Why Parents Should Consider Homeschooling Their Children

People often ask me why I homeschool my children. “What are the benefits of homeschooling?” I have to temper my tongue when answering because the first thought that comes to mind is “Why shouldn’t I homeschool my kids? It’s better for them.”

I strongly believe in the benefits of homeschooling. I think it’s good for most kids. (Whether or not it’s a good idea for their parents is an entirely different question.) Most kids, say those who fit in the middle of the bell curve, will probably do well in school. However, they could probably do better at home. Why should you and your children settle for the fine?

Why? Many reasons make homeschooling a good idea. These are the most important.

True customization is possible.

A teacher in a classroom cannot personalize his teaching for each individual child. (S)he doesn’t have the time and probably doesn’t have the ability. How could a person learn to excel in teaching children with ADD, Tourette’s, dyslexia, depression, PTSD, autism, and the myriad of other problems that people have? I do not see it

As a homeschooling mom, I just have to learn to teach around and with the problems my kids have.

Learning can still be fun.

Schools in the United States were not built to educate children. They were built to give future factory workers the bare minimum they would need to perform adequately in a factory. Future workers needed to know how to read, how to do some basic math, how to do repetitive and boring tasks, and how to respond to bells and whistles.

As a consequence, the schools themselves are small factories that produce children. Besides the fact that factory work is no longer available in the United States, this method of education kills the fun of learning.

Most homeschoolers don’t do tons of worksheets. Once the child has mastered a topic, he moves on to the next topic. From time to time, the parent may reassess the child, either with a formal test or surreptitiously. Let’s be honest. Very few children like worksheets, and worksheets are completely negative and a waste of time for dyslexics, who by current estimates make up 20% of children.

Instead of worksheets and bells, children can read, experiment and have fun. I once did a worksheet-less math lesson with my kids where we calculated the cost of traveling to a convention in a different city. The children had to research the carbon emissions for various forms of transportation and the cost of transportation. They had to come up with different ways to eat during the trip and make a cost vs. nutritional analysis. They discovered the time/cost/environmental balance. They had to find the cheapest way to make the trip and the most expensive. They had fun. They asked to do a similar math lesson again.

I can accommodate my children.

My daughter is an excellent reader, but my son is dyslexic. My son is a genius at math and strategy, and my daughter is less adept at those tasks. My daughter is creative with physical things that she can hold in her hand, like crafts. My son is creative with abstract ideas.

I can accommodate them.

When we study a book, my husband either reads it to both children as bedtime stories or I have my daughter read it and hand my son an iPod with the audio version loaded.

Since the worksheets are overwhelming, they do not appear in our syllabus.

Since my daughter is creative with physical media, I can make her “tests” something like “show me how this works by building something out of Lego or clay.” For my son, I can have her draw a picture for me or, if I give her enough time, she can explain her ideas verbally.

I can give my son more time to write, or let him type. Children in classrooms do not normally have their own computer in front of them.

I can influence my children.

I am the main influence in the lives of my children; children of a similar age are not. Yes, they still learn silly kid jokes, but they haven’t learned playground pettiness. I can’t stress how wonderful this is.

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