Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Home Schooling

Home Schooling
By Leigh A

Have you ever considered home schooling your children? Have you ever wondered what the benefits and disadvantages of home schooling might be? Well, here is some information to show you some of the pros and cons of home schooling your children.

Advantages of Home Schooling

Home schooling can create an awesome bond between parents and children and between children and siblings. Home schooling is a family affair. Both parents can get involved in the education of the bright young minds at home. Home schooling provides many wonderful opportunities for parents and children to spend quality time together, enriching not only the child but the parent as well. Children who are home schooled are frequently more rested and less likely to get sick because they are not around so many sick classmates. Home schooled children are more rested because they do not spend hours doing homework after class and do not have to get up early to catch a bus.
Parents who home school can provide themselves and their children with much more freedom than children in public school. Parents are free to decide what and when to teach different subjects and if desired can spend more time on subjects of interest than a public school classroom could. Parents who home school children can take more field trips than a public schooled child would because of the time and money constraints of taking a large group. Parents and children who home school have more physical freedom than public school families. Their lives do not have to revolve around the school calendar for nine months a year. Instead they can plan vacations and field trips during off-season times thus saving money and avoiding crowds. There is also a sense of emotional freedom that comes from avoiding the pressure of peers to act or dress a certain way. This can lead your children to become free thinkers as adults. Religious freedom can also be an advantage to home schooling because you can teach your children your values and beliefs without outside influence.
There is consistency offered with home schooling that may not be found in the public school system. For example if your family moves around a lot your children will still have to make new friends but they do not have to worry about new teachers and that scary first day at school as the new kid. Home schooling also offers the advantage of one on one teaching that will never be found in the public school. You can spend extra time on subjects that are difficult or interesting to your child. You can also teach your child in the style in which they learn best.

Disadvantages to Home Schooling
Of course there are two sides to every story and home schooling has some disadvantages as well. If you home school your kids there is the possibility that you may have to spend twenty fours hours a day with your kids for several days in a row. Some parents just cannot handle that and if you are one of them you should probably not home school. Home school parents may have to explain and defend their position on education to their family and friends. Parents who home school their children are very likely to have to spend more money on education than they would if their children were in public school. Home school parents may have to seek out other home schooling parents when issues come up that you are not prepared for. You as the parent will have to continue encouraging your children even when you do not feel like it or have become frustrated. You may have to try several curriculum programs before you find one that fits your teaching style and the way your child learns best. Parents will have to make an active effort to find activities for children where they can meet other children for social development. You as the parent and teacher will have to be disciplined to keep up with studies.

Statistics on Home Schooling
Here are some statistics I found on home schooling that you might want to consider. There were 1.1 million kids home schooled in the United States during the 2003 school year. There were roughly 2 million kids being home schooled in the United States for the 2005 – 2006 school year. Home schooling is growing rapidly with non-white families, and they currently represent about 15% of home school families. The number one reason parents and students give for wanting to home school is to accomplish more academically than they could in a public school setting. On standardized tests (including those being used with No Child Left Behind) home school students score between fifteen and thirty percentile points higher than public school students. Home school students scored above average on their achievement tests regardless of family income levels and the formal education level of their parents. Students that are home schooled score above average on the SAT and ACT tests, and are being actively recruited by colleges and universities.

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