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Should I Home School my Kids?

by Justine Crowley (follow)
Independent Business Consultant, Doctor, HubGarden Editor and Author/Publisher of four self help books: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JustineCrowley
Parenting (216)      Family (309)      Kids (112)      Education (92)      Home School (2)     

home school, benefits of home schooling your child, home schooling your child
A mother helping her child with her homework

Many parents are opting for an alternative to bringing up and educating their kids. Then again, the traditional school system will still have its place. As a mum you need to consider the following: do I wish to partake in the academic and spiritual development of my kids on a regular basis? Do I have the time, energy and other resources to home school my kids? Will home schooling my kids really benefit our family, and why? Perhaps your child may have (unfortunately) been bullied at school, and now you're looking at different avenues to assist with their learning and future development. Would home schooling increase my child's self confidence? Would you home school your child? If so, and if not, why?

# Family
# Kids
# Home School
# Education
# Parenting
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I home-schooled my daughter twice (two years during early primary school and two years during her first years of high school) when she was growing up and we both loved it. I found it was a great way to bond together and I think it has a lot to do with how close we are now. However, I acknowledge that it probably isn't for everyone, as we're all so different....both adults and children.

The reactions I received from other people was varied. Some thought it was outrageous while others were extremely supportive. If you really feel strongly about home-schooling your kids it's really important to stay determined even if people around you are negative. If you can find a good home-schooling network you'll get the support of other like-minded people, and many groups organise fun group excursions. There are all sorts of groups. Some are religious, some are open to everyone or focus on a specific educational style such as Steiner or Montessori education. Other families have a special needs child and want to connect with others who are in a similar situation. To find out about home-schooling groups in your local area do an online search. Here in Perth (WA) there's a wonderful group called the Home-based Learning Network (Hbln) that I strongly recommend.

If you're planning on home-schooling it's important that you know what you're doing academically. If you struggle to help your kids with their homework (especially older children or teens) perhaps consider purchasing a home-education program rather than creating your own lessons. Speak to other more experienced home-schoolers for advice about this.

Sometimes people will grumble about home education, saying that home educated kids don't receive enough socialisation. Personally, I don't think this is true, as it depends entirely on the parents. Just make sure that your children get to engage in heaps of extra-curricular activities such as sporting groups, arts and crafts activities, etc. There are so exciting children's activities in the wider community!

If your child is a sensitive shy type who often gets picked on by rougher children, home-schooling can be a crucial way to preserve their self-confidence. You can pick and choose the company they keep and encourage positive supportive friendships that will nurture and strengthen them rather than hurt and damage. Negative experiences in the classroom can have life-long implications, and home-education is a way to protect your children while they're still young and emotionally vulnerable.

Home-schooling is a fabulous and fun educational adventure. If you decide to give it a spin...all the best and enjoy the learning adventure!
Great question, and one I've been giving a lot of consideration myself. I'd quite like to home school my kids because I dislike the current school system, in which bright kids are often left bored out of their brains waiting for the others to catch up and kids who need help often don't get it. And then there's the bullying from kids and sometimes teachers too. Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful to live in a society where public education is available to all children, but the system is far from perfect and it just doesn't suit some kids.

It's a big decision to make and not an easy one. Not everyone is free to home school even if they want to for economic or other reasons. However, having talked to some home schooled kids and their parents it sounds like there can be huge benefits to it. Kids get more time to be with their families and aren't separated from their siblings just because they are a different age. They get to socialise with a much broader range of people than they would in a school setting. Instead of just being with one adult and a group of kids their own age all the time they get to meet many other adults and children of different ages.

Time that would have been wasted standing in lines or sitting bored in classrooms can be spent pursuing interests such as sport, music and art as well as practical life skills like cooking or balancing a budget. They can still go to university if they so choose (there are plenty of alternative pathways available) and can even start doing university courses early.

The main con I can think of is that it keeps one parent out of the paid workforce. That takes a financial toll and staying home with their children for years certainly wouldn't suit everybody. I can't even say for sure yet whether it will suit me.
When you should home school your kids:

You have the time
You're confident with a school curriculum (you don't even need to be a qualified school teacher to do this)
You're happy to be around your kid/s all day, and all night.
You can still plan excursions and special classes to keep them entertained
Your child/children are not responding well to the traditional school system, and/or they get teased and picked on a lot. School nearby is not safe.
You're able to seek external advice
Home School versus Public School is always tricky. There are negatives to both. However, home school kids get undivided attention, are able to engage in activities that public school kids may not necessarily be able to, and have a higher level of achievement. Plus, if you want to travel around the world, kids can see and learn all at the same time! Perfect!
I don't have the personality to do it unfortunately, but I would love to homeschool my children. It gives them a catered curriculum to follow and saves them from all the unwanted "attention" they get at school. However, the social skills they develop in a school environment are excellent for their functionality in the world.
Really great, comprehensive and well thought out answers here guys. Thanks heaps :)
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