I recently read an article entitled “Homeschooling on the rise as concerns about public schools grow” by Diana Alvear of FOX 46 Charlotte posted on February 9, 2019. Major news station aside, plenty of truth can be found here. To supplement my previous post, 5 Homeschooling Tips: Truths from My Homeschooling Journey, here are five more truths relating to secular homeschooling.
Homeschooling is on the rise 1. Specifically, secular homeschooling 2 is one of the fastest growing factions of homeschooling. Perhaps it is a product of the dissatisfaction with the bureaucratic public school system (top-down approach) and overcrowding 3 and underfunding 4. And it’s not just homeschooling–microschools, hybrid homeschooling 5 (also called part-time homeschooling), and other alternative schools 6 are on the rise. Instead of waiting around for the government to fix the broken education system, or holding out hope for school districts to somehow magically accommodate and encourage students of all abilities — while also responsibly managing student behavior — we have taken it into our own hands because it’s faster, less problematic, and less of a hassle.7
The article touched on several reasons for homeschooling due to public school system issues.8 Concerns with bullying, school safety, preference for interest-based or child-led learning, and teaching a love of learning instead of teaching to the test are at the top for many homeschoolers. So many more reasons to homeschool9 exist, especially if you have a gifted or twice-exceptional child10, each one unique to each family and even each child.
It’s not the teachers’ fault, of course. Most of them are doing their best in a system which doesn’t take into account their input or the parents’ input because they are “just the teacher11” or “just the parent12.” Or the classes are way, way too big13 and they are simply too busy managing the behavior 14of kids who sit all day at a desk, sometimes without snacks, bathroom breaks (seriously!?), recess, PE, STEM, music, art, and all those things that really stimulate the mind and regulate the body.15
People who don’t have much experience with homeschooling like to tout the perceived hardships of homeschooling; for example, one is being “stuck at home with your kids all day.” Despite the name, however, most homeschooling doesn’t actually take place at home.16 While many homeschoolers use a curriculum of some sort, most simultaneously see living and learning 17as inextricably intertwined. Subjects are taught holistically and not merely items to check off a list (though you can certainly do that if that’s the way you operate). Also, homeschoolers can dive deeper into topics of choice, going much further than public school minimum requirements18, and much of the learning takes place in museums, libraries, and real-life experiences such as grocery store trips and visits to different businesses. For me, any hardship (like actually having to take my kids along to these places–gasp!) is worth the trade-off when I see my kids asking to learn chemistry at age 7 or a new language at age 8 or just knowing letters and colors and numbers and trying to write at age 2.
“Socialization“19, 20 — I think I can speak for most homeschoolers here — is a non-issue, especially if you find the right support group or co-op. My kids are out in the world socializing21 with everyone, people of all ages, genders, races, and religions. The school system is especially hard on introverted and non-neurotypical learners, topics we cover frequently in my online community. Kids who only know how to carry on a conversation with people of the same age or peer group are the ones I worry about. As a product of the public school system, I speak from experience.
The freedom Texas homeschoolers have22 is much more than most states, and I’m grateful for that. As a homeschooler and as a parent, I can say without a doubt I’m the one who knows what’s best for my child, and that’s what I have always advocated for and will continue to do–road less traveled or not. I hope that everyone will, because our kids deserve it. If you’re still on the fence about homeschooling, get the facts23, bust those myths24, and click here25 for a well-thought-out list of Pros & Cons of homeschooling.
Sources & Resources:
- https://www.businessinsider.com/homeschooing-more-popular-than-ever-2017-1 (sic)