Many families prefer homeschooling over traditional public or private school.
For them, it’s what works for their lifestyle and what they think is more advantageous to their children’s learning.
And it’s not just one demographic that prefers homeschooling, either.
Those who homeschool consist of a vast range of families from different socio-economic backgrounds and ideologies.
In Spring 2019, it was estimated that 3 to 4% of K-12 students were homeschooled in the United States.
That was about 2.5 million school-age children, and the trends state that the number will continue to increase in the next few years.
But despite homeschooling taking a turn to the mainstream rather than simply being an educational alternative, many still voice out concerns over the child’s wellbeing.
- "What about socialization? Aren’t you just isolating them from the community?"
- "What about the relationships they’re supposed to make with peers? Isn’t that crucial for their growth?"
- "Won’t they fall behind academically? Will they even get into college?"
These questions are pretty common and understandable.
But most of them are rooted in misunderstanding what homeschooling is supposed to be like and the many benefits it has on a child’s education.
Homeschoolers don’t fall short in socialization at all.
Contrary to what some people might say, homeschooling parents care for their kids’ social life and they don’t deny their children the opportunity to socialize with others.
In fact, this study has shown that homeschooled children’s social skills were even better than those of public school students.
In terms of academics, homeschoolers don’t fall behind either. And there are plenty of research papers to support that.
For instance, according to the National Home Education Research Institute, “the home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests.”
That doesn’t at all sound like homeschooled students are falling behind.
And there are so many more homeschooling benefits that few people realize.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 20 benefits of homeschooling on a child’s academic excellence, family and social relationships, and physical and emotional wellbeing.
Benefits of Homeschooling on Academic Excellence
1. Good Teacher-Student Ratio
On average, the teacher-student ratio of public schools in the US is 1:16.
Compare that to the ratio when homeschooling, which is 1:1 to 1:5, and you’ll immediately know which educational setting can focus on a child’s learning better.
2. Dedicated Teacher
Aside from having a good teacher-student ratio, homeschoolers also have a more dedicated teacher in charge of their education.
Because who can be a more dedicated teacher to your child than you?
As their parent, no teacher will ever surpass you in the drive and deep-seated desire to see your child succeed in life.
That, in addition to being closely involved in their learning, will help you guide them every step of the way.
In homeschool, you’ll be in charge of your child’s education for several years.
That means you’ll be familiar with their learning background and experiences, and you can use that to design future lessons and activities.
Because you’ll be their main teacher throughout their entire homeschooling stage, their learning will be consistent with whatever long-term goal you have for them.
Being consistent with what they’re learning and how they’re learning will help them progress faster, too.
4. Time Is Used Efficiently
An institutional school’s rigid schedules and need to accomplish administrative tasks can sometimes get in the way of teaching their students.
In contrast, homeschools don’t have to worry about non-productive administrative duties and just stick to learning.
Homeschoolers use time more efficiently and learn more in less time.
5. Customized Learning
Every child is different, and homeschooling means you’ll be able to teach your child using the most appropriate method according to their personality and capabilities.
The way they learn will be customized to who they are, their interests, and their goals in life.
This ability to tailor education in homeschooling is particularly beneficial for children with special needs.
In a traditional school setting, they might be treated inadequately and even judged by their peers.
But in homeschool, you’ll always have their special needs in mind and you’ll be in a better position to help them thrive.
6. High Test Scores
Multiple studies show that homeschool students don’t lag when it comes to academics.
In this evaluation of 14 peer-reviewed research studies on homeschooling, most of the studies on academic achievement found that homeschoolers significantly outperformed public and private school students.
They reported that homeschooled kids scored higher in reading, language, and math, as well as science, social studies, and listening.
7. College Opportunities
The same review also looked into 16 studies that compared the success in adulthood of homeschoolers versus students of institutional schools.
Most of the studies show that homeschoolers had better SAT, ACT, and GPA scores compared to conventional school students.
The studies also show that homeschoolers portrayed more positive results when it comes to civic involvement, political tolerance, and college experience.
