What is Homeschooling All About?
What is homeschooling? You may ask yourself this as you are looking for alternatives to public or private school education for your children. Homeschooling, put simply, is the education of the child in the home by the parent or parents. Originally, this was the typical education of most children, but this changed when laws for compulsory education were passed.
Reasons to homeschool
There are a variety of reasons parents will choose to teach their children at home instead of relying on public or private schools to educate their children. Some of these reasons to homeschool relate to social, safety, moral and educational flexibility issues as well as a child's mental or physical condition.
Parental dedication a requirement
It's important to note that in order to achieve an optimal quality and level of social and educational development at home, parents deciding to make the move toward homeschooling must be dedicated to putting in the greater amount of time and effort to homeschool their children effectively. As the practice of homeschooling continues to evolve and become more popular, there are a greater amount of homeschool resources becoming available to help them do this.
Pros and Cons of homeschooling
Teaching your children at home provides the opportunity to customize your children's education to their individual interests, comprehension levels and skills, while at the same time, offering you the ability to keep them safe from violence, bullying, sexual harassment, influence of drugs and the kind of academic failure that can occur in schools outside the home.
Home-based education provides parents with the following options to
- spend more quality time with their children
- customize learning schedules to fit their children's ideal learning goals
- choose what subjects to teach to their children
- supplement learning materials tailored to their children's needs
- have greater control over their children's outside influences
- share personal knowledge and skills to their children
However, some experts argue that while providing a homeschool environment may be safer, public and private schooling offers greater social development through interaction with peers and through student /community related activities. Academic achievement in public and private schools can also lead to opportunities not available to homeschooled students, such as participation in sports, scholarships, extra curricular activities dealing with arts, crafts, theater and music.
Increasing opportunities for homeschoolers
Due to changing attitudes toward schooling your children at home, these situations are also changing. In some areas homeschoolers can gain access to similar activities as public and private school students. Parents need to research their local school boards to see which schools provide activities their homeschooled children can also attend to broaden their learning environments, social interaction and educational/creative experiences. Some communities where there are a number of teach at home families, even provide these activities amongst themselves.
Purely, parent designed and implemented educational programs as well as approved homeschool curriculum for primary to high school grades have been available for a while in the familiar "school in a box" format. However, higher educational opportunities are also becoming available to homeschooled students. As an increasing number of colleges and universities are starting to exercise greater acceptance of qualified homeschooled students into their faculties some provide online college and university degree options as well. This online educational option isn't exclusive to colleges and universities either, as accredited primary, secondary and high school curriculum and an endless variety of supplementary resources are now also offered online for homeschooling purposes.