"Twenty-five years ago, when I first heard of the homeschooling movement, I thought it had to be some kind of weird cult."
It is often said that homeschooling began more than 2500 years ago when Alexander the Great was being tutored at home by Aristotle. People started to homeschool their children before the 1960s because in that time of era, public schools were still not available yet. In the mid 1960s, the government had made it compulsory for parents to send their children to public schools. Around the 19th century, many parents started to have dissatisfaction towards public schooling. Later in that era, there was a solid homeschool movement and by 1980, they had made homeschooling legal in about half the nation.
The number of people being homeschooled has increased gradually through the passage of time. According to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in 1999, 1.7 percent of students which came up to 850,000 students were homeschooled. Four years later, the amount had increased to 2.2 percent - about 1,096,000 students. The most recent research is in 2007 at which the government stated that 1.5 million students were homeschooled. This has shown an increase of 36 percent comparing to the year 2003. Although many countries allow homeschooling, there are still some countries where homeschooling is illegal. Brazil, Hong Kong, Germany, and Ukraine are some of the examples where attending school is a must for children. At present, homeschooling is also supported by a body of attorneys namely "Homeschool Legal Defense Association".
Parents came up with various reasons for not sending their children to public schools and prefer tutoring them at home. The most stated reason is because of the dissatisfaction towards public schools. However, there are a number of people who disagree with homeschooling because of the lack of social activities. So, the question is, is homeschooling better than public schooling?
Homeschooling is better than public schooling. There are many reasons to support this statement. For example, the majority of people choose to homeschool their children is because they feel that they can provide their children with better education at home. Some people dislike the poor learning environment in public schools and they believe they can develop a better character in their children at home. Besides that, many homeschooling children turned out to provide better academic results and become more successful in life. That is also why the number of children being homeschool is increasing gradually each year.
This report will discuss the benefits of homeschooling and substantiate how homeschooling is better than public schooling. The research findings will be based on information and data from the United States of America because in America, there are more actively ongoing homeschooling programmes comparing to other countries.
BODY OF CONTENT
The Environment and The Way of Learning
"...the truth is mothers - and fathers - exert far more influence over their children's intellectual development than is commonly realised. In fact, more than three decades of research shows that families have greater influence over a child's academic performance than any other factor - including schools. "
(Family Research Council, 1995)
Studying at home provides a more conducive environment and parents have faith that they can give their children better schooling at home. Children can study in a cleaner and more comfortable place where they are already familiar with. Their needs can be easily fulfilled since it is their home where they are studying at. Besides, parents believe that they can provide a better education for their children at home. When parents tutor their children, they choose what their children learn and the time they learn it. For instance, a kid may learn algebra when they are 15 years of age but by homeschooling, parents can choose to teach their children algebra when they feel that their children are ready for it. Madrone (1994) claimed that interest-initiated studying has guided her daughter to learn things that she would have believed exceeded the strengths of a 5-year-old. Other than that, it is known to all that every child has their own pace of learning. Therefore, by homeschooling, parents can adjust their teaching to suit their children's different learning manners. All in all, homeschooling provides a more conducive environment and better education since it is done at home.
Besides that, children will be under their parents' surveillance when they are being homeschooled. This is good for younger kids because they need their parents by their side in the process of growing up. Parents can also know what their children are doing at all times and will be able to take care of them and attend to their needs rather than them being at public schools where teachers will not even know what their students are doing, how can parents? Parents will be less worried when their children are at home with them most of the time, at least they know that their children is safe with them. Furthermore, by homeschooling, children can get more attention for themselves rather than having to seek attention by fighting with at least twenty other students. Parents can give their children full, personal attention in any topic that they have difficulties with or wanting to outshine. Parents can also tutor more efficiently because they are with their children one-on-one. Children can ask however many or whatever questions or doubts they may have because they do not have to compete with any other student. Thus, homeschooling gives the children the attention that they need and parents will be calm knowing that their children are alright with them.
Those who are against homeschooling often say that in public school, their children get to learn to become more discipline because they have to abide by public school rules. They also said that in public schools, there will be more qualified instructors with sufficient and up to date materials and equipments. Brenda (2009) said that in public schools, there are financial support for equipment and activities. She added that there will also be financial support at high school levels for games, arts and technical programmes. However, all these are true to a certain degree. Firstly, they said that they children become more discipline in public schools. Is that really so? Many parents withdraw their children from public schools is because they do not want their children end up to have teenage delinquency. If public schools can really make their students become more discipline just so because they have to abide by rules, parents can also make rules at home for their children. Parents can make their children become disciplined even if they are homeschooled. Other than that, those who are not in favour of homeschooling claimed that there will be more qualified tutors with adequate and advance materials and equipments in public schools. This is true to a certain extend because there are teachers who are young and with little experience teaching students in public schools. If a parent is capable of having the confidence to homeschool his or her children, this means that they already achieve a certain qualification in their own education. Parents always want the best for their children. They only choose to homeschool their children when they know that they have the ability to do so and this also mean that they can supply sufficient equipments and materials that their children need. Therefore, it is not exactly true to say that children are more disciplined in public schools and that they are provided with more skilled teacher with ample and current resources and equipments because what public schools can provide, parents can provide for their kids at home too.