Parents choose to homeschool for many different reasons. Since each parent probably has different reasons, I feel this is a good question with which to begin my Homeschooling How-To series: although it has been answered before, my reasons are unique and therefore worth explaining.
In my case, I feel that by bringing my son home he has a better environment for learning, better individualized instruction to meet his needs, more opportunity to develop a love of learning, and a greater outlet for socialization.
When I think about the kind of environment in which I want my children to learn, I think of the best possible environment: one where people are kind to him, for the most part, and where he can learn academic subjects without the added confusion of emotional conflict.
As an inhabitant of the world, he will encounter his share of difficult people. Although there is no way for me to avoid letting my son be exposed to people who berate, belittle, and speak harshly to him, I believe a public school is probably not the best environment in general[1. See the 2011 NCES report on bullying and crime in the schools. Note that these are statistics for students ages 12-18. I did not find statistics on bullying in the younger grades.].
Does this mean I keep my child home because I am afraid? No. I send him to co-op; I would send him to school if I felt it was right. But honestly, I feel like the home environment is the best learning environment available for him right now.
Although I have no problem with the Common Core State Standards, they meet the average student where he or she “should” be. What would a public school do with my son, who is reading at a fourth grade level, doing 1st grade math, and technically only just about to enter Kindergarten? A classroom teacher does not have an enviable job. The same teacher is responsible for dozens of children at multiple levels. Homeschooling allows me to tailor my children’s education to the level that they need right now.
True, I love my child, but homeschooling is not just about loving my child. I also homeschool him to foster a love of learning. I loved learning as a child, and I went to public school. However, I know what he asked about last night at dinner, for example, and I can incorporate that in to my daily school plan. Because my children have individualized instruction, I can slow down and speed up my instruction to follow his interests, to let him delve into subjects and revisit them “out of order” of any particular curriculum. I hope this helps him develop a love of learning.
I also homeschool my child because I want him to be well socialized, and I don’t think the environment (see above) of public school will necessarily do this for him. I am constantly amazed at the frequent concerns I get from other parents who ask “what about socialization?” when I first mention that I’m homeschooling.
I feel that homeschooling gives my child far more time to socialize than my son’s public school friends’ schedules. They are often tired after school, so cannot play. My understanding is that boys get antsy in class and then act out their frustration. On the other hand, my son and I are in three homeschool groups that frequently meet for either classes (the co-op group) or play dates and “field trips” together. Some weeks I feel I must limit our social engagements so we’ll get some school in!
Besides, the best possible socialization I believe my young son can get right now is with his little sister: he needs to learn to get along with a little person who messes up his plans! Their developing friendship is a star point in our homeschool socialization. Because of our many involvements, my son is becoming adapt at meeting, playing, and conversing with people of many ages, not only kids in his particular birth year in his particular geographical area.
Many positives could also be said about public school. These are just four of the reasons I have chosen to homeschool my son: the environment, instruction, love, and socialization.
Why do you choose to homeschool?
Unless otherwise noted, images on these posts are either taken by myself or are used under a no attribution required license from pixabay.com, Dollar Photo Club, depositphotos.com, or GraphicStock.com (affiliate links).