There are many things to consider when deciding if homeschool is right for your family. Ashley Slaten, a homeschool mother of 3, says that these were her main considerations.
1. Family Culture
Not having the time constraints of the school schedule allow the family to structure their own day, and their own family culture. With a schedule that has less constraints, parents can choose to go out or stay in, read or play, exercise or be still. Parents can deliberately choose what to expose their children too. Homeschool families can use this time to read together, strengthen family relationships or serve in the community.
Each family will have their own family culture, whether they choose to homeschool or not. Homeschool families have two main differences: the ability to spend more time together, and less outside influences that may affect family culture.
2. Early Academics
Schools in the United States have started academic instruction earlier and earlier. Children in kindergarten are expected to read and do math at a much higher level than in years past. Some children are not ready intellectually to perform at the expected level. Other children can keep up intellectually, but are not emotionally ready for this kind of learning. Homeschooling allows children to learn at their own pace with less focus on early academics.
As children progress in traditional school, there can be other challenges. One of these is when children are able to do well without being challenged. Even though a child’s grades may be high, they might not be learning in the way that parents hope they would.
3. Trust the Process
Learning skills comes differently and at different times to each child. When parents recognize this, they can trust that their child will learn at his or her own pace. They are then able to pave the way for learning without as much stress or worry. One philosophy of learning is that learning is an organic process. Children are born learners, and parents can support this inherent desire that is already present in children.
4. Strew their Path
A parents goal, then, changes from constant direct instruction, to providing opportunities for a child to learn. Children can have opportunities in their paths for things that will help them learn. These can be as simple as letter blocks, books, or math manipulatives. They can extend to conversations and learning opportunities throughout a child’s day.
There are many other things to consider as you decide what schooling is best for your child. What other factors have influenced your decision?