Raising Nerdlings: Should You Home School?
Whether your kids are young and approaching school age or are already in school and expressing dissatisfaction, home schooling is a topic that many smart parents are taking into consideration. While statistics on exactly how many children are home-schooled are impossible to extrapolate due to lack of registration, many extraordinarily successful people have been home schooled.
What is the right choice? Here are three questions you should answer before making a decision next fall.
How fast does your child learn?
Be honest and as objective as possible with your answer. Public schools are notorious for the ‘No Child Left Behind’ policy, meaning that the class is geared to go as slowly as necessary. The problem is, trapping bright children into such a situation often leads to acting out due to frustration and boredom. Children who learn quickly may benefit more from a gifted or college-prep course of study, depending on their age and the offerings in your particular school system. If your child is a fast learner, do your own homework on the local schools to make sure your child won’t be held back by too-slow pacing. Other options such as tutoring or private schools can held bridge the gaps in learning pace.
If your child is already in school, their grades are not necessarily a gauge for how fast they learn. Straight As could mean they have to study hard and are doing well, or it could mean they grasp everything so quickly that they don’t have to pay close attention to hold a 4.0. Poor grades operate almost the same way. Maybe your D student is just frustrated and bored into complete apathy?
Are you ready to teach?
Parents may be worried that their own educations are not up to snuff. After all, don’t you have to go to college for years to be a teacher? Yes, if you plan to teach professionally. However, don’t underestimate yourself and the bond you have with your child. Online academies can provide the curriculum if you’re shaky on doing lesson plans. If your child is older and wandering into subjects beyond your scope like advanced trig or chemistry, a private tutor or even community college courses can count towards a high school diploma.
As far as time constrains are concerned, home schooling doesn’t have to entail hours upon hours of hunching over the kitchen table with your child. Because you can teach year-round, seven days a week with individual attention, your child can stay right on track with only a few hours a day. Don’t forget that learning can also take place after work, in the evenings, rather than during the day.
What does your child want?
With a child that cries, fakes sick, and does everything possible to avoid school, even the mention of home school can be cause for celebration and promises to do well. With other kids, the reaction may be more mixed. If your child wants to home school but is worried about missing out on sports, music, or other activities, look around for community leagues or other similar outlets. Home schooling doesn’t mean your child will become a social shut-in. In fact, they may like doing activities voluntarily more than being shoehorned into whatever the local public school has to offer. Community activities will allow your child to mix with other kids from the surrounding school districts, parochial schools, private schools, and other home-schooled kids.
Deciding to home school is a huge decision. Knowing ahead of time how your child learns, whether or not you’re ready, and how your child feels about the subject will start you on the road to making the best possible decision. If home schooling isn’t right for your family and yet you are still encountering bad grades, boredom, acting out, or other issues, why not look into tutoring, private schools, or enrichment programs?
Kids who love to learn cannot learn fast enough to satisfy their own curiosity, so why stifle it?