Have you thought about homeschooling?
There’s no doubt about it; home education is a major endeavour that is not for the faint of heart! I remember the first time homeschooling was recommended to me because we moved down to rural Victoria, where we didn't have access to schools or even the internet! I literally laughed at the thought of it! Why would anyone want to undertake something so difficult? Then my husband and I discussed the benefits, and - for us - the benefits of homeschooling far outweighed the time, effort and investment required.
What are the benefits for your kids?
Homeschooling is generally way more time-efficient than other educational options. Learning can be accomplished in much less time in a one-on-one environment than in a traditional classroom and homework situation. It's just simple maths - one teacher divided by 26 kids or, as in our family, one (sometimes two) parent(s) divided by 5 kids.
1. Homeschooling allows you to focus on your child
Homeschooling allows your student’s education to be adapted to meet their unique, individual needs. You are able to follow your personal educational philosophy and choose the best resources for your child. Does your son love anything with wheels? Great! You can focus your history studies around transportation from different time periods. If you have a child that needs to move more slowly to master concepts, you have the flexibility to do that. I remember, with my oldest daughter having an absolute LOVE of horses that for some time, we studied horses in science, horses in geography, horses in history, horses in physical education, horses in art, and beyond - you name it, we integrated horses into it! And because we did, she and all of our other children had so much fun - and learnt HEAPS along the way.
2. Homeschooling encourages individualised learning
Because of the ability to individualise, homeschooled students are often afforded more voice in their education. This can result in better engagement and ownership of their learning - a skill that often extends into adulthood. My daughter recently commented on how she feels she is better able to think and learn for herself as compared to many of her traditionally educated co-workers.
3. Homeschooling may increase academic results
Home education frequently results in improved academic performance. Research indicates that home-educated students commonly score significantly higher than those from public schools on standardised achievement tests. (Source) This improved performance can provide increased opportunities for higher education and career.
A long-term benefit is that adults who were educated at home tend to be more content with life. Levels of happiness, excitement with life, job satisfaction, and satisfaction with financial situation are all higher for homeschool graduates than the general U.S. population. (Source)
4. Homeschooling supports family bonding
It takes time to build any relationship, and homeschooling provides many more opportunities to spend time together. Not only does this help strengthen the family unit, but it also helps build individual relationships between a child and their parents, siblings, and possibly other family members. There's no doubt at all that this requires a whole lot of learning and growing together - but hey, isn't that why we have children in the first place? To grow and learn to love more deeply, together?
5. Homeschooling provides flexibility
Homeschooling provides a tremendous amount of flexibility. Homeschooling allowed our family of night owls to start our day later. It allowed us to travel all over the Southeast with my daughter for softball. We were able to work on lessons in the middle of the day, waiting in a doctor’s office with an ailing grandparent. These things would have been difficult or impossible within the constraints of traditional brick-and-mortar schooling.
6. Homeschooling provides important one-on-one time
Not only does homeschooling afford parents a significant amount of ownership and control over their student’s education, but it also enables parents to influence their children in other important ways. Being with an adult, both in the home and as part of daily activities, increases a child’s exposure to appropriate adult behaviour, as opposed to that of school-based peers. It allows the parent to model traits such as being patient, kind, and respectful and makes it more likely that these traits will be imitated by the child.
While homeschooling, many parents are surprised to find that they learn too, along with their children. Topics that you may have had no interest in as a student become fascinating when you see it in a different light and approach it from the standpoint of a curious explorer with your child. Seeing your enthusiasm about learning will help fuel your child’s spark to be a lifelong learner.
7. Homeschooling supports independent adults
Adults who were homeschooled are more active within their communities and civic affairs. According to HSLDA, “Seventy-one percent [of homeschool graduates] participate in an ongoing community service activity (e.g., coaching a sports team, volunteering at a school, or working with a church or neighbourhood association), compared to 37% of U.S. adults of similar ages.” (Source)
The individualisation, flexibility, and personal ownership in their education that homeschoolers experience frequently results in adults who are independent thinkers. Accustomed to working outside an established system, they can become the innovators who find new and creative solutions to the challenges of the 21st century.
Ready to get started?
The decision to home educate comes with great responsibility, but with it comes great power – the power to benefit your student, your family, and the society in which you live.
We hope you enjoy your journey - and that you have the freedom and wisdom to decided whether, or when, you may also choose to use other education systems such as school, university or alternate studying options to encourage a love of learning and support your children to be whomever they would love to be.
Here's a great homeschooling maths program
The Math-U-See program is a great way to teach your kids maths. No matter what approach or style of homeschooling you are using to educate your kids, maths is a core subject that is important to get sorted first.
The Math-U-See program is student paced and teaches in a sequential way - meaning that you focus on each concept and make sure your child understands what they are doing, before moving forward. Once your child understands the concept, they will be able to move to the next lesson confidently and will experience a higher engagement with maths (many kids say they LOVE maths after using Math-U-See!!) and achieve overall better maths results.
The Math-U-See program is:
Free online maths diagnostic test
Want to know where to start? Take the free online Placement Test to determine your child's maths understanding and have the tools to start teaching maths - easily and effectively.
Your child's results are automatically calculated so you'll know where to start and what to do to help them learn maths effectively.
Here's to your success!
The Team at Maths Australia
Some of this article references Math-U-See America's newsletter