It’s no wonder why colleges and universities are now modifying their admissions to encourage homeschoolers to apply.
So, you don’t have to be concerned about whether or not your child will get into college because the statistics say they will.
8. Develop Great Study Skills
Unlike traditional schools, though, your child won’t have multiple teachers who are specialized in specific subjects.
But that can be balanced by the fact that homeschooling naturally teaches your kids to self-study.
That’s what homeschooling is all about.
They learn to research, look up terms and concepts that they don’t understand, or even seek out a professional in the community who knows what they’re doing.
Developing great study skills will help them anywhere. If they’re going to college, it’ll make their transition so much easier, too.
When they’re trained to explore concepts by themselves, they’ll see learning as something that happens constantly and not just an act that’s done in a specific place like a classroom.
And this means that as their teacher, you don’t have to be an expert on every subject; you just have to encourage them to keep learning.
Developing great study skills will also give your child more opportunity to think, learn, and act independently.
That’s because they won’t be influenced by an institutional school’s schedule and pressures.
So, whenever they have to make decisions, they’ll base them on their instincts and intellect, not on norms dictated by a particular social group.
They’ll learn to read on their own, pursue their curiosities, evaluate their work, and learn from their mistakes, especially when you foster this kind of environment and model these behaviors yourself.
Benefits of Homeschooling on Family and Social Bonds
10. Closer Family Ties
Because you’ll be spending time with your kids almost every day, you’ll have no choice but to work through both the good and the bad for lessons to progress.
You and your child will learn to work as a team, and this will only bring you closer together.
If they have siblings, they’ll build closer relationships with them as well.
Especially when you encourage your kids to communicate how they’re feeling -- whether they’re sad, frustrated, or angry -- they’ll become more mature and establish a positive connection with everyone in the family.
Perhaps that’s why when tested for assertiveness, cooperation, empathy, and self-control, a study found that homeschoolers scored higher in those social skills compared to public school students.
11. A More Diverse Social Life in General
Most of us grew up with friends of the same age.
In homeschool, your child’s socialization will take on a different path.
They won’t be limited to socializing with peers, and they’ll also get to hang out with people who are older and younger than them.
They might not end up having a huge social circle of people their same age compared to students in institutional schools, but that comes with its upsides.
For one, not staying in a room with the same 20 to 30 students means your child will have more opportunities to meet new people.
Having a diverse social life is a very good thing.
Your child will be exposed to different beliefs and cultures, they’ll be more tolerant toward people of various backgrounds, and they’ll learn a lot about the world and themselves.
12. Less Exposure to Labels and Peer Pressure
Besides, the kind of social setting you’d find in public and private schools is filled with unhealthy constructs like peer pressure, stereotypical labels, bullying, and ridicule.
Our society’s love for labels runs rampant in the school system.
Children often group together in cliques, and those who are different often become outsiders.
In homeschool, your child won’t grow up with this kind of influence.
They’ll discover who they are without getting lost in this mess of labels, and they’ll form opinions of people based on a plethora of things instead of categorizing them into stereotypes.
13. Freedom for Self-Expression
The lack of labels and peer pressure in homeschool also means your child won’t need to compromise who they are to fit in.
They’re free to explore their interests and passions, and they can pursue them without fear of being judged by others.
In a traditional school, students establish what they consider normal.
Anyone who strays from that gets bullied, left behind in social groups, or gives up their interests because other people think it’s not a good thing.
Homeschoolers don’t have to deal with that.
They can try new things, take all sorts of classes, share their ideas with others, and just figure out whatever they want to figure out.
Being untethered to the pressures of social groups will liberate your child to unlock their full potential and be confident with who they are.
Benefits of Homeschooling on Physical and Emotional Wellbeing
14. Safer and Less Stressful Environment
There are two types of stress:
The good kind that makes us evolve, and the bad kind that just damages our physical and emotional wellbeing.
Bullying, peer pressure, and social labels definitely fall under the damaging kind because they affect our self-esteem, self-expression, and confidence.
