The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about countless social and economic changes to our world. However, few can even begin to compare to how fast homeschooling rates have skyrocketed the past couple of years.
One may say that because the COVID-19 restrictions have forced everyone to stay at home, everyone has technically been “homeschooled.” This is, however, not what I am referring to. “Homeschooling,” in this article, refers to those who are no longer (or never were) enrolled in the public or private school system.
Having been homeschooled from the first to the 10th grade and attending a private school in Europe from the 11th grade through graduation, I speak with relevant experience in both educational realms. The conclusion I have come to is this: if done right, homeschooling is by far the best form of education. Let me explain why.
Each year, millions of students graduate from high school after spending over ten years in public education. Granted, they might know the quadratic formula, but they are completely helpless when it comes to practical skills such as knowing how to change a tire, pay taxes, write a proper resume or even something so basic as common courtesy and behaving with chivalrous mannerisms.
In essence, homeschooling trumps public school education when it comes to knowing practical, real-life skills. This is assuming that homeschooling has been properly executed. After all, there is such a thing as the “homeschool stereotype,” which is not without merit.
So, what does proper homeschooling look like? Well, similar to public education, it requires the involvement of two parties: the parent/guardian and the child. The parents must be willing to teach the child how and what to learn and why it’s important to be educated, and, in turn, the child must be willing to learn and do part of the education themselves. If either the parent or the child backs out of what should be a mutual agreement, then the education will fail. In my case, growing up in a military household, discipline was never a problem. My father and mother made sure that we were always on track with what we were supposed to get done every single day. In this way, my brothers and I were able to successfully transfer to an International Baccalaureate school in Eastern Europe with no public school experience prior to that.
Proper homeschooling is also superior to public education because — contrary to what most people will say — it helps the child gain a sense of independence. What do I mean by this? Essentially, when the child finishes their assignments for the day, they can use the rest of the day however they would like.
It could be argued that this is detrimental to the child’s mental health because they might simply log onto video games and waste the rest of the day that way. This is where the parents must have some measure of regulation to say, “no.” Instead, the child should spend time in nature — as my siblings and I all did growing up — learning about plants, animals and how things in the world work. For example, my father used to take us out in the garage and demonstrate how to change the car oil. When and where will you learn a practical skill such as this in a modern public education environment?
In conclusion, homeschooling (if done right, that is) as a form of education is far superior to our broken public education system. As mentioned earlier, there is a wrong way to homeschool that will inevitably result in a socially awkward child. However, if both the parents and child(ren) work together responsibly, the child will graduate high school with the social, practical and mental skills essential to navigating life’s hardest blows.