There are times when every homeschool parent is beset with doubts. It’s a serious responsibility, taking on the education of your children…they are depending on you to give them what they need to go out into the world and make a life. (And when they are looking at you with this much trust who could let them down. For those of you wondering…this is Caleb.) With the recent decision of a California court deciding against homeschooling there has been increased scrutiny of the homeschool community. Many parents I talk to have been confronted more aggressively in the past weeks about the wisdom of keeping their children at home. The court decided that only teachers with a credential are qualified to teach. I, along with many of my homeschool cohorts, would respectfully disagree. There is no reason that a motivated, disciplined parent can’t provide an outstanding education for their child. Let me list just a few advantages.
First, a parent has the advantage of working with their child one-on-one. The benefits to this kind of teaching cannot be overemphasised. The child can work at their own pace in each subject. There is no need to labor over concepts that have already been grasped or to move on to new material before a child is ready. The parent/teacher can adapt easily to the individual needs of the student.
Second, a parent has intimate knowledge of each child’s strengths and weaknesses and no one is more motivated to see their child succeed than a parent.
Third, quality curriculums abound. The homeschooling movement has been around long enough and represents enough paying customers that curriculum developers have addressed the issues unique to the homeschool family. No matter what the subject or what the learning style of your child is, there is a curriculum out there. Curriculums are written with the knowledge that parents are not teachers or experts and addresses those challenges. Many provide on-line assistance or phone support.
Fourth, and my personal favorite…I can adapt whatever curriculums I use to suit my children. There are advantages and disadvantages to every system, and the advantages differ from child to child. I can use what is good from each to create a well balanced approach.
I don’t think homeschooling is for everyone, but for those who choose it and pursue it with diligence it is a rewarding and effective alternative to a traditional education.