Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Advantages of Home Schooling

After my previous post about why I home school, as well as our weekly journal marking the journey of us home schooling, I thought the next sensible step was to cover the advantages of it for anyone considering it.


Excellent Education; This is the great thing that many people will not consider. Most will ask the question: Am I capable of offering a good education? But the overall aim for anyone who home schools is to educate their child. You are there because you, for whatever reason, want them to get a better education. Parents love their children and dedicate their lives to helping their children successfully grow to maturity. So why shouldn't that include with their education? Home schooling is done largely on a one-on-one basis; there can't be a better teacher-to-student ratio than that.

Children can enjoy a much greater variety and depth of experiences than can institutionally educated children. Homeschools can include field trips that aren't limited to a specific amount of time and that aren't burdened by the logistical problems of involving large numbers of children in an activity at the same time. (As well as health and safety gone mad!)  There are also many opportunities for physical activities that are not covered within school. From exercise to sports (clubs and organisations that are run for example football or karate) to playing outside to performing household chores, homeschooled children can be physically active throughout the day. This is in stark contrast to educational settings in which children are trained to sit in one posture and when they do exercise, statistics show they do more on their break time than they do in their 'sport'/P.E lesson.

Individual Learning; As parents we learn pretty quickly at what our children enjoy doing. Within schools it is nearly impossible to teach every child individually and really push them forward with what suits them, especially if you have a large class. Many schools can take into count children with additional learning needs and create individual plans for them, however, this is only for a limited amount of subjects and when it comes to some topics the whole class is grouped together. Yet, if we know their love of art it is quite simple to layer the child's learning to incorporate their passion and a topic. You also have an amazing opportunity to tailor to their ability. If they are exceeding or struggling at a topic you can take time to concentrate and support appropriately.

Integrated and consistent education; Because a home schooled child's education is managed by the same person over a long period of time, that education can be consistent with a long-term plan in which each topic taught and the experience gained benefits seamlessly with those that have come before. Again, If you come to a topic that you know in the past took your child longer to understand you have the experience and understanding to apply this for future work. Rather than allowing a new teacher to stumble and struggle the following year.

Greater life flexibility and freedom for children and their families; Home school is designed and 'controlled' by parents and influenced by the individual child. This provides enormous flexibility for a family's life. Home schooled families are not limited to living according to an institution's schedule, but are free to plan and live life as they see fit. For those who have been following our home school journey you will remember that only the other week William went on strike due to feeling poorly and went to bed:   Subsequently he  woke up in the afternoon and feeling ten times better. The flexibility really suited him that day.

More influence by adults, less by peers. It seems to make sense that children can be best helped toward maturity by those who are already mature, and although children have adult role models at school, their peers are usually the ones who influence them. Parents and other adults have a much greater influence over a child's maturation process. Peer pressure, which is widely blamed for so many of the problems children experience, is a very minor or non-existent factor in homeschooled children's lives. Instead of peer pressure being a driving force, parent and family influence becomes a primary influence on how children develop; this is a very good thing.

Additionally because it is organised by parents and families, important aspects of life can be integrated into a child's development without being affected by government regulations, home schools can include important spiritual and religious teaching that might be normally excluded or overly included (depending on your beliefs). For me this was massively important. We are a church going family and sadly to some, including children, it is seen as being an unusual thing, yet with home educating you can bring them up understanding their faith, respecting others without bullying, questioning or peer influences.

I was going to list the disadvantages here as well but realised, as always, I've rambled on. (Suppose that happens when you're passionate about something) So instead I will offer questions and answers below in the comments section. Most people have their opinions or worries about it so I  more than happy to carry on discussing below.

If you've been enjoying these come back within the next week and I'll be discussing home schooling structure ☺

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