Monday, June 07, 2010

Homeschooling - no wasted time!

Janine and I have been blogging just over four and a half years. We have written about dozens of reasons why homeschooling is a good option. We strongly believe that most children would greatly benefit if they were homeschooled. As public schools get worse, it is easier to point out the great advantages of homeschooling.

Today I was thinking a bit about how homeschooling is more efficient in the education process.


Last week we got a call from social services asking if we could take two sisters. Most of the children we have taken in for foster care are young. The majority of them are under five, so school is rarely a distraction. The older sister of the two we have now is in kindergarten. Today Janine got up at 6:40 AM, woke the poor girl up at 7:00 AM, and they left the house at 7:30 AM. Because this is the last week of school Janine decided to keep the girl enrolled in her school, which is about twenty minutes away from us. Between dropping the young girl off and picking her up, Janine will spend almost an hour and a half driving each day. This is not an efficient use of Janine's time, or of the girls. I acknowledge that it normally isn't this bad.

But many of our friends spend ten to fifteen minutes in the morning, and then again in the afternoon dropping off and picking up. And if they carpool, there is more time driving around from house to house. Children can easily spend a half hour a day sitting in a car, being bored. And after a long day, the children will frequently be exhausted and tired.

With homeschooling our daughters get up from the breakfast table, and sit down with their schoolwork. Maybe ten or fifteen seconds; there is no wasted time.

Waiting for someone to help

When learning new material students will encounter concepts they don't quit get. What do they do? They have to ask for help. I remember in third grade not even understanding a set of questions on a worksheet. I've long forgotten the topic, but I remember having no clue what I was supposed to do. I asked the substitute teacher. She just read the instructions to me. I asked what they meant. She didn't know and told me to sit back down in my seat. I spent the whole hour frustrated and angry because I didn't know what to do.

Again, this is an extreme, but day after day children spent countless minutes waiting for someone to help with a new concept.

With homeschooling, if a student gets stuck someone can often help them in seconds. My younger daughters get help for other sisters. My wife is almost always available. And if they hit something when no one is available to help, they can just move on to another topic. They are not forced to do math from nine to ten, at the exclusion of everything else. When Janine or I am available our daughters ask us for help, and they move on. There is no wasted time!

One of the ways homeschooling speeds up the learning process is to make more effective use of the student's valuable time. I'm glad we can homeschool our children and increase the rate at which they learn.

Technorati tags: parenting, children, education, government schools, public school, public education, homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education


Derek Cate said...

About school getting worse, they are trying to cut costs here, so they are lengthening the day by 30 minutes, and taking longer breaks. There are also no teacher work days, but we do end early, but start early too. I don't even know the whole story! Dad is prepared to homeschool us if things get too bad...

-Becca said...

I ran into your blog today via a google search. I am getting ready to read a few books as noted in my blog today. On the issue of schooling my wife and I are inclined to public school for our kids. I am getting ready to re-read a book called "Going Public" and read a books called " How your child can succeed in Public School." Those books are specifically designed for Christian parents who choose public school.

Could you suggest a book for parents looking into homeschooling. We are 90% sure public school is our best bet, but I am going to take an honest look at home school well. As well as private school.

Henry Cate said...

Becca - it will be fun to see you and your family this summer. I'll try to call your father in the next week and see if he has any questions about homeschooling. - there are a variety of books I'd suggest. Check out the book section in our Internet Resources on Homeschooling post.

One thing you might consider: homeschooling allows you to spend a ton more time studying the scriptures with your children. There have been times when we've spent an hour a day reading verses and talking about what they mean.

Good luck with your decision.