This is the conclusion to the post I shared on Wednesday. If you missed it, you can read it here. I won’t recap but just pick right up where we left off:
Seventh, home school allows children a richer educational experience. This topic in itself could be a whole blog post but I’ll try to keep it short.
When I was a child, we created the solar system at scale with sidewalk chalk in our neighborhood. We went all over the country doing the Jr Ranger program (which teaches everything from geology to history) at a bunch of national parks. I learned civics long before going with my parents to the voting booth by studying the topics and doing work for causes and people I believed in. If anything the educational experiences of my younger siblings (and myself) were unfortunately curtailed my attendance at public school (dual enrollment) as I got older and we had to worry about attending classes at a public school.
When I did attend public school in a dual enrollment capacity, that allowed me to get the best of the public school, taking choir, newspaper, seminary, orchestra – electives that could not be taught in a small group setting as well or were too expensive to be part of my home school education – without having to deal with the “educational” requirements and academic low points of the system. Ideally, these courses would be offered in a home schooling co-op, but since they were not, I was able to take advantage of them to round out and enrich my education.
Moreover, home schooling allowed me to delve deeper into things that I was good at and that were valuable to me. Even as an adult, it is those areas that I knew early on that I liked and focused on that I still use regularly today. Because of all of these things, I feel like there is a richness to my understanding of educational concepts and love of America that I would not have gotten if I’d spent my education in a classroom.
Eighth, learning is more organic. It starts when children are very little (like we do with Monkey now) and just continues. While there are areas where “formal” schooling develops and is necessary, much of the learning process is just part of life. This is a true pattern of life. We learn from experience. We learn as we go. We learn because it’s there, because we are curious and because that curiosity was encouraged, directed and carefully curated in our early years or, if not, because as adults we have learned to value and train our curiosity. This “organicness” extends to the roles of parent-as-teacher as well, which is parents’ natural role.
Ninth, home schooling allows families to have more flexibility. I feel like this is a theme throughout my reasons for home schooling, but in this I’m talking about family culture. For example, airfare and hotels are typically cheaper during the week and off-peak times when other school children are in class. Because of this, home school allows for the potential for families to enjoy vacations more affordably than they would otherwise. There are other benefits to this flexibility, like that students don’t lose out when moving mid-school year.
Tenth, home schooling lets younger children benefit from older children’s education. Your brilliant little sister learns to read when she’s 4 years old in part because her older siblings were working on phonics and that allowed her to shine. Although in some cases, older siblings might get a better educational experiences in some areas, younger children are exposed to more advanced concepts earlier in life which I believe benefits them long term.
Eleventh, home school allows parents to develop their own curriculum. This is semi-addressed by most of the previous points, but I think is valuable enough to be it’s own point. Parents can customize their children’s curricula to be tailored to each child’s needs, to the family’s system of beliefs and the current events happening in the world around them.
Twelve, home school promotes family bonds. My LDS faith teaches that family is the central unit of society and of God’s plan. When students are home schooled, they are primarily raised by their family (and not the public schools). They learn and grow together. Family bonds are built in shared memories and through their educational experiences. While “traditionally” educated families have this too, home schooling presents more opportunities for this. Home schooling helps ensure the plan of God is advanced.
Of course all of these reasons presume that parents are diligent and dedicated. But that’s the case with everything.
I have many, many other reasons to home school, but I’ll save those for later.
In the mean time, I’d love to know what questions and thoughts you have on these six reasons or the last six or home schooling in general.