Is Homeschooling Necessary?
There has been an uptrend in homeschooling. I wonder why?
Homeschooling is a necessity now more than ever. With the ever so changing society we live in, and the many educational gaps within the US educational system the youth need intentional and invested community leaders, parents, caregivers, guardians etc to also help guide and teach them on their educational journeys.
I've heard comments like:
"I can't homeschool, it's not for me"
"Homeschooling seems too complicated"
"I am not my child's teacher"
"I don't have the patience to be a teacher"
Wholeheartedly, I agree that homeschooling is no easy task, but it must be done in order to ensure that our children are getting the quality education they need to grow into well rounded adults.
For children in school, teachers call it reinforcement and for children that are not in school, it's called homeschooling, unschooling, deschooling, or whatever term you would like to use.
I also like to use the term "at home learning" because "homeschooling" sometimes gets the same reputation as being "traditional school" at home, where parents are using worksheets, curriculums, and test to teach their children.
This is not the case for every family. Homeschooling or at home learning, looks different for every household, which is what's beautiful about homeschooling. You are able to customize it for your household so that you are still showing up and being present on your child's educational journey.
"The most accurate predictors of student achievement in school are not family income or social status, but the extent to which the family creates a home environment that encourages learning, communicates high, yet reasonable, expectations for the child’s achievement, and becomes involved in the child’s education at school"
National PTA. 2000. Building Successful Partnerships: A Guide for Developing Parent and Family Involvement Programs. Bloomington, Indiana: National Education Service, 11–12.
Homeschooling is a necessity for children in traditional school as well. In reality, all learning does not take place at school, children are still learning and growing from the environment around them. Therefore, children attending traditional school should also have a home environment that supports their learning, which is a number one factor in children's academic achievement.
This is where the term "at home learning" applies. If you are not a full-time homeschooling parent, at home learning may look like spending 30 mins to review new vocabulary words, reviewing and having a conversation about homework, helping with projects, creating a playlist of learning videos as supplemental material or whatever the parent can do at home to help reinforce their child's learning in school.
At home learning can also take place outside of the home too. Please do not be mistaken by the term "at home learning". Field trips, park visits, traveling, grocery store everyday errands and task are also a part of at home learning and can be used as opportunities of growth and learning to help reinforce learning in school.
As a former public-school teacher and now full-time homeschooling parent, I am happy to see that homeschooling is on an uptrend because it means more parents are holding themselves accountable for their child's learning and figuring out that the possibilities of learning are endless.
I now have flexibility; learning happens anywhere and is not forced. My time that would have been spent in a school building is now spent learning practical and social skills, following my child's interest, doing outside activities, allowing screen time, having more quality time, and meaningful conversations etc. which is a necessary part of parenting in general.
Despite whatever perceptions we have about homeschooling or at home learning with the right mindset and resources it can be done and yes, it is necessary for our children's evolution.
We as parents are our child's first teacher and are more than qualified to create home learning opportunities/environment for our young learners to learn and grow on their educational journeys.