27 Jun, 2021 06:04 PM

Why would you choose to home-school your child?

I am a teacher in the UK, and I am interested in the popularity of home-schooling in the US as it doesn't really happen here. Could you tell me please, for what reasons would you choose to home-school? Do you think they get a better education, and in what way? Thank you!

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27 Jun, 2021 06:04 PM

Hello from across the pond! 

  I don't know much about UK schools or UK homeschoolers. I don't know why other people choose homeschool in the US, but I can tell you why my family chose homeschool. It had nothing to do with sheltering or overprotection. I had no religious motivation either. Our child had been in Head Start since she was three. We are a reading family and had read to her everyday since she was old enough to sit in a lap an listen. She was bright, vivacious, curious and intelligent. At 5 she went into kindergarten. That is when they began pushing us to drug our child. There were veiled threats. (If we refused to medicate, the school might be forced to consider us neglectful parents. We knew that a visit from a state social worker would follow.)  There was refusal to seek any other solution to the schools inability to teach our child. By third grade my kid was on uppers in the morning and afternoon and downers at night to sleep. She could not read and she could not do simple math. She was not growing and was notably smaller than the other children in her class. She had perpetual dark rings under her eyes. She was terribly thin, because the medications killed her appetite. She wanted to eat, but could not. If you've seen a meth addict try to eat, you know what it was like to watch my child at mealtime. It broke my heart. Still, the teachers never stopped asking me to have the doctor up her medication. We begged for and finally demanded an IEP. Suddenly, the school began to tell us our child was making progress; we didn't need to worry anymore. Yet, at home we could tell she still had no grasp of the work that was being sent home unfinished at the end of the day. It was clear that the school just wanted my husband and I to go away. The last straw came when a note was sent home saying that all the students had been tested and out child scored as though she had only been in first grade for one month. The note contained a list of things WE needed to do to get our child up to grade level. We had had enough. It was useles to change schools. In our area this elemetary school is considered one of the best because the majority of kids score so highly on standardized tests. We decided to homeschool. My child is now completely drug free and learning. Apparently, the problem was never with her body chemistry, but with the way she was being taught. She had started to see herself as stupid before. She had been so withdrawn and sad that she never had a chance to play because from the moment she came home until the moment she went to bed, we were trying to get her schoolwork completed. She was never able to complete it in class. She's now confident and happy. 

   So here we are about two years later: She's put on a normal amount of weight. Her cheeks are pink and she is neither somber nor hyper. She is a normal, active child. She has discovered interests in; Sign Language, art, Shakespeare, Japanese culture, etc. Because of our flexible curriculum, she can explore these interests at her whim. This keeps education exciting, as it should be. She has a full and varied social life. Her PE consists of Yoga, martial arts classes, trampoline jumping and walking and biking with friends in the neighborhood. Where she was isolated before, now she is free to participate in a variety of community activities with a wider variety of people. 

I'm rambling horribly, but anyway, that is why we homeschool.

27 Jun, 2021 06:04 PM

There are multiple reasons.  If I could find an affordable school that offered a good education, it would be a lot easier for me to send my kids to school!  So far, that has not happened.  I have lived in 3 different states since having children, and as the years pass I find public AND private school students getting less educated.  In the state in which I now reside, there are FEW junior high and high school students that even READ fluently.  [There aren't many adults either, just for the record.]  There are NO teen ps students that I have met here that have a decent vocabulary - they cannot understand what I would consider a 'normal' person to understand.  Now, if they can't read well or understand all the words in an ordinary conversation, how good do you think their writing, math, science, and history skills are?  And yet in junior high some of these kids are being told that they are doing high school work.  Ha, it could be true, unfortunately.  I am just using a normal hs curriculum, but when I last had my kids tested with a standardized achievement test, they were ages 10 and 11.  They scored like the average high school senior would have scored if taking the same test.  I am not saying I am a masterful teacher or the curriculum was perfect - but obviously what my kids are receiving educationally was waaaay above what the average American child receives.

27 Jun, 2021 06:05 PM

This is a question that gets asked very often, and I would have to say it is very difficult to answer, since families all have different reasons as to why they choose this option.

For us home/unschooling is what we choose as part of our life style.

Home/unschooling is being able to teach your children at home instead of using a conventional school, private, public, or charter to do it for you.

