Urgh this is a tough one.
For the most part, I have always been very open minded to however people wish to parent their children, but for me I have always thought of my children going to a traditional school. I have no experience with teaching young children anything other than martial arts (I used to teach martial arts to 2-12 years olds back in the day) so how could I expect to be responsible for my child’s education? To me Reuben is a child who is very bright and has a thirst for learning, however he doesn’t often focus to tasks and gets very easily distracted. I’ve been told this is a common thing at this age, and it doesn’t worry me, but it has made me think – if this isn’t a part of growing and he needs more attention to keep his focus, will he be given that in the standard schooling system?
There appear to be so many benefits to homeschooling; one to one tuition, a caring and supportive environment with a teacher who is dedicated to providing a wholesome education because it is for the benefit of their own child who they love, no set standard tests (in some cases) for checking how the school is performing and many other things. On the flip side, the argument against homeschooling is that there is no divide between home and school, no social interaction and little chance to learn to cope in an environment where all attention and care isn’t on you… but what to believe?
A friend of mine recently gave me some information about homeschooling that I found really interesting. She is a home schooler (or home educator as I believe many prefer) and during a chat told me that homeschooling is often seen as providing children with a lower standard of education and a lack of social interaction, however this is statistically proven to be untrue. Statistics show that children who are homeschooled are often more capable of identifying with people of a variety of ages and social backgrounds, and that they often have a higher academic standard, achieving GCSE’s (or equivalent) at the age of 13/14 as opposed to the standard 15/16. I was so interested as well to know that some of the worlds highest achieving individuals were home educated: Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Florence Nightingale, C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens and Leonardo da Vinci. All highly creative individuals who excelled in their field.
All of this really makes you want to consider homeschooling, don’t you think? To know that I could offer my sons the best start in life and possibly help them advance academically faster than if they were in mainstream school is so alluring, but does the way that society sees homes educated people create a bias further in life that way out way the pros?
I was recently sent an article by a reader about a Fortune 500 company in Indiana, USA who has set a firm company policy that they do not and will not recognise home educated graduates and will subsequently not employ them, irrespective of the fact that home education is fully recognised in that state. The concern is that further fortune 500 companies will follow suit, because they can. Isn’t that scary? The story came about because a man who was offered a position with the company later had the offer rescinded, because the company discovered he was a home educated graduate, despite the fact that he was highly qualified and his qualifications and experience far surpassed any other candidate. You can read the full article here.
I would love to know your thoughts on homeschooling! Is it something you do, and you find to be rewarding and beneficial to your family and especially your child? Are you a teacher and on the opposite side of the fence?
Thankfully, I have a year or so to consider what I think is best for my son, and the montessori preschool that he attends is wonderful (incidentally, the owner is a home educating advocate!). Please share your thoughts!