We have seen a sharp rise in recent years in the number of kids who are being schooled at home rather than in the traditional way. Parents will do this for a huge number of reasons, some wish to tailor make their education so that it is more relevant, others will do so in order to travel and some simply want to teach their kids the best way that they know how. My teacher friend Mike Volitich and I were discussing this recently and whilst there is nothing wrong with schooling your children at home, there are some dangers to watch out for when doing so.
The obvious risk of taking your child away from the school environment and teaching them at home is that they will be losing out on the social aspect of school. The teenage years in particular are tough for kids and many of them rely on their network of school friends for support, as they too are going through all of the things that our kids are. To counter this it is crucial that parents who do school their kids at home, are doing all that they can to encourage their child to socialize. Youth clubs, sports teams and groups are a great way of keeping the kids social life on track, so if they are schooled at home they must be given the chance to spend time with other kids.
Many parents think that home schooling is a great idea yet fail to completely understand what it is that they are teaching their children. It is important that parents are highly knowledgable in teaching their kids, to avoid teaching them things which are simply untrue. Within the school there are different teachers for every subject because teaching every subject on your own requires a huge amount of knowledge. Parents may like the idea of teaching at home but they must know what they are talking about in order to do so.
Teaching kids about competition is vitally important to their development and they will naturally be missing out on this when they are not learning within the school setting. Teaching competition gives children the chance to work hard to be a winner, learn how to lose and also how to win gracefully. Many parents fail to understand the dangers that a lack of competition has for kids when it comes to preparing them for the real world, and this is something which home schooled kids must have as part of their curriculum. Those parents who do decide to school their children at home must find ways in which to create competition and encourage their kids to get involved, learn and develop.
Home schooling isn’t for everyone but there are many people for whom a home school has worked very well. As long as parents understand the dangers and learn to counteract them, this can be a great way of educating young minds.