The first question any regular school parent asks me when they find out that we are homeschooling our child is “Why?”
Though each homeschooling family have their own primary reason, there is are still a common thread amongst us all. As we enumerate them in this Blog Series, it is Liberty Academy’s hope that this would help families who are considering the idea of homeschooling their children, in their decision.
Reason 1: Customized Curriculum
We did not start off homeschooling our child till she hit second grade. Like most parents, we did not know much about homeschooling. We were worried that it would greatly affect our child’s social skills in a negative way. So we continued to send her to public school up to first grade. In those two years of public school, I took the time to volunteer and observe in her classes. It did not take me long to realize that even though the teachers, with all their good intentions, try to help the children learn, they were quite limited to what the mandated curriculum required them to teach and how they should teach it.
Here is how the typical class went in any subject.
- Teacher gives every student a hand out
- Hand out is projected to the white board
- Teacher reads from the hand out
- Teacher guides the students through the hand outs with the answers
- And students pencil in the answers, basically copying what was projected on the board
- This goes on for an hour until the subject changes and the process is repeated.
It does not take a psychology degree to see that most of the children were bored out of their minds. This led for some to act up, the bright ones just answered the whole thing and doodled while most were just trying their best to stay awake. When I asked why go on with such an ineffective method, her response was that she was required and did not have a choice.
The students were being trained the whole year to take a test. A standardized test to measure each school’s performance against the state and federal standard scores. If the school scored well, they get more funding and accreditation. Hence the whole goal of the school was for the children to test well and get a high score. Learning was just a by product if that at all. The federal mandated Common Core curriculum was supposed to have been made by the brightest minds and yet failed to consider the whole point of going to school. Even the homework sent to the students were convolutedly worded that parents who are professionals in their own academic fields could not help their first and second graders!
The beauty of homeschooling is that the parent can customize the curriculum according to their child’s ability and pace. By homeschooling, parents can add the Bible in their lesson plan, since “God” has been taken out of our schools and judicial courts. Families with fast learners can go as fast with their pace as they want while for children who needs focus, could get the one on one attention needed and appropriate method of teaching to properly aid their learning. Homeschooling gives families the freedom to focus and go deeper into a subject, allowing the child to realize the connection of a theory and its application in the real world. The minimal ratio between student and teacher / parent allows families to make ethics and values priority above all else. The difference is quite obvious when observed, how homeschooled children relate to children of their age and adults.