Why I Turned My Back on Public Education and 15 Benefits of Homeschooling
I was schooled in the public school system. I didn’t experience any real sense of “private education” until college when I went to a Christian university (Charleston Southern University). So, to say that my perspective on homeschooling was a bit skewed is an understatement.
In fact, my views of homeschooling were so skewed that this was, for the first couple of years of my marriage, a major point of contention between my wife and I.
Now, to be fair, my public school education was not your typical experience. I grew up in a VERY conservative, largely Christian section of my state, and the majority of my teachers (especially in high school) were very connected to their local church. This meant that, despite what other schools were doing, our teachers and students actually prayed together (and not just at football games), bibles were present on teachers desks, teachers talked about their faith, they actually invited pastors in to be partners in their mentor programs, and a year or 2 after I graduated high school I caught wind that our football coach was busing kids to church, watching them get saved, and then baptizing them. So again….NOT your typical public school environment. So my perspective on public school was a bit skewed as well.
But, it was still public school, it still demanded money from the tax payer to fund, it was still entirely controlled by a government who sought (and continues to seek) to dismantle the family unity and undermine the Christian faith that was so prevalent in the history of this nation, and it still breeds an environment of disconnect between parents and their child(ren)’s education.
As I began to have children of my own, my perspective on homeschool changed….a LOT! As I became responsible for overseeing the education of my children, and as I’ve watched the public school system continue its downward spiral in to total depravity, and as I sought the scriptures and read writings of other theologians who gave a biblical perspective for education….I suddenly wanted more for my kids.
Suddenly…my wife and I were on the same page regarding our kids education.
I could no longer justify sending my kids to a public school system as a free child care system so my wife and I could go out and earn as much money as we could so we could have the lifestyle we wanted.
I could no longer justify sending my kids into the very literal hands of the enemy who sought to undermine everything I was teaching them at home.
I could no longer live under the delusion that my children were being “sent as missionaries” into their public schools to be a light to their friends at the age of 5.
I could no longer argue that if we didn’t send them to public school that they would end up socially awkward.
I could no longer defend the public school system as an appropriate institution.
I could no longer ignore the fact that bullying is a massive issue in public schools and my children are perfect targets because they are completely different from almost every child in the public school system…and because their daddy was bullied in 6th grade over 20 years prior, and lets face it…my boys are a lot like me.
I had no more excuses.
All of my excuses were burned to the ground, scooped up, thrown into the wind, and blown to the other side of the world.
And this is why I turned my back on public schools. Not because there aren’t good teachers in public schools (there are some). But because public schools were not designed with my child’s best in mind. Only I can determine what is best for my child. And as a Christian, the Bible ultimately helps me define what is best for my child.
So…when I’m talking to parents who are public school apologists, and who are highly critical of us homeschool parents…who get majorly defensive if anyone suggests that homeschool is a very viable and doable option and that public schools are churning out dysfunctional children….I can honestly say I get you.
I get your views.
I get your perspective.
I WAS YOU!
But, through the timing of God, and through the providence of God…my eyes have been opened to a very different understanding of education, especially as it relates to my faith. And I’m praying, and hoping, that you too will experience the eye opening moment I had that totally changed my mind on education.
That said….if you’re wondering what benefits there are to homeschool (and some of these benefits would exist if we totally abandoned the public school system altogether), I decided to compile a list for you of 15 benefits that I could personally think of off the top of my head.
So here we go….
15 Benefits of Homeschooling
- No more school traffic – Now, if the entire nation were to switch to homeschooling, there would be less traffic at rush hour for those getting to work. See, homeschooling benefits people outside of your home too!
- Less traffic on the roads in general – See, if everyone were homeschooling their kids, this means that not only is there no school traffic, but traffic in general is lowered for everyone as one of the parents will likely be at home schooling the kids while the other is going to work to provide for the home.
- Lower property taxes (not that property taxes should exist at all….but ya know) – Have you ever looked at your property tax bill every year to see the breakdown of what it goes to? The majority of it goes to public schools. If everyone homeschooled their kids, your property taxes will immediately see a reduction.
- Less money spent on gas – No school traffic + less general traffic on the roads + staying home to educate your children = less gas consumption. Which means you’re spending less on gas each week. Which also means our environment benefits as well from the decreased cars on the road and pollution!
- No homework – Well, to be honest….all homeschool work is technically homework…but now they get to do their school work and then actually have time to be a kid and play and be creative instead of sticking their head in books when they get home from school to try and finish their work before dinner, and then to bed.
- Your child learns the way they learn best – Meaning? Your child gets the opportunity to learn how they were designed to learn…be they auditory, visual, hands on, etc. Schools try to compensate for various learning styles, however, public schools cannot possibly create educational content that will work best for every child in the class. As the teacher…and as the parent…you know how your kid learns…so you get to decide how their studies proceed.
