By Mariel Uyquiengco
Prior to the 19th century, most people were educated at home. However, homeschooling as we know it now emerged within the last 30 years and started with Christian missionary families. Those first homeschooling parents wanted to raise their children according to their religious beliefs and values, and they felt that the best way to do that was to educate at home.
Home education has grown by leaps and bounds since then. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, 3.4% of their country’s school-age population in 2013 was homeschooled. This comes up to 1,770,000 students.
While religious formation is still one of the more popular reasons for homeschooling one’s children, parents are also motivated by other factors.
Here are 5 reasons to explore homeschooling for your family.
1. To enjoy one’s children
Life seems to go so fast these days. Between time spent at work, in school, or stuck in traffic, parents and children hardly have time to just enjoy each other’s company. Family life is squeezed in during the weekend and school vacations.
Homeschooling provides families to live life in an unhurried manner and to revel in what they consider important. For these families, academic recognition, though important, is not the end-all and be-all of learning.
2. To provide a superior education
Big schools have big populations, and students mostly get lost in the cracks of a teacher’s classroom management skills.
While there is no doubt that people also earn an excellent education in brick and mortar schools, homeschooling has the added appeal of providing children an individualized education that suits their particular learning style.
Parents often say homeschooling allows them to adjust their teaching method according to their children’s needs. After all, they know their children best.
3. To cultivate a love of learning
Schools inadvertently encourage children to study for grades; love of learning is somehow bypassed. Homeschooling provides parents the opportunity to instill this love in their children by focusing on the wonders of discovery and exploration instead of class ranking.
Learning what you are interested in is a great motivator and encourages you to keep on learning. Homeschooled children have the luxury of time to pursue their interests, making learning meaningful and relevant.
4. To protect children from modern Internet culture
The world is very much connected, and kids thrive in this hyper-connectedness. Modern Internet culture involves the heavy use of social media where parents almost have no visibility, posing grave danger to young children.
A lot has been said and written about cyberspace being used as a bullying platform. Children harassed in school are continuously tormented through the Internet. Having your kids at home allows you to provide them with experiences far away from this culture.
5. To give children the time and space to be children
Children seem to be in constant motion in order to get ahead of the competition. But kids need time to be kids, to play, breathe, and just be.
Homeschooling gives this precious time to children. Without the need to rush to school early in the morning and to finish homework in the evening, young children still get time to do what they love best – play.
More and more families are embracing homeschooling each year. Both home education and brick-and-mortar schools have their good points; parents must determine their own motivations and decide for their own family’s situation.
Mariel Uyquiengco hopes to inspire parents to be their children’s first and best teacher. She does this through her blog and online children’s book shop www.thelearningbasket.com and by giving parenting seminars about early childhood development, preschool homeschool, and raising children to be readers.