their children, whereas others choose a more secular approach. Still, others blend the two.
The fact is, there are many great reasons to homeschool. You’re likely to have a few that don’t even make this list, but we wanted to compile it just the same. For those of you reading this that may not yet have made up your mind about homeschooling, we hope these “reasons” give you a bit more confidence in solidifying your decision. For the record, though, you don’t have to validate your desire to homeschool based on any list.
Reason #1: To Remove Your Child From A Negative School Environment
One of the most common reasons cited for homeschooling in this generation is to remove children from an extremely negative and violent public-school environment, with bullying easily making the top of the list. Years ago, “bully” was a term used for the “tough kids” that preyed upon smaller kids, sometimes shoving or making fun of the child. These days, that has changed in ways many of us never would have even fathomed in our wildest imaginations.
Of course, teasing is still rampant, but for more unbelievable reasons. More and more, though, children are actually being physically abused and that abuse either goes unreported or completely dismissed by authority figures. Most children who have been bullied, my own daughter included, say there’s no point in “telling.” There’s no one to help. And the one time I did insist that she inform a teacher, SHE wound up being expelled along with the bully.
Homeschooling allows your child to breathe easy and learn in a relaxed environment that is free from teasing, theft, physical abuse, emotional abuse and many other factors that threaten to drive our children into seclusion, depression, and worse. Free from these fears they should never had to face in the first place, you’ll watch your child bloom into the learner they were meant to be!
Reason #2: To Offer A Better Education
After Common Core “logic” came into play and overcrowded classrooms became the norm, the decline of public-school education has been a constant. As a homeschooling parent, you’ll have complete control over what your children are learning. For many, this means adding stronger college prep classes, since many young people say they just don’t feel academically prepared to attend college. Most homeschooling parents choose to add in real-life skills that are necessary for life in general, such as banking, understanding loans and mortgages, and tax preparation, to name a few.
One-on-one instruction is also known to boost a child’s learning ability and that’s something that is woefully absent from classrooms today. As you work with your child, playing on strengths and building up weak spots, you are working to create a very stable and confident person who will be better able to tackle whatever they experience after graduation.
Reason #3: To Help Your Child Love Learning
In an environment where children are often told to sit quietly, pay attention, and complete their classwork, children can quickly learn to hate the learning process altogether. It becomes a situation of simply regurgitating information they’ve been fed for a week in order to attain a specific number on a progress report or grade card. In this environment, children who dare to say they would rather try a different approach to a learning style are often “labeled” and medicated into submission.
On the contrary, homeschool can be a breeding ground for learning that continues to grow throughout the years. As you begin to adapt to your child’s specific learning style, their interests, and their favorite subjects, you’ll see amazing results. What’s more, this type of love for learning creates adults who go on to become leaders and entrepreneurs and lead happy productive lives. Yes, there may be days when neither of you wants to do “schoolwork” but overall, it’s the principle of loving the learning process that remains, in addition to the material you cover.
Reason #4: To Help Build and Strengthen Your Child’s Faith
Unless your child attends a Christian private school, there’s literally NO CHANCE they will ever hear Christianity spoken of approvingly. In public school, they’re much more likely to be taught core values relating to Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christian Science, and yes, in some schools, even satanism. It’s all a part of the pluralistic culture that believes to exclude religions and social justice platforms is to create offense, and this intolerance cannot be tolerated. Of course, Christianity isn’t on their list of tolerated religions.
There is no assurance that we can guide our children into the faith through homeschooling. They are individuals who will have to have that experience with God on their own and attempting to force that never helps. However, homeschooling is the best option to give them constant access to faith, to the Word of God, to morality and character studies that will help guide their future decisions. It’s not just a matter of taking your child’s academics into consideration, but their eternal souls as well. That may not be a popular opinion among the masses, the Truth is always offensive to those who don’t believe.
Reason #5: To Offer Better Academic Support For Your Special-Needs Child
Special-needs children are often left behind when it comes to academics, and not always because they can’t learn. Not only are these classrooms overcrowded, underfunded, and lacking in the ability to handle the many different needs all at once, but teachers are often burdened with so much reporting, tracking, and parent-notes that they hardly have time to teach. When my own son, who has high-functioning autism, was in public school, it was not at all uncommon to see special-needs teachers with Master’s Degrees giving up their teaching position to become a student aid. Their primary reason for doing so was to lessen their massive load of reporting and paperwork, which would often take them late into the night--every night.
By homeschooling your special-needs child, you won’t have to file special reports on every activity and social interaction. Instead, you can open up their academic possibilities in amazing ways. The one-on-one attention I was able to give my son raised his functioning grade level from 1st-grade to 5th-grade in just a year and a half of homeschooling. One of the most monumental tricks I initiated for him was to use graph paper instead of regular notebook paper for math problems. This allowed him to line up the numbers perfectly, so he could easily see which group he was working with. Before that, math was his worst subject, and his paper was a complete mess.
And that’s just the kind of thing you can do for your special-needs child. They all have that certain something that holds them back. And if you could just address that, you know it would open up a whole new world for them. That’s just one of the things that homeschooling allows you to do. Since no one knows your child better than you do, the sky is the limit!
Reason #6: To Have More Family Time While Still Learning
One of the best things about homeschooling is that you can take learning with you, wherever you go. Your child will never again “fall behind” in class if you decide to take two weeks to go on vacation.
