What are the benefits of homeschooling?
If you’re like a lot of moms out there, you’ve probably wondered how the quality of your child’s education (and general well-being of life, overall) would be affected if you took your child out of public or traditional school in order to homeschool them. Maybe you even wondered how you would mess up your kid if you took charge of your child’s schooling and learning.
Truth is, there’s a lot of contradictory and even outright false, stereotypical information floating out there about homeschoolers and their futures.
That’s why I rolled up my sleeves and uncovered the most recent homeschool data on the benefits of homeschooling.
And what I discovered is that homeschoolers seem to attend a lot of events and learn very specific skills (and a lot of them) with opportunities for multi-faceted life experiences, along with a deep respect for family and the world around them.
Then you’ll be even more surprised when you find out how, among government data, scholarly articles, private researchers, and even veteran homeschool families (many now second-generation homeschoolers), a consistent story seems to be told regarding the homeschoolers and how they benefit from home education.
This is a long post because naming out the benefits of homeschooling can in itself be endless. But lucky for you, I’ve kept it to 12-ish benefits, with thorough and detailed explanation. Along with interesting research data as the cherry on top. So get comfortable!
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Homeschool Enrollment Statistics
Studies have shown all sorts of homeschooling benefits and, from the figure below, homeschooling your kids have gotten in high demand:
Enrollment in traditional public schools, public charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling:
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), “Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey,” 2000–01 and 2016–17; Private School Universe Survey (PSS), 1999–2000 and 2015–16; Parent Survey and Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program (Parent-NHES:1999 and PFI-NHES:2016)
In a 7 year span, homeschooling families in the United States grew to nearly double in size from 900,000 (1999) to 1.7 million (2016)!
According to the U.S. Dept. of Education in December 2019 from the Parent and Family Involvement Survey in Education Survey (PFI) of the 2012 and 2016 National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES), homeschoolers choose to homeschool their kids for a large number of many different reasons, all over the spectrum, including:
- Parents are dissatisfied with current educational instruction
- Temporary illness
- Religious reasons
- Moral reasons
- Peer pressure
- Need more individualized attention
- Getting further behind in class
- Health problems
- Nontraditional education
Benefits of Homeschooling
As a homeschool family, I can tell you from first-hand experience that homeschooling my kids have only served to benefit them. Many homeschool moms often choose to educate their children at home for varying reasons, but mainly due to the benefits and advantages they inherit.
Benefits of Homeschooling: Homeschool Success Rates
According to the study Exploring Academic Outcomes By Homeschool Students from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association article, homeschoolers are outperforming their peers in college and college entrance exams. From the article:
Some of the major findings include:
- Homeschoolers scored higher on the ACT (26.5) compared with the overall student body (25).
- Homeschoolers earned more college credit (14.7) prior to their freshman year compared to the student body (6).
- Homeschoolers earned a higher fall semester GPA (3.37) when compared to other freshman students (3.08).
- Homeschooled students earned a higher first-year GPA (3.41) when compared to other freshman students (3.12).
- Homeschooled students earned a higher fourth-year GPA (3.46) when compared to other freshman students who completed their fourth year (3.16).
I don’t know what your circumstances are, but when my son was in public school I can take it to the bank that his success probably would be struggling. It’s only served him and his developmental growth to homeschool him, giving him more attention in the areas he needs it most, which then improves those areas overall.
And being his mom, I won’t stop until I see mastery. 🙂
Benefits of Homeschooling: Quality Family Time
Here’s a little backstory: A few years ago when I was a full-time working single mom, before homeschooling and traveling, my chief complaint was that I never had enough time with my babies. By the time I got home for the day after leaving work and picking them up from daycare or their afterschool program, it would be 6:00 pm.
Still, I needed to cook dinner, do homework, clean the kitchen, and get baths done. By the time we finished with cooking, cleaning, homework (which totally depended on the learning of the kiddo), and baths, it would be bedtime!
No quality time was spent with my babies, except for the hustle and bustle of just doing, doing, doing. And except the weekends.
Now, I am so very thankful I decided to homeschool my children. And although there are a lot of benefits of homeschooling, the benefit my family experienced – and continues to reap – is the following:
- My son needed more individualized attention that he wasn’t getting in a classroom setting. Now, I’m able to focus one-on-one with him, speaking only to him, and explaining concepts to him in a way he best understands (and learns!).
- My son was a little slower on the uptake when learning certain things. He has a learning style that does not coincide with auditory learners! He is a kinesthetic and visual learner through and through. Now, I can do more manipulatives with him when needed and illustrate my point through books, pictures, video, artwork, and real-life experiences. He also works super well with structured literacy!
