The popularity of homeschooling has grown exponentially in recent years. In fact, according to the National Home Education Research Institute, over 2 million children from kindergarten to Grade 12 were being homeschooled in the United States in 2010. What’s more, NHERI estimates that, in the United States, the number of homeschooled children is increasing by almost 8 percent every year. While recent Canadian statistics are a little harder to come by, it’s estimated that there were over 80,000 students being homeschooled in 2000.
Marc Lapointe, founder of an education consulting firm and author of the book Standing in the Education Gap: A Commonsense Approach to Helping Your Child Succeed in School, identifies three reasons a parent should consider homeschooling:
- Academics: Homeschooling can offer real academic advantages over the regular classroom. Things like one-to-one interaction, choice of resources, teaching approaches, fewer distractions and greater academic challenges are all aspects of homeschooling that, if organized effectively, can provide your child with the kind of learning that is superior to the school classroom. When the only other choice is an education system that focuses on self-esteem over performance and puts little emphasis on teaching foundational skills, homeschooling may serve as the ultimate solution for some families.
- Athletics: There are many students who are actively involved in sports or other activities at a high or elite level. The balance between school attendance, academic achievement and training can often prove too difficult to achieve. Since homeschooling is typically free of the various non-academic activities that are associated with the regular classroom, it allows students to focus on their studies while, at the same time, train and compete adequately in their chosen sport.
- Special Needs: While schools typically have the personnel to work with students with special needs, the unfortunate fact is that many students with diagnosed learning disabilities or other disabilities simply won’t receive adequate help from the school. For parents who are well-informed regarding their children’s challenges and have the patience and confidence to work with a child with special needs, homeschooling may offer the kind of environment that is well suited to meet those needs.
– Are you considering home schooling? What is your big motivator?
– Or maybe you already made the decision to homeschool. Has it been a success and do you have any tips for people still on the fence about making this big move.
Links within the post lead to the National Home Education Research Institute and an affiliate link to purchase the book by Marc Lapointe on Amazon.