If a survey by the National Center For Education Statistics is to be believed, roughly 1.1 million children underwent home schooling in 2005 alone. That’s a lot of children. Not so long ago, homeschooling used to be an extreme statement – something like a declaration of independence.
It was the conservative Christians who pushed for homeschooling in the ’80s and legalized it in every State. But the typical homeschooler of today is not religiously motivated.
Later surveys show that parents are really fed up with the public school system where much of the learning is superficial and compulsory. They are also concerned about the negative environment in school, ranging from drugs and abuse to negative peer pressure.
Because of this, we have a surprising mix of people who make up the homeschooling world of today. They cut across all religious creeds and all regional borders. Their main aim is providing meaningful and productive learning through a method that strengthens the bond between the various members of the family.
All these families have one main thing in common – a long enduring commitment to the sanctity of childhood. The children in these families are accorded a primary position. Many believe, and, I think, rightly so, that home schooling allows parents to bring up their kids in a more natural and nurturing environment.
Public schools can make a child nervous, diffident and downright mean. Children who get their education at home are protected from these damaging, negative influences until they attain an age where they can deal with them.
Home-schooling draws the whole family into the almost religious task of teaching. Everyone is put to work. The parents together form a bond with the children. Any experience can be turned into an learning experience. Both the parents are aware of exactly what is going into their child’s head.
Parents also have a greater say over the kind of religious and moral values that the child is taught. Even watching a film together can become a learning experience. Trips to the libraries, zoos, museums and other places become educational experiences as well as recreational ones.
A home-schooling family is primarily dependent on the income of one earning member. That means that often outgoings have to be curtailed and proper planning of expenditure is a must. This helps to bring the family members together and everybody gets involved in the process of saving money.
Merely having a parent at home to supervise, to nurture and to care for the children brings with it a great deal of love and caring. Even the husband chips in and there is just no room for complacency.
All right, problems do crop up, and there will be many misgivings in your mind, but when you know that your kids can always count on you, and your kids know it too, then homeschooling becomes a richly rewarding experience.