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10 Benefits of Homeschooling You Need To Know

10 Benefits of Homeschooling You Need To Know

Did you know that in the US today, there are about 2 million children who are homeschooled? This represents an annual increase of between 7 to 15 percent. Globally, almost 40 countries have banned homeschooling or have restrictive laws. So, what are the benefits these children are getting and are they really doing well on standardized tests such as SAT and ACT?

1. Homeschoolers do better on tests.

One study of 20,000 homeschooled children revealed that they definitely scored better at tests. This was particularly evident in those children who had been homeschooled right through to high school level. In another study, the homeschoolers in the SAT test were scoring around 67 points more than the national average.

2. They have more emotional freedom.

Being educated at home removes a lot of the stress of the normal classroom. There is no need to try to ‘fit in’ and give into peer pressure. There are no cases of bullying, drugs, being ostracised and all the other social pressures. In the book A Sense of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls by Susannah Sheffer, the author has found that teenage homeschooled girls had no loss of self esteem and become happier and more emotionally mature adults.

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3. There is no homework.

Because the children are more directly involved in the learning process, there is little or no homework to be done. Parents never have to struggle to help with impossible and lengthy homework.

4. They are not socially isolated.

There has been much criticism of the fact that the homeschoolers do not get to learn social skills. This is only partly true because there will be lots of opportunities for them to do extra activities with other kids. They will more than likely have plenty of friends when they do their swimming, gymnastics and piano lessons, for example. It is up to the parents not to isolate their children.

5. Flexible schedules make life easier for the whole family.

No rushing out of the house in the morning and having to meet all sorts of schedules, not to mention meetings and other commitments. The parent can decide the length of lessons and also decide when to take holidays. Many homeschooled children can enjoy educational breaks with their parents at off seasons during the year. There are loads of opportunities for field trips, museum visits and parks. This can tie in perfectly with what they are learning at home at the time.

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6. They can learn at their own pace and make faster progress.

John Taylor Gatto, the controversial author of Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, has criticized the public school system. He says that homeschooling avoids confusion in learning as the kids get one-on-one tutoring. The homeschoolers learn autonomy in learning and are not so emotionally and intellectually dependent as the public school kids.

7. Their special needs are catered for.

If a child has special needs, they may be labelled and treated inadequately in the school system. This could well be a hindrance and is often a social stigma. ADHD children have to suffer all sorts of prejudice and obstacles. If the child is homeschooled sensitively, his special needs are never forgotten and s/he is always the number one priority.

8. There is plenty of time for “premium” parenting.

I usually refer to homeschooling as “premium” parenting because the parent is intimately involved in the learning process. This rarely happens with public school kids. At most, they get grudging help from parents with homework, but it will never be the same quality the homeschooler gets. The parent as the teacher knows the subject well and can share fully in the joy and excitement of learning.

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9. Homeschoolers may become happier and more productive adults.

Research into how homeschoolers turn out as adults was conducted by Dr. Ray in 2003. He found that 5,000 out of a group of 7,300 adults had been homeschooled for more than 7 years. They were much more active in community and social life than their public school counterparts. A much higher number also went on to higher education and they also scored higher on the happiness scale. In 1999, Stanford University accepted twice as many homeschoolers compared to publicly and privately educated students.

10. They may be more independent.

When the homeschoolers were questioned at college, they reported that they were much more independent in their approach to life and learning. They had never felt the need to follow the crowd, and this served them well. In regard to having to solve learning problems, they were much more independent in seeking out the answers themselves.

Were you homeschooled and what were the advantages? Let us know in the comments below.

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Featured photo credit: Homeschooling/Iowa Politics.com via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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