Homeschooling Motivations

Proponents of home education invoke parental responsibility and the classical liberal arguments for personal freedom from government intrusion. Some proponents advocate that homeschooling should be the dominant educational policy. Most homeschooling advocates are wary of the established educational institutions for various reasons. Some are religious conservatives who see non-religious education as contrary to their moral or religious systems. Others feel that they can more effectively tailor a curriculum to suit an individual student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, especially children who are gifted or have learning disabilities. Still others feel that the negative social pressures of schools (such as bullying, drugs, crime, and other school-related problems) are detrimental to a child’s proper development. Some parents simply like the idea of teaching their own children rather than letting someone else do so.

In the United States, reasons for homeschooling vary; religious concerns are an important, though not overwhelming, factor. According to a U.S. Census survey, the parents of 33% of home-schoolers cited religion as a factor in their choice, 30% felt the regular school had a poor learning environment, 14% objected to what the school teaches, 11% felt their children weren't being challenged at school, and 9% cited "morality."

Options which make homeschooling attractive to some families also include:

* Allowing a longer exploratory play-oriented childhood, encouraging the development of rich imagination and pre-academic skills which can foster later academic success

* Allowing the child to learn faster

* The flexibility of the education schedule allows each student to work at his own pace, enjoy family vacations, and integrate outside activities or current events with subjects they are studying.

* Religion, ethics, and character topics not included in public school curriculums can be freely taught.

* Non-traditional curriculums (see "Methods" below) and unusual subjects such as Latin and Greek can be taught.

* Geography, art and music curriculum can be enhanced

* Money management and business topics may be taught and integrated with a family business.

Homeschooling may have a financial impact on families. In addition to having to purchase school supplies and curriculum materials, a homeschooler’s parent(s) often cut back or refrain from employment outside the home in order to supervise the child’s education. This may have long-term career consequences as well. However, many homeschooling parents say that one unique benefit is the additional time they get to spend with their children.