The Modern Home School Experience
More families are choosing to home-school than ever before, and the trend does not look to be slowing down. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the percentage of home-schooled students has doubled since 1999. And that number does not even account for students who are enrolled in online schools or home-schooling only part-time. Defining what actually constitutes “home school” is changing rapidly and new options are opening up for students who want more flexibility in their education than the traditional route offers.
Despite the newfound popularity, some misconceptions still linger concerning the quality, process, and families of home-schoolers; foremost the myth that children kept from school are isolated and lack social skills. Assumptions that home-school families are authoritative and overbearing, or even passive un-schoolers do not paint the real picture of a day in the life of most home-schooled children. Headlines such as Business Insider’s “Home-schooling is the New Path to Harvard” are beginning to show outsiders that home-schoolers are competitive contenders in business and education; yet, parents still often face judgment by friends and family who subtly question their choice. “As home-schooling parents, we know that we are taking a huge responsibility upon ourselves to educate our children. It is easy to get discouraged when people start to question your ability and qualifications,” says Olga Pitsul, a Vancouver mom who has been home-schooling her children for eight years.
The Choice to Home-School
Pitsul decided to home-school when her oldest was about to head to kindergarten. “I didn’t feel like my 5-year-old son was ready to be at school for 6-plus hours each day,” she shares. She is not alone.
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Photo courtesy of Sue Simper, who is pictured conducting a science lesson at home.