Or are you frustrated with your child’s current educational situation and considering making a change?
Or are you already homeschooling your children, and you have extended family members or friends who are skeptical?
There are many benefits of homeschooling! If you’re considering it as a way to educate your children, I’d encourage you to read on and learn how it might benefit you.
Or if you’re already homeschooling, read on as well -getting a better grasp on the benefits of homeschooling can help give you confidence as you talk with the skeptical friends and family in your life who aren’t so sure about homeschooling. With the Christmas holiday and many family gatherings coming up, I thought this might be timely for you as well.
1. Homeschooling offers more opportunities to transfer family values and beliefs:
As parents, we have the unique opportunity of being able to help form our child’s values and beliefs. But when they go off to school, our influence is lessened as they’re surrounded by other people who begin to have a greater influence on them. When you homeschool, you continue to be your child’s primary influence in the area of values and beliefs. As Christians, this was something that was very important to us. My husband and I wanted to be able to incorporate our Christian beliefs and values into our children’s education. With homeschooling you can use Christian based educational materials and teach your children how God has been at work in history, how God created the world, etc. You have more time to teach them Biblical principles and help them to grow in their faith. It’s really a great way to disciple your children and help them become a faithful follower of Jesus.
2. Homeschooling offers more opportunities to work on building your child’s character:
Along those same lines, when you homeschool you have a lot more time to focus on building godly character in your children. You get to see the good, the bad and the ugly when you’re with them 24/7! You see when they do something good, and can encourage their good character and behavior. You also see the areas where they may need to change, and can help them to grow in those areas of character as well. We had many opportunities to build not only our children’s character but also our own as we homeschooled! I’ve written several blog posts on building godly character with ideas for how to help your child grow in the areas of honesty, self-control, gratefulness, and more… check them out!
3. Homeschoolers are academically successful:
Studies have found that homeschooled students do very well academically! Homeschool students typically score above average on both the national norm-referenced tests and also the ACT/SAT tests. In fact, on average, homeschool students typically score anywhere from 15-30% higher than public school students do on academic achievement tests. The homeschool student has the unique privilege of being taught one-on-one. In this situation, the teacher is able to teach to mastery and is aware when their student is not understanding or when they are ready to move on. This lends itself to higher academic achievement. (See statistics at NHERI.org)
4. Homeschooling offers more time to learn and explore areas of interest:
The time it takes a homeschool student to complete their daily schoolwork is often lessened because there aren’t the distractions that come up in a class of 25-30 students. That also leaves more time to learn things that interest the student and often homeschool students become quite knowledgeable in their areas of interest. Homeschool students are also not held back by their peers who may not be able to progress as quickly as they can, so they can progress quickly if they’re able.
5. You can customize and individualize your child’s curriculum and their learning environment to fit their needs:
Children are unique and they typically are unique in the way they prefer to learn as well. As parents, we know our children better than anyone else, and we can adapt their learning environment to fit their needs. Maybe your child is a bit wiggly and has a hard time sitting still – with homeschooling, you can give them those much-needed stretch breaks to help their brains refocus. Or possibly they learn best with the hands-on approach, and we can offer that with homeschooling. As homeschoolers we can buy curriculum that fits our child’s needs, or we can adapt our curriculum as needed as well.
6. Homeschooling is a great choice for children with special needs:
One-on-one teaching is one of the best ways for children with special needs to learn! I’ve seen children who were 1-2 years behind academically in the public school make incredible progress in the homeschool environment where they are loved and nurtured. The extra encouragement, the one-on-one teaching and the customizing of curriculum all lend themselves to helping the special needs student become a successful learner. One friend pulled her mildly autistic daughter out of the public school because she was 2 years behind in reading and math. She was continually telling her mom she was “stupid” because that was what she was hearing from her peers at school. After only 6 months of homeschooling, her reading level had improved so drastically that she was proud to read aloud to her grandma for the first time in her life!
