Homeschooling: A Holistic Approach to Education

| 1/27/2015 7:00:00 AM

Rapidly growing in popularity, homeschooling is coming to be seen as a more holistic approach to education for many reasons.  In addition, homeschooling is a perfect fit for families unafraid to question the “experts” and take charge of their own well-being and their future.

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Benefits of Homeschooling

Studies show that children learn better in an atmosphere where they feel comfortable and when they have a teacher with whom they have a personal relationship.  Clearly, learning at home from a loving parent fits the bill. Every child learns at an individual pace, and homeschoolers can slow down or speed up as needed, avoiding both confusion and boredom.  Just as there is no magic age for learning to roll over, stand up, or walk, there is no magic age to learn to read, add or multiply; however, conventional schools usually demand children learn these things at the same age or assign labels to the children that may negatively affect their self-esteem for life.  But children who are forced to learn to read before they are ready often struggle with reading for years and may never really learn to enjoy reading, while children who learn at an older age usually catch up to the reading level of their peers within a few months.  Since reading promotes abstract thinking, imagination, improved writing and communications skills, expanded vocabulary, and learning about an endless array of topics, a child who loves to read has a powerful advantage.

Individual instruction takes a fraction of the time that classroom education does, leaving children time for free play, a much-neglected, but necessary element in healthy childhood development, as children learn more from activities they initiate.  Homeschooled children also have more time for crafts, hobbies, chores, and community activities, all of which build confidence, impart new skills, and prepares them for living in and contributing to the real world as adults.  Gardening, carpentry, baking, apprenticeships, political campaigning, musical or artistic development, and volunteering at their church or other local charity, and even starting their own business are among the many types of activities that homeschoolers are participating in every day.  Obviously, experiences of this nature will tend to form mature, responsible, and enthusiastic youngsters and citizens who are used to contributing to their communities.

Homeschoolers can individualize lessons according to the interests and needs of each child, since children learn better if they are interested in the subject or if they can see how it relates to real life.  Further, if a book or program is not working well for a child, homeschoolers have the option of choosing another book or program better-suited to the child’s learning style or interests—something a teacher of twenty or thirty children in a traditional classroom simply can’t do!

2/2/2015 12:51:08 PM

I was so Pleased to see this article appear in front of me while my daughter who is home schooled sits across from me reading a book she would not have had time to get around to reading until summer, if she'd been in a traditional school setting. We've been homeschooling our children for 9 years and they are miles ahead of their traditionally educated friends, because we had the time to do the project in the book,or go to the local science center for the day of engineering projects. Then there are all the owl pellets..... We have ups and downs in learning, and set backs, BUT we get to work on them and not focus souly on the end of year exams that supposedly tell the "bench mark" of where a student should be at the end of their grade level.Instead we have less stress and if they are sick, but wish to do their studies they can.Also without the stress of needing a doctor's excuse or not being completely over the illness before they have to go back to school. I hope to read and see more articles on Home schooling in the near and far issues to come from Mother Earth Living.

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