Home schooling
 

The Benefits Of Home Schooling

The benefits of home schooling is an exciting topic to discuss because the benefits seem almost endless and are so significant. And though it seems like no treatise could possibly do the topic justice, we will cover some of the biggest items on the list in this article.

We will focus on 6 of the major benefits: parent/child relationships, environment, sociological development, character development, curriculums and academic excellence.


Happy Homeschooler

PARENT/CHILD RELATIONSHIPS

For many parents, this area may be the most important of the benefits of home schooling as it provides the best possible opportunity for a healthy relationship between you and your child. Children will always find a role model, someone to pattern their own lives after. Because of this, when the parent/child relationship is good, all of the other benefits are amplified as well.

Though being together in the home does not guarantee good relating, when you home school there are no hindrances to working toward the best kind of respectful, fun and openly communicative relationship between the parent and child. You and your children can discuss your thoughts, feelings and how the various methods of home schooling you have chosen are working for each of you. And you can reconsider if an idea has not been effective. This kind of daily give and take makes the kids feel valuable, as well as providing practical information.  This kind of healthy interaction is indeed is one of the very highest elements of value for a family who desires to home school.


ENVIRONMENTAL

This benefit may be one of the most important for parents who are aware of a negative public school environment that their child has been (or would be) experiencing. We all know how the environment has a powerful effect on all that we do, especially if we are young and impressionable and spending a great deal of time in that environment. Being able to avoid the bad influences is a very important benefit of schooling your child at home.

We have all heard the words, rough, violent, negative and frightening used to describe various public school environments. The benefit of home schooling is that it does not leave you at the mercy of such an environment, but rather places you in the position of creating the environment you believe is best for your child. It can be whatever you choose to make it. Nothing prevents you from establishing the optimal atmosphere that will encourage and support your child in academics, character and anything else you desire to accomplish, when you school at home.


SOCIOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

At first thought this might be disputed as a benefit of home schooling, as the social contacts are more limited in both type and amount of time. However, the detailed studies done on this subject have shown that sociological development shines as one of the most pronounced benefits of home schooling. The reason this is true is in the type of socialization and the peers with whom it occurs. In home schooling, there is typically no peer dominance and consequently no peer dependence. There is also a lack of the intense training in poor social skills that is done indirectly by the child's peers.

Socialization in the home school can be guided and planned and at all time is under the close and direct supervision of an adult. Any peer interaction is also overseen by an adult and in this way, the child learns to relate well with both others of his/her age group and with adults, rather than being taught according to immature peer values. This is a major issue in today's schooling environment and thus home schooling provides a positive alternative for this problem.


CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

Good character development is one of the strongest desires most parents have for their children. Home schooling can pave the way for this to happen. The home schooling parent has constant access to their child along with the ability to observe, address and impact the behavior. The parent can guide the decision making process and all other aspects of their child's character development. No other schooling method offers this kind of opportunity to instill those qualities of character which are vitally important to a child's development.

Private or parochial schools may seem desirable to some parents because of feeling inadequate themselves and wanting their kids to be taught by professionals. While this is understandable and perhaps in a rare situation even accurate, we all know that good character and education is so much more than intellectually knowing what is good or even knowing your basic academics. Especially with the wealth of academic helps available to parents now, one would be hard pressed to surpass the positive effect of sincere, loving parental influence on good character and academic learning. This would be true even if they are not taught by professionals. This means that here also the opportunities are greater than in any other type of schooling.


CURRICULUM

This benefit is very important in that the parent can choose the best curriculum from hundreds of professionally developed plans. Countless excellent curriculums exist for the home schooler and are available by subject or in complete courses ready to guide you and your child with thorough instructions for an entire school year.

Since you are aware of your child's weaknesses and strengths, you can best decide what they need, when they are ready to begin, and by what mode you wish them to be taught. There are self-teaching curriculums for the child who is self motivated, and curriculums with full teachers guides and videos that come with other more hands-on types of curriculums. Courses and classroom settings also exist on the internet, though using these may have pros and cons. It would reduce the interaction of parent/child relating time, but also give you breathing room from that same interaction for a period of time each day. The point here being, that the choices of curriculums, ways of using them, and the teaching environments are many and varied. This is a clear benefit of home schooling.


ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

Academic excellence is last on the list, not because it is low in importance, but because with all the previously mentioned benefits, academic excellence will be pretty much a 'given'. Each of the other benefits mentioned will specifically affect academic learning in a positive way, so that it can occur not from tension filled, regimented learning, but rather it will be a natural outgrowth of the home schooling environment. With the parents desire, determination, planning, and so much superb curriculum material to choose from, superior learning can be achieved in the home.

The sound, encouraging, stable and motivating atmosphere created by the parent in the home school, will result in whatever level of academic excellence you desire for your child.


OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

As it is true that there are those people who will not appreciate a freshly mined diamond because it is unpolished and uncut, or a garden that requires hard work to produce fruit, there will also be those who do not see the benefits of home schooling. Your own discernment will decide this issue for you based on what you value most in life. If you put a high value on preserving the family unit; having healthy relationships with your children; raising and training them according to your values; enjoying and experiencing their childhoods; as well as exercising your God given role as a parent, then the benefits of home schooling mentioned above will greatly influence you.

Obviously many of us have survived the onslaught of public schooling (though not necessarily unscathed). However, even if that was our own educational background, offering our children the benefits of home schooling can be the "something better" that we all want our kids to have.

Anyone who has experienced the joys of home schooling will undoubtedly think of additional benefits beyond those mentioned, so if you are trying to decide how to school your children, you may want to discuss it with such an experienced home schooler. If you do not know anyone with that qualification, the Home School Legal Defense Association will gladly help you to locate someone in your area. You will be glad you went to the effort, for the benefits of home schooling are worth full consideration and examination.