Home schooling is the act of guiding children through their education while in the familiar environment at home instead of enrolling them for education in a formal school, where they attend classes every day. Most people have criticized homeschooling on account of biased studies that focus much on the limitations of this approach to education. Whereas I strive not to discredit the normal education programs where kids are sent to a learning institution on a daily basis, I will try to focus much on other perspective of education, because of the ways in which homeschooling has fitted the family situation and lifestyle when compared to normal education. In this paper, therefore, I will dwell much on the benefits of homeschooling in a bid to expose the unexploited opportunity that could possibly be integrated in the education and schooling programs.
The benefits of homeschooling are various. To begin with, this approach to education gives parents or guardians an opportunity to offer the child/student one on one attention and support. Through this undivided attention and support, the parent gets to observe and monitor how the child is coping up with various subjects (Turtel 2008). This also enables the parent not only to give support where necessary, but also to get first-hand information with regard to the areas, where the child may need to do extra work or needs more support and guidance. Further, one on one support and attention may enable you as a parent to identify some special ability or talent in a certain area that your child could be supported, guided and encouraged to develop with time.
The exciting aspect of homeschooling is that a parent or a guardian will be able to see the best parts of the child as he grows and develops across life stages. This would not be possible in a normal schooling system. For example, as a parent, you get to witness the great artworks as they are produced by your child, enjoy the fun of listening to struggle and read new words, grasp new concepts and even solve more complex problems with time (Turtel 2008). Homeschooling also offers you an opportunity to contribute directly in the learning process of your child. It is particularly very exciting to teach and evaluate your child collectively with your spouse. Thus, homeschooling gives the parent or the guardian an opportunity of reaping the excitement of having first hand experiences as the child learns new ideas and concepts, an opportunity that without homeschooling could only be available to a school teacher.
In the normal education system, and particularly in most primary school education, teachers are changed or transferred most often as children progress from one grade to another. This may have its pros and cons on the development and academic progress of the child. However, homeschooling provides the child with the opportunity to have the same teacher throughout the schooling years. This enables the parent to offer consistent support through the child’s learning styles and journey. Besides, being the same teacher throughout the school years allows you to understand the child better, his challenges, weaknesses and strengths (Linsenbach 17). This knowledge is very essential in enabling the learning process through creation of a consistent and conducive environment for the child to learn in. It also saves the child from stress of having to know new teachers every term, get to adapt to their teaching styles and adapt to their personality strengths and weaknesses. However, when homeschooling, one is more able to pass on family values, beliefs and enforce them by integrating such values into the learning process. For example, a Christian couple can use homeschooling to teach their children about God, Christian living without having to filter the information to fit a class that is religiously diverse.
As values and beliefs continue to undergo gradual erosion and extinction, homeschooling provides an opportunity for you to impart some values and beliefs into your child. Field and Field (101) cited that in the normal education system, the child is exposed to diverse opinions and worldviews that may contradict your ideals or family values and beliefs. In the public school, the parents have little or absolutely no influence on the values and teachings that they are subject to. This will thus limit cases where children are initiated into satanic doctrines and religious beliefs and practices. Instead, you are the sole patron with regard to the religious beliefs, social values and the moral standards that your child maintains and becomes subject to. Further, homeschooling gives the child an access to the community-based socialization rather than the classroom-based socialization. This enables the child to be freed from the confining classroom environment where they can only interact with peers and especially those with whom the child believes to be sharing the same functioning abilities.
Homeschooling allows you to attend to the special needs of your child. Children with disabilities need special attention and support that would be greatly limited, if such children were enrolled in a public school with other normal students and left in the hands of a teacher who may not be passionate about helping such a child (Turtel 2008). Besides, homeschooling children are very healthy when compared to their counterparts in the public schools. Studies conducted on this claim established that children who are homeschooling are not exposed to the contagion that is ripe in the schools. Besides, a child who is homeschooling is able to get rest, immediate medical attention without having to send messages between school and home. Thirdly, homeschooling spares the children the stress that is associated with the public school learning environments (Linsenbach 15). You can also keep a close check on their health, diet and ensure that they are getting all that they may need to remain healthy.
The flexibility that is found in homeschooling system is one of its own kinds. For example, if there is a need, one can take a few days off when there is sickness or illness or even proceed to a family holiday during the week without being held back by rigid programs. You can also easily alter the learning program and instead join together with other homeschooling families in the course of the week. Homeschooling also avails the rare opportunity for the children to be off-class and go for retreats and picnics the entire day and just feel the fun of being kids (Field and Field 101). These opportunities may be available in the normal formal learning system but they are not as flexible as they can be in homeschooling set ups. Further, homeschooling removes the monotony of learning in the same classroom environment. It enables the child to realize that learning is a continuous process that cannot be limited to the class set up only.
In conclusion, homeschooling provides very enriching experiences that children may need for the actualization of their education and learning needs. Similar to all other engagements in life, there are instances, when you may feel overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted by the few challenges that homeschooling may present. However, these experiences can never be compared with the benefits and the fun that one gets from this flexible and fast-hand approach in the education of your children. Whereas it is not a very popular learning approach, its far-reaching benefits create the implication that it is time the education stakeholders evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of homeschooling with a view to developing it for the diversification of the learning/education processes.