Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Home Educating: Why More and More Families Are Choosing Home Education

Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, the first c...
Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, the first class day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Ellen Black

The number of families who are choosing to home educate (in the USA - Ed) is rising every year.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics that there are approximately 1.73 - 2.35 million children in grades K-12 being homeschooled at this time.

Research shows that the homeschool population is growing at a rate of 2% - 8% per annum.

Just a decade ago home educating was still considered a rogue alternative but today it is almost mainstream. How their children will be educated is a very personal choice for every family. However, some of the reasons families are choosing home education are:

The Educational Choices in Your City are Less Than Ideal

All public schools are not created equal. First and foremost, each family needs to evaluate if the public school in their area is meeting the needs of their child.

If your child is falling behind academically, being bullied at school or generally not thriving in the public school environment it may be time to closely evaluate what is going on at school.

Many teachers have a large number of students in their classroom and are not able to meet the needs of each child. In some cases, the classroom atmosphere itself may be hard for very kinesthetic children to adjust to. In the traditional public school setting, young boys are 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Parents Want to Customize the Learning Environment for Their Child

Children almost always benefit from having one on one instruction. Daily interaction with your child will uncover his strengths and weaknesses and can greatly encourage him over a learning hurdle.

Many home educating families also realize that certain curriculum choices can have a huge impact in how well your child processes the information. We observed this first hand with all of our children. What curriculum worked for one may not necessarily work for the others.

In a traditional school setting the teacher must find the best teaching approach to reach the greatest number of children. However, if your student is not able to respond well to that teaching approach, your child may end up falling behind.

Academic Performance

Scoring 15 to 30 percentile points higher on standardized achievement test than their public school counterparts, homeschooled students typically do better academically.

This also holds true on the ACT and SAT tests used by college admissions. Homeschool students score above average.

An interesting fact from the National Home Education Research Institute ( NHERI ) states, "Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents' level of formal education or their family's household income."

Social and Emotional Health

Home educating children also do above average when being measured for emotional, social and psychological development. Leadership skills, peer interaction, self-esteem, family unity and community service were among the research measures evaluated.

This research also shows that homeschool students are regularly participating in educational and social activities outside of their homes. Scouting, 4-H, sports teams, church programs and volunteering in the community expose children to many people outside of their immediate families.

Naturally, education choices for your family require much thought and will look different for each family. Home educating families are here to stay, and may represent what can happen when parents truly get involved in their children's education.

Visit my website for more information about home education and for Home Education Resources.

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    1. There will be no Part 2, however there will be many more articles such as this on this site.