Benefits of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is becoming more popular with almost two million students who are homeschooled. Homeschooled kids typically outperform public school students on standardized tests. Colleges and universities are welcoming more homeschool students and are beginning to actively recruit them as they have earned a reputation for being self-directed, critical thinkers and volunteer more in their communities.
Our homeschooling journey started four years ago. After attending many private and public school tours, we decided to visit a University-Model Classical School. After visiting the school, we were intrigued by the idea. What is a University-Model School? The kids attend a brick and mortar school on Monday's and Wednesday's and Tuesday's and Thursday's I'm their teacher. In more practical terms it takes the best of public and private school and unites them. The classical approaches the education process with the trivium, grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The grammar sets the stage for fundamentals in the subject matter. Logic expands on the ordered relationship of the subject. And lastly, the Rhetoric stage where the grammar and logic can be expressed by each subject.
THE PROS OF HOMESCHOOLING
We value academics and want our children to excel. But it's more important to us that they grow up knowing Jesus and become men and women of character. Godly wisdom will outlast academic knowledge. We can approach our lessons with God's hand in all that we do. Our day typically begins with Bible Study where we find out selves having great discussions about God and his Love.
The curriculum is chosen by the school that we attend, but the educational freedom comes from the ability to adjust to each students' weaknesses and strengths. If my child finds himself excelling in math, he can quickly be tested and moved to the next level math regardless if it's for his grade level; it's about where each student is.
Our life does not revolve a strict school calendar, homework, and just a hectic daily life schedule. We can take family vacations during the off-season. During the week we can visit museums and avoid the crowds on the weekends. With this freedom, life is much less hectic.
Unfortunately, peer pressure, competition, boredom, and bullies are all part of a typical school day. It can be a particular problem for girls. For most girls, their self-esteem plummets in middle school. Studies of homeschooled girls have shown that their self-esteem remains unaffected and that they continue to thrive. Homeschooled kids can act and dress the way they want, without fear of ridicule or the need to "fit in."
Close Family Relationships
As mentioned earlier we are not tethered to a school schedule. Many parents find themselves in a vicious hectic schedule. They feel rushed on the way to school, rushed when they get home, and it's a scramble to do homework and the next day its time to do it all over again. I'm happy my family does not deal with this. We get to enjoy a lot of quality time giving us more time to get to know each child. The kids also have a tight bond with their siblings. Overall these are the moments we treasure most as our children are a loan and we only get a few years to enjoy them as children.
Homeschooled children can accomplish in a few hours what takes a typical classroom a week or more to cover. It's shown in studies that about 3/4 of the time spent at public school is wasted time. Talk about a grave disservice to the students.
I have to confess, but I have been learning quite a bit in world history and classical reading as I was not taught any of that in my public education. Homeschooling is allowing my children to have a greater exposure of subjects but also allowing them to go deep in these subjects.
THE CONS TO HOMESCHOOLING
To homeschool, one person in the marriage forgoes full-time employment to homeschool the children. It can be a big sacrifice for a family. I'm ok with the potential lost wages as we're investing in our children's future.
Being with Your Kids 24/7
So as much as you love you kids, there are days where it can be overwhelming and trying. If you get frazzled being around your kids 24/7 then maybe homeschooling may not be for you. There's no denying it if you choose to homeschool, you're going to be with them most of the time. But it's in the difficult times where you can see an opportunity for personal and family growth.
Living Outside the Norm
Although homeschooling is growing in popularity, it's by no means mainstream. I still get odd looks at parties when I tell new folks that I homeschool. They ask, "When will you put them in a real school?" That used to bother me, but the more I've been homeschooling I'm more convinced that they are in real school and learning so much more than I ever envisioned. I also now enjoy that our family is living outside the box and doing life our way.
Everything has its pros and cons and homeschooling is not different. I believe that homeschooling is the best decision we made for our family. Each year we reap more blessings from all the hard work. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but I strongly encourage those that have a curiosity about homeschooling, do pursue in getting as much information and give it a try. You too may become a homeschool advocate.