Gone are the days when homeschooling was relegated to religious “zealots” who isolated themselves from society.
Today, it has become a valid alternative to traditional schooling options, and no longer comes along with the stigma with which it was once burdened. The reasoning behind this expansion in popularity deserves exploration, and sports star Tim Tebow was more than willing to explain why.
Tebow fits into this specific discussion because he knows about homeschool personally, having spent a great deal of his own childhood being homeschooled. During an interview with ABC, he explained that his parents wanted his education to involve more than simply book learning.
“They wanted us to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic, but that wasn’t No.1. It wasn’t the most important thing,” he said. “They wanted to instill love in our hearts, love for God, love for one another. They wanted us to be able to learn a work ethic, a dedication.”
SEC Network host and former NFL player, Heisman winner, and current baseball player Tim Tebow is a well-respected individual to say the least. Even those who aren’t a fan of his alma mater, the Florida Gators, still find themselves rooting for his success. This is probably because he is such a genuine person who has used his fame, time and time again to give back to everyone around him.
From Tebow’s explanation, one could surmise that his parents believed a good education should involve more than sitting still in a classroom and reading out of a textbook. Other parents agree with this belief.
Claire Dickson, a Harvard sophomore who was homeschooled her entire childhood, explained that her parents also fell into this category. Their motivation for homeschooling her came from the idea that learning shouldn’t include forcing kids to sit still and learn in “traditional” methods.
“I have to explain to people that we didn’t have a blackboard in our kitchen with equations written on it. I was out in the world,” she said.
Of course, there are other reasons why homeschooling today seems not only more moral, but also more practical.
Technological advancements in recent years have allowed more students and their parents to choose homeschooling as an option. Families today can tap into online resources so their kids can learn along with their peers, while still remaining in their homes. Mobile devices and instantaneous communication also allows parents to delegate the task of teaching their kids to various programs or even tutors. Since being solely responsible for everything a child learns can be intimidating for parents, the technology now available to aid in this issue is welcome.
Naturally, technological breakthroughs have also been seen in public schools – but why exactly are more and more parents steering their children away from them?
According to the 2012 National Household Education Survey, 91% of parents cited their concern with the public school environment as their number one reason for choosing a homeschool education for their child. What this means is difficult to ascertain, as it likely means something different for every parent. However, in general, the environment likely describes issues such as bullying and other safety concerns.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, as of 2016, more than 20.8% of students have experienced bullying. The Center for Disease Control says that kids who experience bullying are at an increased risk for anxiety, depression and sleep difficulties.
Bullying doesn’t stop when the student leaves the premises of the school, though. Cyberbullying, the type of bullying that occurs online, has increased in frequency and severity as well according to the CDC. Parents who want to prevent their child from experiencing the negative effects of bullying, either in person or online, are choosing homeschool as a way for them to better control who has access to their kids.
Homeschool is gaining in popularity across the nation, and the above reasons are some of the most common why. Christians should be encouraged that this has now become a more applicable option for their families, whether or not they choose to take advantage of it personally.
~ 1776 Christian