by Katie Julius
We are excited to launch our spring blog series: Homeschooling 101. Over the next few months, each week, we will share a topic that will help families considering home education or those new to homeschooling navigate what can seem like an overwhelming venture. We begin this week by looking at some of the benefits of home education.
Control of Curriculum
Whatever the reason(s) a family chooses to homeschool, being able to have control over what their children are learning is, perhaps, one of the most common reasons for instructing children at home.
It doesn’t take long to find objectionable material that is being taught in public schools. This includes both the traditional academic curriculum as well as the ever progressive social agenda that is being pushed on our youth at younger and younger ages. Just consider some of the recent changes that have been made to the history curriculum taught in public schools.
Homeschooling provides parents with the opportunity to select what is taught, when it is taught, and how it is taught. Parents can consider their children’s learning style, temperament, interests, and current knowledge when selecting curriculum. There are countless publishers that cater to homeschooling families with curriculums ranging in price, teacher involvement, and instruction style. It’s easy to find a program that will work for you and your family, providing your children a curriculum that is best suited for their learning.
Unique Learning for Each Child
Homeschooling also allows for more “out of the box” hands-on learning experiences, whether part of a structured program or just picking up and taking school on the go. It also gives opportunities for students to pursue learning that is of interest to them. Older students can participate in job shadowing, volunteering, or internships that relate to a prospective career. Younger students can participate in a unit study that centers around a favorite animal, person, or place. The possibilities are endless.
Looking at the demands of the recent teachers union strike in Los Angeles, it’s easy to see the environment at public schools is less than ideal. Teachers claimed classroom counts of over 40-students in some instances, limited access to materials necessary for instruction, and a hyper focus on testing outcomes.
In addition to these classroom struggles, many students have been the target of bullying or been exposed to things by peers that are not age appropriate.
There is no better environment for a child to be learning than in their own home, taught by the people who know them the best and truly know what is best for them. Ask any teacher what the ideal student/teacher ratio is and they will tell you individual instruction is always the best. The ability to provide that for our children can only improve their learning experience.
One of the great benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility that it provides. Not only the flexibility in tailoring a learning environment for each child, but also the flexibility in scheduling your school days. While many families still follow a traditional school year schedule (August/September – May/June), other families school year-round, taking breaks every couple months, while even other families take time off between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some families do school in the morning. Other families use the afternoon or evening hours to do school. Visits to museums, parks, zoos and aquariums can happen on the less-busy weekdays, maximizing your time and experience at these locations. Vacations can also be scheduled during “off season” times, often saving money on travel and accommodations.
Put God In School
Perhaps one of the most important reasons to homeschool is the ability to present all curriculum through a Christian worldview. Not only can families include “Bible” as a subject in their school, but they can incorporate it into all subjects – the amazing world God created in science, how figures in history chose to respond to God, and to analyze the character of a protagonist in literature against that of the biblical character God expects of us.
Instead of just teaching our children, we are in the unique position to disciple them throughout the day, helping them develop a relationship with the Lord, learning to love and live for Him.
Check out the CHEA website for more information that can aid you in making the decision if home education is right for your family.
Be sure to come back next week as we look at the legal options for educating at home in the state of California.