Many parents are dissatisfied with the education system and its limitations. In fact, the number of homeschoolers has been continually increasing over the past years. That is not surprising. After all, homeschooling allows both parents and kids to take control of their schedule and make it fit everyone’s needs.
Nonetheless, homeschooled kids typically have less interaction with other students of their age. Also, it may be pretty challenging for a parent who needs to plan the schedule, teach the kid (or kids), test them, and deal with everyday tasks and chores simultaneously.
So, what are the pros and cons of homeschooling? Why do parents and guardians choose to do it in the first place? How do homeschooled kids develop their social skills? Let’s find out!
Facts, Statistics, and Trend
The number of kids switching to homeschooling has dramatically increased thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. After all, the public schools had difficulties dealing with the pandemic, and, as a result, many parents lost their trust in the public education system.
However, home education isn’t a new concept. Before traditional schools even existed, parents used to teach their kids at home. Some families could afford tutors for their kids, and the others had to do all the work by themselves.
The first free public school came in 1879. Since then, the whole concept of education has changed and become available to most kids in the United States. However, not everyone was satisfied with the public education system and local schools.
In 1970, the concept of homeschooling became popular thanks to John Holt, an educational theorist. He criticized modern schools and invented the method called unschooling. Soon afterward, he gained many followers and found many friends of similar opinions, including Raymond Moore, who wrote Home Grown Kids, one of the first books homeschool families read.
Currently, around 5 million kids (around 11%) in the U.S. are in some sort of homeschooling program. And many parents and families prefer it, despite the busy schedule.
Reasons and Motivations
The Coronavirus isn’t the only issue that made parents choose to homeschool their kids. There’s a whole set of reasons and motivations that stand behind the entire movement. The essential one is the overall dissatisfaction with formal education.
John Holt criticized schools for being oppressive and limiting. He and many others believed that public education had been designed for one purpose — to create obedient workers. As mentioned earlier, Holt had many followers, meaning he wasn’t the only one with such views.
In addition, today’s parents want to expose their kids to a more liberal and flexible educational environment. Simultaneously, they are worried about bullying, and other ever-present problems students may face in traditional schools. By homeschooling their children, parents allow them to develop interests without the interference of other students.
Some families turn to homeschooling due to religious or racial reasons. For instance, many parents of color think that schools don’t pay enough attention to the problem of racism in the United States.
Either way, the motivation is always the same — homeschooling parents want to educate their kids their own way and on their own terms. They aren’t pleased with how today’s schools do the job. Accordingly, they turn to the one reasonable option they have — homeschooling.
Results of Academic Performance
Compared to school students, those who have been educated at home have better academic performance. Despite what some may think, homeschooled students typically score better on standardized tests than others.
Additionally, educational researchers didn’t find a relation between the homeschooled child’s academic performance and family income. Also, it doesn’t matter if the parent is an experienced teacher or not. The homeschooled kids have higher academic achievements regardless of those and similar factors.
What’s more, home-educated students do better in college too. They score higher on the ACT and similar tests and generally have better performance. Similarly, they graduate more often than students from traditional high schools.
Children’s Self Development
One of the first things that cross people’s minds when it comes to homeschooling is the “issue” of socializing. Namely, home-educated students don’t spend as much time around other kids as they could in schools. Accordingly, many wonder if home school is suitable for a child’s self-development.
Nonetheless, research shows that homeschooled kids usually have higher self-esteem. They even scored better on many tests that show the child’s level of self-worth, social maturity, daily living skills, and so on.
Even though they aren’t surrounded by other kids all the time, they still have contact with other people other than their families. Therefore, home-educated students aren’t any worse than those from public schools when it comes to socialization. As a matter of fact, they are generally better at it. Of course, some homeschoolers have less developed social skills, which may partially be the result of their schooling.
Success in Adulthood
As already mentioned, many homeschoolers have finished college successfully. Their education was more flexible and adapted to their needs and interests. Accordingly, they could take it slow with the subjects they were less good at and focus more on what they were the most into.
As a result, home-educated students are better at understanding their needs and organizing their time accordingly. Simultaneously, they are used to learning all the time. After all, homeschoolers were thought to value education.
That said, it comes as no surprise many of them grow to become successful and productive adults.
General Interpretation of Homeschooling
The trends about homeschooling have been continually growing over the past years. In comparison with public school students, homeschoolers do better on tests and even develop higher self-esteem and better social skills. On top of that, they are more likely to graduate from college and become successful grown-ups who value education, family, and themselves.
Despite offering a wide range of benefits for kids, homeschooling can be a difficult task for parents. It requires a lot of time and energy. Also, some states haven’t yet regulated homeschooling as much as they should, which may cause some additional difficulties.
Overall, there are many advantages of homeschooling, as well as some downsides. After all, it can’t suit every kid and parent. However, if implemented right, home education can turn out to be much better for the children than the formal education.