Boy, I get asked this question often. The short answer is – no. It wouldn’t hurt but it isn’t really necessary.
Far better than education are:
- excellent personal habits
- exceptional observational skills
- ability to pivot on ideas
- internet research skills
- extra, extra common sense
- spirit of adventure
- spirit of an entrepreneur
Very few home educated kids get all of there “learnin” from mom or dad. Much of it is done in groups or online or with tutors or through real-life experiences. This is especially true in the late middle school and high school years. A parent can keep it simple. A school cannot.
There is nothing done in elementary school that cannot be done and done well by a parent. Nothing. Over the past 20+ years, I have repeatedly witnessed parents (with no college degree) pull students out of school because by the middle of their elementary years they still had not been taught how to read. Inability to read, for a variety of reasons (some diagnosable, some not) is the most common reason for parents to walk away from elementary school by the 4th or 5th grade. I have witnessed these new homeschool parents patiently, carefully and persistently teach their children how to read. A parent can keep it simple. A school cannot.
When learning math, the sciences, a foreign language, and writing in the later years of home education, almost all home educators agree that they need expert outside help and with the skill set listed above, they FIND the best and use the BEST. A parent can keep it simple. A school cannot.
Too many people worry about the educational level of the home educating parent. I find this so interesting, because there is a terrible crisis in education taking place right now. Millions of kids are NOT getting the bare minimum in their public education (from degreed professionals), yet people will focus on and worry about what is happening with the scant few kids who get their educations outside of school buildings. Very strange.
The thing to remember about home educated kids and home educating families is this: Their kids thrive more because of what they do not get in the school. It is what gets eliminated from their days that leads to their great progress.
Home educated kids have the opportunity and flexibility to get more rest. There is no other single thing more germane to learning than a good night of rest.
Home educated kids have the opportunity and flexibility to spend more time outside with Mother Nature. This is critically important for emotional health.
Home educated kids can eliminate most of the testing and assessments that tear down the average child, wreak havoc on self-image, and have nothing to do with the quiet, continual acquiring of knowledge.
Home educated kids have the freedom to pursue that which truly interests them. They are able to build that important spike of knowledge. This builds self-agency, sets them apart from peers, and makes them VERY attractive to colleges (if that is your goal).
Home educated kids are interacting throughout their days with people of all ages. They are often out in the real world acquiring real world experiences and real world knowledge. A school is its own world – temporary and fake – and has little to do with the real world.
Home educated kids are not continually hammered by inefficient processes, irrelevant rules and regulations, distracting and/or violent students acting out, and inflexible study schedules. As a result, their natural love of learning stays intact. They thrive because the joy (that all children are born with) for learning new things is not stamped out from dreary, tedious, and seemingly pointless days in a conditioning center.
College degrees aside — It is what they miss (by not attending school) that makes their recipe for learning so darn successful.