There are many reasons why parents consider homeschooling. And equally as many reasons as to why they are so smart. In the current era of pandemic, more and more parents may consider homeschooling. Here’s why it’s a great idea.
It has been proven that homeschoolers get higher SAT / ACT scores than average. Homeschool children learn at their own pace and have more interest in subjects.
- Less distraction – 1 to 1
- Learn at their own pace
- Modern learning at their fingertips
- Out in the community
- How to make friends if you are homeschooled
Homeschooling in the past has been seen as a lifestyle of large families with strong religious beliefs. Now, it is a way of not only keeping your child safe from COVID but also improving their grades to get them into the best schools. We all want the best for our kids, and if it is a way of making them smarter, well then let’s see how to do that.
Less distraction – 1 to 1
The number one difference between homeschooling and mainstream school is the one-to-one attention. In public schools, class size could be upward of 25-30 kids. No matter how interested or motivated your child’s teacher maybe they just don’t have enough time to spend individually with kids. This will be the same all the way through high school.
Distraction can be in many forms in a classroom, from the class clown (there’s always one) to a lack of interest or boredom in a subject, to a teacher just going through the motions.
If your child is being home-schooled then this dynamic is completely different. They have little or no distraction.
You have to enforce some ground rules. No social media at certain times of the day. No games on phones. No texting, again at certain times of the day. Just because they are in a home environment does not mean they get to rule the roost.
If you have decided that homeschooling is the choice for you and your family then it has to suit everyone.
You have to be fully engaged. You are now their primary educator. It can’t be half-hearted. Plans need to be put in place for this to succeed, both long and short term.
One-to-one learning is the best type of learning for information retention. The benefits of one-to-one mean that basics are covered and then in-depth information can follow.
One-to-one learning enables a child to question certain aspects or theories. Through questioning, they begin to understand concepts and theory backgrounds which leads to a deeper thought process.
They don’t just receive an answer and accept it for what it is, they can now fully understand how they got to a certain answer.
This way of learning is not practical in a public school system. There simply isn’t the time.
Homeschooling also gives the opportunity to learn in a relaxed environment. Lots of kids don’t do well in a classroom. They may know every answer to every question but they won’t raise their hand for fear of being wrong in front of their peers.
At home, this fear is not there. If an answer is incorrect, we can spend time discussing how they came to that answer and correct the error. This time is just not at a teacher’s disposal. Most classroom-based learning is from a textbook. Day by day, chapter by chapter. This way of learning hasn’t changed in a very long time.
Kids are all different, we need to move with the times. No one knows your child as well as you. Kids that are excelling in school are as much at risk of failing as kids that are falling behind. No one has the time to give extra tuition to allay the boredom or bring them back in line with the rest of the class.
Homeschooling allows you to pick strengths that your child has and build on them. You are able to teach them the best way to achieve their goals. Draw on the positive.
By traveling with them on their education journey they can achieve much more because together you can decide on which direction they want to go. You are setting the curriculum based on their interests.
Learn at their own pace
The greatest advantage of homeschooling is the ability to set the pace of learning. Many children in a class bore easily as the pace is too slow. Teachers must work at a certain pace to allow kids to master topics but they don’t really allow for kids that may have grasped the topic on the first day.
A home school class can be as quick or slow as needs be. Your child may be fantastic at Math but not so great at a foreign language. So it’s up to you to timetable your plan accordingly.
Of course, the basics have to be covered, but you and your child can move through them at their pace. If they understand it quickly, then amazing, you can mix it up with more challenging topics or move to different topics more quickly. The fact that the same topic is not being drilled repetitively over and over will increase your child’s learning and alleviate any boredom they may have.
If they feel they are accomplishing then the desire to learn more will be higher. Another reason why home-schooled kids are smarter.
They want to learn more because they are interested in what they are learning.
There is no school bell to say the class is done – we might learn more about this next week (or maybe not, because the teacher can’t remember to go back to the topic!). They can embrace a topic that interests them and research more, either online or at the library, or out in the community.
Home-schooled kids want to learn. They are set tasks and are self-motivated to complete the task. There may be an overlap of studies, in math or science, where one compliments the other.
