4 Top Reasons I Homeschool
…apart from everything happening in the world right now
I’ve been homeschooling my two kids (6 & 7 years old) for the past 3 years! It’s been one of the best choices for our family, and this week, I want to explain a little more of what lead us to this choice.
Reason One: Learning Today’s Real Life Skills
Thriving in the daily realities of our current society includes mastering autonomy in work and life, and using time-maturity at home. This also means encouraging ownership over our kids’ individual learning journeys.
In our case, getting to learn one-on-one means having more time and space to take elective classes that develop skills that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Providing our kids a chance to develop their natural inclinations, interests, talents while getting to intersect those things with current and emerging market needs is one of the most exciting reasons I was drawn to homeschool to begin with.
I also find it exciting that homeschool can encourage critical thinking and studying philosophy and the arts from a young age, and no doubt these are some advantages to being able to craft a curriculum that teaches practical life skills, and which leads to a more wisdom-lead and fulfilling civic life.
Reason Two: Teaching Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurial Skills
For our situation, we live in the United States which is a capitalistic economy where entrepreneurial skills are not only highly valued, but increasingly imperative in today’s globalized society. I certainly see the pitfalls of capitalism, and I am not saying capitalism is good, it’s simply an economic reality where I live.
Apart from that, and overall, we really love where we live and we don’t desire to move to another country, which means it’s only responsible to consider and help our kids cultivate the skills to participate in this market today and tomorrow.
Reason 3: Encouraging The Good Life-Long
Homeschooling can be a good way to avoid accidentally encouraging meritocracy, which down the road can morph into (toxic) credentialism.
The dark side of measuring intelligence by merit is that a meritocratic school system can entirely miss the point of education, undermining the intrinsic worth of learning, which sadly often leads the learner astray.
Learning for merit is a way of jumping through hoops, and it by implication teaches a child that getting an “A” or blindly listening to authority is more productive than cultivating critical thinking and a love of life-long learning.
At its worst, meritocracy sucks the passion right out of learning because it treats learning as a means to an end, instead of a pursuit that has innumerable intrinsic value.
This loss of passion for learning is illustrated in the studies that were done in New York, Chicago, Dallas and Washington where second grade students were paid to read books; $2 per book. In an attempt to encourage kids to read more. What resulted? Students did not read more books, but instead they read shorter books. They instead learned to jump through hoops, because that was rewarded. They missed the entire point of reading. In other words, commodifying learning can actually change its core essence.
The problem lies after graduation, when jumping through hoops and getting “A’s” no longer pays off, nor is it rewarded in the real world. That competency gap ends up making young adults spend additional years learning an entirely new set of skills after they graduate, which misses the point of “traditional school being preparation for adulthood”. Our current society requires new skills and personal autonomy and, en masse, traditional school curriculums haven’t kept up with this growth.
Reason Four: Breaking the Illusion of Responsibility
Homeschooling can illuminate and break the illusion that our children’s education is someone else’s responsibility: It isn’t, and it never has been, and we are capable of helping prepare our children scholastically just as we are in any other area of their lives.
It goes without saying that this obviously doesn’t mean homeschooling is the only responsible option, but rather, that it can fill in important gaps that traditional school may miss, and it can be a positive and robust alternative for families who feel called to it!
What has been your experience with homeschooling? I’d love to know!