When your kids are less exposed to those stressors that are common in institutional schools, it effectively reduces the amount of unhealthy stress they have to go through daily.
And their overall health will be better off in the long run.
The homeschooling environment is also safer for your child.
Research suggests that the rate of neglect as well as physical and sexual abuse is lower in homeschool students compared to institutional school students.
Homeschoolers are also less likely to abuse alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.
15. Room to Be Physically Active
To be fair, public school students can also be physically active because of PE and sports activities.
But for most of the school day, they’ll be sitting on a chair and listening to the teacher in front of them.
Because of the flexibility of homeschooling, you can incorporate more physical activities into your study sessions.
You can spend more time exercising, playing, and doing fun learning activities that require a lot of moving around.
16. Better Sleep
Sleep is very important for your child’s physical and mental health.
It reduces the effects of stress, improves memory, strengthens the immune system, and helps with productivity.
Because homeschooling doesn’t require heaps of homework, it frees up time for your kids during the night, so they can relax and prepare for bed.
And since you’re supervising their learning, you might as well help them establish a healthy sleeping pattern, too.
Reading before sleep is an amazing bedtime routine.
So, while they’re still kids, read to them out loud, and when they’re proficient enough to read by themselves, encourage them to do that.
17. More Experiences
Homeschoolers have the opportunity to experience so many things, even more than those who attend public or private schools.
Well, institutional school students can go on field trips, too.
But unlike them, you don’t have to follow time constraints or deal with the logistics of managing a large group of children.
Plus, you can go on a field trip whenever you want.
Even vacations can be field trips, as long as there’s something to learn (and there’s always something to learn).
You can visit historical sites, zoos, aquariums, museums, and theaters. And if you don’t want to spend any money, you can go to the park or go hiking.
There’s always something to do, like creating an impressionist work of art, identifying the plants you pass by, or spotting and naming birds and animals.
Experiences aren’t limited to field trips either.
Homeschoolers also have more opportunities to volunteer in the community, be an expert’s apprentice, or do charitable work.
Those experiences will allow them to apply the things they’ve learned to real life.
18. Integrating Culture with Education
Your child’s learning can also integrate all aspects of your family’s culture, traditions, and religion.
Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or atheist, you can include spiritual or religious lessons with their academic subjects.
You can also meet up with people in the community of the same background, and also get together with people of different ideologies, so your child can have a broader perspective on life.
When they become familiar with their family’s culture as well as exposed to different others, it’ll open their eyes to a colorful world and help them grow into mature adults who see life as vast and filled with all sorts of people.
19. Freedom to Pursue Interests and Passions
While other children in your neighborhood are locked away in a school building, your child can go wherever their hearts and passions take them.
Whether they’re interested in science, art, music, dance, history, or math, they can read about it, explore, and experiment on topics they’re curious about.
With your guidance, they can learn new skills such as gardening, cooking or baking, painting, playing musical instruments, acting, or dancing ballet.
If your child wants to see the ocean or go to the museum to study something, they don’t have to ask permission from a teacher or the school principal.
And if they’re falling behind on a subject they enjoy but just have a hard time learning the concepts, they can just focus on it until they get the hang of it, instead of moving on to the next classroom after the bell rings.
20. Happiness and Overall Positive Mental Health
All the benefits of homeschooling mentioned above sum up to your child’s happiness and overall positive mental health.
According to a study from the Journal of Educational Research, homeschooled children tend to have lower depression and less externalizing problems like aggression and delinquency.
And in this study of homeschoolers who’ve gone to college, they were found to have scored higher in life satisfaction compared to those who went to institutional schools.
Homeschooling has had its share of stigmas.
After all, most of us are only familiar with the traditional classroom setting in public, private, or charter schools.
But now, more people are realizing that homeschooling is a decent alternative to a competent education.
They’re starting to see the many benefits of homeschooling.
Countless bodies of research have shown that a home education has positive influences on a child’s academic excellence, their connections to family and society, and their physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.
So, contrary to the misconceptions many people have on homeschooling, it might even be a better option compared to studying at an institutional school.