Homeschooling and the Bystander Effect

For those of you following my blog you already know that I am a working mother, passionate entrepreneur, and I am homeschooling my children. Trying to take on all of these responsibilities has forced me to learn how to make use of the 16 waking hours I have in a day. We have managed to make this work thus far by making a school a part of our everyday life, we are learning in the car, at dinner, and during family hikes. For more ideas on how to make an education fit around your life you can read my previous blog Homeschooling on the Go, but for this blog let’s explore why homeschooling is so effective.

One of my theories is that homeschooling eliminates the bystander effect in your child’s education. “The bystander effect is  is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present.” Wikipedia

I believe the bystander effect can apply to a child’s education because it is easier to be a passive onlooker when there is a whole team of teachers, administrators, and a school board in charge of your child’s education. When your children don’t get into the prestigious college or score as high on their SAT as you had hoped you can blame the teachers or the school system for not adequately preparing your child. However, when you are homeschooling it is on you. The responsibility of educating is on you.

The key to combating the bystander effect is responsibility. Research has shown that whether a child is taught in Public School, Private School, a Charter School or taught at home, the most important aspect of their education is the parent’s involvement. Theoretically a child will do just as well in Public School as home school if the parent spends quality time with the child after school doing homework together and continuing their education at home. However, I believe for me it would be easier to make excuses to just watch a movie together instead, after all, they spent 6 hours studying at school today right? This is the power of the bystander effect. Thus the power of homeschooling is taking the responsibility of your child’s education on your shoulders and eliminating the bystander effect. What’s your motivation for homeschooling?

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