Homeschooling is a parent-led education system. This includes its financing and budget. Families engaged in this system are not dependent on the public school system since parents pay it off with their own money. It is averaged that the United States public saves as much as 27 billion dollars annually with this system. That’s a large amount of money, considering that the taxpayers pay over $11,000 per public school student while homeschooled students only cost $600 annually.
Although the demographics of families choosing to homeschool remain to be mostly consisted of white, Anglo-American families, it is also growing in minority communities. As a matter of fact, over 15% of the whole homeschooling demographic is made up of non-white minorities. And one study found that over 35% of homeschooled students are Black, Asian or Hispanic. This encompassing trend goes across religions, income, and political beliefs.
Why Choose Homeschooling?
Why do parents choose to homeschool their children of sending them to traditional schools? Reasons vary per family, however, several reasons surface as a common ground. Here are some of these reasons:
Homeschooling provides focus on their child and their child’s development.
In an average public school classroom, there are over 30 students competing for a single teacher’s attention and efforts. In a homeschooling environment, this is not the case. With one-on-one instructions, a teacher or a parent can provide their 100% attention to the student. This allows for difficulties to be spotted almost immediately and rectified right away with a way customized for the student. In this environment, it is easier to see which teaching techniques work with the student and which ones don’t. Having one student allows for a quick adjustment, something that isn’t easily done in a classic classroom setting.
Homeschooling provides a safer and more secure environment.
While classic classroom and school settings are believed to strengthen a child’s social skills through exposure and interaction with other people, it also exposes them with all the bad that comes along with it. This includes bullying, a big festering problem that schools are facing now, racism, physical violence, to name a few.
According to the U.S Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the highest-rated reason parents choose to homeschool is the negative environment of their child’s public school. Bullying can be difficult for parents to see from home and can be brushed off by school authorities. When left alone, this causes low self-esteem, lower grades, and depression.
Homeschooling provides parents authority over their child’s schedule and curriculum.
Traditional schools run eight to three (or five) every day, five days a week, nine to ten months a year, leaving children scrambling for rest and social time. Studies have shown how harmful this rigid schedule and structure can be for growing children. Children and teenagers need more sleep and going to school at eight means that they get up at five or six in the morning.
With homeschooling, parents can control their children’s schedules, allowing them to rest and time to explore hobbies that they’d like to try. This capability allows children to have the best of both traditional education and life experiences.
Effects of Homeschooling
Homeschooled children and adults are found to score 15 to 30 percentile above public school students on standardized tests. They also tend to score higher on SAT’s and ACT tests that are needed for college admissions.
In terms of socialization, as opposed to the negative stereotypes associated with homeschooling, homeschooled individuals are found to have above-average social, emotional and psychological development in comparison to their traditionally schooled counterparts. As they grow older, they also tend to be more active in the community, joining field trips, sports teams, and community drives.
Again, homeschooling may be gaining more popularity recently, but it has always been around. It’s in the tutoring parents provide their children or the help they give for school projects. It’s just in the current times, homeschooling is rising to be a more and more attractive alternative to traditional schooling. While traditional schools are rigid, heavily populated and dedicated to its policies, homeschooling provides more freedom to customize a child’s education, more one-on-one focus and more flexibility to accommodate the unique learning style of each individual.
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