Homeschooling and Online schools
Many parents are becoming disillusioned with the education system and the state of our schools. Commonly voiced concerns include; over large class sizes, a rigid curriculum that is more focused on test results than education, plus a wide range of personal issues, have all lead to homeschooling and online schools becoming increasingly popular.
Many parents have specific reasons for turning to homeschooling. The school environment does not suit all children – there can be issues such as bullying or cyberbullying.
Some children simply fail to thrive and learn in the school environment.
Some parents, such as those in the military, need to move around a lot, meaning that children are forced to attend new schools and go through the experience of being the new boy or girl on a regular basis. This is not only disruptive for their education, but it can also be extremely unsettling. Most children find it hard to cope.
Whatever the reasons for turning to homeschooling, the simple fact is that it offers the child stability and gives them a safe environment where they can learn.
Homeschooling is not a new phenomenon. It started to become popular in the 80s with people who wanted to teach their children in accordance with religious beliefs, but these days this is only a small part of the picture.
Today’s homeschoolers can be from any part of the community and the slightly cranky reputation of homeschool has all but vanished.
According to statistics, over 2.5 million children are educated at home in the USA. In the UK, figures are not available but are believed to be in excess of 48,000 which is a 40% rise within the last three years.
For example in the Isle of Wight, one in 50 children are homeschooled, largely because many of the available schools have been rated as requiring improvement.
These days, you do not have to do it alone if you choose to teach your children at home.
There are plenty of online resources available so that you can ensure that your child’s education reflects what is being taught in the schools.
In addition, there are online schools to help you. This means that even if you are not a trained teacher yourself (even though you don’t necessarily need to be a teacher), your child can access the core information to learn online via video and communication with a trained teacher. Your child reads the same textbooks and can work towards passing the same exams as their conventional school counterparts.
The big difference with homeschooling and online schools is that your child has a greater freedom to learn and more time to explore the ideas of the lessons.
In the conventional school setting, time and attention are minimal, so the focus is simply on learning by rote rather than education.
Homeschooling and online schools do not ruin life chances. By contrast, they improve them! Most homeschooled children score above average on the SAT and ACT test.
Moreover, according to the National Home Education Research Institute, social, psychological and emotional development is likely to be better as well!