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Homeschooling - Why Should You Homeschool?

Aug 18, 2007
Why should you homeschool? Why you opt to do so, or not, is a personal choice; those who choose to do so have many different reasons. Some parents want to instill certain values, while others want to protect their children from what they see as an unsafe public school environment. Still others think that they can provide a more superior education than the school system can. However, the most common reason is that parents simply think homeschooling is better for their children.

Just what "better" means can vary from parent to parent, but it means the exclusion of certain things as well as the inclusion of others. For instance, children who homeschool are seen as being less susceptible to peer pressure or bullying. Simply put, however, the opinion that homeschooling can provide a better education versus that of public or standard private schools has been quite well researched.

Studies, in fact, agree that homeschooling is generally educationally superior versus public or private schooling in the vast majority of cases.

For proof, we can look at many individual success stories. The winner of the 1997 national spelling bee was a homeschooled student. In addition, one family of four sisters who had all been homeschooled went on to get Master's degrees from an Ivy League college. One young lady who had been homeschooled went to college and got her Master's degree by age 16.

Now, detractors might dismiss such achievements as rare and unusual; the students and/or their parents were simply of genius IQ, right? However, the number of people in the world who have a genius IQ is not high enough to account for the steady rate of success among homeschooled students in these areas. Members have said in general the students who are homeschooled are in the 60th to 70th percentiles by the age of 12. On average, this means that these students test at least a grade ahead of their public school peers.

The numbers are even better for older students. By the time a homeschooled student reaches what is the equivalent of eighth grade, that student is roughly four grades ahead of his or her peers. This is as much due to the poor results public school generally provides as it is to the impressive accomplishments of homeschoolers. These numbers, in fact, are not just provided by those who advocate homeschooling, but by the US Department of Education itself.

Simply put, homeschooling works. Of course, most homeschooling parents know that this is not easy. Parents who homeschool often experience burnout, especially when they're just starting out. It takes a lot of work to teach young people everything they need to know educationally, in addition to being the parent. To expect excellence from one's children as students and function in the role of teacher takes extra effort. Therefore, the focus is on the parent in homeschooling efforts even more so than it is in general.

Homeschooling parents in general insist that children are natural sponges for knowledge. Although this may be true, many homeschooling parents nonetheless feel that they need to research curriculum options, define goals, and guide their children's education, as well as a myriad of other tasks on a day-to-day basis. Parents who homeschool but who have not been well educated themselves also face the additional challenge of educating themselves even as they educate their children. They may have to catch up on their own educations before they can truly function as teachers for their own children.

Nonetheless, homeschooling advocates say that the results are worth the effort. Indeed, studies bear this out, as homeschooled students are usually well-adjusted, deep thinking individuals who are ready for whatever challenges life may throw at them.
About the Author
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