With a 61.8% increase over the ten-year period from 2003 through 2012, the number of home-schooled students is steadily on the rise, and that trend is predicted to continue, according to the US Department of Education (USDOE). This represents an increase from 2.2% of all students in the ages between 5 and 17, up to 3.4% over that same time period. So why are so many parents opting to have their children home-schooled, and why does its popularity continue to grow every year?
Advantages of home-schooling
Many parents who have had both – traditional schooling and home-schooling – gush about the freedom that accrues as a result of home-schooling. It is more than a little liberating to not be tied to school life and activities, for instance teacher conferences, any kind of special events, assigned homework, and even the necessity of following school hours and the school calendar.
This is a bigger issue than you might think, because by not having to get up early to have breakfast, get dressed, and catch the school bus, kids can sleep in longer and get a really good night’s sleep. Also, with no requirement to get kids to school whenever it’s in session, parents are free to take vacations at any time of the year, and can do their own special activities with kids on any day of the week.
Studies have shown that self-esteem often plummets for middle-school students, particularly among girls. The same is not true for home-schooled students, who of course do not face peer pressure or any kind of bullying at home. There is no need to find acceptance among peers or dress in trending fashions, so children are free to be themselves and develop self-confidence at an earlier age. Parents of home-schooled children cite the closer family ties between siblings and with parents themselves, since there is more time to bond and strengthen relationships among family members. Religious-minded parents are grateful for the opportunity to imbue their children with faith-based concepts at home, free of the political stress regarding religion in the school environment.
It is a documented fact that kids taught at home can cover material much faster than a classroom of children addressing the exact same subjects. While home-schoolers are sure to get off-topic occasionally, not nearly as much time is wasted as in a classroom setting, where disruptions are generally part of the daily routine. This all leads to kids getting a better education at home, both in terms of how they learn, and what they learn, since literally any topics of interest can be pursued in the home environment.
Aids to home-schooling
For the parent beginning with home-schooling, assembling a curriculum can be a little bit overwhelming. However, most states provide a required core of subjects which must be taught at each age, so this provides a foundation for the home program. Beyond that, high quality, project based, mentor supported curriculum are available from highly reputable companies to assist with this important function.
With the many benefits to educating children at home, and the terrific educational aids available, it is not at all surprising why the growth of home-schooled students continues to soar.