Sunday, October 15, 2006

What are some good reasons to homeschool? You may be surprised to find that there are bad reasons to homeschool.

From all the homeschool literature I've perused, the many parents I've talked to and homeschoolers themselves, ladies and gentlemen, here are the bad reasons to homeschool:

  • "Everybody's doing it!"

  • My mother/father/sister/cousin/brother-in-law's best friend wants me to do it." (And you don't want to)

  • "I don't want my child ever to be bullied/pushed/teased/punched/beaten up/hurt."

  • "That private school is too expensive. Besides, homeschooling is cheaper than public school too."

  • "I want to keep my child all to myself. I think association with other people may be dangerous."

  • "The public school system in my area is atrocious."

  • "I belong to a sect which prohibits contact with outsiders."

  • "I heard that all homeschoolers learn independently so I don't have to do any work."

  • "My ex-husband wouldn't like it if I started homeschooling our daughter and I want to get back at him."

You may have been surprised to read that the fact that the public school system may be a bad choice for you is not a good reason. That's because you may not be inclined to homeschool, your partner may not either, or you don't have the time. Here are some good reasons:

  • "I like books and would love to learn alongside my children."

  • "I love to spend time with them and would love to help them learn."

  • "I don't think the public school would be a good choice for our family at this time, but in any case if the need arose and we would have to put him in school, we would be very involved as parents."

  • "We are very religious and would like to teach our children about our customs."

  • "We feel that the public school system is philosophically opposed to our goals."

  • "We travel a lot and don't stay in one place for long."

  • "We feel we can give our children a good education, maybe even superior to the public school's."

  • "I'm committed to our child's education and can't think of any better way than to get closer to my child."

These are not all the reasons one would choose to homeschool. Reasons are as diverse as there are people. However, don't choose to homeschool either because you live in a place where there are a lot of homeschoolers and you feel pressured. Don't homeschool just because you want to spite anyone. Don't homeschool just because you've heard that the majority of homeschoolers score in a higher percentile than their public school counterparts.

Homeschooling is a way of life. If you're genuinely interested and feel attracted to the idea, look around on sites like this, check out books at the library about homeschooling, talk to a few homeschooling parents and adults who have been homeschooled. See if it's something for you and for your family. Homeschooling is a commitment and it takes lots of time and patience. It's an extra parental demand, not a break from it. Like anything worth doing, the more you put into it, the more you will reap benefits.

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