The decision around how to educate your children is a deeply personal one. For anyone considering homeschooling, sometimes known as unschooling, there can be many benefits to be the one guiding your children through their early education years. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of homeschooling.
First of all, you don’t have to wake your brood up at 7am or earlier every morning and bundle them off to school, loaded down with a backpack full of school supplies. Anxiously hoping they’ll be safe, enjoy their day to its fullest and actually learn something while tucked away amongst their peers.
Homeschooling gives you more control over the influences that affect your child. The growth and development of your child is removed from the realm of the unknown. You, and you alone can decide what your child needs to do or learn. Tailoring a curriculum and the pace of learning to suit the needs and interests of your child is one of the most powerful benefits of homeschooling.
Individual attention and customization is another big benefit of homeschooling. If your little one needs more time to learn Math, then you can easily reduce the time for her English lessons. Not only will you be more likely to notice the need for an adjustment, but you’ll have the opportunity to make changes whenever needed. This transforms the learning experience by removing the pressure of “keeping up” with the class and any negative feelings related to the perception of progress. After all, everyone learns a little differently. One day your child might struggle with a topic and on another day, they might speed ahead through a whole slew of topics. Being in control of your child’s homeschooling allows you to tailor the learning experience based on their abilities and interests.
Every good parent wants that special bond with their child. And as any seasoned parent (or grandparent) will tell you, life goes by too quickly. Before you know it, your kids are teenagers and wanting to hide away in their room or spend all their free time with friends (which is completely normal). But life is fleeting and so is your chance to develop a lifelong bond with your kids. Homeschooling your child is one way to build a strong, lifelong bond with your child. To help guide them through decisions. To teach them how to make the right decisions, so that when they’re teens, they’ll have the self-confidence and knowledge to make the right decisions when you’re not there. Include field trips, games and projects in your homeschooling and you’ll be building memories (and a healthy relationship) that will last a lifetime.
Stress is another factor often overlooked when it comes to weighing the pros and cons of unschooling/ homeschooling or sending your kids off to school. Group, public or even private school settings can be a source of stress. Even most adults don’t perform their best when under stress, let alone a primary school aged child. Why not create a learning environment that lowers stress and increases performance? It’s easier to do this when you can control the environment, the curriculum and the focus of learning. After all, you know your child better than someone who’s just met them, along with 20-30 other new kids at the same time. This isn’t a put-down on teachers. There are some amazing teachers out there. But the reality is that it’s an extremely difficult, if not impossible, job to tailor the best learning experience for every child in a group environment. With homeschooling, it’s much easier to create an environment that maximizes your child’s learning potential.
Homeschooling can also allow parents to take a more active role in the moral learning of their child. Parents have the flexibility to incorporate their beliefs and ideologies into their child’s curriculum. Other challenging issues related to school discipline, safety and ethics can be reduced or avoided by choosing to homeschool.
Whether a parent chooses to homeschool because the memory of their school experience was less than ideal or because of the myriad reasons mentioned above, there are so many resources available in this day and age that the quality of education or preparedness for high-school or later isn’t an issue.
There are free worksheets, online resources and very inexpensive learning platforms (like www.2cool4school.org) that can provide an easy-to-follow curriculum that parents can leverage to enhance the learning experience and ensure a strong, lifelong relationship with their child.
Interested in learning about discipline in a homeschool environment, check out our article “Maintaining Discipline in Homeschooling“.