While a home education can seem appealing for some reasons, many parents foster concerns about making the plunge to take a child out of school into full time home learning. This article looks at some of the advantages of the home education system, from academic reasons to social and family reasons, to help parents make an informed decision about their options for a child’s education.
Personalised, Directed Learning
A central part of the home schooling programme is the child-centred education system which literally centres around one child – your own. Children can set their own learning pace, there is no competitive element, and if maths needs more time than English, that’s not limited by a timetable or the needs of other children.
Different Social Patterns
A child who receives their tutoring at home will have the benefits of socialisation based on interests and community rather than merely age, which most schools are organised around. Instead, most home schooled children meet friends in extra-curricular activities, who have the same interests, or home school support groups, who are experiencing the same education system, rather than being restricted by the age organisation of schools.
A Free Timetable
It might sound like a contraction in terms, but home schooling does allow a free timetable: many home schooling parents create a timetable as that allows children and parents to feel there is a structure to their day, but at the same time home schooling has much flexibility. A day’s learning can end when a child is too tired to go on, which may be before or after the time the bell rings at school. Likewise, the timetable can bend when an unmissable learning experience crops up, such as an exciting speaker coming to town or a lunar eclipse visiting the skies!
Flexibility of Location
A home schooled education can take place anywhere, and there are often extra benefits of carrying out tuition in less usual locations – why learn about the park’s ecodiversity in a classroom when you could be out and about exploring that location in the actual park, for example. Home schooling parents usually make their classrooms much larger than just their home, making trips to science museums, zoos, and carrying out field trips and practical lessons in other locations.
Boredom can also be avoided by practicing lessons in unusual ways, such as learning about fractions through baking a cake, or learning about currencies while in a bank. This can also be important for families who have to move abroad for a period of time but do not want to force a child to join a new school for a short period of time – home schooling can be an exciting alternative.
More Family Time
Instead of spending the majority of the day in school being taught by relative strangers, home schooled children spend far more time with their parent(s) and sometimes siblings too. Many home school families say this promotes strong family relationships and a unique sense of family ‘togetherness’.