Reasons to Homeschool

This is a compilation of reasons to homeschool, collected from AOL postings and kindly offered by Pam Sorooshian (screen name PSoroosh).
1. To spend more time together as a family—especially to have the children together and with us at times that they are fresh and rested rather than when they are tired (and cranky) from school and homework.

2. Children can often learn much more quickly than their classes can allow. At home they can move quickly through some material, allowing time for learning material not taught at school (foreign language, for example) or time for more in-depth study of subjects of interest.

3. Children with varying learning abilities can move at a pace appropriate to their developmental levels and interests. In the classroom, it is especially difficult to accommodate children who are learning more slowly or more quickly than average. All children are slower and/or quicker than average in various subjects.

4. The children can have long, uninterrupted blocks of time to write, read, think or work on a activity. Creativity and serious in-depth study are discouraged in a classroom where there is a lot of noise, a schedule designed for keeping every child busy and continuous interruptions.

5. Children can spend a lot more time out-out-doors (even reading, writing, or studying) which is more healthy physically and mentally than spending most of their weekdays indoors in a crowded (often overheated) classroom. The child can be more in touch with the changes of the seasons and with the small and usually overlooked miracles of nature if more time is spent outside.

6. Children will help more with household chores, learning skills (cooking, cleaning, etc.) as well as becoming more responsible.

7. More household responsibility develops a stronger family bond because working for the family is an investment in the family. People become committed to things in which they invest.

8. Children will have time to pursue more non-academic interests such as music or art.

9. Children will become more responsible for their own education. They will not be passive recipients of subject matter selected by their teachers (actually administrators or government committees), but will at least have input into designing their own education and eventually take over full responsibility.

10. Children will realize that learning can take place in a large variety of ways. They will learn to seek out assistance when needed from many alternative sources; not just rely on a classroom teacher to provide all the answers.

11. More relaxed, less hectic lifestyle can be followed because we will stop trying to supplement school during after-school and week-end hours. No after-school homework.

12. Learning will be at more appropriate levels - more challenging, less busywork.

13. Learning can be more efficient because the children can learn using best methods for their own learning styles. In their case, our children read extremely well and learn well from reading. They do not need each piece of information to be taught through various methods that are needed by children whose reading comprehension is not so high.

14. The children will experience much less frustration by not having to constantly work in groups with other children who do not learn as easily or quickly, do not share their enthusiasm and love of learning, have uncooperative attitudes and do not willingly do their share of group work.

15. Children will work and learn for internal self satisfaction more than for external reward.

16. Children will not be as tempted to take the easy way out by doing just enough to satisfy their teacher. They will be the judge of the quality of their work.

17. Children will be more willing to take risks and be creative since they do not have to worry about being embarrassed in front of peers or being criticized by their teacher.

18. Children can concentrate without constant distractions.

19. Peer pressure will be reduced. There will be less pressure to grow up as quickly in terms of clothing styles, music, language, interest in opposite sex, etc.

20. Social interactions with others will be by choice and based on having common interests. Social interactions will be more varied, not just with the child's chronological age peer group.

21. Field trips can be taken on a much more frequent basis and can be more productive when not taken with such large school groups. For example, on a trip to a nature center, the children can choose to spend several hours identifying birds or plants. On a school field trip, this would be impossible. Field trips can be more connected to the child's own curriculum.

22. Volunteer service activities can be included in the family's regular schedule. Community service is of tremendous importance in a child's overall development as well as a learning experience.

23. Scheduling can be flexible, allowing travel during less expensive and less crowded off peak times. This can allow for more travel which is wonderful experience.

24. Children will be less likely to constantly compare their knowledge or intelligence with other children and will be less tempted to become conceited about their abilities.

25. Religious and family special days can be planned and celebrated.

26. Children will bond more with their siblings since they will spend more time together when they are not stressed and tired out from school. They will discover that they can work together and help each other.

27. The children can get immediate and appropriate feedback on their work. They do not have to wait for the teacher (or a parent classroom volunteer or even another student) to grade and return their work to find out if they understood it correctly. Feedback can be much more useful; specific and child-appropriate comments rather than a letter grade or the generic super or great work, etc.

28. Time does not have to be spent on test taking at all unless it is something the child wants to do. In a classroom, testing is the way the teacher finds out how much the students have learned. Observation and discussion are ongoing at home, tests are unnecessary. Tests can be used by the child to see how much she recalls and to determine what to study next. Grades are unnecessary and there is no comparison of test results.

29. Grades become of no importance and learning is motivating in and of itself. Understanding and knowledge are the rewards for studying, rather than grades (or stickers, or teachers praise or. . .)

30. Children can be consistently guided in our family's values and can learn from seeing and participating in parents' daily life.

31. Skills and concepts can be introduced when the child is ready for them. She does not have to wait until a certain grade level for learning something which she is interested in and ready for right now.

32. Children will learn how to devote their energies and time to activities they think are worth it.

Thanks to the internet archives "way back machine," I was able to retrieve this list from a site that's been discontinued. "Collected from AOL postings" means they were on the AOL homeschool forum message boards, and the page from which I took these was dated April, 2001, and so the quotes are from before that time. ***

The page stayed on that site for six years, and now it's here.

I'm grateful that Pam Sorooshian collected those and that this particular pagan homeschooling page kept them for so long, and that wayback machine could find them. I'm glad that Jill Parmer let me know the old link had gone bad. —Sandra Dodd