Study after study has shown that by reducing the student/teacher ratio you can effectively increase the education and excellence in a classroom. What school can offer a better student to teacher ratio that a homeschool? Even in a home with multiple children, homeschooled kids get more one on one attention and help with their studies. If a child doesn’t understand, the parent can change up the lesson and approach it from a different perspective to help the child. That is impossible to do in a public school classroom (trust me, I have been there and tried) due to time constraints and other practical considerations.
Children thrive when allowed to move at their own pace and homeschooling easily allows for this. If a child loves history, it is simple to add more historical readings, biographies, and podcasts to be available for them to use at their leisure. And by exploring something that the child enjoys, other subjects benefit as well. One of my sons loves Roman History. Through his independent study of Roman History (in addition to all other coursework) he has learned information that made his Geography classes much easier. He has learned about building roads, architecture, government, and even cultures and crop rotations. It has encouraged him at a young age to read biographies and philosophy tomes. None of these are covered in depth in our curriculum, but time and again, he makes a comment or writes something in a paper that shows me that he is using that information that he gained independently and can make it relevant to more modern topics. That’s high order thinking in action and it helps in so many areas. His writing is better because his reading has increased. He is more logical when he writes. He has a diverse understanding of one ancient culture which he can use to compare and contrast when we look at other ancient cultures. He has been able to use his time to become (through his own pleasure) a more well rounded young man. I’m pretty proud of that!
He also enjoys Biology and Birding. Because of this interest, he has been able to spend some weekends (and one week during the year) helping out at an Ornithologist’s bird banding station, taking part is “real scientific studies.” Because he is immersed in this area, he is absorbing all sorts of Biological and Anatomical information. The scientists and other volunteers love to answer his questions and encourage him. They also ask him questions that challenge him to think hard! When the nets come down about noon, they are often looking at (and identifying) lizards, butterflies, trees, wildflowers, etc. How many kids get an extra school day a couple of times a month that can be tailored to science? Only by allowing our son to pursue this interest could this happen. Not many kids would want to do it either, but this is a joy to him.
My other son struggles mightily in math. He is mildly autistic and has some legitimate learning disabilities, the worst of which is in math. Homeschooling gave us the flexibility to work with a wonderful tutor for a couple of years that was really talented in helping him to advance in his understanding. As she was a retired Special Education teacher who missed working with kids, she was able to teach me how to teach him. She was an amazing blessing in our lives. But the clincher is this: her schedule was so full, we wouldn’t have been able to get to know her and learn from her if we had to do it after normal school hours! Our flexibility offered us a chance to really pursue excellence.
The same son adores horses and has begun riding them this past year. He has found a real connection with them. Because of our flexibility, he can take a daytime riding lesson (couldn’t get on the schedule otherwise, this is a therapeutic riding coach that we need) and he volunteers to muck out the stalls one day a week so he can be around the horses more. He likes stories about horses, learning about horses (biology and anatomy), even his math problems seem a bit easier to palate if they involve horses! Horses have been a life saver for me when teaching math to an LD kiddo!
Better yet, almost any devoted parent can homeschool. Textbooks for homeschool families are so well written and easy to follow that it can be a joy to teach to high standards. For a parent with a good, general high school education (especially one that likes to read), everything is included to help teach to more rigorous standards than many public and private schools are able to. You can also adjust the speed and timing of the course, allowing “teaching for mastery” which is so vital for progress and retention in the high school years.
What hobbies do your kids pursue and how can they be part of learning?
Please join us as we consider 8 other reasons to homeschool over the coming days!
Why Homeschool? Life Long Learners
Till next time,