Does homeschooling work? Hear it from the students

Posted on February 18 2011

There may be a lot of questions surrounding this topic. It has its supporters and detractors. Some parents love it for their kids while others would rather go the conventional school route. A lot has been said about homeschooling from parents and educators. But for this article, let’s see what those who actually use and benefit from it have to say. Here are some thoughts and insights from homeschooled students.

What’s to love about homeschooling? Homeschooling is more like a personalized journey of learning. Instead of being forced to sit in a class day in and day out, homeschooled students have the freedom to learn more about their world on an individualized approach. You don’t have to get hall passes and you don’t have to ask permission to go to the bathroom. You are able to program your day – how it will go and what topics you will cover.

And homeschooling is not limited to six hours of learning within the classroom – the world actually becomes the classroom. The student does not just rely on books for education. They have the opportunity to explore the world through different means. They can use travels to other places, trips to the museum or the local post office, grocery shopping and many others. They can relate to the people they comes across. Seeing the world this way enables the student to form their own opinions, especially about what is important in life.

Even as the homeschooling curriculum complies with state academic standards, it allows more flexibility for the homeschooled child to follow the subjects and topics they are more passionate about. Homeschooling is not about being forced to memorize facts that seem to be irrelevant to the individual – it is more of a realistic approach that results in the student being self-directed and self-motivated.

One other thing that students (and parents) love about homeschooling is that it allows the learner to learn at his or her own pace. After all, we all don’t learn at the same pace – some are faster or slower than others. Homeschooling enables the parent to focus on the areas where the child needs more help while reinforcing the areas where the child is strong. Depending on the child’s learning abilities, a student may even graduate high school early, if they are able to complete the required credits at a shorter period of time.

Homeschooling vs. Public School, which is better? Actually, this shouldn’t be the question. The question should be, “What works for you?” For some, public school is a good way to obtain a well-rounded education, as well as cherished memories and life-long friends. But for others who prefer homeschooling, public school is seen as a place where an individual can lose their individuality – by needing to conform to school rules and to peers. It really depends on the individual child. The advantage of being in public school is that there are plenty of opportunities for socializing (but this does not mean that homeschooling doesn’t offer the same benefit). On the other hand, homeschooling is a way to protect the child from bullying and to provide the child with a way to learn by living and by exploring one’s interests.

Areas where homeschooling can be provided. Homeschooling is not limited to the child’s home – there are many places where one can learn.

For instance, a student outlined his past semester as:

  1. Basic lessons (Math, English, etc.) at his home
  2. History/Philosophy/Economics/Government at his grandmother’s home
  3. Two classes at a community college
  4. Orchestra at a high school
  5. Photography classes provided by a professional photographer
  6. Theater at the community theater group
  7. A trip to Puerto Rico
  8. Lessons of playing the fiddle at a music school

Aside from this, he meets with his book club monthly, has founded a community garden and created a film for a community project. He also belongs to the Shakespeare club and various writers groups.

This example shows that learning can be held in the many areas – in the home, at other people’s homes and the community in general. This disproves the notion that homeschoolers lack opportunities for socialization. Rather, having a flexible learning program can actually mean that a child gets to meet people from different age brackets and from all walks of life. His social experience is not limited to peers and teachers. He also has opportunities to be mentored by people from various industries and interests.

The cost of homeschooling. Admittedly, homeschooling may mean added costs for the family and an obstacle for those who are concerned about cost. But those who want it can find a way to go around this. For instance, one homeschooled student relates that he makes use of available resources (a friend’s darkroom for printing photos from photography lessons or the library). He also held a part-time job to help pay for projects that interested him.

Homeschooling has its pros and cons. But for some homeschooled students, it has opened a world of learning that is so unlike what they can get from a public school. What’s great is that there are homeschool programs that actually offer accredited high school lessons online, so a homeschooled child can get a high school diploma while being homeschooled. The American Academy offers such a program for those who want to graduate from high school but cannot go to the traditional school or would rather be educated at home.

The American Academy presents a flexible, accredited and affordable solution for those who want to be homeschooled. Here, you can get affordable online high school classes on Math, English and even career enriching lessons such as Advertising & Promotion or Interior Design. If you are thinking about homeschooling your child, The American Academy is here to help provide you with online courses. Feel free to contact us and we’ll talk about how you can get started.