Homeschooling is quickly growing in popularity across the United States. In fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing educational trends. Schools such as New Beginnings Christian Academy are at the center of the growth.
Many schools are expanding to offer homeschooling options for parents. This is a fantastic option for many families, especially those who travel frequently or have children in and out of school due to medical reasons. Of course it’s also a great option for any family who wishes to engage in a more hands on approach to their child’s education. ABC News recently did a story on the topic:
“This gives you an opportunity to take control of your child’s education and you give them what you think they need and give them the best start that you can,” said Melissa Simmens, who has been homeschooling her children for nearly a decade.
A recent study done by the U.S. Department of education estimates there are around 2 million homeschooled children in the United States. This style of education really began to gather traction in the late 1990s and numbers have continued to climb.
The types of families who are homeschooling their children are becoming more diverse as well. A few decades ago, most homeschooled children came from politically liberal or ultra-religious families. Now, families of all political and religious affiliations are homeschooling.
Professor Pearl Kane of Columbia University’s Teacher’s College says homeschooling is teaching everyone a thing or two. “The most important lesson we can learn from homeschooling is how important it is to involve parents in their own child’s education,” Kane said.
Not only do parents get more control when it comes to their education, but many parents strongly feel that their children get a better education in the home. Melissa Simmens’ husband, John Simmens, feels their home is a better learning environment. He isn’t the only one. Receiving a better education has passed religious convictions as the number one reason why parents choose to homeschool their children.
The numbers tend to agree with this idea. Students who are homeschooled tend to score above the national average on both the ACT and SAT standardized tests. Homeschooled children tend to also do better in college according to other studies. This tends to be a result of homeschooled children being more curious, motivated, and responsible for taking charge of their education.
There are other benefits to homeschooling your children aside from taking charge and providing them with a high quality education. Many families enjoy the added closeness they achieve by spending more time with their children.
“It gets the entire family involved in the family’s business,” said homeschooling father John Simmens. “We’re all there helping one another. And that’s probably one of the best things that I like about homeschooling.”
Teaching your children at home also allows you to move through the material at a speed suited for their learning style. Students tend to excel in some areas and struggle in others. Homeschooling allows parents to accelerate their child through the material they understand effortlessly while slowing down to spend more time on subject matter they find difficult. Teachers do their best in a classroom environment to provide each student with the education they need, but when it comes down to it, providing this one on one attention that some students need is challenging. The truth is no one knows your children as well as you do. This means you’re uniquely qualified to guide them through subject material at a pace that allows them to absorb and retain the most knowledge.
When polled, many parents advise they would love to homeschool their children but the task is too daunting. That’s where institutions such as New Beginnings Christian Academy come in. They help provide a curriculum for you and your children to follow. The curriculum meets all state and federal educational requirements without the lockers and lunch money.
Another fear that many parents have is the level of socialization for their children. It’s not uncommon to hear homeschool critics say that children who are homeschooled miss out on social situations such as making friends, learning how to get along with peers, and tolerating differences. However, parents who homeschool their children disagree with this argument.
“My children are not isolated. As a matter of fact, I feel they’re a lot less isolated than kids in school because they are out there learning, and they’re out there in the world,” Melissa Simmens said.
There are several groups that provide the opportunity for homeschooled children to receive the same social experiences as their peers. Finding and joining these groups is even easier than before with the extensive use of the internet. It’s easy for parents and students to connect to other homeschooling families for field trips and other activities.
More families continue to join the homeschool community. Educators are watching this new generation of homeschooled students and are looking forward to witnessing their success.