Doubts can assail when considering or beginning homeschooling:
- Can I really do this?
- Won’t my kids miss the social life of school?
- How can I teach subjects I don’t know or don’t know very well?
- What if my child hates the idea?
- What if I have only one child?
- What do I do with my preschoolers when I am teaching the older ones?”
Despite all these doubts, research clearly shows that homeschooling works. (Click Here to download a pdf on homeschool research)
Parents are the first and best teachers for their children. All effective education takes place within the context of a good relationship with a person who carefully considers one’s thoughts and ideas,,, and responds to them with respect and dignity. Life’s best lessons are learned inside positive relationships, not government institutions. The potential for those relationships are best found within the family
Homeschooling allows family members to relate deeply to one another and thus draws the family closer together. Siblings develop more significant friendships with their brothers and sisters. Homeschooling creates times of solitude missing in our overly-structured society. These times create space for the child to know himself separate from peer pressure.
True socialization is living by the Golden Rule: treat others the way you would want to be treated. Children do not learn this from other children. They learn it through frequent positive interactions with adult role models like their parents. Luke 6:40 says, “... the disciple when he is fully taught will be like his master…” In reality, the homeschooled student when he is fully taught will be like his teaching parent. Parents socialize their children by example.
Few adults relate to more than a couple ‘friends’ at once. Even in the work world, socialization occurs in small groups or teams. The social skills needed to succeed are in building meaningful relationships. The social life of school is often the best reason to AVOID ‘school.’ One family began homeschooling when their daughter’s Jr. Hi. had seven suicides one semester. Not the kind of ‘socialization’ they wanted for their three students!
Not only does homeschooling allow for more quality socialization, but it also allows for better academic performance. By giving children more appropriate instruction (more challenging, in-depth, or slower paced, etc.) the curriculum is tailored to the needs of the student rather than forcing the student through an academic assembly line. With one-on-one instruction, less time is wasted waiting for the others. The family offers a more positive environment: spiritually, mentally, and physically. Students have time to pursue and become excellent in their interests and passions.
Children who are allowed to assume responsibility for learning and pursuing their interests and passions. Learning to adapt curricula to the child is a natural function of a parent, if the parent is released and willing to step out of their box-like definitions of “school” and enter into the world of true education. At young ages, children tend to comply with parental wishes. While the child may balk at first, as parents respond to his true needs, usually his objections will wane. As adolescents, students are capable of “owning” their education—it’s their responsibility. Offering a negotiated agreement to try this new “thing” can put off suspected objections long enough for an adolescent to appreciate homeschooling advantages.
Learning to manage family-directed education, whether you have one child or multiple children, means the family must learn to problem solve, act on another’s behalf, focusing on the sum of the whole family’s needs rather than on the total of the parts. Homeschooling affords the time and opportunity to follow the dictates of one’s heart.
While there are thousands of curriculum companies out there that would dearly love to sell each homeschooler their wares, a gifted Teacher Consultant can help parents cut through the deluge of curriculum and put a learning program together that matches the student’s learning style, passions, and academic needs.