Homeschooling can be a viable alternative to the public and private schools attended by most children. Parents decide to homeschool for a number of different reasons. Here are six ways you can tell if homeschooling is the right choice for your child.
Why Choose Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is a way to truly take your child's education into your own hands. It offers much greater flexibility than a traditional school, and you can customize the experience to meet your child's needs.
If you're on the fence about making the transition to homeschooling, consider these six indications that this choice may be the right choice right for your child.
Your Child Has Mixed Academic Abilities
The curriculum at most schools is based upon grade level, which is usually dictated by a child's age. For children who struggle in some subjects but are exceptionally gifted in others, an arbitrary grade level may seem frustrating or restrictive; however, in a homeschooling situation, parents can personalize the curriculum to match their child's aptitude in each subject.
Your Child Has Special Needs
Children with special needs such as sensory impairments or learning disabilities may sometimes feel marginalized within a conventional classroom environment. In addition, a regular school may not have adequate resources for your child.
If your special-needs child is currently in a traditional school program but is not thriving academically, even with accommodations in place, it may be time to consider homeschooling. In the home classroom, everything from the class schedule to the curriculum materials to the physical setup of the work area can be custom designed to meet the needs of your child.
Your Child Prefers Hands-On Activities
Whether your child has a hard time sitting still in the classroom due to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or simply has an active, kinesthetic learning style, homeschooling may be right for your child because of its flexibility. As a homeschooling parent, you can take advantage of your family's proximity to ''living classrooms,'' such as:
- Art or science museums
- Concert halls and theaters
- Historical monuments and walking tours
- Local businesses or factories
- Nature preserves
Children in a regular school spend most of their days in the classroom, the routine punctuated by the rare field trip; homeschooled children, on the other hand, can enjoy a more varied learning environment. Without the logistical hassles of permission slips or class chaperones, you can enrich your child's education with field trips and other hands-on learning experiences as often as you'd like.
Your Child Has Social Anxiety
For a child with social anxiety, attending a regular school can be a daily nightmare. If your child has tried special accommodations within a conventional school, but still finds the learning process disrupted by anxiety, it may be time to consider homeschooling.
Homeschooling can be the right educational solution for a child who suffers from severe social anxiety. In a safe family environment, your child can be free to learn without the distraction of unbearable social angst.
Your Family Relocates Frequently
If your family moves around a lot due to a parent's job requirements, homeschooling may provide stability for your child. Members of homeschooling families tend to form unusually strong bonds with each other, which can buffer the disruptions caused by a series of moves.
While your address may change frequently, repeated moves won't mean adjusting to a new school every few months or years. Homeschool always travels with your family, making it one of the most dependable constants in an otherwise transient life.
Your Child's Other School Choices are Not Ideal
As a parent, you want the best for your child. However, you may not feel that local public schools—or even private schools—can offer your child the best education. Whether you disagree with the local school's administrative policies, have concerns about school violence or bullying, or just want the opportunity to teach your child using a curriculum that better aligns with your moral or religious beliefs, homeschooling may be the right choice. As long as you meet the state learning objectives, as a parent, you're free to establish acceptable school rules and to choose an appropriate homeschool curriculum.
For a wealth of curriculum resources, try the online course library from Study.com. With hundreds of lessons in dozens of topics, you're sure to find carefully crafted, exciting materials to round out your child's homeschooling experience.