Homeschooling is as individual as the people who do it. There are many reasons why families choose homeschooling as the way to educate their children. But what motivates them to take a path that is still considered odd in many circles.

Religious Reasons

One of the most common reasons to homeschool is for religious reasons. Some families are lead by their faith, to teach their children at home. Home education allows these parents to control what religious doctrine is presented to their children as well as what topics are excluded from their children’s education. In addition, home education ensures that the mores and values that are important to the family are passed to their children.
It is important for some families to ensure that subjects like evolution not be presented to their children. World view is also important for families who educate at home for religious reasons. Some religious doctrine indicates a belief that the earth is only thousands of years old, while secular education indicates that the earth is millions or even billions of years old. This is a significant difference and can be a primary reason for choosing to control the information presented to one’s children.
Families who homeschool for religious reasons often say that they are placing the calling of their faith and the needs of their families before the demands of the outside world.  While it may seem controlling and somewhat restricting from the outside looking in, families that homeschool for religious reasons are placing the mores and values of their families above any agenda that may exist in the public school system.

Purely Academic Reasons

Yet another reason to homeschool might be for reasons completely opposite of the religious homeschoolers. Many homeschoolers consider homeschooling for completely secular reasons. These families do not home educate for religious reasons, though they may be religious.
Secular homeschoolers, as a general rule, tend to educate at home for purely academic reasons. Often secular homeschoolers decide to educate at home after an incident in which their children’s needs are not met in a traditional brick and mortar school or the parents find that their child was put in some sort of danger, such as a bully situation.
There are many reasons why a child’s academic needs are not met at a traditional school. Perhaps they are dealing with a learning disability which requires a different teaching style than can be dealt with in a conventional classroom. Gifted children also fall into this category, though their manner of learning is not a disability in the conventional sense of the word. Any child who learns differently from the vast majority of the students in a classroom requires different treatment, and therefore more time and attention on the part of the educator.
Families who home educate for academic reasons are able to tailor make a curriculum that fits each child. Because other students are not tied to a curriculum choice, parents have the flexibility to use the type of educational materials that best fit a student’s particular learning style in each subject. Additionally, if a curriculum choice stops working or is not delivering the type of educational results the family desires, then a change in the middle of a year or even the middle of a semester is possible.

Monetary Reasons

Yet another reason some families decide to homeschool is for monetary reasons.
In every state in the Union free public school is available for families to educate their children. The first misconception there is that public education is free. Not only are there taxes that must be paid to support the school system, but there are fees for supplies, lunches, field trips, and often uniforms.
If you work outside the home, or educate outside the home, you know that there are costs that you simply cannot avoid in accomplishing those endeavors. For some families, the additional fees associated with free public education are enough to be a deal breaker. For a family on the edge, the additional fees may simply be more money than they have.
There are many other reasons why families choose to homeschool than those already mentioned. Consider a family who moves often because of the parent’s employment. Military families sometimes get a more consistent education for their children if they take the education on themselves, rather than having their children change not just teachers, but schools, home addresses and sometimes even countries every couple of years. Children who have temporary illnesses or injuries that do not prevent them from learning but make attending a traditional school difficult might also benefit from homeschooling.
As stated in the beginning, the answer to the question, “Why?”, when it comes to homeschooling, is as diverse as the families who homeschool. For each family, there are usually a combination of reasons why they choose to educate their children at home.
Linda Warren is a writer and an accidental homeschooler of an only child. She started out completely against homeschooling until circumstances made it the best choice for her family. Now she is an active advocate for homeschooling as an alternative to the traditional education system.