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Why Homeschool for 1 Year? There Are Plenty of Reasons

by David Engle | Jun 23, 2020 | 5 min read

The majority of families who homeschool are in it for good. Meaning, they either strongly feel that homeschooling is what’s best for their child, or they simply love doing it. But there are many who choose to homeschool for a short period of time, sometimes for one school year, before sending their child back to public or private school.

When I first heard this idea, my instinct was to ask, “What’s the point?” But, with the COVID-19 pandemic still lingering, many parents are concerned about sending their kids back to school in the fall (assuming many reopen by then), and that’s quite understandable. In lieu of potentially exposing their children to COVID-19, temporary homeschooling is sounding like a very appealing option for more and more families. And that’s merely one example. There are actually several legitimate reasons to homeschool for one year–probably more than you’d ever think.

Bad experience at school.
As anyone who’s considered homeschooling is aware, public schools aren’t for everyone. Some children simply do not enjoy going to school, either for academic reasons or emotional and social reasons.The situation may even regress to where the child absolutely refuses to go to school. At that point, some type of intervention might be necessary. Removing the child from school is probably the best course of action, even if it’s temporary. Missing one school year may be all that’s necessary to diffuse the situation and safely place the student back into school. Sometimes a break is all that’s needed.

Frequent moves or temporary living situations.
Some parents have jobs that require constant relocation. Military families are always on the move. Other parents take temporary positions only to return home after a brief period of time. Any of these situations makes short-term homeschooling a smart choice. Rather than have the children reacclimate to yet another town and school and everything else that’s involved with moving, homeschooling for a school year cuts out a lot of stress for both parents and students. Especially if you know you’ll be returning home.

COVID-19 has presented a global challenge unlike any we’ve ever seen and, as I alluded to at the beginning of this article, many parents are hesitant about sending their children back to school in the fall. Keeping kids home for a year may be enough time to let the virus run its course or for a vaccine (for those who use them) to be developed. But that’s not the only type of illness-related reason some families may opt to teach their child at home temporarily.

Sadly, serious and terminal illnesses are a reality for many families. In situations like this, kids may be too upset or distracted to perform well enough in a public school environment. Or, a parent or family member may be in the late stages of an illness and it would benefit everyone for the child to spend as much time as possible at home. In dire situations such as these, temporary homeschooling is ideal, as the child can remain at home with loved ones while being able to keep up with schoolwork.

Perhaps a child is suffering from an illness or injury…something like this may require numerous doctor’s appointments or procedures, all of which would result in absences from school. Rather than worry about absences and their consequences, teaching the student at home allows him or her to get their work done on their own time without losing ground. Once the child has recovered, he or she could re-enter school without missing a beat.

A once-in-a-lifetime chance.
Life can be strange and unpredictable, and sometimes opportunities arise that simply can’t be ignored. It could be the chance to travel to a destination that may never be possible again, or it could be an opportunity to go cross-country for a few months. Who knows what can or will happen, but every now and then certain situations arise that are impossible to ignore. In those instances, pulling your child from school and having him or her homeschool during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ensures everyone gets to relish the special experience.

Natural disaster.
Mother Nature can strike at any time and doesn’t particularly care where or what is in her way. Unfortunately, schools are sometimes inconveniently located in her path…until they’re not. Think about the damage that hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes can inflict upon schools and communities. When schools are impacted, every student and family is impacted. And what are the alternatives if a school is severely damaged or destroyed? Some communities rush to put together temporary schooling, or perhaps a nearby school district opens its doors to assist the suffering community. While these can be serviceable Band-Aids, they still add quite a bit of stress and uncertainty to students’ lives. Short-term homeschooling is perfect for situations like this. As the community recovers and structures are rebuilt, you can take comfort knowing your child’s education is in your hands and taken care of during these difficult times.

Special needs.
Certain schools just aren’t equipped to handle children with special needs. Whether it’s a physical disorder or an emotional issue, if your child’s school simply isn’t meeting your expectations, it may behoove you to remove the child from this situation…at least until he or she ages into the next school or the child can be transferred to another school that better meets the student’s specific needs. During this time away from school, you can take charge of the learning and work on your child’s issues on your own or with counselors.

Catching up.
Your child may be breezing along through the years, having a great time at school and earning high marks every semester. Until, suddenly, some grades start to plummet. It’s not because the child has regressed–it could simply mean that he or she has run into certain subjects that cause a lot of problems and headaches. There are simply some subjects that people can’t comprehend, no matter how intelligent they are. I like to think I’m a pretty smart person, but for me it was trigonometry. I was never a math whiz to begin with, and the struggles began with algebra…but I managed to get by with decent grades. Trig? Nope. Nothing. It wouldn’t register. My brain could not comprehend its principles or formulas, and it literally shut down every time I looked at an equation. It happens with many students, and rather than keep the child in a class that gives them no chance of catching up, maybe it’s a good idea to teach them at home for a year so they can take their time on the subjects they struggle with, without worry about being completely lost or falling behind the rest of the year.

There are many other reasons why short-term homeschooling makes sense. Current events are proving it’s a viable alternative to traditional schools. Bridgeway Academy is here to help if you’re interested in homeschooling–whether it’s for a year or for the rest of your child’s academic career! We offer full-year Grade Level Kits as well as individual courses to accommodate any homeschooling situation. Bridgeway has a variety of curriculum options, online classes, and homeschool programs that are tailor-made for the independent homeschooler. Give us a call at (800) 863-1474 to learn more!

David Engle
Hello, and thanks for reading! I’m David Engle--dad, husband, sports fan, and writer/editor. As a father for the last 18 years (father of two for the last 14), I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in all things related to education, childhood, and parenting, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share some insights and knowledge with fellow parents. I have been a professional writer and editor for a quarter of a century (it pains me to admit that) and have been writing in the educational space for a number of those years. I reside in southern New Jersey with my wife, two kids, two dogs, and three cats. Never a dull moment.
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