Homeschooling – The Best Alternative, But Usually Done Backwards

Homeschooling – The Best Alternative, But Usually Done Backwards

Jesse Martin 06/04/2021 6
Homeschooling – The Best Alternative, But Usually Done Backwards

The research into homeschooling is unequivocable.

If it is done well, homeschooling provides superior learning when compared to traditional classroom teaching. Anyone who has looked at the research around the subject will attest to this.

However, I strongly believe that when homeschooling is done with some years of education done using public schooling and some of the years done at home, the choice of order is almost always backward. The reasons are obvious, but the reasoning is flawed.

Usually, when parents opt to use both methods for learning, the homeschooling is done for the first six years and then children are sent to school for their final six years. This is done because parents feel confident teaching children the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic using educational kids apps and learning resources. However, they believe that children would do better in an established classroom system in the second half of schooling when the topics become more sophisticated and when they feel that their children need to develop social skills with their friends.

I’ll deal with the second reason here because it is the easiest one to address. I’ll tackle the first reason in another article.

The strongest argument against homeschooling, at least in the minds of those making it, is the problem of social maturation. Homeschooled children don’t have the opportunity to develop social skills because they don’t spend enough time with other children.


First of all, there are many ways for homeschooled children to learn to socialize with others. Within the homeschooling community, there are numerous opportunities provided for children to get together and do activities that are educational and social in nature. In many school districts, there are policies that allow homeschooled children to enroll in some of the classes that schools offer. The classes normally chosen are optional classes like band, choir, computing, shop, etc. And finally, communities and groups run community-based programs that children engage in. From junior sports leagues to dancing classes, there are many opportunities for children to learn social skills with peers of their own age.

Secondly, there is good research that tells us that children who avoid the jungle of the playground grow up to be more mature and better-balanced adults. Children are mean to each other. They say and do things to establish a hierarchy amongst themselves and that usually means that they try to destroy each other socially in order to diminish other’s social standing. Each of us who has experienced this jungle knows that it is brutal and demeaning.

Often, emotional scars are inflicted that never heal. Children who find themselves low in the hierarchy are more likely to develop depression and anxiety than children who are at the top. In addition, those at the top develop attitudes of superiority, narcissism, and arrogance that can be equally undesirable in our society. Both ends of the spectrum can lead to serious mental health problems in adults, for example, eating disorders - both from anxiety at the bottom of the hierarchy, and anxiety at the top of the hierarchy (must always look good).

The jungle of the playground is not a positive contributor to a just and fair society.

It has been found that homeschooled children who have not experienced this jungle turn out to be better adjusted, socially, as adults. They may not blend in socially as children and youths (after all, they don’t fit in the hierarchy), but their predominant socialization as children is usually with adults. Children and youths who predominantly socialize with adults develop more adult-type social skills that mean that they enter adulthood better adjusted and better prepared for adult life than their formal schooled peers.

As far as the teaching and learning of sophisticated topics, I’ll write about them as well. Parents are well equipped to teach these skills. And, because of the very reason (usually) that they opt for homeschooling, conscientious parents are willing to put effort into thinking of activities that mean youths learn sophisticated academic and practical skills far better than their formal schooled peers.

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  • Brent Thompson

    I like homeschool so u know what your kids are learning.

  • Richy Hicks

    Sounds like all positives to me for homeschooling.

  • John Drysdale

    Most people don't seem to realize that most homeschooling is done online, not by parents.

  • Sammy Lazzarith

    Homeschooling works when the student has the self discipline to study.

  • Bobo Smithson

    Most honest professional and lay teachers know that more one-on-one, more adult interaction, more time with family, more mentoring, more mastery learning, more individualization, more time to read, and less time spent being bullied and harassed and coerced to be a part of the correct clique is good for children and adolescents. All of these positives are part of the systemic nature of parent-led home-based independent (not government-controlled) education.

  • Bobo Smithson

    State/government-run schooling systems and teachers’ unions are angry that millions of parents are finding out that they do not need $12,000 per child per year of their neighbors’ taxes (U.S. public/government school average cost out of pocket), do not need professors’ of schools of education training and indoctrination of school teachers, do not need “expert”-created government-school hegemonic and monolithic curriculum, and their children do not need to be with 25 peers of about the same age all day long to be good learners, happy, and sociable. Peer-reviewed research

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Jesse Martin

Higher Education Expert

Jesse is a world leader in the integration of the science of learning into formal teaching settings. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Lethbridge and Director at The Academy for the Scholarship of Learning. Huge advocate of the science of learning, he provides people with ideas about how they can use it in their classrooms. Jesse holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Wales, Bangor.

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