When reports of school violence hit the news, consideration of homeschooling is a common response from concerned parents. A desire to protect your children is a natural response to a perceived threat; however, fear is not sufficient as a long-term motivator in any area of life. Instead, the decision to homeschool should be founded on a firm conviction that homeschooling is the best educational choice for your children. May the following list of benefits guide your decision as you consider committing to home education.
- Homeschooling allows for individualized attention. Classroom teachers do an excellent job, but they have limited time and resources. You have less children among whom your time and attention must be divided, allowing for greater tailoring of lessons to your children’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Homeschooling lets you be there for the “ah-ha” moments. There’s nothing quite like being the one to teach your child to read or seeing your child’s face light up as a difficult concept suddenly clicks. Homeschooling gives you the privilege of being there for those moments.
- Homeschooling allows you to set your own schedule. Unlike traditional teachers, homeschoolers don’t have to fit classroom management into their schedules. This frees up time for community involvement, extra exploration in an area of interest, play and rest.
- Homeschooling encourages family relationships. Homeschooling families spend a lot of time together. Admittedly, this can sometimes be a challenge, but it also encourages family members to know each other well and put effort into living peacefully with one another, even when it’s hard. The end result is often a strong family bond.
- Homeschooling lets you choose your studies. Illinois law requires homeschoolers to cover basic subjects, but also allows home educators plenty of latitude to set the course of their studies. Homeschoolers can spend extra time on areas of special interest to their children. Additionally, while budget cuts often limit how much time public schools can spend on art, music or foreign languages, home educators have more freedom to encourage these subjects.
Even if fear for your child’s safety is what first motivates you to consider homeschooling, don’t let it be the sole reason that you make this lifestyle choice. Rather, the decision to homeschool should be borne from a conviction that you can provide the best education for your child. If the benefits listed above resonate with you, then perhaps home education truly is the right course of action for your family.