Deciding Whether or Not to Homeschool Your Child
Posted on June 27, 2019
If you’re here, you are asking yourself, “Should I homeschool my child?” and “What are the costs and benefits?”
In California, about 160,000-250,000 are homeschooled. Parents may choose to homeschool their children for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reason is, parents should consider the best options to benefit their child.
Parents and children have different needs and different views on what exactly is the best curriculum for their child. Will the child learn exactly what they will learn in a traditional school? Will the child learn beyond what they would in a traditional classroom? Or, will they come to learn at graduation that they hadn’t expand their knowledge the best they could?
Homeschooling your child takes just as much, if not more, planning and implementing lessons. Are you ready to hit every state standard and more when teaching? You may think you don’t want a curriculum from an institution you are working to avoid, but by the time your child is grown and goes off to college, will he or she be able to excel in a classroom environment? Will your child be able to keep up to students who studied the state standards one by one?
The next one is a tough one for some parents to critically examine. Don’t be offended. Of course, you know what’s best for your child— so really think about think about this. Are YOU educated enough to teach your child? Do YOU have the professional mindset to step back and be able to understand, your child may just (pardon my language) SUCK at the subject!?
Maybe you SUCK at teaching in general. If you have reached this point, find a solution before both you and your child become so frustrated, you harm rather than hurt.
Consider hiring professional tutors and private teachers for your child. When you do this, you have the benefit of working (and even partnering) with an instructor whose views on education align with your own.
Don’t homeschool your child for selfish reasons. You thinking, “I just can’t bear to be away from my child!” is a recipe for failure for all parties involved. The one it hurts the most is the child who cannot learn, think and function without their parent whispering in their ear. As your children grow, teach them how to think for themselves— not just how mommy and daddy say to think. (Just like not how teachers and schools tell you how to think)
A great benefit of homeschooling is traveling. It wouldn’t be an all-play-no-work vacation! Traveling can be a part of your child’s education— and it should be.
Plan your history lesson around your travel plans. Learn the history of Ancient Rome, the rule of benevolent and tyrannical rulers. Learn about their contributions to the world, and what still exists today— the good and the bad. Then, go see it in action. See it with your own eyes how it still affects society and government today. The thrill of standing where Caesar once stood will embed in them the history and even the Shakespearean play forever. They will remember the experience of being emerged in their education and not just staring at just a picture for 30 seconds.
Now what about the social part of your child’s education? Learning to socialize at a young age is a big part of your child’s education. An even greater part is your child needs to learn how to socialize without you.
I absolutely love South Park, and you bet your… I’m going to bring in the episode where we meet homeschool children— those weirdos. (Kidding. But South Park sure wasn’t!)
Now, I’ve had someone tell me homeschoolers socialize just fine and fit into society well as adults because they have been socializing with adults all their lives. Let’s pull back the reigns on this one. You most likely want your child to attend college, where they will meet with their peers in clubs, fraternities, sporting events and other social situations. Have you met 18, 19, 20 year olds!? Your child may be so much more mature than them— so now what. Will your child be able to fit in, make friends and continue to cultivate their social education?
There are plenty homeschooling social groups. Hopefully there is one in your area that will help give your child exposure to his or her own age. This should not be a once in awhile thing, but a part of their education— not only structured socializing opportunities, but unstructured as well!
Some kids are homeschooled because they have an extensive extra curricular life. This includes actors, professional dancers and other performers. These students keep an odd schedule, and may even travel to pursue their passion.
Online classrooms are structured like college online classes with an added feature of “attending” mandatory virtual classes where teachers write out the material, teach and students respond— whether verbally or simply by typing in the chat box. They are still required to do homework, but the class work is structured to only be lectures. Therefore, these classes may only meet once or twice a week. Online classes provide students with the option to homeschool… but not really homeschool.
Your child will work with qualified instructors— when they reach high school, their instructors will have earned a relevant degree in the field they are teaching. Instead of working with an instructor with a liberal arts degree, they will have an English teacher with an English degree, a math teacher with a math degree, a science teacher with a science degree and so on.
If you want your child to continue homeschooling through high school, ensure that they are responsible and independent enough to take on the load.
Should you homeschool your child? I don’t know. That’s up to you. As long as you ensure your child has the same or beyond the opportunities and experience as traditional students.