The holidays are a perfect example. Many families travel long distances to be with friends and family, but they only have a very small window of time to “be absent” from public school. When you homeschool, you can continue to study in any location, any time you choose. Spend a month or two at Grandma’s house between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and instead of falling behind, your child may well be ahead of their peers academically. And if the family home you’re visiting happens to be a farm, a dairy, or some other small business, that’s even better as you can implement the visit as a field trip.
Siblings often form closer bonds within the structure of homeschooling as well, especially if you use the Charlotte Mason, Classical, or Unschooling styles. In settings like these, older siblings almost always come to the aid of the younger children to help with lessons, life skills, and hobbies, creating relationships that are deeper than those of their public-school peers.
Reason #7: To Help Teach Appropriate Social Interaction With Adults
In public school, the only real interaction children have with adults revolves around authority figures who constantly tell them what to do and what not to do. This often results in children who turn inward and become shy and introverted or lash out at that authority and wind up with behavioral issues. This creates an innate fear of adults which can truly dampen their abilities as they mature into adulthood. In a worst-case scenario, it breeds resentment of all authority, as witnessed by our overflowing prison population.
On the contrary, the homeschooling environment creates an atmosphere where children learn about real-life social interactions and civility among adults in public. For instance, they will pick up on how you interact with others when you pay bills, when you’re in the grocery store, or while at church or some other social function. And as children do, they will mimic those interactions on their own. Public-school peers often don’t get this kind of interaction until the last couple of years of high school.
You might even find that your child develops an above-average communication ability. In public schools, children are often “talked down to” even by the most well-meaning adults. And since they are not allowed to voice their opinions concerning these interactions, it truly hampers their ability to deal with real life when it finally happens.
Reason #8: To Be In Control of Your Child’s Academic Calendar
Public schools have some variation among districts as to what time they begin and end their instruction time. However, their six to eight hours of “instruction” include shuffling from classroom to classroom between classes, taking time for children to settle down to be taught, various assemblies on topics you may not agree with or even know about, field trips (and the bus rides to and from) lunchtime, recess, and many other variables that can pop up over the course of the day. If you condensed the actual instruction time your children get, you might be surprised to find it incredibly deficient for learning.
When homeschooling your child, you are in complete control of the clock and the calendar. If 8 a.m. is an unrealistic time, for whatever reason, then don’t start until noon! Sure you might have to go a bit longer, but if it fits, why not go with it? Do you have an appointment, a lunch date, or some other important something on a school day? Just stop early. You can literally make it up later that day if you want. Are you and your child having a blast learning about today’s topic? Then, by all means, keep learning! If you’re counting hours instead of days, the extra time will allow for shorter days later.
Reason #9: To Be Able To Take Breaks Any Time
Some parents find out that the ADHD their child was diagnosed with while in public school seems to disappear when homeschooling begins. Why is that? It could be that your child is simply more exuberant than most. After all, isn’t that part of what being a child is all about? It’s not odd or “defiant” for a child to be fidgety. Unless, of course, they are in public school.
Giving your child ample time and room to wiggle, run, squeal, play, and even splash through puddles could be a surprising way to harness their focus when they’re finished. It’s important to get that energy out and that can be done in a lot of different ways. A nature walk might yield an excellent science lesson. Playing with the dog can build empathy for living creatures as well as teach responsibility in caring for their pet. Learning to play basketball or some other sport can lead to a fulfilling hobby and, for some, a career. The possibilities are endless and both you and your child will surely enjoy the playtime.
Reason #10: To Allow Your Child To Learn At Their Own Pace
Albert Einstein said, “I never teach my pupils... I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
The truth is, expecting your child to learn at the exact same speed on the exact same level with the exact same resources as 30 to 40 other children is preposterous. This is not a learning environment, it’s the result of a public-school institution that came on the heels of the American industrial revolution. Rather than attempting to educate and form responsible citizens, it seems like the movement was designed to teach the acceptance of authority and fitting into a group as a whole.
In homeschooling, the whole foundation shifts to allow the child to learn at a rate, per subject, with which they are comfortable. For instance, my own daughter loved science and geography so much that she would gleefully collect college textbooks on the subject from local thrift stores and yard sales and read them in her free time. She was far ahead of her peers in that and several other subjects. At the same time, she struggled immensely with math and it took us nearly two years to find an approach that allowed her to flourish. During those two years, she fell behind, but in that one year when math “clicked,” she made huge strides and caught up well ahead of schedule.
Our reasons for homeschooling are just that: OURS. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you understand them and feel secure in them. There may be bumps in the road, but thinking back on why you started in the first place can give you all the motivation you need to continue. Your child will definitely be better off for it.
Some families still prefer a bit of support, and that’s where our seven regional Great Homeschool Conventions can come into play for you and your family. We host speakers, vendors, workshops, and so much more that you’re sure to feel empowered after attending!
Since these are regional gatherings, people come from all over the United States to their closest convention. We know that traveling great distances aren’t always easy. To make it easier for you, we’re proud to offer hotel discounts, military family discounts, and free admission for active clergy.
To find your closest Great Homeschool Convention, CLICK HERE.
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And remember, our Great Homeschool Conventions are: Equipping… Encouraging… FUN!