Choosing Homeschooling

student home schoolA growing number of parents (an estimated 125,000 in California alone) are rediscovering their God-given role as teachers and are choosing to educate their children at home rather than send them away to a public or private school.

Why Do Parents Choose Home Education?

Many parents select home education because of the opportunity for enhanced academic, social, cultural, and spiritual development. The specific advantages of home education include:

  • Christ-centered curriculum and methods
  • Individualized instruction
  • Increased family unity and closeness
  • Development of independent thinking
  • Enhanced communication among age groups
  • Flexible schedule
  • Training children in all areas of life in an Integrated way
  • Superior academic progress

Parents are uniquely qualified to teach their children since they know them better than iyone and have the deepest love and concern for their welfare.

Is It Legal?

Although private home education is not specifically mentioned in the California Education Code, it is a legal option for parents. The compulsory attendance section of the education code requires that all children between the ages of six and 18 be either 1) in public school, 2) in private school, or 3) tutored by a state credentialed teacher. Under the private school exemption, parents may choose to establish their own private school or enroll their children in a private school offering a home study program. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a national organization, which provides information and representation to member families.

What About Socialization?

This is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of child training and education. Popular opinion holds that children need regular interaction with a large group of peers in order to acquire appropriate “social” skills. However, there is significant evidence that extensive peer contact can lead to group dependency and low self-esteem. On the other hand, godly principles of interaction can be reinforced when children get together under supervision of Christian families, which share common values.

What About Academics?

Home-educated students score well above average on standardized tests. Many colleges are now actively recruiting homeschool graduates.

Are Parents Qualified?

Parents are uniquely qualified to teach their children since they know their children better than anyone and have the deepest love and concern for them. Individual instruction is universally acknowledged to be superior to the average classroom with one teacher and 25 or 30 students. There are numerous resources parents can employ to supplement their own knowledge and skills. Parent teachers can motivate their children to become sincere students by an example of dedication to and enthusiasm for learning.

What Resources Are Available?

A variety of fine materials developed for and used in Christian schools, as well as quality resources from other publishers, is available to home educators. In addition, new materials are being developed or adapted especially for use in the home: correspondence schools, private satellite school programs (PSP), and school services provide varying degrees of assistance in choosing curriculum, testing, record keeping, and counseling. Mail order and walk-in suppliers of education materials are plentiful. The Exhibit Hall at CHEA Conventions provides a unique opportunity for the parents to view and purchase curriculum. Visit CHEA’s Online Store to see the resources we have available.

How Do I Get Started?

Home education is as individual as the families who pursue it. Each family should develop a program, which meets its goals and can be integrated into their home. Experiments with different materials and methods can occur continuously and adjustments be made as parents and children learn together. Planning for a successful home education experience is absolutely necessary and should include setting goals, being informed about the law and the attitude of local school officials, and joining a local group for mutual help and encouragement.

For more in-depth answers to these questions and others, the following articles:

Home Schools and Christian Education
Homeschool Facts and Figures
Why Charter Schools Won’t Work for Christians
Emergency Start Up