There are many reasons to consider the homeschooling option for your family, but here is my top 10 list:
1. Customize teaching and learning - One of the great advantages of homeschooling is the ability to recognize a child's distinct learning styles and needs and tailor a family's teaching and learning approach accordingly. The increasing popularity of homeschooling has led to curriculum resources for every type of learner, from a wide variety of purchased, packaged curricula to choose from, to countless online learning sites, to community programming specifically targeting homeschoolers. For "eclectic" homeschoolers and unschoolers who may choose a more unstructured approach to homeschooling, there are museums, libraries, academic and cultural events, classes, lessons, and a host of other resources to facilitate child-led learning. Homeschooling allows the flexibility to adapt to a child's specific learning needs and use the full resources of the community and its people to augment learning.
2. Gain time - Homeschooling provides families with the gift of time. Time together to teach and learn. Time for children to uncover and pursue their own talents. Time to explore nature and the world around us. Time to read. Time to play. Time to dream.
3. Cultivate curiosity - With the freedom to learn and explore, a child's natural curiosity flourishes, guiding him to discover, create, imagine. As facilitators, we parents provide an enriching learning environment for our children and identify resources that may help to spark and satisfy their innate curiosity.
4. Reclaim childhood - Childhood today runs at a dizzying pace, with pressures to grow-up faster and earlier than ever before. Homeschooling helps to reclaim and retain the innocence and spirit of childhood for a wee bit longer.
5. Focus on family - Homeschooling positions family at the center of a child's life, fostering family togetherness and core values, and creating a safe, nurturing environment in which to learn and grow.
6. Strengthen sibling bonds - Homeschooling brothers and sisters build strong sibling bonds, learning from and with each other, collaborating and trouble-shooting, and creating together each day.
7. Encourage positive social behaviors - Homeschooling allows children to see daily examples of positive social behaviors through close interactions with grown-ups and peers. When conflict arises, adults are able to model effective resolution techniques that help children to develop important interpersonal skills.
8. Learn from the community - Homeschoolers are uniquely positioned to use their community as their classroom, taking full advantage of the varied and plentiful offerings of the community and the many interesting and knowledgeable people who become their daily "teachers." Homeschooling also allows children to interact and learn with a wildly diverse population of fellow homeschoolers who meet regularly.
9. Simplify schedules - Homeschooling helps families to prioritize how a child's time is spent each week to maximize curiosity and self-directed learning, and minimize stresses and waste. Homeschooling helps families to slow down, simplify and focus on creating more peaceful, unhurried family rhythms.
10. Enjoy outdoor learning - The efficiency of homeschooling, of individualized learning, creates many opportunities for free play and exploration, much of which occurs outside of one's home, throughout one's community, and through meaningful interactions with the natural world around us.
What are your thoughts on this list? How does it compare with your own top reasons to homeschool your kids?