Homeschooling is not right for everyone, but there are great reasons every parent of school-aged kids should at least consider homeschooling their kids. The last thing I want to do is to induce guilt for all the non-homeschooling parents out there. (You are my friends, my mentors, and you’re doing an AMAZING job with your kids!) But I’ve seen so many moms figure out a way to partially or totally homeschool through family illnesses, new babies, cross-country moves, husbands’ deployments, taking care of farms, and full or part-time employment, that I know it can be done even in the most trying of life situations.
Even if homeschooling sounds like it would make you crazy, consider the following:
- If you stay married, your kids have a better chance of staying married.
- If you exercise regularly, you have a better chance of controlling your weight and preventing disease.
- Or, one of my favorites, if you don’t use credit cards, you stand about a zero percent chance of going into credit card debt.
Just like making the choices to stay married, exercise regularly, or avoid debt, homeschooling puts you in a category if weirdness that will get you the cultural side-eye. But it also puts you in a better position to succeed.
Homeschoolers Are Positioned to Win
When I first started homeschooling in 2011-2012, I gathered up some numbers to see if there really was a convincing case for this crazy leap into homeschooling that I was considering. I found that homeschoolers have significant statistical advantages over non-homeschoolers. Here are seven of them:
- Homeschoolers typically score higher than 86-87% of other students on standardized tests.
- Homeschoolers have higher college GPAs and graduation rates.
- Student gender, and parents’ income or education levels have no statistically significant influence on their academic achievement.
- Homeschoolers report higher levels of contentment in their adult lives.
- Homeschoolers participate in more community service (34% more than non-homeschoolers).
- The average homeschool education costs less, saving taxpayers $9,423 per student, per year, or about $122,500 over the course of a single K-12 education.
- 92.4% of homeschool graduates feel their education gave them an advantage as an adult.
The Time Consideration
And then I thought about all the time it takes to educate a child. Whether we choose home, private, or public school (or some combination of those), we must choose where our kids will be and who they’ll interact with for a significant amount of their time. Did I want to be my kids’ primary influencer, or did I want to let teachers, coaches, and peers have my child’s best hours? Either choice is fraught with all sorts of emotion.
Depending on their state’s regulations, homeschooling families have around 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 180 days per year, for 13 years MORE to spend with one another than non-homeschooling families. That adds up to 18,720 more waking hours together, and away from an institutional school setting where mom and dad have no influence.
This simple mathematical fact means homeschooling families have a better chance than non-homeschoolers of making it through those trying pre-teen and teenage years not only having survived, but thrived–together.
It’s All Probability
There’s always a chance we’ll end up a failure no matter how we educate our kids. Maybe we’ll end up with a broken family and kids who fail academically and in civic life. Maybe that would be the case whether we homeschool or not, but when we homeschool, we at least have the advantage of these things being statistically less likely. I realize it’s a calculating way to look at the choice to homeschool or not, but the numbers do count for something.
When my oldest was 4, I was so unsure of myself as a parent that I wanted to give him every advantage I could find for a good education. And I wanted to give our family the best chance at long-term togetherness that I could. Maybe I’m wrong, but I imagine a lot of other families feel the same way. There is so much subtle opposition to students and families today; our legislators are constantly changing educational standards and our culture is seeing fewer and fewer intact nuclear families. Based on that, I think all parents should at least consider homeschooling as a way to position their kids and families to win.
If you’re homeschooling now, what were some reasons you chose to do so? DM me on Instagram and let me know! What are some benefits your family is reaping?
Photo by Lukas from Pexels