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I'm Dr. Jeannie Gudith, Founder and CEO of JAG Consulting. We help you develop, improve, buy or sell your private school.
Benefits of Homeschooling – Homeschooling your child was practically unheard of fifty years ago. Back then, parents who were dedicated to homeschooling actually put themselves at great risk to do so because it was not yet legal in every state. Not only that, but the unscrupulous eye of the general public categorized homeschoolers of the 60s and 70s as either belonging to some ultra-conservative religious order or to some kind of hippie cult. Either way, it was considered extreme and therefore not widely accepted or embraced.
At that time, all homeschoolers were looked upon as being so far removed from normal society that well-meaning parents could not take their children outside of the home during regular school hours without fear of being accused of truancy and brought up on charges of neglect. The prejudice that surrounded homeschooling back then forced parents and families to maintain lives of isolation; simply because they saw a better way to teach their children and they were not afraid to do so.
Homeschooling has changed a lot over the last few decades, and we owe many of those changes to dedicated parents who were not afraid to stand up for their right to educate their children in a way that made sense to them. As a result of their courage and perseverance, homeschooling has finally begun to be given the respect and the attention that it deserves from lawmakers and politicians, alike, and because of this it is now a viable legal option for all parents across America and in many countries all over the world.
The Benefits of homeschooling is its flexibility. Homeschooled children do not receive a prepackaged, one-size-fits-all education. Quite the contrary, kids who are homeschooled receive a tailor-made education; one that suits them and their unique needs, making it far easier for them to learn and grasp necessary information in far less time than the average public or private school student.
Homeschoolers excel at their own pace and they have the freedom to engage in activities that interest them far more often than kids who spend their days in school. In addition, homeschooling lends much to the family unit itself, building trust and respect between parents and children. It is safe to say that this is one area in which the structure of public school and the physical and emotional distance that it places upon families simply does not measure up.
Homeschooling is possible no matter where you live, how much money you make or what the dynamics of your particular family look like. It is this degree of flexibility that allows people from all walks of life to teach their kids at home and find it to be a worthwhile and rewarding experience for their families.
In order to understand the answer to this question, we must first take a look at the reverse side of the coin; public school, and what it does and does not offer our children. Though school has become the norm for hundreds of millions of children over the past 50+ years, it is not necessarily in the best interest of all children to be required to participate.
The public school system has been steadily weakening over the years and struggling to maintain control over generations of children who honestly deserve better than what they are receiving in the way of a meaningful education. Because school was originally created as a means to mass produce laborers, it fails to take into consideration the needs of individual families and children, as that was never the original purpose or intent. Rather than catering to the needs of the children, school was created to cater to the needs of a growing workforce. This still holds true today.
Even though schools, for the most part, have gravitated towards acting as if crafting leaders out of our children is the primary reason for public education, it is mostly smoke and mirrors. After all, there can only be so many leaders in this world. It is well known that in school, the so-called ‘leaders’ are often the most attractive, the wealthiest and the strongest, and therefore the most popular among the student population. True leaders, however, are people who have integrity; who have core values from which they will not waiver. True leaders are dedicated to spending as much time and effort as is necessary in order to reach their goals. True leaders are known for their ability to think outside of the box and for their willingness to treat others with respect and fairness. Homeschooling is the ideal environment for character traits such as these to be born.
In the public school system, every child is expected to work towards the same goal; passing their classes and ideally, functioning at basically the same level as everyone else in order to meet the requirements that the State has set forth as average and keep the classroom moving along at a reasonable pace. However, it has been proven that children learn at different rates and they learn best through all kinds of different avenues and methods, not just one. Even so, the best that public schools can hope for is that all children will at least meet the national average.
Quite frankly, because of their individual strengths and weaknesses, there is no such thing as an ‘average’ child. All children are good at something and some excel at many things, depending upon the nature of their personalities and the innate talents that they possess. In assuming that all children will fit into the same mold and at least come out the other side as an average student, public schools shortchange our children and limit not only their productivity, but also their imaginations and their self-respect.
But if we talk about the benefits of Homeschooling – Homeschooling is a very personal experience. It requires dedication, of course, and it requires a willingness to let go of the preconceived notion that only ‘the experts’ are capable of providing your children with access to all of the information that will assist them in becoming well-functioning, successful adults. When it comes to your children, you are the experts, and you know when something is or is not working in your child’s life because you see it being reflected in their personality and in their interactions with family members and others.
The popularity of homeschooling, and now the forced requirement of everyone in the world (essentially) to homeschool due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is growing for many reasons, but one thing is for sure, homeschooling is now an established educational choice that you can make for your children, if you choose.
There is no doubt that our children are growing up in a world that is rife with change and confusion. Not to mention the scare and confusion of the COVID-19 pandemic. The children of today are positioned to inherit a world that is filled with turmoil, environmental disaster, local and global dissension and fiscal bankruptcy. We cannot deny that we are leaving a legacy of hardship and uncertainty behind, and placing it firmly upon the shoulders of the generations to come, as this is the direction that our world is being propelled. And why is that?
When you look at the fact that almost 60 million children are put through public school each year, yet a startling number of high school graduates come out the other side unable to grasp basic skills like reading comprehension and mathematics, it begs the question of whether or not public education is shaping our children and preparing them for the future or simply holding them off until they become old enough to blindly take on the responsibility for the mess that we are leaving for them. Many of these ‘successful graduates’ are so self-absorbed they are seemingly clueless as to what it means to effect real, meaningful change in their lives or the lives of others.
