The argument of whether to homeschool or send a child to public school has been brewing for quite some time. The decision is very subjective. In many cases, students are involved in activities where the schools will not tolerate their absences. They may be involved in sports, entertainment, or competitions. There are a number of reasons parents choose to homeschool www.middleschool.net, but they need to be examine the following:
1. Parents must be aware of whether they have the time and ability to act as teacher. Do parents have the ability to control curriculum? They can choose topics, but there are state laws cover certain topics.
2. Will the tween’s socialization needs be met? This is an important concern of psychologists, therapists and teachers, many who believe socialization to be most important for tweens. Interaction with other students and adults, developing friendships, and dealing with conflict are reduced in homeschooling.
3. Parents can incorporate religious instruction if desired. Homeschool does not have to include or be based on religion, but some parents like this option.
4. Access to educational tools, such as technological or lab tools, are difficult. Some areas, such as science, are overlooked.
5. Advantage of flexibility and freedom can adjust to student’s learning style. Although state curriculums require teachers to keep students on same track, homeschooling allows students to progress faster if they have mastered a subject.
There are an estimated 1.5 million children currently being homeschooled in the U.A. (www.losangeles.cbslocal.com). The reasons for this link to either the parents’ ideology or locality. Parents may dislike the area public and private schools. Originally, many parents chose homeschooling for religious reasons. Learning style differences is another factor in a parent’s decision, although if it is affordable, there are specialized schools that are expert in handling learning differences, such as Westmark in Encino, or Park Century in Los Angeles.
Homeschooling styles depend on the parents’ choice. Some are primarily online, some use text books, and some “opt to unschool,” following a varied schedule, including creative learning experiences. Some homeschools have networks or groups of similar interests for socialization. (www.school.familyeducation.com).
After her own firsthand experience, Isabel Shaw (www.dailyparent.com) lists the pros and cons of homeschooling:
- Educational Freedom, learning what they want and how long.
- Physical Freedom – no school system
- Emotional Freedom – “According to studies, self-esteem plummets in middle-school girls. However, similar studies of homeschooled girls have shown that self-esteem remains intact and that these girls continue to thrive.”
- Religious freedom
- Closer family relationships
- Stability during difficult times
- Well-rested kids. Sleep is vital for teens and preteens.
- No busywork. No more homework.
Parents may not be well-versed in all the subjects or may not be able to teach the material to their children. Tweens can also experience social isolation, not giving them the opportunity to interact with kids from different backgrounds.
Ultimately, the choice to homeschool is a very subjective decision. It depends on the child’s personality, academic pursuits, career pursuits, and learning style. Parents must be equipped to teach their children and to expose them to numerous social activities. The choice of homeschools must also be taken into consideration.