Home School Might Not Be What You Think
By Dr. Richard Krejcir - April 13, 2018
When I entered the world of homeschooling myself, I did so dragging my feet, a bit of complaining and some yelps and yips too. I was scared of what people will say and wondered if my child could handle it, and moreover, if I can handle him. After all, he has a form of Autism called, Asperger’s and he can be as pleasant as washing a stray cat when trying to show him something he is not interested in. Now, I am going to teach him? He will be home all day with me there too? There is no way I can do that. Then, there's reaction from family, when we were considering it, like, “are you crazy, that is what psychos do, do you want your son to be some crazy hide in the woods freak.” And yes, that is a quote. And there were even more harsh reactions and even a few shuns. So, I was facing a total alienation from some to a strong push-back from other family members. Along with a child that could not handle regular school. Plus, I work and travel for my job.
Why such the stern reactions? Basically, it is all from misconceptions. And recent media reports of mentally ill parents locking their kids up in chains and being abusive while homeschooling them was not much of a help. Nevertheless, there are crazy people in all aspects of society. The fact is, the clear majority of homeschooling parents have college and graduate degrees and are professionals contributing to society, and are family and community oriented, not the nuts most people may think.
Even with all the push-back I received, I was considering this as the best solution for my son. Now, I know all about homeschool, I even coordinated a very large homeschooling group when I was on staff at a church as a youth director. I have seen the maturity and the high functionality of the families and even how the students excel. In addition, how well they do as adults over pubic school and even private school graduates. In fact, the most mature and socially mature students I had were the homeschooled ones.
Then, when they go off to college, they get into the best universities and then have great rewarding careers. But, that was more than a few years ago and I am settled in a new career and do not have the time, inclination or, as I thought, the ability to be like those families. I had an image too. I had to change my thinking to what is best for my child, not what friends, family and even some in society may think. They are not helping me in his parenting, I needed to make the best decision possible of what is available. And, homeschool is it.
Why did I choose to homeschool, knowing the reaction I would face and the opposition even from my own self?
I had no other choice. The public schools failed my son in an epic proportion, and the private one we went to for a couple years was not much better and we could not afford it. We found an incredible charter school, perfect, but because of state rulings, it was turned into a virtual school and no more classrooms, no more incredible teachers, and no more dropping my screaming banshee off for a blissful six hours of getting work done. While he performed perfectly well there, we needed another option.
Before I made the commitment and knowing what I will face, I did my research. Well, that is what I do, postdoctoral level research at an institute and the elaborate reports for people with advanced degrees. I knew who to ask, where to go and make sure this was going to be a fit. Then to get others involved in our homeschool group and be able to answer their questions and alleviate any concerns.
Here is what I found out:
- Is there socialization? Yes, in fact, there is more! This is the greatest objection to homeschool I have experienced and seen in research is the fear they are socially isolated. But, the research and my experience show, it is not a problem. In fact, most homeschoolers are more involved socially than public school students. As homeschoolers are more involved in civic, neighborhood, church and even political events. The homeschool group my son is in actually gets more interaction time with other students than he did in public or private school, so do many others. For example, 71% of homeschools are involved in civic and community outings, while only 31% of public school students. And when homeschoolers become adults, there are 71% greater involved in professional organizations than their peers. Why, because they get better instruction and experience than in traditional schools. They develop the skills in their interaction with others with peers and adults in their group and in outings.
- Do they do well in academics? Yes, in fact, better! Homeschool students far outscore public and private school students on state and national standardized tests by a significant factor. Where public school students are rated 50th on average, homeschools are rated in the 88th.
- How well can they do on college preparatory exams? Well, better! Homeschool students far outscore public and private school students, by 50 to 70 points greater in each category on the SAT! And for the ACT, homeschoolers average5, while the national average is 20.8. Which is also the standard most colleges use not just for admissions, but the rewarding of scholarships too.
- Are they happy? According to research, 74% say they are very happy as compared to 27% of the general public! Also, they have a higher degree of personal satisfaction and well-being.
- Can they go to college? Yes, and far more do, 52 percent will go on to college, and better universities and scholarships compared to 34 percent of traditional public school graduates.
- What about special needs? Well, my son is in that category and we received no help in public school from years of fighting for it. In homeschool, he does, and it works great for Special Ed.
- What about when they are adults? Studies show that when they are adults, they are far happier and more professionally successful than their counterparts from other educational systems. And, they are glad they were homeschooled and feel they did not miss out on anything and got so much more out of it.
- Wait, there is more. They get more! More practical skills that traditional schools no longer offer, more field trips that are learning wonders. More help, more opportunities, just so much more.
- And, it saves money. There are over two million homeschool students in the US saving the taxpayers over 15 Billion Dollars. And those in Public School Charters and Virtual Schools, who receive far less state money, also save by being more efficient and wise in their expenditures.
And the research clearly shows that both, private home-based education as well as state funded virtual schools were winners for helping nurture students in superb students and then creating the path to being functional mature adults.
The vast majority of homeschooled students are not locked away by religious fanatics or forced to do things they do not want to do or are socially isolated. But, there is a key to the success. The successful formula is simple, being a nurturing parent, have good curriculum and the interactions with other students and adults with exploratory excursions, such as field trips. So, if you want to be closer to your kids, be more involved in their lives, be a tighter family, if the school they are in is not properly teaching and preparing them, then this is for you. Now, if you travel a lot, or if you are concerned for their safety and drug culture at school, or you just want them to have more and better options; then, homeschool is for you. Can’t teach, or do not want to teach, many have teachers that do, like Method Schools. As for me, my son is doing great!
For a Homeschool solution that has a curriculum that is intuitive with great trained and considerate teachers, outings and a STEM program, look here: http://www.methodschools.org/
Here is some research to look over:
Dr. Richard Krejcir is an Author, Researcher and the Director of a nonprofit that does educational training in third-world countries. He is also a Homeschool Coordinator at Method Schools and an instructor in a STEM program and a father of a son with autism.
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