Homeschooling is an increasingly popular form of education which allows parents and guardians to teach their children in the comfort of their own home. Many families prefer homeschooling for various reasons, including flexible scheduling, customized lesson plans, and responding to a student’s individual needs. The curriculum is based on an individual’s goals and each student’s progress is tailored to their unique strengths and weaknesses.
But beyond that, what exactly is taught in homeschooling? This guide will explore what content is typically included in homeschooling, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of this form of education.
Overview of Homeschooling
The first step to understanding what is taught in homeschooling is to take a broad overview of the practice. Homeschooling is a form of education wherein parents and guardians take full responsibility for the education of their child in the place of a public or private school setting.
Homeschooling can be conducted in a variety of ways, from traditional curriculums to teaching methods inspired by various cultures and philosophies. Some parents hire tutors or instructors to teach their children individual or group lessons, whereas others rely purely on online courses and self-teaching materials. As the parent or guardian assumes legal responsibility for the education, there is no single structure or course material which is used in all homeschooling programs, and each home is free to make its own decisions on their students’ education.
Academic Content Taught in Homeschooling
Homeschooling must still provide basic educational content which prepares children for the broader world. In the United States, for example, parents are expected to provide instruction on the 5 core subject areas of math, science, social studies, language arts, and foreign language. Furthermore, various states have implemented their own criteria for homeschooling programs; some have adopted the state standards from public schools, while others use customized standards tailored to the goals of the homeschool.
Depending on the state, homeschooling may also include music, art, and athletics as well. Typically, the academic content taught in homeschooling is based on parent resources and individual teaching style.
Parents should teach the same core curricula as public schools, but they are free to implement homeschool textbooks, online courses, and other content as they see fit. Additionally, homeschooling allows parents to address topics with greater depth, explore topics of interest, and find ways to engage their children in interactive learning. For example, some parents may supplement history classes with visits to museums, or biology classes with field trips to nature or science centers.
Spiritual, Philosophy and Life Lessons
Aside from the academic subjects, some homeschooling programs may include instruction on spiritual, philosophical, and “life lessons”. Depending on the parents’ personal values and beliefs, homeschooling may include lessons on moral and ethical behavior, religious teachings, and philosophical topics. These discussions may include such topics as the importance of charity, developing a sense of personal responsibility, and other topics which a child may not learn in a public or private school setting.
The benefits of such instruction are clear; children who are taught about personal values and beliefs have a better chance of developing into mature adults who are aware and empathetic to the values and of others. Furthermore, some homeschooling programs use content which is unique to certain religions and cultures, such as the study of Hebrew or Islamic scriptures, or the learning of ancient stories and legends.
Benefits of Homeschooling
Perhaps the greatest benefit of homeschooling is the amount of individual attention students receive while they are being taught in their own home. Homeschooling allows parents to focus on the specific strengths and weaknesses of their children and customize their learning environment accordingly. Additionally, homeschooling provides the opportunity for parents to pass on personal values and philosophies to their children, as well as allowing for niche interests and topics to be explored in greater detail.
Homeschooling also offers a great amount of flexibility; parents are able to tailor their children’s schedules to their own needs, rather than having to abide by a set school schedule. This can be invaluable for families who cannot afford, or who do not have access to, private schools. Furthermore, homeschooling allows for a range of methods of education and instruction, from the traditional “school at home” to more creative teaching strategies such as field trips and online learning modules.
Drawbacks of Homeschooling
Drawbacks of Homeschooling
Despite the numerous advantages which homeschooling provides, there are some drawbacks to this form of education. Firstly, the lack of structure and guidance can be concerning for some parents. Without the infrastructure of a traditional school, parents may find that the oversight required for their children’s education is tiring or difficult to manage.
Furthermore, the lack of regularly scheduled classes can make it hard for children to develop social skills and maintain friendships, as they are not exposed to the same kind of socialization which they would typically experience in a more formal education setting. Additionally, homeschooling limits the opportunities for children to receive specialized instruction.
In a public or private school, for example, children may have access to guidance counselors, teachers with particular subject-specific knowledge, and other experts who can provide tailored advice. In some cases, parents may have the resources to hire subject-specific instructors for their homeschooling program, but this may not always be the case.
Homeschooling is an increasingly popular form of education that allows parents to provide their children with a customized and tailored learning experience in the comfort of their own home. Homeschooling can include instruction on the core subject areas such as math and language arts, but can also include spiritual, philosophical and life lessons taught by the parents or guardians.
While homeschooling has its advantages, such as individualized attention and flexibility, it can also be difficult for some parents to manage and may limit the opportunities for structured instruction and socialization.