Despite the fact that the majority of children in this country attend public school, or perhaps because of it, US students are consistently being out performed on International tests by students from other developed nations, particularly in the subjects of Reading, Math and Science.
According to a report published by the National Center for Education Statistics, United States students had an average score of 500 out of 1000 points on the reading literacy portion of the Program for International Assessment (PISA) in 2009. This score was lower than the average score of 6 out of the 33 countries tested. In mathematics literacy, American students scored 487 on average, which was lower than the average test scores of 17 of the 33 countries represented, and in science literacy, the U.S. Scored lower than 12 out of 33 countries. It is likely that American students are scoring lower on these International tests due to a significant lack of challenging course work in the public school system today.
While not every student has a proclivity for these subjects, those who do are routinely stifled from moving forward at a rate of progress that matches their interest or abilities. This is partially because school is geared towards the average student, and anyone that exists above the mark of average gets pushed to the side in order to wait for the rest of the class to learn what they already understand. These children are not being given the opportunity to shine in areas that they could otherwise excel in, and are instead kept in a holding pattern until the rest of the class catches up.
Homeschooling allows for individualized focus on the subjects that interest children the most, whether that subject is math, chemistry, woodworking, writing, photography, computer technology or classical ballet. It has been widely shown that people who are allowed to learn as much as they can about what interests them are more likely to break new ground, find new ways to implement old ideas and discover new solutions to old problems; something that our world desperately needs right now. Understanding our greatest strengths, as individuals, requires that we be given the time and the ability to reflect upon what it is that we find important. Unfortunately, this luxury is something that children in school have little opportunity to do.
There is a major shift happening in education today like we have never seen before. This shift was slowly happening before COVID-19 forced everyone to embrace homeschooling. This process hit us overnight and now what do we do?
The need for more specialized solutions to the global problems that challenge our world is becoming more evident. The old methods of teaching our children are failing them and failing society as a whole. The manner in which our children have been collectively educated over the last century, combined with the obvious breakdown of our social and economic structure and the disintegration of public trust and support of the government and the political corporations that oversee it, requires a shift towards a more focused and solution oriented way to educate our children so that the world that they inherit is one that they can, hopefully, rebuild and sustain.
The human race is at a crossroads. Humans will either find solutions to the global crisis at hand in the generations to come, or we will go the way of the dinosaurs in a catastrophe of our own making. While we don’t wish to put such pressure on our youth, the fact is, we have no choice. They are the future. In order for humanity to continue and to thrive, we and they must find workable solutions and implement them.
Our failing education system is not the fault of the teachers. I have known many compassionate, wonderful teachers who would have given anything to be able to spend more individual time with their students or to have the ability to change up their curriculum to make it more inspiring. Unfortunately the system is not set up that way.
As parents, we have a choice when it comes to the education and socialization that our children receive. We can plug them into a system that has already proven to be ineffective at providing for the individual needs of students, or we can honor our kids by giving them the personal support and the means necessary in order for them to become the strong, self-motivated, solution oriented people that they are naturally inclined to be.
No one teaches a baby how to walk. A baby learns to walk out of necessity and a very strong desire to get from one place to another on his own two feet. Humans are born with an innate ability to solve problems, to overcome obstacles and to move forward in our growth. This drive to succeed is an inherent quality that we all possess, unless and until it is systematically wiped away after years of being complacently herded in a direction that has no meaning and offers little in the way of intrinsic motivation.
Homeschooling gives us the leverage that we need to make sure that our children grow up happy, safe, confident and motivated to do what is in their heart to do; to find solutions to the problems that they see as important. It gives kids ownership of their lives and creates opportunities for them to be excited about the world around them and excited about their place within it. Homeschoolers aren’t just going through the motions until they graduate so that they can then move on to college. Homeschoolers are living, learning and choosing their own path, with the help of parents who support them, every step of the way.
Our children’s happiness is paramount to our own well lived life. We want our kids to grow up making important decisions with ease, adding value to the lives of others and producing results for themselves that are better than the ones that we, ourselves, have created in our own lives. Mistakes are inevitable; important steps in the assimilation of new thought, growth and change. We want our children to be equipped to handle these moments of uncertainty with grace and to take steps towards positive change that will raise their own awareness to new heights and make a difference in the quality of their being.
Fear and complacency have a tendency to hold us back, as both individuals and as parents, from making choices that we know are right. This fear is based on our lack of confidence in our own abilities to face the unknown challenges ahead of us. Homeschooling can seem impossible to a parent who already feels the stresses that come from raising a family and managing basic survival issues that are weighing on their shoulders. It seems much easier to just send our kids off to school each day and let someone else do the teaching. Now that we no longer have that choice, embrace it!
In short, homeschooling is all about you, your children and the needs of your family. And the best part is that you never have to feel like you are all alone in your journey, because resources and help are available at every turn. So this was all about the Benefits of Homeschooling & why it its important.
It is my hope that this information will help you to gain the confidence and the knowledge needed to support your forced entry into homeschooling. I know most us of didn’t ask for this challenge, but I assure you this is going to not only change your life and your families, but the world, and for the better. You can do it!