Before I started home schooling my youngest son, I looked at home schooling mothers – and some of them were quite stressed – I asked myself “Why homeschool? What’s the point?” I explained the About Me page the main reason I started it. Naturally however, there can be found other reasons why parents decide on taking a step toward educating their children at home. I heard quite of few, in fact.
The main motives I was given by my home schooling moms the rejection of totally secular education and excluding religion from the class. It is obvious that people want to raise their offspring in their values; one’s faith is a huge buster towards home education. On the other hand, the atheist parents would argue there was too much religion in the class.
I have met parents with disability children who would not entrust their young ones into the hands of the school officials; and there are children with lots of different learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Although the little Catholic primary school my son previously attended gave incredible support to such parents and their kids by providing a special needs teacher, this might not be enough I suppose to give the needy child the full attention she or he needs.
The learning disabilities are not the only cause for choosing home learning. There are children with various health problems such as migraines or stomach indispositions. One of my neighbours had to quit her job because her highly intelligent boy started to show severe panic attacks at school at the age of 14, and while one or two of his regular friends could visit him frequently without any problems, the huge school crowds was provoking in him serious body trembling, sweat outbursts and irregular heartbeat . She was not happy to quit her job, but her son’s wellbeing was more important. Her two younger girls attended school, but the answer to the question: “why homeschool my son” was clear and loud for her. With children such as these, the home educator has a freedom to choose the hours that suits their child, hours when their young do not feel agitated, or deals with pain. The regular school schedule does not allow for those adjustments.
I suppose the reverse of the last argument could be well applied to the US school act “No Child Left Behind”, where the more gifted children are “left behind” by the schools that have little or very limited financial resources and hence, must bring educational help to the bottom 10% and neglect those with talents. This is very important for parents with small incomes who cannot give their bright children help outside the school to fully flourish with their children talents. For them the “why homeschool” becomes apparent; they want their children to flourish and the home environment is the best way to embrace it. As a matter of fact, the New South Wales channel 7-News confirms that home schooled children do better in the Australian national NAPLAN testing then the children taught at schools.
I was against home schooling myself before. I admit I knew nothing about it and I was following my own ingrown prejudices. With my own child’s problems I found out that one size fits all does not apply only to clothing. The first few months of teaching my son at home were frustrating at times to both of us as we both were learning how to adapt to the new situation. My son sets up his own pace and progresses according to his abilities without pressure. He is much happier now, although I must confess, he misses the daily interaction with other kids, but this is a subject for another topic. The matter of “Why homeschool?” has stopped being an issue for us.