As you’re trying to decide whether homeschooling or public school is best for your children, it’s natural to wonder if homeschooling makes them happier. If so, would you then be able to convince your local government to allow you to homeschool?
It’s hard to tell how much happier homeschooled students are compared to their peers in public schools, but the effects of homeschooling on happiness might be very small.
You can find out more about how happy homeschooled students are and why by reading this helpful article.
Studies have found that homeschooled students are happier and have higher self-esteem than those who go to school.
For example, one study found that only 12% of homeschooled students often or always felt lonely, compared to 31% of public schooled kids. Other studies show similar results about overall happiness, but the reasons for this are unclear.
So why are homeschooled students happier than their peers in traditional public schools, or even private schools? The possible explanations have to do with differences in teaching styles and extra-curricular activities.
When compared to public schoolers, homeschoolers learn more slowly but master more advanced concepts at a higher rate.
They also spend more time socializing with friends and family on their own rather than being forced into a mandatory schedule of after-school activities that don’t match their preferred social pattern.
Why Homeschooling is growing in Popularity?
Homeschooling is becoming more popular and is projected to account for over 3% of the primary and secondary school population in the U.S. by 2012. With a belief that education should be tailored to individual student needs, many parents are opting for homeschooling as an alternative form of education.
Parents who decide to homeschool their children do so for a variety of reasons. Some want to provide religious or moral instruction that isn’t taught in public schools, while others are seeking a more flexible curriculum for their child’s learning needs.
Still, others may feel that public school doesn’t meet their child’s academic needs.
A study in 2008 found that homeschooling students scored an average of 29.2 points higher on standardized achievement tests than their public school counterparts. So are homeschooled students happier? Well, at least they’re more successful academically
Homeschooling is growing in popularity because parents who use it feel that they can give their children a better, more tailored education than public schools offer. For example, homeschoolers generally have smaller class sizes and more individualized instruction.
In addition, many parents feel that homeschooling gives their children a better moral and religious education than what’s available in public schools.
How do you know if homeschooling is right for your child?
If you are considering homeschooling, first think about what it will take from you. It takes a lot of time and patience to successfully teach your child at home, so this may not be the best option for you if you work outside the home.
For example, if your child struggles with social interaction and making friends in school, this may not be the best choice for him or her.
Instead, consider homeschooling if your child struggles with learning in a traditional classroom. For example, some children have attention issues that make it difficult for them to focus on classroom work, while others don’t do well following instructions from teachers who aren’t certified teachers themselves.
Alternatively, if you think your child is gifted or has a strong desire to learn, homeschooling may be an ideal choice for him or her.
How does Your child get assessed/tested if he/she doesn’t go to School?
Homeschoolers don’t need to take the SAT or ACT, but they do have to take achievement tests at various intervals during their education.
The best part is that students are tested on subjects in which they are already learning, so they are much more likely to score higher than they would if they were taking a test on something with which they have little or no familiarity.
You can also opt for national assessment testing if you like.
You’ll also be better prepared for college. Whereas most students have never studied certain subjects before, homeschooled students can work at their own pace and master each subject as it comes up in their education.
Most colleges will consider these tests to be valid for admission into college, so long as you have official copies sent to them along with your application.
Most homeschooling programs are self-directed or independent studies, which means that your child has more control over what he/she learns than a traditional school student would.
If your son or daughter doesn’t want to learn about Algebra II this year, then there’s no pressure from a teacher to tell him/her otherwise.
She/he can just continue on Geometry next year instead. Plus, when children get older and enter high school (and beyond), many parents find that their kids make friends through extracurricular activities outside of the home rather than just inside the classroom.