Schools these days are nothing like they were when our parents (and even their parents) went to school. Classrooms are way more modernized, lesson plans are meant to engage and intrigue and the social pressures are tenfold.
While the concept of being picked on for being "different" has always been around, that aspect of school is overpowering thanks to social media. It never stops. Going to school also introduces innocent children to comparisons. We walk through those school doors completely ourselves and leave feeling less than in comparison to our classmates. We compare our outfits, our grades, our friendships — it's something that all kids go through when going to school. It makes a parent wonder if they should just homeschool their child to ignore all of these negatives.
Homeschooling allows a parent (or another certified teacher in the area) to teach the lessons. They can create their own tests, lesson plans, homework, and schedule for their child's school day. Oh, and it's all from the comfort of their home, protecting them from outside factors. Nevertheless, both forms of schooling are strong in their ways, respectively. Here are 20 challenges kids in schools face today, and five reasons why homeschooling could be the better choice.
Let's start with the 20 challenges kids today are facing in school...
School safety is a huge concern these days. Quite frankly, it's something that parents, students, and teachers all need to be aware of. If the mainstream news sites have taught us anything, it's that people of all ages are capable of anything. As a parent, you need to do your best to not only keep your child safe but to teach them to be nice to others as well. Likewise, teachers need to keep an eye out for any triggers or warnings. I never thought we'd live in a time where safety in school was hard to come by, yet here we are.
Everyone remembers their first crush; it can start young! I used to be "in love" with a kid named Danny in my preschool class. As you get older, though, you start figuring out that you don't actually love someone, you simply "like" them. Learning how to handle these relationships is a process, however; one that can take years to grasp. It's a time in life where you learn about trust, personal boundaries, and what you like or don't like about the dating world. It's a fun time in a young person's life, but it's also one met with learning a lot.
There comes a time where the topic of gender will come up. Some people believe in it, while others don't. Regardless of a person's decision, it's something we all need to get comfortable talking about and understanding.
Gender will also be brought to the conversation in regards to equality. Boys and girls and men and women need to be treated equally. The issue with this concept is not every household follows through with those values which can be confusing when translated in the classroom.
Why are the youngin's so obsessed with Juuling these days? I'm not trying to show my age but it's comical to me that they think it's something that's just for show and not actually harming them in any way. It just goes to show you how Juul needs to remarket their brand a little better, to show kids that there can be setbacks to the product. Among brands like Juul, there are vices that kids can find themselves drawn to, or they're ostracized for not doing the "popular" thing everyone is doing. It's one of those delicate dances kids need to do to find where their comfortability level is.
Social media platforms are in our face every day. It started out as an easy way to stay in touch with our friends and family, but it turned into an obsession. It's an easy way to compare our lives to those we see online, which aren't always factual. Nevertheless, dealing with social media—especially in school—can be tricky. Kids can write mean comments or create fake pages, and it's something that is daunting to a child (even an adult!). Social media should be used for positivity and opportunities — not bringing someone's confidence down.
Confronting adults is something every child will have to do eventually. There are some situations where a parent simply can't get involved, so it's best for the student to have an adult conversation. Conversing with a teacher, coach, or first-time job boss is intimidating. You don't know what to expect and you don't want to get in trouble for speaking your mind. It's a challenge kids need to face, and will face, in due time. You get better with the art of conversation through trial and error.
Sometimes it's not the kids having issues in class or being away from home, it's the fact they don't have the best teachers. Maybe your kids don't go to the best school district and the good teachers are only a handful. Perhaps the school is in desperate need for more teachers, so students are getting the attention they deserve. Whatever the case may be, some kids' only challenges are those with their teachers. If their grades falter in one year, but not the others, it could very well be the connection between your child and their teacher.
Remember how I said there were sometimes too many bad teachers for one school? Well, sometimes it's not the teachers' fault. There are times a school can only afford so many teachers, so what they'll do is give one teacher more students than they've had in the past. The problem with this is that not every student gets the one-on-one attention they deserve or sometimes need. Having a teacher's aid is very helpful in these situations, but it's a hurdle kids need to jump over.
Testing and completing one's grade is a stressor all kids will go through. As time goes on, schooling gets harder and harder, and the need to pass gets harder and harder. Truth be told, as long as you're doing your homework, completing the assignments, and studying for tests — you're doing the best you can. This stress is, of course, heightened when teens begin preparing for the SATs. It's kind of like the final test that introduces you to more tests in college, however, it's one that needs to be taken if you're interested in higher education, which I think everyone already knows is a challenge.
Being made fun of for simply being yourself is one of the least fun things a child can go through. And it's not like this kind of thing is secluded, anyone and everyone is talked down upon at least once in their lives. If this happens at a young age, they're too young to really understand what's going on and how they can handle these situations. It's really up to the parent or teacher to take charge and notice these things when they're happening.
Finding your niche in school can be hard. Which subject are you great at? And what about reading, what kinds of books do you gravitate towards? For some kids, it's not about what they learn in the classroom, it's what about what they do after school. Playing sports or joining clubs is an amazing way to stay healthy and meet friends. Balancing your love of hobbies outside of school is challenging. Though, it's something that kids need to get used to over time.
