We are amidst an evolving educational landscape and homeschooling has gained a lot of traction among parents seeking tailored learning experiences and greater control over their children’s education. I was homeschooled. And I am very grateful that my parents chose homeschooling as the way to educate me and my sibling.
Homeschooling offered me many advantages, but the most impactful was the flexibility it gave my mom to personalize my learning style and pace. When a teacher can adjust the learning style and pace to perfectly match a student’s needs, it makes a world of difference. I not only thrived, but I soared academically.
My college academic journey began with a bold step – testing the waters of college life with a single community college class at just 13 (8th grade). It was a perfect fit, and by 9th grade, my campus life was in full bloom. The next years became a whirlwind of academic achievement. By 16, I graduated high school; at 17 I earned an AS in Business, at 19 I earned a BS in Business and Entrepreneurship, and by 20 an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Global Business – all a testament to my early start, unwavering dedication, and my homeschooling foundation.
Free From The Cookie-Cutter Mold of Education
Free from the pressures of traditional classrooms, homeschooling’s flexible environment allows a student to relax, focus intently, and learn more effectively. This unique balance can lead to deeper understanding and faster progress for many students. This is what happened to me.
The ‘Isolated Homeschooler’ Myth? Debunked!
Before we move on, I want to quickly bust the ‘isolated homeschooler’ myth. This is so untrue! We are not stuck in the past. Modern technology and the abundance of activities out there make it a breeze to stay connected and engaged with others. I believe socialization is a “new perk” of homeschooling.
I was always involved in “something” with kids my age. Sports taught me the value of teamwork, while music and art classes nurtured my creativity. Karate, not only built my confidence but also equipped me with skills for personal safety(I’m a 2nd-degree black belt—hence Sensei). I socialized with my peers through all of these extracurricular activities.
If you are a parent and a concern of homeschooling is socialization, don’t be. As a parent, you will play a key role in creating opportunities for your child to interact and build relationships with peers. Finally, if you don’t believe me check out this awesome stastic. According to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), 87% of peer-reviewed studies on social, emotional, and psychological development show homeschooled students perform statistically significantly better than those in conventional schools. This is huge!
Homeschooling Rise In Popularity
Homeschooling is experiencing a surge in popularity. There are a multitude of factors that are driving the increasing trend, parents seeking individualized learning for their children, concerns about the academic and social environment of traditional schools, and a desire to strengthen family bonds through shared experiences. The NHERI estimated that there were about 3.1 million homeschooled students in the United States in 2021-2022, which was about 6% of the school-age population. The NHERI also states that homeschooling has grown at a rate of 2% to 8% over the last several years.
How Homeschooling Works
The way homeschooling works varies greatly from family to family. Some families follow a traditional curriculum, while others take a more unschooling approach, which is more child-led and focuses on the child’s interests. There are also hybrid homeschooling options, where children attend some classes at a traditional school and are homeschooled for others.
My family opted for a hybrid homeschooling model through a charter school, where I participated in some classes on campus and tackled most of my coursework at home. This blended approach provided the perfect balance of social interaction and personalized learning, catering to my individual needs and preferences.
Types Of Homeschooling
There are many different types of homeschooling, each with its own unique approach to education. Here are some of the most common types:
This type of homeschooling follows a similar structure and content as conventional schools, using textbooks, worksheets, tests, and grades. It is often preferred by parents who want to prepare their children for standardized exams or future enrollment in public or private schools. This was how I was homeschooled.
This type of homeschooling is based on the classical model of education that was used by ancient Greeks and Romans. It divides learning into three stages: grammar, logic, and rhetoric, which correspond to the development of the child’s mind. It emphasizes the study of history, literature, languages, and logic, using classical sources and methods.
This type of homeschooling is inspired by the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason, a British educator in the 19th century. It focuses on cultivating good habits, character, and a love of learning in children. It uses living books, narration, nature study, art, music, and handicrafts as the main tools of education.
This type of homeschooling is derived from the pedagogy of Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator in the 20th century. It emphasizes the individuality, independence, and creativity of each child. It uses hands-on, self-directed, and multi-sensory activities and materials that are designed to foster the child’s natural curiosity and exploration.
This type of homeschooling is based on the idea of integrating different subjects around a common theme or topic. It allows children to learn in a holistic, interdisciplinary, and contextual way, making connections between different areas of knowledge.
This type of homeschooling is also known as natural, interest-led, or child-led learning. It rejects the traditional structure and curriculum of schooling, and instead follows the child’s own interests, passions, and goals. It relies on the child’s innate curiosity and motivation to learn from the world around them, using various resources and experiences.
The perfect homeschooling approach for your family will be a unique blend, tailored to your child’s learning style, your educational goals, and your lifestyle. While research is crucial, don’t get stuck on a specific type. Instead, embrace the flexibility to mix and match styles to fit your unique needs. You will find your homeschooling “sweet spot” as you begin to homeschool.
Benefits Of Homeschooling
The advantages of homeschooling are as vast as the possibilities themselves. I have always mentioned some of the benefits homeschooling had on me. Here are a few more:
Freedom: Homeschoolers can make their own choices about what, when, where, and how to learn. They can also include religious teaching, travel, or practical skills in their education.
Flexibility: Homeschoolers can set their own schedule and pace, and adjust it according to their needs and preferences.
Individualized education: Homeschoolers can tailor their curriculum and methods to suit their learning style, interests, and goals.
Strong relationships: Homeschoolers can spend more time with their family and friends, and develop close bonds and mutual respect. They can also interact with a diverse range of people and situations in their community.
Academic excellence: Homeschoolers often perform better than their peers in standardized tests, college admission, and career outcomes. They also develop critical thinking, creativity, and self-motivation skills.
Homeschooling isn’t a trend; it’s a movement driven by love, passion, and a belief in the potential of every child. It’s a testament to the power of customized learning, family connection, and the endless possibilities that form and grow when we step outside the box. The future of education is not confined to four walls inside a public classroom; it’s growing in living rooms, kitchen tables, private classes, libraries, parks, and even on epic road trips. If you’re considering homeschooling, take a leap of faith, explore the resources, and trust your instincts.