The father of modern homeschooling, John Holt, stated there are three main reasons why people homeschool.
In an old video I watched recently, this is what he said:
Parents like being around their children. They like their company. They like watching them learn and helping them when they are asked. This whole process of a child growing up and into the world is, for those who like it, about the most fascinating thing there is. These parents don’t want to give it up. They wouldn’t want to give it up no matter how good the schools were.
Parents don’t like something about the school/s around where they live. They may have religious, philosophical or pedagogical objections. They are doing it as a way to get away from schools they don’t like. If there were schools around that they liked, they would probably send their children to them. But in the absence of these schools, they choose to teach their children themselves.
Parents have no particular interest in homeschooling and no particular objections to school. In fact, they sent their children to school only, it didn’t work; it was a disaster, for a few possible reasons. Some kids are ahead and get bored, some are behind and can’t get the help they need. Some get diseases labeled on them, like “learning-disabled”. Here, homeschooling is a kind of rescue operation.
Of course, he had much more to say about homeschooling than this. But I liked this brief and simple summary. It’s the reason I included it in the first chapter of my soon-to-be released book, Home Time.
If you haven’t already read any of John Holt’s work, I recommend starting with these three books:
You can read Chapter 3 of “Teach Your Own” toward the bottom of the homeschooling resources page of Pat Farenga’s non-profit site; a dedication to the work of John Holt: There is so much more on that page, a kind of rabbit-hole.
I admit it’s possible a parent might feel overwhelmed with so much information to draw from. However, I’m sure it’s better than the opposite – not having enough resources and/or feeling alone on your journey.