7. Homeschooling provides a safe learning environment:
In this day and age, when children have been shot in the public schools or bullied to the point of despair such that they take their own life, parents are concerned about sending their children to the public school. Homeschooling provides a safe learning environment for your child, where they know they are loved and safe. In my experience, homeschool students tend to be self-confident and less influenced by negative peer pressure. The worst bullying that happens is usually just sibling-rivalry! Sibling rivalry is normal, and just gives you the opportunity to help your child learn conflict resolution! A great resource for this is “The Young Peacemaker”. It teaches about the different ways to respond to conflict and has Biblical concepts and verses to help your children become peacemakers in their world.
8. Homeschooling offers a lot of flexibility:
This is one of my favorite benefits! You can start school each day when it works best for your family – and you can take breaks as needed, and finish school in the evening if you want to. We had a regular start time each day to keep us on task, but we also loved the flexibility of going on field trips, changing up the day if needed, etc. We traveled with my husband occasionally when he had to travel for work, and we could still do school when we traveled. We also found that vacations could be extended field trips, and we were able to provide some unique and especially memorable learning opportunities for our kids that way. For example, when we were studying Lewis and Clark and the Westward Expansion for history, we also took a trip out to Oregon from Minnesota, and along the way, we were able to listen to the story of Lewis and Clark and stop at most of the historical landmarks from their journey!
9. Homeschooling helps build family unity:
This is another one of my favorites! Homeschooling helps build close relationships within your family. As you and your children learn together and spend so much time together, you develop a closeness that wouldn’t happen otherwise. Our children are still close friends even now as adults, and often spend time doing things together. This isn’t unique to our family, I see it among many homeschool families.
10. Homeschooling provides the best place to learn socialization:
I know that socialization is often a big concern for people who are skeptics of homeschooling. They wonder how your child will be properly socialized if they aren’t spending the day at school with their peers. The definition of socialization is the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society. I believe that most parents are more than qualified to teach their children the proper way to behave in society. In fact, they’re much better qualified than a classroom full of children are! Much of the socialization that happens in the school is negative socialization, where children are learning things from their peers that would be best not learned! Bullying, materialism, self-centeredness, rude behavior, etc. are all things that children learn at school from their peers. There is positive socialization that can happen at school too, but I think sometimes the negative outweighs the positive from what I’ve seen.
One of the reasons that we chose to homeschool was because we were so impressed with the neighbor’s teen girls who were babysitting for us. They were very responsible and respectful and could carry on a conversation with us as adults and also play very nicely with our children. We asked our neighbors how they raised such wonderful young ladies, and they said, “we pray a lot and we homeschool”.
11. Homeschooling develops lifelong learners who love to learn!
Homeschooling is more of a lifestyle of learning than it is an educational choice. The goal of many homeschoolers is to help their children develop a love of learning and to become lifelong learners.
When learning is a natural part of life, and children see their parents continuing to want to learn, they grow to love learning themselves. Learning is not just something that they have to get done each day, but rather a wonderful opportunity that they have that will never end, even when they are done with their 12+ years of “school”.
12. Homeschoolers are successful in adulthood:
Studies have been done to see how homeschoolers are doing once they reach adulthood and the statistics are very exciting! Research shows that adults who were home educated tend to participate in local community service more frequently than the general population; they tend to vote and attend public meetings more frequently than the general population; they go to and succeed in college at an equal or higher rate than the general population; and in adulthood, they internalize the values and beliefs of their parents at a higher rate as well. (NHERI “Home Educated and Now Adults: Their Community and Civic Involvement, Views About Homeschooling, and Other Traits”, Brian D. Ray, 2004.)
Homeschooling is an excellent educational option for your family!
If you’re considering homeschooling your children, but still aren’t sure, come check out the MACHE Homeschool Conference in Rochester, MN in April of 2018. Or if you’re not from Minnesota, go to your own state’s homeschool convention and learn more.
If you’re already homeschooling and you have some other benefits that you’d like to add to these, please comment below… it’s great to encourage one another!
As a homeschool consultant, I’d love to meet with you to help you get started in your homeschool journey, or come alongside you and help you with any challenges you’re having as you home educate your children. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!