The Brain Science Behind Helping Your Children Thrive in Home Education
By: Guest Author
Educating your kids at home can seem intimidating, even if you’ve been a teacher. Some people may question your decision, wondering if homeschooling really works. Does it genuinely have benefits? Luckily, plenty of science shows why having you as their teacher can help your children thrive. Here are a few reasons why homeschooling your children is great for their learning.
In a standard school, class sizes are likely between 15 and 25 kids — some can even get as large as 30. Those numbers may not seem huge to you, but they’re significant to teachers. They have to be able to reach every student and answer their questions before time runs out. Some kids may need more help than others. This means your children might not get enough time with their educator.
At home, you being their teacher eliminates that problem. Even if you have multiple kids, it likely won’t be close to the class size they would have in school. One school in the U.K. with smaller amounts of students reported that 95% of its attendees went on to high-end grammar schools. When you have fewer children to look out for, you can give them more of your attention. This can help you tailor your teaching to their needs and spend more time helping them.
Additionally, they may experience less social influence and reduce their risk of bullying. Teenagers’ brains still have 20% of development left at their age, leading to poor decisions and higher sensitivity to peer pressure. A smaller class size at home means you can practically eliminate their chances of negative encounters. They’ll be able to focus on school without worrying about bullies or feeling insecure about other kids doing better. It’s just you and them — a perfect team to foster education.
Did you ever walk into a classroom and wonder why the teacher had a bunch of random stuff on the wall? On the other hand, did a classroom ever seem too bare? How you decorate the room can affect learning — and home education gives you control. This can be essential to their understanding, as distractions will take away from how much they recall. You need a healthy balance of decor and blank wall space.
One 2014 study analyzed a group of kindergarteners in several classroom settings. Some of these consisted of heavily decorated walls. The kids were more distracted, showed less advancement and stayed off task longer in the visually stimulating rooms. If you’re considering homeschooling your children, think about designating a room in your house for learning. This way, you can increase their focus and help them retain more information.
Keeping the room light and bright can make a better learning environment for your kids. Additionally, everything you put on the walls should have an educational purpose. Keeping the walls 20%-50% clear creates an even amount of decoration without being disruptive. Control over where your kids learn is vital because it can help or hinder their progress. Homeschooling means you can help them thrive where they are.
No matter where you choose to homeschool, your child will most likely feel more relaxed being in a safe, comfortable being in their home.
Perhaps you remember being in school and feeling desperate to get outside on a nice day. The question “Can we have class outside?” often got a no from teachers, but you can say yes with home education. Perhaps you could structure a lesson on different kinds of leaves and why they change color for younger children. Older kids may just enjoy having a chance for a break in the sunshine. Flexibility in learning does have positive effects on education.
A study on e-learning found that students’ academic performances benefited from changing their learning times and content. They also noted better behavioral engagement. Kids that learn what they want when they want could be more likely to pay attention. Letting them change around the schedule is something unique to homeschooling. Flexibility can help both of you when you have to teach them things they don’t enjoy.
Finding times to say yes and no can assist in developing kids’ cognitive flexibility. This is their ability to shift gears or try new things. While you can go outside sometimes, you may occasionally say, “It looks like we should stay inside today. How can we find ways to have fun in the classroom?” Narrating this process can teach them they won’t always be able to do what they want, but there are options. This kind of social-emotional learning is unique to home education.
Helping Your Children Thrive Homeschool Advantages
Home education has myriad benefits for your kids at any age of learning. Smaller class sizes allow them to focus and get help when needed. It also reduces the chances of bullying. Choosing how you decorate the classroom can also benefit their information retention. Finally, being flexible helps them perform better and learn new skills. These are all scientific ways to help your children’s brains thrive with home education.
About The Author:
Carolina Jacobs is a professional, experienced writer and has been passionately applying her writing skills in the career and education niche for more than 4 years. She is also the managing editor at Classrooms.com and you can connect with her on any of these social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.