5 Benefits of homeschooling your kids

April 02, 2020
I decided to take some time and focus on other family related topics that will help someone out there. At this stage of 2020, some countries are on lock-down, or allowing limited  movement by citizens. Schools are closed, which means that mom, dad or grandparent are faced with the task of becoming the primary educators to their children. We've been homeschooling for over 4 years, and within this limited time I've had a lot of people expressing interest on the benefits of homeschooling. I'll blog some other time about what led us to the conclusion that homeschooling was the solution,  but for now we will focus on the pros and cons of homeschooling (with this post being dedicated to the pros.

NOTE: It is not my intention (nor my place) to convince the reader about homeschooling. I will be sharing improvements that we experienced as a family.


5 BENEFITS OF HOMESCHOOLING YOUR CHILD/KIDS 

 

Below are some of the benefits that have led us to be staunch supporters of homeschooling:

Flexibility

 

As a homeschooling family, we have experienced a lot of flexibility and some freedom when it comes to how, when, and what we teach our children:
  1. Choice of curriculum - As South Africans, we are allowed to homeschool using any curriculum, on one condition. It must meet or exceed the standards of the official public school curriculum. This gave us freedom to explore various homeschooling programs, both online, offline, local, and international. It became clear very early on that our son (diagnosed with ADHD) was never going to thrive on the official curriculum. Because of his attention issues, online homeschooling proved to be most effective for him. The younger sister thrives on an approach that combines literature and hands on crafts with the academic program.
  2. Values - Few parents find this to be an issue, but I do. Modern public education takes away too much time from the family - to a point that the child is molded into the image of the society, in opposition to that of the family. Homeschooling has given us an opportunity to teach and model sound family values to our children. The education becomes a holistic one, and not rigidly focusing on academics, divorced from life.
  3. Structuring of the school day - this will extend to weeks, or the school year. You are no longer bound by the typical school day, week, or year. A lot of pressure is taken off the parent and the child. You can also decide to structure your school week based on what works for you as a family.  At this point (because my kids are older), we focus on one subject per child, per day. It gives them the advantage of being immersed into it, providing better understanding. I also recall a time when my daughter was struggling with learning time (using an analogue clock), I decided to suspend the lesson until further notice. Weeks later, she came back to me, very excited that she could now master this part of her Math curriculum. She used every opportunity to learn the time using our wall clock. 

Low teacher to student ratio 

 

A typical classroom has 20-30 students, and in a worst case scenario (even 60 - varies by location).

Homeschooling your kids means that they will get attention in a way that is impossible at a school (private or public). On our first year of homeschooling, we found ourselves finishing my younger one's Social Studies within 3 months!

Another benefit linked to homeschooling is that you become aware of your kid/s learning style, and embrace it. Several times I've had to put aside the textbooks and give the children a real life application of a particular topic (because I can).

Improved family relations

 

This is by far, the most important of the benefits of homeschooling (in my opinion). It's not what we were going for when we started this journey, but it is definitely a welcome side effect.   As the primary caregiver and educator to my children, I notice that they trust me for direction and my opinions. I can see how that may not work well for some governments😉. Being there with them, every single moment, witnessing every milestone has improved our relationship.

Responsibility

 

Once you take away the fear of a teacher, what fellow students think etc, a homeschooling child will take personal responsibility for their school work and progress. I've seen my now 18 year old actually losing sleep over an area of study in which the did not perform well. He has gone beyond that, and has taken care of his diet and physical fitness levels as well. These were nearly impossible when he was younger and still at school.

Last, but not least..... 

Improved social skills 

 

Homeschooling and the "socialization" issue.......

The socialization misconception is really a knee-jerk reaction, and is not representative of reality. School is not the bastion of socialization, and the demographics found there do not represent life as it is in reality. For most homeschoolers, socialization is intentional. Children get time to do extra-mural activities, educational trips, etc. They also shed the notion that your social circle must exclusively consist of people in your age group. My kids relate to people with whom they share interests, regardless of  their age.

I also have a theory that an improved self confidence is the result of being able to grow and develop, without  the pressure to conform to peers. It may explain why I have noticed an improvement in my kids' social skills.

Below is a video I made on Homeschooling misconceptions - The first part talks more about the social aspect of my children's lives.


That's it from me on the benefits of homeschooling my children. I'm certain that other families have reaped far more benefits, and I'd love to hear from them. You will also find some researched facts on homeschooling here, and they do touch base on some of its benefits.

I will also write about the pitfalls (or the cons) to avoid when embarking on the homeschooling journey.
Zee

Comments