There are over 2 million home-educated children in this country, and this number is growing at 2% to 8% per year. This is not surprising, given the dismal track record of the public school system. If you have ever considered homeschooling your children (or even if you have not), here are six reasons to do it.
1. Academic excellence by homeschoolers is greater than you might think. Academically, homeschoolers far surpass publicly educated students. In one recent study, standardized test scores of homeschooled students were 37 percentile points above their public school counterparts. Previous studies showed similar results.
2. Social skill excellence by homeschoolers is greater than you might think. Most homeschooled children learn superior social skills (such as sharing, being kind, helping others, working together) at home with a parent supervising better than they would in a school setting where individual supervision is minimal. Interactions with extended family and neighborhood children, as well as extracurricular activities (like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts), provide additional opportunities for healthy social encounters.
3. There are more resources to help than you might think. Many states and regions have an annual conference with speakers, networking and curriculum vendors to help homeschooling families. Plentiful online and local support groups and co-ops are also helpful.
4. The legal hurdles are lower than you might think. Laws vary by state, but many require little or no notification, reporting or paperwork. Even in the most highly regulated states compliance with the law is not difficult. National non-profit organizations, like the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, help members understand their rights and responsibilities as homeschooling parents.
5. The benefits to your children are greater than you might think. Your children receive your worldview, beliefs, and values, and they eat your food rather than food from a school cafeteria. You can tailor your school day to your child, whether s/he is a slow learner or gifted academically. You can provide ample individual attention.
6. It is more important than you might think. Most Natural News readers are independent thinkers and healthy skeptics, qualities which are generally discouraged by the public school system. By homeschooling your children you can teach your children to think critically, rather than teaching to the test like they do in public school. This will better equip them to navigate the social, financial, food, and energy crises, which loom in our future.
If you do not think you are capable of teaching your children, you are in good company; when starting out no one thinks they can. Taking on the task of educating your own children is an enormous responsibility. But even seasoned homeschooling parents have insecurity about their ability to teach their children. This insecurity can be converted to motivation to learn and study how to best educate your children.