How Homeschooling Works takes a look at a system of education in which children receive their education in their own homes. As the educational system in countries like Canada and the United States of America continues to face a division that pits parents and teachers against each other, there is a rising question about how homeschooling works. Not just restricted to religious families, the desire for parents to teach their kids at home has seen an increase as they no longer believe the school board employs teachers that are truly qualified to serve as educators.
How homeschooling works depends on how each state is governed. As school shootings continue to plague the nation, the political and social gaps have become considerably wider. This leads to the question of whether or not homeschooling is the best direction to go as a growing number of concerned parents are becoming more directly involved in their children’s education.
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Homeschooling vs. Institutional Schooling
Is homeschooling such a good idea? Long before schools were introduced as part of a community, children were once upon a time taught at home. It was also during a time when reading, writing, and arithmetic took a backseat to learning a variety of trades so when a child became an adult, they’d be able to provide for themselves and their own families. For thousands of years, this method seemed to work just fine. Although evidence of class-style schooling began in 3000 BC when the development of writing became a part of human culture, it wasn’t until Horace Mann invented the concept of school in 1796 as we know it today.
As the Secretary of Education in Massachusetts, he championed and organized a set curriculum of core knowledge for each student. This has been the same system that continues to dictate how children are educated among the nations that use it. However, not everyone is on board with how private and public schooling institutions work. Especially among deeply religious communities, the idea of a third party charged with the education of their children is an unacceptable practice in their eyes.
Over time, laws were put into place by governments to make sure every child received what was deemed an acceptable level of education in their eyes. Whatever the nationality happened to be, the focus was to teach children how to become an adult capable of functioning in a world that had placed certain expectations upon them. Even within a nation, each state or province had its idea of what worked best for them.
Among the parents who trusted the school board, this seemed to be a good solution to ensure their children received the best education possible. As for the parents who couldn’t bring themselves to trust a third party to properly educate their kids, they opted to go the homeschooling route. Although this was a practice heavily frowned upon by the government and the school board, they still have to respect the human rights laws that were placed in the national constitution.
Among parents opting for the homeschooling route, to receive approval with this practice they have to first learn what exactly the state they’re living in requires. Some states are leaner about the matter than others as each of them is run by a collection of politicians that have their ideas on how to run things. Before considering the homeschooling option, find out from your state what they want from you. At the very least, follow the core curriculum to ensure your child learns how to read, write, do the math, and understand science. One of the benefits of homeschooling is having a direct say in what goes on with your child’s education. If you don’t want your children to learn the material you don’t agree with, that is your constitutional right to keep them away from it.
No teacher, or any other member of the school board for that matter, has a right to force a brand of education upon your child that fundamentally goes against your beliefs. As controversies over what’s deemed acceptable and unacceptable in a school’s classroom continue to escalate among divided nations, there has been an increase in parents no longer trusting the school board with their children. It’s not just about the concern of the subjects taught to their children but their safety. The escalating violence in schools isn’t just limited to school shootings and this is an area of concern among parents that have brought homeschooling into the limelight as a preferred option among parents who feel the school board has let them down.
Although not listed as an official rule or legal requirement by the state, the most important homeschooling rule is to like your child(ren) enough to spend the entire day with them. You also need to know when it’s time to act as a parent and when it’s time to act as a teacher. Although both have many similarities, both have key differences as well. Parents can afford to be more empathic when it comes to their children while teachers need to make a point not to stray too far off course.
This means setting up a schooling schedule and sticking to it. As a teacher dedicated to your child’s education, this should be treated as your full-time job because that’s exactly what it is. From the start of the school day’s first class to the end, lay out a curriculum that positively helps your child’s development. You need to help them hone in on their math skills, reading and writing skills, and science skills. It doesn’t mean you have to teach them astrology but it wouldn’t hurt to at least teach them enough about biology, chemistry, and physics as each of these plays vital roles in a person’s life. Also, make a point to teach your child(ren) to be creative. This taps into their willingness to learn as they’re more likely to become more engaged in something that’ll feel like playtime.