Being our truest self is one of the greatest things we learn in life. We learn to love and appreciate ourselves by doing the things that make us happy and unique. For most kids at a young age, individualism is through art and clothing choices. That's their own adorable way of setting themselves apart from the others. They're two things a child can control and make their own. If a child is trying to express themselves through the arts, hobbies, or fashion — let them shine.
When you're an adult who already graduated from college or are already a parent, think of the last time someone taught you how to study. Looking back, it seems like something most of us students just did, but somewhere down the line, we were taught how to study effectively. Without having a teacher explain to us what to highlight or when to take breaks when studying for an exam, most of us would just be reading the books not sure what to take from it. Studying effectively is important and is valued when learned.
Being a new student yourself is super intimidating. It's always nice when you start the school year on time with the other students so that everyone is on the same page; everyone is technically a new student to the year. However, this comes with its own challenges. Who do they eat lunch with? Will they get along with kids who have already found their friend groups? Kids these days seem to be way more judgmental than they were in the past. If your child is a new student or maybe you learn there's a new student in the class, go out of your way and be nice.
Once a child or teen finds a friend or a group they gravitate towards, make sure that they're healthy ones. I'll never forget when my brother's childhood friend started dabbling in things that kids his age should not be doing. My parents were distraught over the change and had to let my brother know that was a path he couldn't go down on. As a parent and a teacher, sometimes you need to step in to tell your child what's considered healthy versus unhealthy.
Some people say that confidence can't be taught, it's typically picked up through the ups and downs of life. I actually disagree with this wholeheartedly. I feel a person gains confidence by watching those they're inspired by. Doing that alone can give a person (or a child) the confidence they need to get through the day. Self-confidence can be difficult to muster because kids and teens are so worried about fitting in. However, learning to be confident is part of the whole lesson; learning about being confident is what can encourage self-confidence.
Kids want everything and they want it now! The same can be said for teens and young adults. When we really want something, we see no reason why we can't have it that instant. Learning that not everything we want is going to happen immediately, is how we learn about disappointment. We're not always going to be satisfied or able to leave school when it gets hard. We need to learn how to handle disappointments and the hard times. Learning how to act and deal with these kinds of situations is challenging but it'll make you or your child stronger.
Following our last entry, balancing work, school, hobbies, friends, and family is a tough thing for kids to grasp. They have such long days! Unless they're in daycare or kindergarten, they wake up super early for school, eat something in the car on the way to their first activity of the night, and then rush home to eat dinner and finish homework. With so much going on, it's easy to fall off the ropes a bit; but it's times like these our kids learn about managing their time; finding what works and what doesn't.
I'm practically 30 years old, and I still compare myself to others. It's one of those things we learn to deal with when we're younger but that doesn't mean it fades away. It's hard not to compare ourselves against our friends or those we see online. It could be yoga poses, grades, fashion, sports stats — whatever it is that you're slightly envious of, it's easy to pit yourself against someone else. Eventually, we all learn who we truly are; what makes us happy versus what makes us upset. Learning to be unique and love ourselves as is is a way to combat comparisons.
I'm such a homebody — I admit it. As is the fact for most kids, many elementary schoolers are homesick on the first day of school. They're away from their parents for long hours and can't just nap or snuggle when they want. It's time to get focused! However, I was the kind of kid who enjoyed school but was always homesick — even when I went to middle school, high school, and college. I was so attached to my mom and my home that it was hard for me to leave every day. Nevertheless, it's one of those challenges we all must get through together.
And here are the 5 benefits to homeschooling...
Now that we're finally talking about the benefits of homeschooling, let's talk about time management! When you're studying or working from home, think about how much time you save in the morning. You can get ready for the day, but once that's done, you don't need to leave the home. A child can learn to manage their time effectively because they can start and end their school day whenever their teacher or parent wants. While structure is important for all children, it's a little more flexible being homeschooled, which can relieve some tension.
The cool thing about homeschooling is that a teacher or parent can condense their child's learning into more manageable sections. You no longer need to spend an hour in a class that you're already proficient in, or spending not enough time in a class that you need help in. Getting a homeschooled education allows your typical six-hour school day to be condensed into more realistic increments. I know I would have loved to have an hour in the middle of the day where I could study, do homework, or re-read what I just learned; having that ability is beautiful.
Where's the most comfortable place in the world? Besides a spa, it's most likely your home. It's a place where you can unwind and feel safe. You know where everything is, you know what you can get away with, and you know what to expect. I don't know about you, but I would much rather learn in the comfort of my own home than in a classroom with 30 other kids, fighting for attention. That being said, it is important for a teacher or parent to not make homeschooled life "too" comfortable for them. They are at "school," after all!
Many parents who homeschool their children worry that their kid isn't getting the socialization they need to grow and learn. However, being homeschooled does have the advantage of having no negative influences. There's no other student trying to copy their work (most of the time), there's no teasing, and there are no real issues with safety. They're in the comfort of their home with a supervisor who's keeping things positive and light. We can all benefit from a one-on-one private tutor, and being homeschooled is kind of like that.
Do you consider homeschooled assignments homework? I mean, it is work being done at home, right? Whatever way you lean, most homeschooled teachers believe their child is getting the quality, one-on-one education they need where they don't really need to have homework. Why work longer on something that they just went over? Now, it's one thing if there's a test coming up or if they're struggling in one area, but to give homework just to give homework isn't always necessary. In fact, it's just another stressor that a person doesn't need.