With over 1 million students opting to learn at home, there is no doubt that homeschooling is changing the education landscape. Learning at home is a practice that has been around since the colonial days and those who participate are defying the institutionalized nature of public education. Homeschooling families have increased their interconnectivity and learned to rely on one another. As time passes, it seems likely they will form their own sort of institutions and if they do assimilate back into a different school system, they are more likely to turn to voucher programs and private schools. Many people imagine a homeschooling family in stereotypical terms. They picture recluses, those who reject technology, and people who have religious objection to the public school system. While this may be the case for some, many homeschool families live in urban areas, utilize technology, and connect with other homeschool families or activities provided through public school systems. Those who choose to homeschool believe strongly in the benefits this style of education can provide.
There are many different reasons why a family may choose to homeschool, but there are some factors that many families have in common. Dissatisfaction with public school academics, concerns about safety and the social environment in public schools, and a wish to teach moral or religious education public schools do not provide are some of the most common reasons for homeschooling. The number of homeschool students continues to grow as benefits become clearer and technology provides more opportunities for education, collaboration, and socialization between homeschool students. Homeschooling not only benefits the students, but taxpayers as well, saving millions on public education each year.
One of the biggest advantages that homeschool students have is the individualized attention they receive from their teacher. Not only does this small group or one-on-one learning setting allow a student to learn at their pace, it enables them to fully explore their strengths, learning style, and developing interests. Students also have more opportunities for positive socialization. In smaller settings like homeschool meet-ups, adults are able to more fully supervise social interactions. This decreases bullying and allows for positive learning experiences to emerge from what may have begun as a negative interaction. As for the teachers, which are in many cases, the parents, they love the freedom that homeschooling offers. They are able to teach in their own way, and teach from anywhere. Some homeschool families learn from travel and take their school all over the world. On a beautiful sunny day, a backyard can become a homeschool classroom. Homeschool students can enjoy daily or weekly field trips if they choose; an activity that is sometimes sacrificed during public school budget cuts.
Online education has been an enormous asset to homeschooling with a vast selection of K-12 curriculum options now available. Thanks to these online lessons, homeschool students can learn from a highly customized education plan catered to their needs. These online tools can be used to give students critical thinking based feedback and allows for quick assessment of tests. The attention they receive from a single dedicated teacher over a long period of time means that growth and progress to are monitored and measured as personally as possible. Homeschool families of special needs children have found that no one is more prepared to address their child's needs than their own families and have enjoyed great success in a homeschool setting. Today, there are more tools than ever before to allow for a successful homeschool education that is more personal in nature than what the public school system can offer. Children flourish when they have the opportunity for creativity, flexibility, and the power to contribute to their own curriculum.