Monday, July 6, 2009

Blessings of Home Schooling

  • Quality education... You choose what to teach, when to teach it, and how to teach it. 
  • You set the pace, and can work with your child's learning style. Your child doesn't have to slow down his pace to wait for other students to catch up on skills he's already mastered, and he won't be left behind after a few sick days because everyone else has already learned something he hasn't yet. You can also enjoy an abundance of real life learning and hands-on experiences, instead of trying to imitate them in an institutional setting. 
  • Real Life Learning... Home schoolers can explore and learn through hands-on, real life experiences, instead of having to try to simulate them in a classroom. Children's creativity and curiosity is encouraged and pursued instead of squashed out with rigid, standardized lesson plans. When your child shows interest in a subject, he can explore it in greater depth.  This free learning environment encourages critical thinking and self-led learning and exploration... two things the school system tends to weaken.
  • Time... Since home schooling is so much more efficient than institutional schooling, children will have a great deal more free time for family, friends, hobbies & interests.  
  • Flexibility... You can work your schedule to fit your life, instead of fitting your life around someone else's schedule! Your kids don't have to get up at the crack of dawn. You can make school breaks during the best weather in the spring/fall so when all the other kids are pinned up in school, your kids can run around outside and play! You also get to choose when to go on vacation instead of letting the school board choose for you. Another bonus is that travel is cheaper and weather may be nicer during the "off season". 
  • Family Based Living...  Instead of being a chauffeur and spectator of a large portion of your child's life, you're actively involved and influential in it. Instead of leading separate lives that occasionally cross in the evenings or on weekends, home school families enjoy both quality and quantity time together. You get to raise your own children. 
  • Stronger Relationships... Children form stronger bonds not only with parents, but with siblings as well. Visit a few home schooling families and you'll see for yourself. 
  • Really know your kids...  We have this freedom and opportunity in home schooling, unlike in a crowded classroom.
  • Involvement... Members of a family can't remain detached or anonymous for long. 
  • Discipleship... Education is a discipleship.  It involves the teacher spending time with the student until he becomes like the teacher (Lk 6:40). Since every aspect of life is part of the home schooling experience, you can impart meaningful learning in the areas most important to you (such as spiritual), which may have been over-looked or belittled in the public school setting. Can you think of a better way to learn about life then to live it along side someone you love?
  • Healthy Environment...  Since children are highly influenced by their environment, home schooling allows you to provide an optimum environment for the development of healthy, moral habits. Public schools, on the other hand, provide a restrictive, conformity-oriented environment. 
  • Healthy Kids...  One mom related to me that she noticed a huge fringe benefit since beginning homeschooling is that her kids bring home less "bugs". While public schooling, her children went to the pediatrician several times a year. She's been homeschooling for three years, and noticed that they hadn't even been to the pediatrician for over two years!
  • Keeping it real...  It's easy to ignore your child's  character flaws or weaknesses when you drop them off at public school.  If there's a problem you can blame the teacher or the curriculum.  But staying home with your children is very telling.  If they struggle, you can strengthen and encourage (whereas at school it may go unnoticed for quite some time).  If negative attitudes or behavior creep in, you can nip them in the bud.  Similarly, your own character blemishes convict you.  This provides all the more reason to better yourself so you can turn around and better your kids.  Iron sharpens iron.  

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