Over 2 million children are homeschooled in the United States – and that number continues to grow. Why would parents choose to educate their children at home? The reasons are many and they generally fall into 4 basic categories – academic, social, physical, and spiritual.
Homeschooling is like tutoring, giving parents the flexibility to provide personalized or individualized instruction to their children. Parents can teach to their child’s interests and use teaching methods that are appropriate for their child – a good factor for motivation, learning, and retention. Lessons can be adapted to the child’s strengths and weaknesses as needed for a gifted child or a struggling learner.
Research by Brian Ray, Ph.D. of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) (March 23, 2020 Research Facts on Homeschooling) cites
- Home educated students typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public school students on standardized academic achievement tests (public school average is the 50th percentile with scores ranging from 1 to 99).
- Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.
- Homeschool students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT college admission tests
A question often asked is, “What about socialization?” Homeschooling actually provides a wonderful social environment. Parents can influence their child’s character as they seek to build strong family and sibling relationships. The family unit protects the child from bullying and undue peer influence and pressure while also encouraging social relationships with people of all ages including young children, peers, adults, and senior citizens. Families can also serve together in community and volunteer work.
Research by Dr. Brian Ray of NHERI (March 23, 2020 Research Facts on Homeschooling) found
- Homeschool students are doing well on measures for “peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.”
Recently, safety has become one of the key factors in a family’s decision to homeschool. Homeschooling provides a safe and secure environment for children and youth from physical violence, drugs and alcohol, bullying, and improper sexual exposure.
For military families, homeschooling provides stability and continuity for the child’s education. Teaching a child in the home may also provide the flexibility a family needs because of the parent’s occupation and work schedule.
The spiritual life of a child is the greatest concern for Christian parents. Homeschooling provides the environment for parents to train their child according to the Word of God and impart biblical values and beliefs. All academic subjects can be taught from a biblical perspective as parents guide their child in his spiritual development. Homeschooling is more than the academics – it is raising a generation of children to know the Lord as Savior and obey His word – a generation that will be steadfast in the Lord and stand against the ways of the world.
Deuteronomy 5:6-7 has been foundational for parents to begin and continue their homeschooling journey with their children.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligentlyto your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
Perhaps you have other reasons for homeschooling our child. Whatever they may be, write them down. They will serve as a reference point as you begin and continue your homeschool journey. And most importantly, they will sustain you beyond the everyday and especially during the challenging days.
May you prayerfully consider this wonderful journey of home education and discipleship for your children for the glory of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Getting Started Next Step: Hawaii’s Homeschool Rule – Summary