- I was not entirely too satisfied with the way the instruction was being taught. I wasn’t impressed with the monotony of the homework assignments nor how it was being delivered. And it was obvious that my child wasn’t learning a lick of it. I was “reteaching” to him all over again every night, so we were basically doing public school by day and homeschool by night anyway! Now, I can fit the teaching methods to my children that mesh with how they learn and comprehend, whether it is kinesthetic, auditory, visual, or a mix of everything.
- Both my children were being bullied in school. One even turned into a bully (albeit a temporary one) from peer pressure from one of his four bullies. And although I handled that with some fine, Southern mama class, inside I was cringing with despair from what was happening to my baby. Now, I can teach him about moral standards, behavior ethics, manners and etiquette, and God every day in our homeschool, as much as I want to.
- My child raised a caterpillar and watched it turn into a cacoon. He then saw the metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly. The whole class was going to release their butterflies in nature. Unfortunately, my son did not do his work in class. He didn’t understand it. He didn’t know how to communicate his feelings or troubles to his impatient teacher. His discipline for not doing his schoolwork was to be left out; his entire class went to release their butterflies – and his butterfly – but he wasn’t allowed to do so. He had to stay behind, indoors, in the classroom as his punishment. Now, I can discipline him the way I think is fair and fit for my child. I can communicate with him on what’s going on, and I can discern the best direction to move forward with.
- I know without a doubt I’ve never bruised my kids in an act of hostility. My kid’s teacher grabbed my son’s arm on three different occasions which left bruises. (Now, I make sure if he needs a firm whooping I aim true, targeting his booty, but I don’t take it out on him by grabbing arms or wherever to yank him around.) And even though I can’t completely protect him from the world from physical or emotional harm, I am more present in his day-to-day than ever before, so I’m more aware of his daily life’s going’s on.
Spending quality time with my children is important to me. It wasn’t something I had much of while they were growing from infant up to early grade school. And even though I chose to homeschool them while my daughter was going into grade 1 and son into grade 2, I had to learn how to live with them full-time!
Talk about going from one extreme to another. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
So I know that several families are worried about the lack of family time in our technologically advanced world. Between work, school, and extracurricular activities, the majority of families are trying to squeeze mere minutes out of a long day for quality time. Many can’t even find those minutes. I would know.
Thankfully, homeschooling requires mom or dad (the teacher) to spend time with the kids (the students), and you learn a great deal about each other in the process. And what a beautiful, God-gifted process it turns out to be!
Benefits of Homeschooling: Cultivate a Love of Learning
When homeschooling, children have a distinct advantage of being completely involved without any airs of judgment. They don’t worry about sideways glances or seeming uncool if they want to be involved in a play, recite poetry, learn chemistry, have fun with the periodic table of elements, and so on.
Usually, homeschool leans more towards making learning fun and engaging in a way that you know your child will respond well to, will develop skills from and will have a blast learning from.
A love of learning is developed when a child is homeschooled. In fact, I would go as far as to say that homeschooling predominately sets the stage for a lifelong love of learning. Especially when you figure out how your homeschool lifestyle best fits your family in a customized way.
Personally, my child was at a different level than his peers in his public classroom and he thought he was stupid because he just “didn’t get it.” Had he continued this path he would’ve believed he didn’t like school. (To be honest, he said this numerous times our first year homeschooling, but I haven’t heard it in quite a very long while now.)
Homeschooling is not the magic cure of any single educational problem; it is a tool, an intrinsic process, that can, and will, catapult your child into a love of learning. By its very nature, homeschooling offers limitless opportunities for you, as a parent and teacher of life, to shape your child into the adult this world will soon need.
Benefits of Homeschooling: Homeschool Readiness
It is at this point in our homeschool journey where I just cannot qualify my child by the state/federal standards. For example, we follow the common core as close as possible but my child flirts between grade 2 and grade 3 in math. Some concepts are either known or swiftly mastered while other concepts need longer times to learn and truly comprehend. And sometimes the teaching process to that learning process takes some creativity!
Our state’s common core standards really serve as a loose guide for us.
All this just saying, I don’t determine grade level with my children anymore. I just know about where he or she is at in math, and where they’re at in grammar, in handwriting, and so on.
My daughter is 8 and she writes very legibly but misspells a lot, while my son writes horrific but spells well. And he spells good when writing but give him a verbal spelling test and he’ll flunk it!
So I can’t really say with conviction that my daughter is really, truly in Grade 3, except that’s where she ought to be in state standards.
To me, she’s in grade 4 in some areas, grade 3 in other areas, and even have spots of grade 2 here and there.
