Why Home School?
By: Tequitia Andrews
Why home school? The question should be, why not? As parents, we are children's primary educators. We teach them every day life skills. (i.e. personal care, responsibility, values, etc.) It would seem reasonable that we could extend that learning to include skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic. Education today, is the center of many debates. Yes or no to school vouchers, reducing the risk of school shootings, inclusion, charter schools, and low test scores in standardized tests. The list could go on forever. Whether you decide to home school or not is an individual choice. Not just for you but for your child, as well. Reasons to home school may be lack of confidence in the public schools, religious, a child with special needs, or just because you feel it is what is best for your family.
A lot of parents are turning to home schooling because they just do not trust the public school system. In some areas, schools do not have the money to provide updated textbooks or supplemental teaching supplies. In addition, they don't have the money to hire qualified teachers and students are taught by unqualified substitutes. Some parents argue that class sizes are too large. It's tough for your child to get the individual attention he may need if the teacher has 22 other students who need attention, too. The outbreak of recent school shootings has also caused a lot of parents to pull their children out of public school. Some feel it just isn't safe.
Why not send them to private schools? Well, the truth of the matter is that even though private schools offer smaller classrooms and have the financial backing for teaching materials, most parents can't afford it. Some private schools cost just as much as a college education. Sending your first grader to private school may cost you $10,000 or more per year. I addition to cost, most private schools have religious affiliations. It just may be that you, a practicing Baptist, do not want to send your child to a Catholic private school.
Religious freedom is another reason why some parents turn to home schooling. With the separation of school and church, as well as, the ongoing debate over prayer in the schools, make home schooling ideal. Maybe you can't afford to send your child to the Catholic school or maybe there isn't one in your area. At home you can teach your child anything about your religious beliefs. It can be incorporated into your child's curriculum. There are a lot of associations geared towards Christian homeschoolers. There are many different religions in this world. Their beliefs are not all equally represented. Home schooling provides parents that opportunity.
Children with Special Needs
Home schooling is an option for parents with children who have special needs. It could be a mental disability, a learning disability, or a physical disability. Your child may even be gifted. In any case, children with special needs often get overlooked in the public school system. There is so much red tape to go through to even get your child tested. Some children get labeled as a problem child and never get the services they need. This in no way helps the child.
Its Just Right for You
Home schooling may be a goal for your family. Maybe you were a home schooled child and loved it. As a parent you know more than anyone how your child learns. You know what their interests are. Maybe the traditional school setting is not what your child needs. Maybe you just want to give it a try. You heard an acquaintance boast on how it has helped her family and became interested. Or, you are already a stay-at-home mom so there wouldn't be any drastic changes, such as quitting your job.
There are many reasons why; there are reasons why you shouldn't. Not every parent is suited for home schooling; just alike neither is every child. This decision should require some evaluation on the parent and the child. What are your family's educational goals? What are your feelings or concerns about the choices available to your family? These and other questions can help you determine why or why not, home schooling is for you?
Tequitia is a wife, mother, and freelance writer. You may see more of her work at Homebound Parenting. Sign up for the Homebound Parentingzine, a monthly e-zine for stay-at-home moms firstname.lastname@example.org