Benefits of Home Education
“My child has a medical condition that makes it difficult for him/her to attend school regularly.”
“My child is a professional athlete/artist and a traditional school setting does not fit our busy schedule.”
“My child does not seem to do very well in the public school setting and I would like an alternative option for him/her.”
No matter what a family’s reason may be for considering home education for their child, it is wonderful to know that this alternative method for completing their education is not only available, but in many cases the best decision.
Based on research completed by Dr. Brian Ray, there is evidence to state that not only are homeschool students better prepared for the college environment and/or workforce, but he also shows the growing trend for families to elect to homeschool their children.
There are about 2.2 million home-educated students in the United States.
There were an estimated 1.73 to 2.35 million children (in grades Kindergarten to 12) home educated during the spring of 2010 in the United States (Ray, 2011). It appears the homeschool population is continuing to grow (at an estimated 2 to 8 percent per annum over the past few years). The home educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (The public school average is the 50 percentile; scores range from 1 to 99.)
Source: National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI)
According to information from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the number of homeschooled students between the ages of 5 and 17 has increased dramatically over the last decade, soaring 61.8 percent. The data also indicates that the more educated the parents, the more likely they are to homeschool their children.
Homeschooling veteran, Ellen Gerwitz of Florida tells Breitbart News:
“The benefits from homeschooling have been numerous. Among the top ones are children who are independent thinkers and have not been indoctrinated by the concept of institutional education; close family ties; individualized instruction; self-motivation; time management skills; and more free time for hobbies and part-time jobs as well as community/church service.”
There are many homeschool curriculum providers available for parents to select from, and this lends families the freedom to pick and choose the educational resources that work best for their children.
FLVS is one of the most popular curriculum providers in the state of Florida. In the 2014-15 school year, FLVS served more than 21,000 home educated students through the FLVS Part Time Program. Some students will opt to take all of their courses via FLVS, while others may take only a handful of courses. The flexible setting, individualized pace, and student-focused environment found within FLVS makes the program such a valuable resource for, not only homeschooled students, but public/private school students throughout the state.
The Florida Parent Educator’s Association is another valuable resource for families that decide to homeschool their children. It offers an annual conference each year along with other events year-around, connections to local Homeschool support resources, information on curriculum providers, etc. (www.fpea.com). The association was formed to ensure that homeschool families in the state have a place to go for support, encouragement, etc. while they take their homeschool journey.
Some families do have concerns regarding their decision to homeschool their children. One of the main worries I hear from parents is the fear that their child will not mature socially while schooling at home. I share with these concerned parents that FLVS offers more than 25 clubs covering a variety of interests for our students. In addition, in the state of Florida, homeschool students are eligible to participate in extracurricular activities at their zoned public school, granted they meet the medical and academic requirements set forth by the zoned school. Also, many communities offer activities that homeschool students participate in (recreational sports, volunteering events, etc.) that provide them with the socialization they would be receiving in a public school setting.
It is a huge decision for a family to decide to homeschool their child.
No matter what the reason may be, there are so many benefits in making this choice. From forming a curriculum that is tailored to a child’s capabilities and personality to building closer family relationships and removing emotional strain that a student may feel in a brick-and-mortar setting, with homeschool students being actively sought out by higher education institutions, the benefits seem to be endless.
Source: Berry, S. (2015). U.S. Department of Education: Higher Educated Parents More Likely to Homeschool. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/05/23/u-s-department-of-education-higher-educated-parents-more-likely-to-homeschool
Post by: Kristie Knight, FLVS Counselor