The decision to homeschool one’s children is not typically one that is made lightly. It feels like a risky path, an unusual choice, perhaps even a rebellious act. Each year, at a quickening pace, more and more parents have been summoning their bravery, taking the leap, and starting down the path (decreasingly) less traveled.
What drives parents to pull the plug on the typical school route, swim against the tide, and take on the enormous responsibility of educating their children? Here are nine common reasons families choose to homeschool.
If a child has an extraordinary talent or skill (in sports, the arts, and so on) that calls for a significant commitment in time or travel, parents may opt to homeschool them to afford them flexibility in schedule or location.
Parents may find that learning disabilities or other special needs are difficult to adequately address in some traditional school settings. It’s hard to compete with the advantages of a one-to-one student-to-teacher ratio, and special needs students may not get the attention they need when participating in a class of varying academic abilities and learning styles.
Prioritizing Religious or Spiritual Teachings
Parents who want to incorporate their spiritual beliefs into their children’s education may find homeschooling to be a better option.
Increased Family Time
Hours in school, along with extracurricular activities, begin to add up quickly for even very young schoolchildren. Some parents aim to reduce the separation traditional school inherently imposes on their family life by choosing instead to homeschool.
Dissatisfaction With Curriculum
The prescribed academic curriculum in the traditional school system leads some parents to wish for something better. It’s easier than ever to find alternative options for students of various learning styles, interests, and abilities.
Negative Social Environment at School
Parents who find the social or cultural environment they send their children to each day unsatisfactory or not aligned with their values often look to homeschooling as a welcome alternative.
The Child Wishes to Be Homeschooled
A simple request from one’s child may lead parents to look into the option of homeschooling and find it viable. Motivated, self-directed children may find traditional schools stifling and crave the idea of a more challenging or broadly based option.
Gifted Children Require More
A gifted child may find little to be challenged by in a traditional school and become bored or unmotivated in such an environment. When the light of curiosity seems to be dimming, some parents look to homeschooling to reignite that spark within.
For many parents, letting go of the prescribed route and the numerous obligations and limitations that come with it provides an invitation to go one’s own way that is difficult to ignore. Allowing children the freedom to pursue their curiosities to full completion, dictating one’s own schedule, traveling whenever one wants, and more are the advantages of homeschooling that many families dream of.