Student Opinion: Homeschooling may be the fastest-growing educational trend
Homeschooling may be the fastest-growing educational trend in our country. With recent issues in both public and private schools, parents are opting for more control over what their children learn. But is choosing to homeschool your kids beneficial, or does it deprive them of certain life lessons and social skills?
I have experience in both going to private school and being homeschooled. I went to a private school until second grade and then was homeschooled until eighth grade, after which I attended a charter school through high school. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of the three systems.
Because of the recent pandemic, when kids everywhere were challenged with different versions of homeschooling, it has come to the forefront of studies and discussions. Liberty has a substantial number of students who vary in their experience — from being homeschooled just during the pandemic to being homeschooled for all their primary education. These differing experiences have led to a vast spectrum of students, from those who “don’t seem like they were homeschooled” to those who have built their identities around being homeschooled.
As a former homeschooler, I have heard pretty much every joke and stereotype in the book when it comes to the homeschool population. Every stereotype is based in some small amount of truth that some homeschoolers seem less than socially adjusted. But I would much rather give up being popular for the quality of education I received.
In first grade, I struggled with social anxiety and hated being away from my mom, not only because I loved my mom but because the classroom setting did not challenge me. Instead, it increased my boredom. Because I was bored, I was not motivated to apply myself, especially since I could get solid grades without even paying attention.
After much discussion, my parents decided the best option would be to start homeschooling me. I am so thankful they made the sacrifice and invested time and energy into my academics. I truly believe that I am better off because of the time spent with my mom, being taught at my own pace and being able to foster a love of learning.
Homeschooling is not simply supported by my own experience, however. A recent study from the National Home Education Research Institute found that “78% of peer-reviewed studies on academic achievement show homeschool students perform statistically significantly better than those in institutional schools.” Choosing to homeschool a child is often the best choice for their academic potential, regardless of whether they are ahead of or behind the class.
My only critique of homeschooling is the lack of socialization. To have a successful homeschool career, it is imperative that a child is also exposed to social situations outside of the home. My parents chose dance classes and a homeschool group at our church where I learned how to interact with my peers without being exposed to an evil ideology contrary to biblical teaching before I was ready to handle it.
Choosing how to school our children seems to be a long way off for most of us, but within the next few years, we may be considering just that. When you are making that decision for your child, consider the vast benefits of having a say in what your children are learning and who speaks into their education.
And remember, giving up a few years to homeschool your children may change the rest of their lives.
Van Horn is an opinion writer for the Liberty Champion
I will also say that the world of homeschooling has drastically improved over recent years. In addition to the numerous programs and activities for children, as well as many diverse co-op groups in the local community, many private schools (especially religious schools) now have a homeschool collaboration program where students at home learn the same curriculum alongside students in the classrooms, are equally able to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities through the school, and sometimes even take select courses on campus to enrich education. My daughter’s Christian school offers this option K-12.
As a former educator I can attest to the highly evil content and ideology that public school students are being exposed to on a regular basis, and the spiritual warfare taking place in public schools around the country. This starts in kindergarten, I often see Christian parents noticing the warfare only after it has taken root into their child’s heart. Each child will be ready at a different age to be the salt and light, as scripture teaches. Gauging a child’s spiritual maturity and social/emotional maturity will be key in determining what school options are best for any child.
The decision of how to educate children is highly personal, and often controversial. Always lean on the Lord’s understanding. He WILL direct you, and I’ve seen Him open doors I would have never dreamed could exist in order for me to provide financially for the educational path He’s provided for His beloved daughter whom I raise. Never forget the significance of being entrusted to raise His children!