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Pros of Homeschooling

There are many things to consider when deciding whether to homeschool. In this article we will review the pros of homeschooling. Another article will review the cons of homeschooling. Then you can decide if homeschooling is best for you.

In the best scenarios, homeschooling strengthens family bonds, builds memories, and passes on traditions. Read on for a discussion of the potential benefits of home schooling. Before you make a final decision, we recommend that you also read the article “Cons of Homeschooling” to make sure that you have a more complete picture.

Considering Yourself

Especially if you have training or natural talent as an educator, you may have all the background and habits necessary to move seamlessly into the role of instructing your child.

Professional training provides a lot of advantages in a homeschooling situation. Training as an educator will have provided you with the background to speak knowledgeably with the state education department or any other parties involved in regulating home schools in your state. You will have the insight to evaluate (or create) curriculum to meet the state standards and your child(ren)’s needs and to create lesson plans and units of work to make the curriculum a concrete reality.

In addition, you will already know and have sources for strategies for introducing, reinforcing, and evaluating students’ knowledge and skills, and have some experience with the assessment tools that the state may require. Besides all that, you will also know how to organize a school day to suit your students’ needs. With all of these elements in place, homeschooling can be an activity in which you further the joys of parenthood while honing professional skills.

If you have natural talent as an educator, but have not had professional training, taking on the challenge of homeschooling can be a user-friendly way to add a practical dimension to your innate abilities. It can help to consider yourself as being in a training program, and assuming that at each step•talking with state officials, designing curriculum and implementing it, working through each days material•you will need to learn new vocabulary, concepts, and skills. In short, homeschooling can provide an education for you as well as for your child(ren).

Considering Your Child

A number of situations can make homeschooling a wonderful choice for your child. For example, if you and your child have already established a workable “teaching” relationship, in which your child readily responds to your instruction, it may seem quite natural to extend this link past the pre-school years.

If your child has an illness, has experienced some kind of trauma, or has a disability or a developmental issues that would make public or private schooling difficult-and this could be something quite simple, like doing best when allowed to sleep until 9:30 a.m.-homeschooling could provide a viable alternative. Whether your child’s development is well ahead of or behind the norm or your child is in need of comfort and support in a difficult time, you have the freedom in your homeschool to address your child’s needs.

Children who have special talents or unique opportunities to be away from home can also benefit from homeschooling, which can be adapted around the other demands in their schedules. This is true for children who are actors or athletes as well as for families in which work takes the entire family out of the country periodically. Homeschooling can also go beyond the requirements to develop a child’s special interests to the fullest extent possible.

Keep in mind that an initial choice to homeschool does not mean that homeschooling must be the only source of your child’s education. Your school situation or your child’s needs or talents may lead you to form an alliance with a public or private school or to decide at some point that another schooling option has become more appropriate. Homeschooling can be a flexible decision that responds to circumstances as they develop.

Considering Your Family Life

The choice to engage in homeschooling can be a boon for the whole family, as chores, errands, and projects can be re-visited as the stuff of education, so that the child’s education is integrated into the functioning of the household. In addition, extended family members (and this includes older children, as well as aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.) can be invited to take part in the child’s education•as talent and availability dictate.

In addition, in a homeschool situation, you can freely integrate family beliefs and traditions into the school day. This can include-if you so desire-opportunities for worship or prayer, etc.

Considering Your Social Life

Homeschooling changes your schedule and this will affect everyone’s social life. If your social life is built around other families with children who are in the same school, then your life may be wonderfully integrated, with, for example, a shared day at school moving easily into a shared picnic dinner and a movie or family games.

Homeschooling promotes having a family social life, rather than children and adults separating and going their own ways. If this fits the vision you have for your family, then homeschooling can be a good fit.

Considering Your Home

If your home has space with the size, lighting, and equipment that will serve your homeschooling needs while not interfering with the functions of the rest of the household at times when school and household considerations must be separate, this will serve you well.

Schooling at home-where a child’s own room is near, meals can be eaten when the child is hungry rather than at some pre-appointed time, and the child does not leave younger siblings behing•can truly integrate a child’s life and make it a wonderful whole.

Written by Mary Elizabeth