By Jessica Parnell, Crosswalk.com
Although choosing to homeschool has little to do with college football, a comparison can be made with your child’s educational success and a season-winning gameplan. If you didn’t begin with a strategy in mind, it’s time to evaluate where you are and what your ultimate goal is.
We can agree that an excellent education is at the top of your To-Do list.
That’s a given. But going back to why you chose to homeschool in the first place will often provide the best clue to discovering your child’s ultimate destination. It will also help you formulate your “gameplan” on how to get there. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons parents choose to homeschool – use it as a guide.
You have religious convictions or needs that are not met in the traditional school setting. In general, public schools do not incorporate, or sometimes even stringently disallow, the integration of religious beliefs and morals into the educational environment. For some parents, the Bible is essential in every educational lesson learned.
You are unhappy with the quality of your child’s current educational system. It’s becoming more and more apparent that the public school system is majorly flawed, if not broken entirely. Some traditional schools believe in teaching to the lowest common denominator, while others teach to the standardized tests. Neither method is enhancing your child’s education.
You want to strengthen your family bond and increase time spent together. Many parents feel there is not enough time in the day to build the bonds that families need to provide a happy, healthy existence. Homeschooling is a way to tighten relationships and build love and respect between parent and child.
Your child’s athletic career schedules overtake the amount of time spent in school. Bridgeway student Elizabeth Price had an Olympic opportunity at her doorstep. Her family had to pitch in big time to make it a possibility, including nearly 40 hours a week of gym time. According to Ebee’s mom, Diane, “Now that I work part-time again, when I can’t make it, my husband David steps in. We make it work. Sometimes we give up a lot, but it makes us a stronger family.”
Your child has learning disabilities that are not being properly addressed in a traditional setting. Children with learning disabilities and mental challenges, or even physical handicaps, do not always thrive in traditional schools. Even if academic requirements are met, some parents feel that their child is not being taught to the best of his or her potential.
You are concerned for your child’s safety and welfare. With the rash of school shootings, terrorism, and illegal drug and alcohol use on the rise, many parents are terrified that their child could be next in that growing list of kids who have fallen among the rubble of today’s violent social climate.
Your child has been a victim of bullying. Whether in school, on the bus, or online, bullying is increasingly taking its toll on many students. With the viral nature of the internet and the accessibility to cell phones and other social devices, the impact of bullying can occur quickly and on a much larger scale than ever before. It can be devastating in nature.
Your child’s career dictates when schooling can take place. Actress Bailey Gambertoglio knows that her blossoming career as an actress would not be possible without the ability to homeschool. Bailey’s mom says that Bailey “can do much of her work while driving to auditions,” and feels that the Bridgeway curriculum actually teaches her. It allows her to retain and build upon the information she learns, “unlike some of the other programs out there where children just read and monotonously do workbooks.”
You have a bright, self motivated child who wishes to be homeschooled to further their potential. There are some children who outright ask to be homeschooled. They know what they want, where their God-given talents lie, and where they are headed. What better reason for homeschooling?
Your job has you moving abroad or into an uncertain educational setting. Overseas Bridgeway student Kari Peiscopgrau says that she “started homeschooling at the age of 12 after moving to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in June of 2010. My family decided on homeschooling because the school options in Saudi Arabia are limited.”
So where do you fit in?
It may be one reason or a combination of all ten. Your path may not always be clear – there will be times of doubt, stress, struggle, and thoughts of “I just can’t do this.” But your goal as a parent is to hang in there when the going gets tough, without letting yourself falter.
Jessica Parnell is passionate about homeschooling. A wife, mother and former public high school teacher, Jessica has transferred this passion into her career as Principal of Bridgeway Homeschool Academy. Her passion grows out of a deep desire to see every child reach their God given potential and purpose through faith-based, customized, and flexible homeschooling. With over 25 years of experience helping over 24,000 families to homeschool their way, Jessica is dedicated to helping families understand the freedom that comes with homeschooling and to empowering parents, a child's first teacher, to feel confident in taking control of their child's education.
Learn more at Jessica’s blog – www.homeschoolinghelp.com
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/MIND_AND_I