Home Schooling means learning outside of the public or private school environment. The word "home" is not really accurate, and neither is "school." For most families, their "schooling" involves being out and about each day, learning from the rich resources available in their community, environment, and through interactions with other families who homeschool.
Essentially, homeschooling involves a commitment by a parent or guardian to oversees their child or teen's educational development. There are almost two million homeschoolers in this country.
Why home school ? Why school ? Young children do not really need to go to school just yet.
Have you ever heard about a toddler that doesn't get his/her hand on everything ? Or a toddler that just sit the whole day and not walking around trying to look at everything ?
Young children are already learning about their world, in their own way. So why home school ? Why preschool ? Why school ?
Play ! Play ! Play ! That's what toddlers life is about. We can integrate learning to their play but only if they allow us. Don't force young children to learn or they'll end up hating it.
So why home school ? Isn't that forcing your young children to learn ? Isn't school better since you don't enroll until you're 6 anyway ? Why home school your young children ?
Home schooling is not only about taking children out of school and teaching them home. It's more about educating your children. So homeschooling younger children means educating them at home.
Before I go into my answers for why home school my kids, maybe you've heard people say why you should NOT homeschool. Why home school if it means kids are deprived of socialization ? That's just myth.
There are many reasons people homeschool their children. Here are why I decide to homeschool my kids
Children learn differently
Each child has his/her own learning style. The school systems, unfortunately, only accomodates the 'general' learning style so some children may end up being labeled 'learning disabled', while in fact they're just different.
How differences in learning style might affect children in school ?
1. Nurture love of learning
"The class is talking about spring, flowers blooming, rain falling, may be rabbit and easter. A child hears a fire engine sirene and asks what that is. Teacher answers : Fire engine, then goes back to talking about spring. But the child mind is still with the fire engine. He wants to know more about it. But he has to wait until everybody else is done with spring."
"A child can't see the difference between I (upper case i) and l (lowercase L). Others in her class can. Everybody reads but she. She's too embarrassed to ask for help and thinks she's stupid. Now she hates reading."
Every child is different. They learn differently. But all children want to learn so we have to nurture that. By homeschooling my children, I believe I'm nurturing their love of learning.
This is my number one answer for the "why homeschool" question. Read John Holt's "How Children Fail" and you'd be amazed. It relates really well to my own education life.
I can say that I have been very successful in school. I was always in the top 3 in my class. However, I personally never felt comfortable with all the grades that I got. I felt like I didn't deserve them. Because I knew I didn't know that much about everything. I studied, I worked hard, I got good grades, but I didn't learn.
How did I turn out ? Okay, not too bad. I followed the flow, school and college, got a degree, got a job. But I do NOT enjoy it. It's not what I want to do for the rest of my life.
The lesson ? Why homeschool... I want my children to be able to love learning, enjoy the process of it, and be excited about it. I don't want them to learn merely to get good grades and get into the best college.
If you want to read more about why I chose to homeschool, read my story.
2. Negative behavior
My eldest went to preschool for about 4 months but he picked up a lot of negative behavior from his peers. He started spitting, hitting, kicking. So we spent some times correcting these (mind you spitting is NOT a negative behavior in some culture so we can't really blame his peer).
This was preschool. We don't know what it's like in kindergarten or even in elementary, but we don't want to spend our time correcting this.
3. Special child
The school systems might not be very accomodative to children with special needs, such as learning disability, ADHD.
Some children are just slow. This child would be labeled 'behind the class' in school, but at home, he/she can learn at his/her own pace. No one to keep up with, nor to wait for.
4. More time to concentrate on what children like and enjoy
If a child is interested in collecting rock, he/she can spend all the time learning about the different rocks there are.
5. No limit on how much materials and time
You can go all out finding informations about rocks on the internet, at the library, ask the experts, spend your whole day (even week) learning about rocks.
6. Parents can be with their children all day
Let them play and direct them to available resources to quench their thirst of knowledge.
7. No peer pressure
No 'everybody else in the class does it' problem
8. Children grow at their own 'speed', no pressure from school friends
9. To raise bilingual children
Since we're bilingual, I think homeschooling is best for us. Kids are not pressured to speak in English and hopefully they won't ended up being English monolingual or passive bilingual.
One more time, why home school ? Because I want my kids to love the process of learning and not just about getting good grades. So they can grow at their own pace, no peer pressure. And yes, my personal, selfish answer to the why home school question is so I can be with them all the time.
By now you should have more questions about home schooling. Not just why home school, but how do I do it, can I do it, etc. Read my getting started page and if you still have doubt, why home school and why not, the myth and fact page should clear it. If you're still in doubt, have more questions, want to read more, contact me, and I'll try to clear out any doubt or answer your questions as best I can.