As parents are becoming more disillusioned and disturbed by what’s being taught (and not taught) in our schools, many are turning to homeschooling. As New Zealand rapidly slides further down the OECD rankings for numeracy, literacy, and foundational subjects, more than half of our students were not regularly attending school this year (according to latest Ministry of Education figures). Our education system is a mess, and many parents no longer trust the state to educate their children.
A controversial new science curriculum caused outrage for its lack of any mention of physics, chemistry or biology. That’s right – a science curriculum that contained no mention of physics, chemistry or biology and set out that science would be taught through four contexts – the Earth system; biodiversity; food, energy and water; and infectious diseases.
To top things off, there’s been the much talked about Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in our schools – a programme which indoctrinates kids in extreme sexuality and gender ideology.
It’s no wonder that many are turning to homeschooling.
Put simply, homeschooling is full time education out of the traditional school classroom. It is often done at home but is also done within the community.
Homeschooling is an educational approach where parents or guardians take on the primary responsibility for educating their children at home. It has become increasingly popular in recent years, with families citing a variety of reasons for choosing this alternative to traditional schooling. Here are some of the potential benefits of homeschooling:
Control over the child’s eduction – free from the influence of the state: Controversial and highly questionable topics, such as sexuality and gender ideology, can be ignored all together. More time can be given to numeracy, literacy, arts, STEM subjects etc.
One-on-one teaching: There’s no crowded classrooms, as the homeschooled child gets undivided attention. One-on-one teaching allows the child to receive individual attention which is not possible in traditional classrooms, where the child often has to share the classroom with many other students, all of whom have diverse needs. Homeschooled children can ask questions without interruption, receive more comprehensive explanations, and feel confident in expressing themselves. This also allows for the teaching method to be tailored to the student’s unique learning style, so that they may understand concepts more easily.
Personalised Learning: Homeschooling allows for a highly customised education experience tailored to each child’s individual needs, learning styles, and interests. Parents can adjust the pace of instruction, provide more in-depth explanations, and explore topics that rouse their child’s curiosity.
Flexible Curriculum and Schedule: Homeschooling offers flexibility in both the curriculum and the daily schedule. Parents can choose from a wide range of educational resources and methodologies, including traditional textbooks, online courses, and hands-on activities. They can also structure the school day around the family and their child’s learning preferences, allowing for breaks when needed and extended focus when possible.
Stronger Parent-Child Relationships: Homeschooling provides an opportunity for parents to spend more quality time with their children and build a deeper connection. They can observe their child’s learning process firsthand. This strengthened bond can contribute to a more supportive and nurturing learning environment.
Exploration of Interests and Passions: Homeschooling allows children to pursue their interests and passions in greater depth. They can spend more time on subjects they find fascinating, participate in extracurricular activities that align with their hobbies, and explore their creative potential without the constraints of a traditional school schedule.
Reduced Exposure to Negative Influences: Homeschooling can shield children from some of the negative influences that can arise in a traditional school setting, such as bullying, peer pressure, and exposure to inappropriate content. Parents can create a safe and supportive learning environment that aligns with their values and beliefs.
Accommodating Special Needs: Homeschooling can be particularly beneficial for children with special needs or learning disabilities. Parents can tailor the curriculum and teaching methods to their child’s unique needs, providing individualised support and ensuring that their child is not left behind or overwhelmed.
Real-World Learning Opportunities: Homeschooling allows for hands-on learning experiences that connect classroom lessons to real-world applications. Children can participate in field trips, engage in community service projects, and take on internships or apprenticeships (depending on their age), gaining practical skills and a deeper understanding of the real world.
Developing Independence and Self-Discipline: Homeschooling can foster a sense of independence and self-discipline in children. They learn to manage their time, take responsibility for their learning, and work independently. These skills can be invaluable in their future academic and workplace environments.
Diversification of Learning Environments: Homeschooling can incorporate a variety of learning environments, including the home, libraries, museums, art galleries, and community centres. This exposure to different settings can broaden children’s perspectives, enhance their learning experiences, and inspire them to become lifelong learners.
It is important to note that homeschooling is not without its challenges. There are certainly some disadvantages. Parents must be prepared to commit significant time and effort to providing their children with a quality education. They may also need to seek additional resources or support to address specific subjects or learning needs. Finally, there is the important need for the homeschooled child to engage with other children their own age – in clubs and sports teams.
However, for families who are willing to invest the effort and dedication, homeschooling can offer a rewarding and enriching educational experience for their children.
**Note – This post was written by Family First staff writers.