- You can actually discipline the students – That’s right parents! Public schools struggle with how to properly discipline students in an age where parents basically refuse to do anything, but if a teacher tries they will sue their pants off. But…you’re the teacher…and the student…well, they are actually your child. So, discipline is determined entirely by you!
- There are ample opportunities for your kids to get socialized – Think about it, your kid isn’t going to be deprived of social interaction if you have even an ounce of gumption to leave the home on occasion…ya know…like rec league sports, martial arts classes, dance classes, church functions, church services, kids classes at church, neighbor kids, water parks, public playgrounds and parks, to name a few. Trust me…they won’t be deprived of social interaction…like…at all.
- Every single moment of the day becomes a moment of learning – My children (ages 2-10) are learning things like how to plant and grow vegetables, how to cook, how to sew, among many MANY other things. That’s right, there’s no magic age that a child must hit before you start teaching them of life’s necessities, and frankly, too many kids can’t even do these things when they get to college. But you have an opportunity, every single day, to teach them life skills that they aren’t getting because they locked in a school room all day learning about the things the state thinks they need to know to be successful.
- You control what they learn – This may be intimidating to some, because you’re not sure what they need to know. Thankfully, every state usually lists their homeshool requirements for what the child needs to know by high school graduation (here are the regulations for South Carolina, my state). That said, if you want to talk about creation vs evolution…you can do that. If you want to teach the Bible…you can do that. If you want to teach them about the Christian heritage of our nation….you can do that! If you want to teach them that there are only 2 biological sexes in the world…YOU CAN DO THAT! There are also lots of great resources available online to help you design a curriculum for your kid. For example, check out Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool (which is what we use), which has a day-by-day curriculum outlined for kids from pre-school through high school. Plus, they offer individual curriculum’s on various subjects such as art, Bible, computers, music, science, and more! Oh…did I mention this site is entirely FREE to use??? And yes…I’m totally promoting them because it’s one of the best resources we have seen available for homeschooling.
- Field trips can actually be meaningful – Not only can field trips be fun…but they can be meaningful and impactful. Often times, it feels like public school field trips have very little meaning to them, and are largely for entertainment. But homeschool field trips do not have to be this way at all. For example, we want our kids to learn about medieval life. We are taking them to a renaissance faire in North Carolina this year. Not only is that going to be fun, but the faire actually offers discounts for homeschool kids on special days designed just for them! They aren’t the only ones that provide special days and discounts for homeschool kids.
- You are not restricted to a specific time period of day to have school – It’s true! You are not required to have school from 8AM to 2PM every day, Monday through Friday. You pick the schedule. It just has to be, at least in the state of SC, 180 days a year for 4.5 hours each day. This means, you could work a full time job and still homeschool your kids, because school could be around your schedule.
- There are support groups for homeschool parents – Part of the requirements for homeschooling is that you must belong to a homeschool association. They are CHEAP to join, and most of them offer amazing perks and benefits such as offering special classes (i.e. if you’re not good with biology, they might have biology classes your kid can attend to help supplement his learning in biology), classes and support groups for parents, and other great resources to help you be successful at homeschooling your child(ren).
- Your child(ren) will get focused learning – Often times, in public schools, when a child is struggling in their class, they have very little at their disposal to rectify the situation. There might be some tutoring available, or teachers might be willing to work with the student outside of class, etc. But as a homeschool parent, you can personally assess your child and determine if tomorrow they need to go back through the same material again. For example, my youngest daughter we found was struggling with learning her letters last year. So this year, we reintroduced this subject by with different curriculum, and now she’s becoming stellar in her letters. Wouldn’t have happened this way in public school. I promise.
- You are making a HUGE investment in your child(ren)’s future – I’m not saying public school parents don’t care about their kids future, but very few are truly and deeply investing in their education. They send them to school and hope the teacher is a good teacher and that there aren’t any bullies in the classroom or school. Then when they come home they might ask how their day went, and ask how much homework they have, and some might even help with the homework. But that’s the extent of it. As a homeschool parent you are determining every aspect of their education. So you are investing at a greater level as you are investing time, money, and resources in to every level of their education.
I realize that homeschooling your child(ren) is a major task. There is nothing easy about homeschooling. But I can promise you this, the pro’s FAR outweigh the con’s. And if you truly want the best for your child(ren)’s future, I would highly recommend considering this option of education. If done correctly, it can be one of the absolute best decisions you will ever make in your child(ren)’s life.
By the way, I just wanted to say, my wife (who is largely responsible for the homeschool activities in our home) is AMAZING and our children are blessed to have her as their teacher. They are also blessed to have me as their principal!! See…in homeschool…you get to even determine who the principal will be…benefit #16!