It’s the start of another school year, and parents are thinking about alternative options. We are finding that children are asking their parents to homeschool in many cases. Families choose the option of homeschooling for a variety of reasons.
For many years, homeschooling was the purview of those families who lived in rural areas and found the cost and/or time it would take to transport their children to school unbearable. For these people, homeschooling was and continues to be the only real option when it comes to their children’s education. Many rural families have traditionally relied on their children to help around the house, and thus homeschooling allowed them to pursue their studies around the family schedule, and work and education could be fit into the day according to a suitable timetable.
Another traditional reason for families choosing the option of homeschool was a fundamental disagreement with what was or is being taught in other schooling environments. Chief among this group are families whose religious beliefs clash with the prevailing educational methods. Families who choose the option of homeschooling are not subject to the rigid curriculum of established schools, and there are many options when it comes to homeschool resources that can offer as wide or as narrow a field of study as far as worldviews that the parent wishes.
A more recent development in the reason people choose to homeschool their children is that of safety. School ground violence seems to be increasing, and that has many parents worried. They feel that the best way to keep their children away from harm is to keep them close.
Hand-in-hand with the safety issue is a concern for the child’s self esteem. Bullying is a common issue within any school system, as any parent well remembers from their own school days. Many parents cannot bear the thought of throwing their children into the kind of system that breeds a pack mentality, and are choosing instead to have them educated at home.
A very recent development in the reasons for homeschooling is the fluidity in choices that homeschooling children allows. This is especially apparent in Generation X, who seem to be fairly insistent on independence and not being tied down to any one place or situation. Homeschooling eliminates the need to plan all vacations around established school holidays, as the pace is determined by the parent and child.
Finally, parents may choose to homeschool their children because they simply feel they can do a better job than any educational system. Parent of gifted children do not want to see the child wasted in the hard pressed for both resources and qualified teachers system that public schooling represents, and private schools are becoming increasingly unaffordable for the average family. Parents who believe their children need the advantages of a more intimate education are therefore turning to the option of homeschooling.
The rise in popularity of homeschooling has meant a corresponding rise in the materials available to the parent who chooses to homeschool. There are resources available to meet any educational needs, and with a little bit of homework a parent will find the curriculum they feel will best suit their children’s needs.