Home/unschooling gives the parents complete control over what is taught, as well as choosing the time, place, and method used to do the teaching.

Home/unschooling gives the parent the choice to go year round, or simply set a schedule that fits the families lifestyle.

Children quickly gain the understanding that learning is not confined to a school, certain hours, or pre-selected books, but that it is a life long process, and has only limitations when we place such limitations upon it, or allow others to place them upon it for us.

Home/unschooling is a natural continuation of any, and all basic parenting; parents simply add academics when their children are ready, and follow their children's lead when setting the pace for their learning journey.

Home/unschooling simply gives the students the opportunity to grow, and learn in a natural setting using a non-traditional approach; non-traditional meaning without an artificial school setting.

Home/unschoolers parents can take advantage of, and use many media. 

Sometimes, but rarely do parents have a need for, or choose traditional school text books.

Much of the learning is hands on, working along side adults, and with the help of other organizations that have hands on training.

We use a lot of games, board games, computer software, and outdoor games.

Home/unschooling means that when our children come to a particular subject that they are interested in we do not place a time limit on them, we simply try to provide opportunities, and resources for them to learn as much about it as they would like too.

Often when children are allowed to learn in a natural way, in the form of home/unschooling, relaxed, Montessori, or self directed learning, they understand/learn the concepts much better, and score higher on any academic test they are given.

We do not learn in a strict prescribed manner; meaning you will learn/know X amount of information in grade 1, 2, 3 and so on; we look for the quality of the content, and work towards mastery, not merely passing a test to move on.

The real test comes, around high school, or graduation time, when home/unschooled students show that they are often light years years ahead of their conventional schoold peers; socially, and academically.


Debj69121 you are right, children do not all learn the same, that is why people home school; to provide the individual education each child deserves.

This cannot be provided in a conventional school setting where all children, no matter what are to learn the same things, at the same age/grade; ready or not.

Those who can go at a much faster pace, or are bored because it is too easy have to be held back, because the schools are not set up to accomodate special needs students; gifted, or otherwise.

I agree many children miss out by not receiving a balanced education, but it is not those who are home schooled.

Source(s): Home school parents. Husband teaches at a local University and holds a Masters in Education.

27 Jun, 2021 06:05 PM

I homeschool mainly (there are other secondary reasons) because I wasn't being challenged at all in public school. I was wasting my time doing busy work and taking a yearly test that was pretty much a joke to me, and I never had time to actually do more advanced study on the side on my own time because I am blind and always took forever to finish the repetitive homework (the school was responsible for providing me with magnifiers, braille lessons, and large print or audio materials, but were always so late to do this that I was behind a good week's worth of assignments at a time. Once an entire grading period in Geometry was flunked with a 0% because none of the work was accessible to me. All too small to read). So rather than waste time studying things I already know how to do and taking forever to do it because of insufficient assistive technology, I started homeschooling. Now I can work ahead, meet the requirements for college, and still go the extra mile by studying things that are interesting and challenging for me. And I never have to worry about not having enough vision to complete something because everything is always in the appropriate format, and I almost always have the technology I need.

27 Jun, 2021 06:05 PM

There is a much better education in homeschool settings versus public school settings.

In the states there is a huge behavior problem in public schools.  Children carry guns, drugs, tobacco and other things to school.  Teachers are not allowed to discipline problem troublemakers.  The bullies run the schools.  It's terrible. How many school shootings have occurred in the UK versus the US?

The curriculum in the US is very "dumbed" down in public schools.  We put way too much money into things that are not important versus things that are. Instead of focusing on reading, math, history, spelling, civics, etc, they spend time on unimportant things such as "character" education which should be taught at home.  

To say the US public school system is bad is an understatement.  Almost half of all little boys are on psychiatric drugs such as Ritilin in some schools.  Violence is unbelievable.  Money is spent on teacher  "perks" and a lot is funneled into union pet projects for tenured teachers rather than being spent on things like books.  In some poor urban schools children actually have to share textbooks because they don't have enough of them. 

Unless you would see the US public school system close up in many areas of the nation, you could not fathom how bad it is compared to most of Europe's school systems. There is a reason we are not meeting the test scores of other nations.

While all this goes on in public schools, homeschoolers are scoring higher than their public school counterparts.  It is a much better option.