Who Home Schools Their Children And Why?

I am a tutor broker; I match private tutors with children of all ages. I have been in the tutoring business for eight years. Home school tutoring is extremely popular and accounts for almost 20% of my business, compared to only 3% eight years ago. My client (and friends) frequently ask me why parents choose to home school their children. Here are my observations, from an educational consultant point of view:

1) THE LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOL IS TOO CROWDED

Many of my clients choose not to send their children to their neighborhood school because class size frequently exceeds thirty kids. The parents want their child to have a more individualized approach to education which can only be met in the home environment, often coupled with private tutors to assist with the instruction.

2) THE PARENT WANTS TO CONTROL THE CURRICULUM

Many, but not all, home school curriculums are Christian-based. For many families, this is important because they want their children to study religion and bible verses beginning in first grade. Public schools are obviously very secular and religion is sometimes not offered at all, even as an elective in middle or high school. There are several excellent curriculums offered today that relate religion to every subject, even math!

3) PARENTS WHO HAVE THREE OR MORE CHILDREN FREQUENTLY CHOOSE TO HOME SCHOOL

Usually it is the mom who is in charge of the children’s education. When there are several kids in the family, some of them toddlers, it makes more sense from a time perspective to home school the older ones. This allows mom to be home and tend to the different educational needs of all of her children. My observation is that education is truly a “family affair.” The older kids help the younger ones and there is a high level of respect for each other. There seems to be much less sibling rivalry in families who home school every child; they all support each other.

4) THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT IN PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SCHOOL CAN BE UNPREDICTABLE AND NOT ACCEPTABLE TO PARENTS

My home school clients are involved in a variety of social activities sponsored by home school support groups. There is an entire network of home school families who regularly get together to enrich their children’s lives beyond school work in a controlled, safe environment. They plan field trips to local museums and many other educational venues. A group of parents are the chaperones and they ensure their children are experiencing a high quality of stimulating extra curricular activities of their choice that relates to what their children are studying at the current time.

Home schooling a child is not easy. Many states have complicated laws that need to be followed in order to home school. It is important for parents to thoroughly understand the laws and choose an accredited home school curriculum to assure their child’s education will be recognized by an accredited university should the student continue their education beyond high school.

More and more home school curricula is online with a virtual counselor and/or teacher so students can submit assignments and exams online and get feedback and grades immediately. Reading, writing, math, history, science are always offered and required but so are a variety of electives. Home schooling is not boring and the choices are overwhelming, especially as the internet is frequently used to find a program that meets the parents’ objectives for their children.

Home schooled kids are no longer outcasts or considered “weird.” Due to the increasing amount of active home school organizations, communities have formed within neighborhoods across the country comprised of home schooled children that participate on the same sports teams, music lessons and more. These children have a network of social outlets which provides an excellent balance in their lives.