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In March of 2021, there were an estimated 4.5 to 5.0 million homeschool students in grades K-12 in the United States. Homeschooling works for many families, but it’s not right for everyone, and it’s completely understandable to have some reservations when you’re considering whether it’s the right step for your teen. Thankfully, there are a few tell-tale signs that will let you know that making the switch to homeschooling is going to be a positive move that will allow them to thrive.
School struggles are noticeable
While many kids may struggle in school from time to time, those whose struggles are frequent, evident, and negatively affecting their day on a regular basis (to the point that they actively dislike school) would greatly benefit from homeschooling. Children who struggle with understanding their lessons may simply need to be taught in another way, and one teacher may not be able to cater to several students individually during class time. For example, your teen may learn better through tactile or visual learning approaches (or a combination of learning styles) instead of listening to lectures all day in order to understand the material. By teaching your child yourself, you’ll be able to provide a positive educational environment, and do so in a way that they learn best in order for them to succeed academically.
Not enough time for hobbies
If your teen has an undying passion for a specific hobby — such as sports or music — and they aren’t able to spend much time on it due to school (and an abundance of homework), homeschooling may present the perfect solution. Because homeschooling allows you to tailor your child’s education to their needs, you can effectively incorporate their interests into the school day. Not only will this allow them to focus on what they love and are passionate about, but it will ensure that they’re captivated while they’re learning. For instance, homeschooling will give your teen an abundance of opportunities — such as unique, passion-related field trips and events, or even participation in groups that wouldn’t fit with a restrictive school schedule. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is just one notable example of someone who was a homeschooled teen: she was able to spend more time out on the water due to a more relaxed schedule, proving just how beneficial it can be to a child with extra-curricular talents.
School is “too easy”
Unfortunately, many kids in the public school system may find themselves bored or even totally disinterested in their schoolwork — but not because they “hate” school. In reality, this may simply be the case for those who would benefit from a higher level curriculum altogether. While skipping a grade or taking an advanced course or two may hold a solution for some, homeschooling will allow your teen to benefit from getting one-on-one attention from their teacher and learning at their own pace, and even choose what they want to learn about next. Consequently, this will better prepare your child for college, as homeschooled students tend to score higher on standardized tests, according to Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute.
Making the decision to homeschool your teen is rarely an easy one to make as a parent. However, there are several situations in which it can offer a better educational experience and allow your teen to succeed academically.