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Speaking Out: Hidden benefits of homeschooling

By  Sarah Wentzell, Youth Speak News
  • November 13, 2019

I have never once set foot on a school bus. I have never been taught in a traditional school at all. This is because ever since I started kindergarten, I have been homeschooled.

This quote by Ivan Illich, a Roman Catholic priest, Austrian philosopher and author, expresses one aspect of how I have found homeschooling to affect my view of the world: “School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.”Homeschooling has encouraged me to be unconventional and to not feel the need to follow mainstream society when it comes to forming opinions and beliefs. 

When I was younger, my brothers and I each had our desk where we could do our schoolwork, or we would sit with our mother while she read some of our books to us. As I grew older and entered high school, I became mainly self-sufficient. The one exception, however, is religion. My mom has always continued to read our religion courses with us so we can discuss the lessons and make sure we understand it fully. 

My daily routine varies quite a lot. I rarely do the same order of subjects each day and where I study fluctuates as well. I sometimes even read my English books outdoors. 

Most importantly, homeschooling has positively affected my spiritual life. I am blessed to be a student of Seton Home Study School, an online, fully accredited, Catholic homeschooling system based in the town of Front Royal in Virginia. All of my courses are taught from a firmly Catholic perspective which is completely faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. 

Statistics from the Fraser Institute show homeschooling rose over 29 per cent in Canada from 2006 to 2012. As the benefits of homeschooling become more widely known and common myths surrounding it are dispelled, it has become more socially accepted. Many studies demonstrate that homeschoolers perform better on U.S. college admission tests than public schooled children. 

Also, advancements in the use of technology have made homeschooling more feasible for many families. Seton Home Study School, for example, aids homeschooled families in over 50 countries through online resources and counsellors. 

Of course, homeschooling is not simply smooth sailing. For instance, it is generally more expensive than going to a standard school. Enrolment fees in good quality homeschooling programs, as well as the cost of textbooks, do add up. And for younger kids, the necessity of a parent staying home can be financially difficult for some families. 

Through Seton, I receive academic counselling, have most of my papers graded by teachers online and will also receive my high school diploma. Every year I have specific and detailed religion courses, such as a course on understanding the Scriptures and another on moral theology, although many of the other courses also include Catholic content.

Also, in the face of mounting violence and bullying in schools, I have experienced a very positive upbringing through homeschooling. I have not had to deal with the stress and insecurity caused by emotional, verbal or even physical abuse found in some traditional schools.

One of the biggest challenges in homeschooling is the investment of the parent’s time. My mother has sacrificed hundreds of hours of her life to teaching my four brothers and me. Although she has a teaching licence, she passed up a full-time job and the pursuit of many of her interests to stay home and teach us. 

She wanted us to have a thoroughly Catholic education and to develop a close relationship with God, as well as to encourage our curiosity.

Although homeschoolers are often stereotyped as socially awkward, I have found that, on the contrary, homeschooling has instilled within me self-confidence and self-respect. 

(Wentzell, 16, is a Grade 11 student in Seton Home Study School in Thunder Bay, Ont.)

Comments (2)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Way to speak up, Sarah. Despite the fact that there are now over 2.4 million homeschool students in the US https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/ and homeschooling (parent-led home-based education) was the norm across the world...

Way to speak up, Sarah. Despite the fact that there are now over 2.4 million homeschool students in the US https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/ and homeschooling (parent-led home-based education) was the norm across the world for millennia until only about 5 generations ago, sadly current-day homeschool students are still often given narrow-minded treatment by others.

It is no wonder that parent-led, home-based, not-tax-funded education (homeschooling) is growing in Washington and all around the world amongst a diversity of people – dark- and light-skinned; rich and poor; urban and rural; high- and low-income; Hindu, Jew, agnostic, pagan, or Christian. The home educated perform better (on average) academically, socially, and into adulthood than those who attend public/government schools (see research below). In the peer-reviewed Journal of School Choice review of only peer-reviewed research, Ray showed (2017) that 78% of the studies found that homeschooled students and graduates performed significantly better than their conventional or institutional school peers and institutional/conventional school students performed significantly better in only 4% of the studies https://www.nheri.org/a-systematic-review-of-the-empirical-research-on-selected-aspects-of-homeschooling-as-a-school-choice/ ) Whether the propaganda in State-run schools is leftist, centrist, or rightist; heterosex-only or LGBTQ-ism; socialism, neo-Marxism, or hard-handed capitalism, freedom-loving parents do not want their children indoctrinated by the State. Get your child out, now, of institutional schooling, especially that by the government/public.

Read More
Bob Smithson
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Way to speak up, Sarah. Despite the fact that there are now over 2.4 million homeschool students in the US https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/ and homeschooling (parent-led home-based education) was the norm across the world...

Way to speak up, Sarah. Despite the fact that there are now over 2.4 million homeschool students in the US https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/ and homeschooling (parent-led home-based education) was the norm across the world for millennia until only about 5 generations ago, sadly current-day homeschool students are still often given narrow-minded treatment by others.

It is no wonder that parent-led, home-based, not-tax-funded education (homeschooling) is growing in Washington and all around the world amongst a diversity of people – dark- and light-skinned; rich and poor; urban and rural; high- and low-income; Hindu, Jew, agnostic, pagan, or Christian. The home educated perform better (on average) academically, socially, and into adulthood than those who attend public/government schools (see research below). In the peer-reviewed Journal of School Choice review of only peer-reviewed research, Ray showed (2017) that 78% of the studies found that homeschooled students and graduates performed significantly better than their conventional or institutional school peers and institutional/conventional school students performed significantly better in only 4% of the studies https://www.nheri.org/a-systematic-review-of-the-empirical-research-on-selected-aspects-of-homeschooling-as-a-school-choice/ ) Whether the propaganda in State-run schools is leftist, centrist, or rightist; heterosex-only or LGBTQ-ism; socialism, neo-Marxism, or hard-handed capitalism, freedom-loving parents do not want their children indoctrinated by the State. Get your child out, now, of institutional schooling, especially that by the government/public.

Read More
Bob Smithson
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