Homeschooling Pros and Cons
Among the biggest benefits of homeschooling is the opportunity to build an even stronger bond between parents and children. As a parent, you also have more direct control over what your child is learning. In many ways, the two of you will also learn together as you’ll be charged to teach them everything they need to know so they can advance their education level over time. Among families wishing to keep their core values in check without the interference of outside influences, this is a great opportunity to build a stronger sense of community with each other. This is especially true among families who have certain cultural, religious, and social beliefs that want to stay true to their traditional roots.
Among the families I know who do this, they are among the few I respect most. Of the children they’ve raised and taught in a homeschooling environment, they’ve become the most productive and respectable adults I know. On average, homeschooled children have better test standardized test scores than students who go to multi-student classrooms. What is great about homeschooling is each child gets to learn at their own pace. This means they don’t have to struggle just to keep up with the rest of the class. The same can be said for faster learning students who don’t have to wait for the rest of the class to catch up to them.
One of the most recognized cons that come with homeschooling is social awkwardness. By nature, human beings are social creatures. Usually, children love to play with other children. Doing so helps them build social skills that will make it easier for them to carry out conversations. A good conversationalist will learn the art of diplomacy. Children with strong social skills are likely to connect easier with other people, even if they don’t share the same values they were taught while growing up. Of the family I knew that homeschooled their children, they at least had the benefit of being a large one that was close to all their neighbors.
Social awkwardness was not an issue for them. However, there have been cases where homeschooled children would break away from their environment the first chance they got. This leap from the family nest would include either running away from home or joining a college as far away as possible. I knew one homeschooled child who did exactly this and became the very thing his parents dreaded. It took some time before he cleaned his life up and found a less destructive path that had him wind up becoming a homeschooling parent himself.
From state to state, the government does have funding programs in place for parents opting for the homeschooling route. These are optional as a state will pay for specific resources in exchange for an educational curriculum they’ve posted is followed according to its requirements. In most cases, homeschooling families reject a state’s funding option as sometimes the requirements listed go against their cultural, religious, and social beliefs. In addition to the funding options, there is also a network homeschoolers can access.
Often, like-minded families will arrange a social gathering to host classes and other special events. Among the parents who do this, their children reap the benefit of social interaction while learning something educational at the same time. Something like this comes in handy when a network of homeschoolers may have someone in their social circle that can either teach how to play a musical instrument or work with mechanical tools. Believe it or not, these count as some states will have an art requirement as part of the homeschooling curriculum.
The rebellious kid who later became a homeschooling parent worked with families to teach their children how to play the guitar. One child, in particular, became a high school graduate that managed to earn a scholarship so he could enroll in the Schulich School of Music. This is one of Canada’s top music schools and is one of McGill University’s core faculties. McGill University is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
When it comes to funding, some homeschooling parents have been fortunate enough to live in states that have requirements in place that work with the educational direction they have in mind for their child(ren). Some parents, they’ve learned how to use this as a taxable, self-employment profession that allows additional financial support. Again, access to this depends on the state and its laws. The duration of the homeschooling program can start as early as preschool and finish as soon as the student has completed the twelfth grade. Among parents wanting more direct control of their child(ren)’s education, homeschooling is the best way to go about it. This method gives childhood educators no say in what they think should be taught to children, especially if their beliefs are vastly different from yours.
Among parents truly desiring to go the homeschooling route, do your homework. Make sure this is the right thing to do. Ideally, you want the best possible direction for your child to take when it comes to their educational development. If homeschooling is the way to do it, check with your state to see what they need to make this work. From there, check for funding options, if any. If those work for you, great. If not, don’t stop there. As the rising interest in homeschooling continues to grow, so does the number of resources you can access. Ideally, as you teach your children, make sure you’re putting the focus on their education first and foremost.
How Homeschooling Works article published on BabyCareGuru.com© 2023
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