What is Homeschooling?

What is homeschooling? Why do some parents choose to homeschool their kids? What does homeschooling involve?

Homeschooling is also called home school, home education or home-based learning. It is the choice made by parents to educate their kids at home, typically by the parents themselves or tutors, instead of sending them to traditional public or private schools. Homeschooling is legal in all fifty states, but is defined differently by state. The legal home school requirements also vary depending on the state of your residence. It is important to note that while millions of kids thrive in this type of learning environment, most of them scoring very highly on standardized tests, as well as other measures of scholastic performance, homeschooling is not for everyone – but it can be a good choice for some families and kids.

Reasons to Homeschool

There are a number of reasons why some parents choose homeschooling vs. public schooling. Below, you will find just some of them:

  • Academic reasons – Most parents who have chosen to homeschool are dissatisfied with the educational options available and feel that they can do a better job of teaching their kids, and most of the time, they are right. Research on the subject proves that the individual attention that children receive in homeschooling often provides a superior academic atmosphere compared to that which is offered in large classroom settings. Brian Ray, Ph.D., founder of the National Home Education Research Institute stated that students educated in a home school generally score at the 65th to 80th percentile on achievement tests, 15 to 30 percentile points higher than children who go to public schools.
  • Religious reasons – Some families choose homeschooling because they are dissatisfied with the values offered in public schools. These families believe that instilling their values and belief as they raise their children is an essential part of education and homeschooling allows them to do so.
  • Learning styles – Not all adults can endure long hours sitting in a desk within the four walls of an office to work. Likewise, not all kids thrive in a traditional classroom setting presented by public schools. There are children who learn and do better with an experiential approach to learning rather than through textbooks.
  • Health reasons – Some families with kids who are sickly or have serious health issues deem it wiser to homeschool their children rather than have them miss a lot of school.
  • Aptitude level – The very nature of homeschooling allows parents and tutors to tailor the pace of the instruction to suit the intellect of the children they are teaching.

Daily Homeschool Schedule

There is no typical homeschool schedule that all homeschooling families should follow. They usually organize their days depending on what works best for them and their child. Some homeschoolers choose to start their lessons early in the morning, with the meat of the curriculum and harder subjects tackled first, leaving the afternoons for more creative and hands-on projects. Field trips, nature walks, active play or meet-ups with other homeschooling families in the area can also happen in the afternoons.

The thing to remember is that you have to determine what works for you and your homeschooled kids, and this may take a while. It’s your choice whether you want to stick to a rigid timeframe or be flexible and willing to move schedules around to suit you and your kids.