The pros and cons of home schooling have been fiercely debated. It’s easy to highlight examples of parents who’ve prepared for home schooling poorly and their children have suffered as a result. But there are also families who’ve successfully home schooled their children so that they progress to rewarding adult lives. So if you’re thinking of educating your own children, here are five reasons home schooling might suit your family.
In a regular classroom a child is one student amongst many, so even the most able teacher finds their talents spread thin. But some parents believe that home schooling is the smartest way to teach 21st century kids because it offers the flexibility for them to learn at their own pace in a creative manner. And you become their own personal tutor — so you can focus exclusively on nurturing their talents.
Making learning exciting
In the UK it’s mandatory for children to enter full-time education by the age of 5, but there’s no obligation for children educated at home to follow the national curriculum. So some parents support unschooling — child-led learning where kids study what they’re passionate about in any way they wish. Fans of this learning style believe it fosters creativity and allows children to learn about the world in a wider sense than school makes possible.
There’s little evidence that home education necessarily creates better parent-child relationships. Academics believe in the power of bonding with your child through reading together — so perhaps extending this bond to other areas of learning can also be beneficial. Home schooling’s also more flexible — so you can take your child on impromptu field trips to the beach or countryside, making the whole experience much more dynamic.
Learning life skills
Most of what we learn at school has some value, but there might not be enough emphasis on the life skills that help us avoid pitfalls in adult life. At home there’s time to explain the real-life applications of academic subjects or to dedicate entire lessons to practical skills like financial planning, household management and goal setting. Following this formula might help to mould adults that are ready for whatever the world throws at them.
If you’re able to dedicate most of your home life to educating your children that’s absolutely fine. But some parents mix working from home with teaching their children. For others, spending more time at home allows them to dip into distance learning and study for online degrees that help them switch careers. You might even find that by the time you’ve educated your own family successfully, you want to start a business advising other parents of the best ways to follow suit.
Home schooling isn’t for everyone, but these five reasons it might suit your family should provide food for thought.
Do you think home schooling works? Would you consider it?