Teaching children at home is becoming more popular in the US. In fact, over the last 10 years, the number of parents choosing to homeschool has risen dramatically. It has actually doubled the number it was before. Research and studies have come up with several reasons for this increase. Experts in this area fully expect the number of children being taught at home to pass 2 million in the very near future. Here are just a few of the reasons parents decide to homeschool.
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Moving Them Out of a Negative School Environment
Every 4 years, The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics hold a survey. This study shows that the biggest reason for parents teaching their children at home is the perceived negativity of a school environment. In the last survey, 26% of parents said it was their main reason for homeschooling and more than 90% said it was one of the reasons.
Some said they thought this was because so many of the schools are underfunded. This can cause a problem with teacher funding and mean there are not enough of them for the whole school. This is a problem that crowdfunding via TeacherFunder could help to address, and it is hoped that the situation will improve when this gets off the ground.
Another concern some had was the amount of bullying that goes on in schools, and with a lack of supervision that underfunding creates, this is not likely to get any better. As children get older bullying gets worse. It is not unusual for parents to take their children out of school after they have completed 3 or 4 years.
We fell into homeschool quite this same way. Our son was being bullied due to his special needs, and by fifth grade, he was schooling at home. With less anxiety, he has been able to perform much better.
If children are becoming anxious and depressed because they are being bullied, removing them from school can take all those problems away and they return to their normal selves. Parents who have done this have said they see the standard of the children’s work improve once they are away from the bullies.
Higher Quality of Education
If you for a moment imagine a classroom situation with maybe 30 children, what will you see? The teacher has to work to the speed of the slowest to ensure that all the children understand the work they are doing. This can be frustrating for some students and boredom can set in. Then they do not work as well as they should. While some of the students are bored, others begin to struggle as the pace is too fast. Either way, not all the students’ needs get met.
In a homeschooling situation, they have one-to-one teaching at their own pace, whether that is fast or slow. It also gives the parents more control over the subjects the children are taught. Although surprisingly most of them do stick with the state-approved curriculum with occasional other subjects added.
The survey showed that dissatisfaction with the academic instruction was the second biggest reason for parents teaching their children at home. Other studies and research have revealed that it is not just parents that feel this way.
Better Prepared for Higher Education
One among college professors showed that they believe many students are not educationally prepared for college. Another among students showed that they felt the same way. It seems that the general feeling is that the public school curriculum does not provide the right knowledge and skills the children need.
With fewer resources than ever and crowded classrooms, it is difficult for teachers to give each child the attention they need. At home, the parents can spend as much or as little time as is required on each subject. They can concentrate on any the child that may be experiencing some problems.
Apart from all the results of the many studies and surveys, this is confirmed by the fact that homeschooled children tend to get better results in the state and federal exams. Home-educated kids typically do better by 15-30% above public school educated children. If the students are in a minority group, that gap widens even further. African American children schooled at home do 23-42% better over this same group of children educated in public schools.
A Greater Awareness of the World
Homeschooled children are far more likely to visit museums, parks, and historical sites as part of their daily learning routine. This can help to make them much more aware of the world around them. Children in school get to see pictures of these things. Due to logistics, it is only occasionally school children will take a trip to visit any of these things. Traditional students tend to spend all of their school days in the classroom listening to lectures.
It is even more beneficial if the homeschooling involves siblings. Then when these visits take place there is an interaction between them and they will learn more that way. Many communities have coops so children can go on these types of outings with children of other families. This also helps with the socialization that may be missing in a home education setting.
This type of education can strengthen family connections and tends to lead to adults with a greater civic responsibility.
On the Move
Some parents choose to teach their children themselves because their job means they are always on the move. Someone in the military is a typical example of a person whose family could be moved several times in quite a short period. Constantly swapping and changing schools is not good for the children and homeschooling provides the perfect answer.
Maintaining consistency in their education is crucial if the children are to do well, and homeschooling allows this to happen for families that are often on the move.
It could also be because the child has to travel a lot because of a sport they have taken up. For instance, if they are an athlete they could be traveling to different states and even different countries for competitions and as well as having to deal with that they will have strenuous training schedules to fulfill. Homeschooling is flexible and can be fitted in around these things to make sure they still get their education while not missing out on their passion.
If a child has special needs they can be far happier learning in their home environment. Just as an example, a child with learning difficulties is the perfect victim for bullies and the teachers do not have the time needed to dedicate to them. But at home, there are none of those worries and parents can take whatever time is needed to help them with their lessons. The child will feel under less pressure and a happier child will produce better results.
Whatever the reason for homeschooling is, it seems the key is in being prepared. Have the lessons ready and know what you are doing so that the children have confidence in what they are being taught.