Homeschooling vs. School At Home
Homeschooling has become a viable option for many parents
seeking to expand and improve their child's educational
experience. The public and private school systems are limited,
for practical reasons, as to how far they can go to meet a
particular child's educational needs. With homeschooling, on the
other hand, the entire process is geared towards your child in a
one-on-one manner. You can create a particular curriculum suited
to your child, and teach in a way works best for him or her. It
is for these reasons, not to mention the economic benefits when
you consider the costs associated with private schools, that
many parents choose to homeschool their children.
When you decide to homeschool your children, you're going to
have to come up with a plan for how the subject matter is going
to be taught, and a system to execute that plan. An important
distinction you should make yourself aware of is a philosophical
one of "homeschooling" vs "school at home." The latter method is
overly simplistic, and doesn't take advantage of the benefits
that homeschooling can truly offer. While every parent is
justifiably concerned about creating a disciplined academic
environment, if you simply "teach at home" both you and your
child will be missing out.
As a teaching philosophy, it's important to think of the process
as "homeschooling" -- this means that "home" and "school" become
one: it's not simply a case of school being conducted in a home
environment. So instead of creating regimented lessons at set
times - instead of your children sitting stiffly at a table
while you give them lessons - be always ready to use the
flexibility of homeschooling to your advantage. If your child
has a question about a particular subject in biology, take him
outside and show him nature at work. If he's interested in a
certain aspect of history, take him to the museum.
One of the greatest things about homeschooling is that it
doesn't have to be a regimented system: a day of learning that
ends at 4 PM, Monday to Friday. When homeschooling is properly
implemented, your child is always learning. During a unit on
Shakespeare for example, maybe you'll decide to take him to a
performance of the play on the weekend. If he's interested in
computers, allow him to use his computer for a research project.
Although in some ways you do need a certain regimen when
homeschooling, realize that your child's education doesn't have
to end when you are finished for the day. Incorporating other
educational activities into your daily home life will both
expand your child's education and make it more engaging.
Most children learn better in settings that they are comfortable
in, and what setting is more comfortable then the home? So if
your child wants to hear his math lesson while sitting on the
couch, let him. If he wants to watch a movie in the evening,
direct him to an educational one.
By blurring, as much as possible, the line between "home" and
"schooling" when homeschooling your children, your children will
benefit from a much more valuable educational experience than
could be offered from the public or private school systems.