Home-school offers parents a way to have more control over a child’s education and gives students a chance to learn in an environment that may be more conducive to their needs than a traditional academic setting. While some organizations, such as the National Education Association, are opposed to home schooling, research suggests that educating your child at home generally does not negatively affect her.
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On average, home-schooled children outperform traditional students on standardized tests. In 2010, the Department of Education reported that home-schoolers tend to have higher grade point averages, ACT scores and graduation rates than traditional students. In addition, it is not uncommon for home-schoolers to place well in academic competitions, such as spelling bees and geography bees. A home-schooled student won the 2013 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in 2013, according to the ABC News website. Over 10 percent of the finalists in the competition were home-schoolers.
Implications on Social Development
Thinking that home-schooled students lack in social skills is a false assumption that individuals sometimes make when they don’t understand home-schooling. When you home school a child, he isn’t exposed to peer pressure, drugs, bullying and other forms of violence that a traditional student may encounter. A child who interacts more with family members than peers, according to the Family Education website, is more confident and has higher levels of self-respect and self-worth. The site shares that independent studies found home-schoolers are socially “well adjusted” and have fewer behavioral problems than traditional students. While a home-schooler may interact more with siblings than peers during the day, you can expose her to social activities like after-school clubs, scouting groups, groups for home-schoolers or classes and clubs in the community.
Independent Thinking and Self-Esteem
Since home-schoolers aren’t exposed to peer pressure and teasing in a classroom setting, a student is more likely to think for himself and create his own ideals. Incidentally, during school, a student can focus more on learning than, for example, his clothes, fitting in or bullies. Family Education reports that home-schooled kids, particularly girls in middle school, tend to have better self-esteem because they aren’t exposed to the judgment of peers. When you homeschool a child, his life isn’t dictated by trends; it’s dictated by the values that you instill.
Leadership and Community Involvement
Kids who are home-schooled tend to be more actively involved in their communities than traditional students, according to KidsHealth.org. Reasons for this include receiving hands-on learning at places like museums and parks. When you develop a home school curriculum, you have the freedom to let your child participate in community service projects, political drives, church activities and service learning projects without worrying as much about school schedules or homework. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, adults who were home-schooled as children and/or teens are more likely to engage in community service projects, attend public meetings and vote than those who were traditionally schooled.