We are seeing suicide and depression rates skyrocket among the youngsters (high school as well as primary level children). This is mostly due to bullying and stress over marks that aren’t ‘good enough’. Parents (and teachers) are expecting the impossible from children, and the constant competition to achieve ‘the best’ of everything is considered normal. And our children are buckling under the load…
Almost every second child is diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and put on some form of medication to help ‘manage’ it. Children are expected to sit still and keep focused on dreary and dead textbooks or drawling teachers while they should be playing outside and breathing in fresh air.
Peer pressure has also reached scary new levels. When our parents had to worry about us skipping school or smoking a cigarette behind the Geography class, we now need to worry about sexting, cyber bullying, rapes happening in school and primary age children addicted to drugs (over-the-counter and illegal). Not to even mention all the inappropriate information our kids are exposed to… Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my 9-year-old daughter exposed to pornography on a friend’s phone or pre-pubescent boys thinking about sex instead of holding hands…
Now, I’m not saying NONE of those things can happen when you home school. Don’t get me wrong. But you can have more of a say in what your child gets exposed to.
We have a huge problem in South Africa now: we have too many overqualified people and not enough jobs. And with BEE mixed in, it makes finding a good job pretty damn impossible. We need more entrepreneurs! Free-thinkers that will help create jobs and shape the economy of tomorrow. It’s our jobs as parents to help prepare our children for that future. And, as a bonus, Universities, colleges and employers prefer students that can work independently and ‘think outside the box’. Just look at Richard Branson (Virgin) and Google’s unorthodox interviews.
For example: Amber (my daughter) is now 9 years old. Beginning of this year, 2016, we took her out of the school system and she started doing MMA. It’s developed into her biggest passion. She practices almost every day. She constantly talks about it. And because we home school, she doesn’t get homework, and has time (for the first time ever) to pursue her dream. She dreams of going to UFC one day. And we are helping her achieve that. If she decides, in a few years, that she rather wants to become a missionary in Asia, we’ll support her fully in that.
Just to clarify: teachers aren’t to blame for all of this. They try their best. And some of them really, really care. But how much can one teacher truly accomplish with a classroom of 30 children? The system (based on the Industrial Revolution factory model) is BROKEN. It doesn’t encourage individuality, but conformity. It needs every child to be the same as the next, and when your special child doesn’t conform, it spits your baby out as an ‘irregularity’. We, as people, were made to stand out. To be individual.
With home schooling, you have more freedom.
You get to choose the time you spend on ‘school’. This means your kids have more time for extra murals, where they get the opportunity to discover and pursue their passions. If you need to travel for tournaments (or even for an out-of-season holiday!) you are free to do that. If your child is sick, they can spend the day in bed watching Animal Planet instead of worrying about missing schoolwork. (Amber ‘does school’ even when she’s sick. She loves it so much!). The best part is that if your child is a bit ‘behind’ in certain areas, or specially gifted, you can adjust the pace to fit their needs.
You get to choose the curriculum that works for YOUR family and YOUR budget (ranging from oh-my-word-are-you-SERIOUS! to FREE). Yes, you can home school for free. You didn’t know that, did you?
You also get to exercise some control over the friends your child makes. You can arrange socials with children with like-minded parents. With morals that align with yours. And you know where your kids hang out (especially important with teenagers)!
Therefore, home schooling is the only option for us. It’s affordable, allows our kids to grow at their own pace, brings us closer together as a family, their education levels are way above that of public school children and I know I’m raising children that are ready for the future!
I mean, where else will your tween learn how to quote Shakespeare 😉