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The benefit of homeschooling is that you can take your time in teaching your child in whatever capacity he or she is at in their learning. No need to race through math concepts that they aren’t mastering. You have the blessed time to now teach them, one on one, in a way that they can relate and aspire to.
I have to point out that one of our favorite structured literacy programs is Pride Reading Program. It has truly helped in my son’s apraxia of speech along with my daughter’s slight touch of dyslexia.
Kids are at varying levels in all subjects. All the time. Your kid may test in higher than average reading level while at the same time have a tough time in handwriting. Others may write incredibly well for their age while struggle with reading. And, then again, in a couple of years, it could be an altogether backward story!
Blissfully, homeschooling allows children to work through their strengths and weaknesses on a more individual basis.
The benefit of social readiness allows your child to set the pace for their growth and comfort in social settings. Some kids just don’t do well in social affairs, and that’s ok! Each child grows differently – away from mama – and yours just needs to take his or her time to get into the outside world.
And finally, when it comes to readiness, you don’t have to worry anymore about your kiddo being exposed to teachings that you find objectionable. Or, say, they want to introduce sex education in public school at age 10 (or even younger!), but you find it too young…you now have the total control of what your baby learns and when your baby learns it and how your baby learns it.
If you are a Christian but speaking about Jesus is taboo in your public school district, you can make Bible study a beautiful morning time routine to teaching your baby about the Lord and all His Wonders. You take the wheel of mastering character growth and moral standards now.
Benefits of Homeschooling: A Customized Education
If you want some insight into your child’s learning style, you can do any number of online learning style tests. However, it’s important you know your child’s learning style in order to then customize your child’s education.
How would you customize your child’s education?
When you know what kind of learner your child is, you can then fit a teaching style to your child, and you can build a curriculum around this learning style.
And as a side note, there is not just one type of curriculum out there. The homeschooling industry, as far as curricula go, has grown over the years, as much as homeschoolers have grown in household statistics. Check out this post for more information on various types of curricula.
Certain curriculum – where it be math, language arts, science, history, whatever – provides a certain delivery to it. For example, if your child is more hands-on, you may want to check out Math U See. Since that particular math company/curriculum specializes in a heavy manipulatives approach, it’s really great for kinesthetic learners.
Homeschool curriculum isn’t a one size fits all approach. Certain curricula are geared for certain types of learning styles. Some even claim to touch all types of learning styles.
My point is, you have complete control.
The amazing reason why you would want to customize your child’s education (or curriculum) in the first place is so that you gain insight into your child’s learning style as well as his or her strengths and weaknesses. This allows you to customize their education (curriculum) and find that teaching style that best fits your child.
Benefits of Homeschooling: Real-World Experiences
It’s been said that “socialization” occurs when homeschoolers are out experiencing interpersonal reactions with a wide range of people, while public school kids are sitting in desks forbidden to talk to each other! Homeschooled kids get exposed to the post-academic world – the world outside of school – at an early age, which may better prepare them for the future.
Percentage of 5- to 17-year-old students participating in selected family learning activities in the past month, by homeschool and enrollment status: 2016
As you can see, homeschoolers socialize just fine and even more so than public schoolers.
How We Socialize As Homeschoolers
We are a homeschool family who travels often (when we can). My husband works on ballistic nuclear submarines, the world’s largest defense system. His job has him on 100% travel, so we travel with him to different coasts about 70% of the year.
Recently, we got the honor to stay with my husband for a few months in Hawai’i. In our last month, we visited the Honolulu Aquarium and the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Did you know the Dole Plantation has the largest maze in the world? This was followed by the Dole train ride to see various fields of crops. We also splashed around at Wet ‘N Wild waterpark (twice) and beach-bummed it at Waikiki beach a few times. We walked 3 miles round trip to the public library. We also paid homage to the Pearl Harbor Memorial/the USS Arizona Memorial. Then Dad and I went to the Aaron Lewis concert.
Obvy, we did not waste a day while in Hawaii! Would you? Not to mention the parks we went to during the day and the swimming pool we swam by night! Plus, we still maintained our homeschool schedule, except for the last week. (Homeschooling with a year-round schedule does have its perks!)
Benefits of Homeschooling: Freedom from Bullying
Bullying is just another name for abuse.
You’ll find bullying from the playground to the movies to even the mean old ladies in the grocery line. Bullies are everywhere, and that’s just a fact.
It’s because of this fact that one of the primary benefits (and reasons, as listed above) why families choose to homeschool is freedom from bullying. This benefit is HUGE.
