BlogWhy are more families deciding on homeschooling? Eliminating stress at school

What is homeschooling? The term homeschooling refers to a simple concept that can be executed in a variety of ways, however all of them share one thing – that the home becomes the center of a child’s development. Depending on the country, a school may or may not need to be involved somewhere along the way. Some parents choose to be completely responsible for their child’s materials as well as lesson plans, while on the other end of the spectrum are virtual schools. Virtual schools allow for children to learn in the comfort of their homes, often with the support of their caregiver or parents, and follow an online scholastic program. Still other parents will choose to combine a virtual program with their own lessons plans. Also more popular after the pandemic are hybrid systems where a child spends some days at home and some days at a school with other students. Whatever the path that is finally chosen by families, one thing is for certain: homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular and more people are noticing its many advantages.

 

What are the numbers?

The U.S. is generally a good benchmark for educational trends. A recent Census Bureau report shows that from March of 2020 to September of 2020 alone, the number of U.S. household that reported homeschooling doubled from 5.4% to 11.1%. For black households, the number jumped to 16.1%. As of the fall of 2021, the numbers are even higher. Around the world, families are unlocking the doors to at-home education and wanting in on the phenomenon.

 

Safe and low-stress education

The two most important reasons for families deciding to homeschool are: safety and a low-stress environment at home. The word safety has taken on a new meaning after going through the pandemic. Whereas before, parents were looking to protect their children from violence and bullying at school, now there is the added health element that is at play. Some families are also against mask and/or vaccine policies at schools and so are deciding to remove their children from the system.

Many families found, when they were forced to learn at home in 2020, that their children enjoyed being at home far more than was expected. Many other families had wanted to try it for years, but it was COVID that gave them the final push to take the plunge. At home, children experience less stress and strengthen ties with their caretakers. There is little to no social pressure from peers. Children are able to form bonds with people of many ages, rather than with just the people in the same grade. A lot of children are able to flourish in a way they never would have at a traditional school.

 

A place to excel

Many families whose children learn at home find that their kids are able to move through materials much faster and better absorb the knowledge, focusing on areas that they are passionate about and spending more time on problem areas. Homeschooling means tailoring a learning program to the needs of a child, which means that their academic excellence can be fully realized. Children often discover a passion for learning that they never knew they had. The flexibility that at-home school provides allows families to mold the learning schedule to fit their needs and maximize time spent studying, which leads to fewer hours completing lessons and more free time to rest. Homeschooling usually means very little – if any – homework which also allows children and their families to pursue a variety of interest outside of the classroom, allowing the child to gain a greater scope of knowledge. Families whose children learn at home underline that their children are far from isolated, however the responsibility lies with parents to ensure that children have a wide variety of learning opportunities and experiences, as well as peer-to-peer contact.

 

More than just books

Perhaps one of the less talked about – yet very important – reasons for families choosing to keep their kids at home, is that there is more to education than intellectual development. As important, and possibly more important, is the development of a child’s moral character and personality. Instead of this taking place in a haphazard way in mainly unsupervised conditions within a brick-and-mortar school, parents become the guides for their children and primary source of influence. Independent thinkers are the product of at-home learning, not driven by herd mentality or group-think. Homeschoolers are more confident than their peers who learn in a classroom.

 

Not for everyone

Of course, learning at home is not a magic bullet and some families simply are not able to make it happen. Sometimes, professional and/or financial obligations make it impossible. However, for the families who are able to carve out a new way of doing things, the potential rewards can be huge. If anything, it will lead to children who experience much less stress and a much better learning environment, likely better able to fare in their future endeavors. Parents shouldn’t be afraid to try something new – most families who try at-home education never look back and you might find that you are one of them.

 

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