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 that 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 than
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.