Self-motivation plays to their advantage when they get to college. University professors say they will know very quickly the students who have been home-schooled. They don’t need as much hand-holding or coursework explanation as public school kids. They accept the workload and get on with it. They are in essence more prepared for college as they are more mature. This is all due to self-motivation being part of their core all through their home-schooled high school years.
Modern Learning at their Fingertips
Homeschooling may have had a bit of a stereotype attached to it in the past. It was predominantly families that wanted to teach a faith-based curriculum, but that is not necessarily the case anymore.
Many parents now want to take control of their children’s education. Lack of confidence in the public school system or now fear driven because of the Covid pandemic.
When the schools shut on March 20 my son was at a bit of a loss. There was only a spattering of work being set by a handful of teachers. I could see so much time being wasted that we sat down and made a plan. If work was not being set then we would go online and download some math, English, or science, and plan that for the day.
Kids need a certain amount of structure to their day. Even if they are being homeschooled they still need some kind of timetable.
We found that with a plan in place the time was much more beneficial.
I’m no teacher by any means, but there is so much information available digitally that nothing is impossible to learn.
Generation Z kids have always had some sort of technology. It’s their go-to source of information. As a home-schooled kid, this makes their learning all the more interesting. They can research topics. Watch YouTube videos on anything from the solar system to online math tutorials.
This is rarely the case in high school. Teachers can’t control what is being searched. Teens can get off topic quite easily. But in a home school situation, digital learning can be fully embraced.
Topics that need to be studied can take on a more interesting direction, out in the community, in museums, libraries, and of course online. Home school kids spend more time in the real world and so their learning and education move at a faster pace. They absorb more information because they are living their education. Although they are being homeschooled their exposure to the world is much less insulated than kids attending a public school.
Out In the Community
As I said, home school learning can happen anywhere including in the community. Home school curriculum can follow a more widespread or varied list of subjects. Home school kids get the chance to be exposed to all kinds of great life skills. This could be anything from learning how to cook, possibly in a soup kitchen, to spending time visiting the elderly in a nursing home.
Life skills are rarely taught in public school and lots of parents either are too busy or not inclined to check whether their child knows how to fend for themselves.
As a society, we really are raising children that don’t know how to complete basic household chores. Iron a shirt – we assume they are going on an interview at some point in the future. Mend the hem of a pair of trousers – I recently had a kid stay with us (16 years old) who had never threaded a needle.
Can they hold a conversation with a stranger? Home-schooled kids get the chance to mature earlier as they are exposed to so many more life skills. They are not cocooned by the school or restricted to a particular timetable each day.
They can volunteer at thrift stores or soup kitchens when the majority of kids are sitting looking out the window of a classroom.
Their lives are more relaxed but they are as busy as they want to be, out in the community mixing with people from all backgrounds and ages.
How to make friends if you are homeschooled
Generally, the greatest fear of taking the home school route is the lack of interaction with other kids. You don’t want your kid to miss out on socializing or being invited over to other kids’ houses.
The reason home school kids have proven to perform better in SATs/ ACT is that they generally have a love of what they are studying. This is now reinforced by the power of the internet. They can now discuss problems or theories online with like-minded kids. Not just home-schooled kids as was generally the case in the past.
They feel empowered by their knowledge and by the time they reach college they are very comfortable with tasks that have been set.
They can chat online with others that they have met in their community through voluntary work, part-time jobs, or online classes. Now when they go to college there’s less of a social awkwardness about. Social media allows them to have friends from all walks of life.
It is even more important now, in a time of social distancing, that is likely to be around for quite some time. Social media and access to the internet just increase your child’s ability to socially interact.
Home school kids are already much better at communicating with peers, adults, with strangers than public school kids.
Public school kids are used to being around only kids of their own age. They are rarely allowed to question or call out a teacher without repercussion.
Home-schooled kids are encouraged to be inquisitive, self-thinkers.
Of course, all kids are different. Smart kids come from all walks of life. Public schools have smart kids in abundance. Homeschooling can also be a negative choice for a family. Parent subject bias can mean some kids are behind or missing large portions of their education.
To decide to home school is a huge decision. (and also one that needs state approval).
Are you going to end up with a really smart kid? It depends on how much effort you are prepared to put in. Are home-schooled kids smart? Well, yes, they probably are. But this is down to their educator. They certainly will be more mature and ready for the world. Like everything in life, the more you put in, the more you get back.