Children who are homeschooled learn in a safe environment that you provide for them and can control. The kids can concentrate on actually learning instead of hiding in fear or, worse, turning into bullies themselves out of self-preservation.
It’s bad when your baby is bullied but it’s downright awful when it’s an eat or be eaten world, or playground, one where your kids may even have to act completely out of character and be the bully to “fit in” in order to theoretically not get their head kicked in every day.
And there’s more than one way to bully someone. You have physical contact and fighting, hate words and name-calling, rumor mills and lies being spread.
Bullying is a major concern in today’s schools. Freedom from bullying is a significant benefit of homeschooling. Children learn in a secure and protected environment and can concentrate on their schoolwork rather than being worried about the next encounter with the bully.
And a bully is not just a fellow student or classmate; it can be a teacher or an authority figure.
Percentage of students ages 12 through 18 who reported being called a hate-related word at school, by student reports of fears and avoidance behaviors: School year 2016–17
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 2017. See Table 16 in the crime table library.
More Benefits of Homeschooling
If those rather thorough and detailed benefits of homeschooling intrigue you, here are a few more via bullet points. I figured you might want to know these as well since you made it this far!
- No Homework
- Although I mentioned this in the Family Time benefit, it’s a must repeat. Kids are directly involved in the learning process. Side by side with you during the day, they never have unfinished work. In fact, if you want to cancel math today, just pick it up again tomorrow, or double it, or do it on Saturday. However you want to schedule it! No more late nights dawdling and crying over homework.
- As I’ve mentioned all over this post by now, homeschool is so flexible you can do it any which way you want. Beautiful day outside? School day at the park! Are you cool with canceling today’s school and going on a field trip? Great! Add it to another day or just keep going. No more rushing out of the house in the morning. In fact, sleep in and school in the late afternoon or at nighttime if that works best for your family.
- Special Needs Are Met
- If a child has a learning disorder, or even have multiple doctors appointments for whatever the reason, you can do this without flirting with the school’s truancy. Additionally, if your child needs more of that one on one attention or customized teaching experience to his learning style, you can meet what your child needs perfectly. No more relying on someone else to maybe kinda half-heartedly “finish the day”. And this way, your child will actually get the attention he or she needs AND deserves.
- Parenting Win
- No more long days at the office just to begrudgingly help with homework. Nor do you have to somehow find your 3rd energy wind and 10th cup of coffee to focus on your child. When you homeschool, you have the rested and nurtured energy that carries over into your parenting and teaching with your child. And they’re not tired from public school all day just to come home and give YOU half their attention. Now you both have the capabilities to give each other fresh life and personalities and true genuine eagerness. This benefit is something I did not even know was coming. To have a fresh version of me for my children’s “life training” and homeschooling is priceless.
- Learn Independence
- Your child will slowly learn to become independent learners when they homeschool, of course, with you nearby. This skill will only serve to benefit them later in life as adults. By learning how to master concepts independently, your baby will be able to think outside the box, problem-solve, categorize information, decipher or pick apart problems, and learn how to follow a process and format to arrive at an answer.
- Save Money
- This could be an entire post about the cost of un-cost of homeschool. You save money from back-to-school shopping, for starters. Although you still buy clothes for your kids, it’s no way near as pricey as it is for public school. Instead of back to school shopping in August, go shopping at a later time when prices are low due to demand. Also, no need to spend money on all the school supplies – no 3 boxes of kleenex and brand new supplies over and over again. Chances are your school supplies at home only get replaced when it’s depleted, lost, or broken. And don’t even get me started on pitching in for parties and volunteering in class events that you’re saving money on!
Would you like to work out your family’s benefits of homeschooling? Get this free workbook!
The Benefits of Homeschooling Conclusion
You just discovered a few of my favorite benefits to homeschooling.
However, a word of warning: just knowing what makes homeschooling so amazing isn’t going to get you closer to making that leap!
The key is that you need to take action on what you just learned. And that’s why I encourage you to check out one of my most popular blog posts next:
Read this next: Am I Qualified to Homeschool My Child?
Because the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll start reaping the benefits of homeschooling your babies too!
Now, to wrap things up, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite quotes:
“There are people out there less qualified than you doing the things that you want to do, simply because they decided to believe in themselves.”
Remember, no matter who you are, you too can reap the benefits of homeschooling!
This post has been featured on the Homeschool Collection Round Up from the Homeschool Review Crew for 2020! Along with this amazing homeschool article, you can find even more homeschooling articles, tips, and encouragement from like-minded homeschool moms like you! Click the image below and let your cup runneth over!
Comment with your benefits of homeschooling to inspire your fellow future homeschool moms! OR post any question you may have about homeschooling!