The disadvantages of homeschooling

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Abstract

This report attempts to provide a perspective on the disadvantages of homeschooling. Homeschooling has become a controversial issue in recent years. Homeschooling opponents opine that it is not an alternative pathway for education alongside the standard public educational system because there are still many flaws existing in this system. Homeschooling is not an effective approach to provide children with education due to scarcities of qualified educators, homeschooled children unable to well-develop their social life as well as parents have to invest massive time and dedication. Parents act as arbitrator in their children's education. They hope that through homeschooling they can convey the message they want to for their children. In reality, homeschooling is not as easy as they think. It takes decades to judge the success of their choice. Therefore, homeschooling is a high risk venture. Many disadvantages are worth searching for. 1.0 Introduction

Homeschooling experienced a renaissance during 1970s and '80s when a few parents questioned whether existing private schools or public educational system were a right choice for their children. They wondered if they might be capable to do better than the existing system. Parents realized that they could do better job. Consequently, they told their friends about the benefit of homeschooling and their friends spread the news gradually. As a result, this was the first step to the proliferation of homeschooling. However, the baby steps of homeschooling were rocky. In the early stages, homeschooling was prohibited by legislators. Many homeschooling parents were taken to court. They faced risks of being arrested and their children might be removed from their home. Nonetheless, there were parents who insisted to homeschool their children. They struggled with the court battles. In the past, very few curriculum suppliers sold the materials and resources required to homeschoolers. The only way to continue their fight was to craft their own curricula and do more research. They continued teaching quietly and let their children's achievements prove the critics incorrect (youcanhomeschool.org, 2010).

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According to Ray (2002), there are approximately 1.6-2.0 million children being taught under homeschooling by their parents. Homeschooled families grow at estimated rate of 7-15 percent per year. According to the statistics of HSLDA (2010), the main reason parents choose homeschooling is religious conviction, which is about 49%; 15% agree that homeschooling can provide a positive social environment; 14% are for academic excellence; 12% choose homeschooling because of their children's specific needs; and 5% are for flexibility and curriculum choice.

Even though proponents of homeschooling claim that there are many benefits, the question still exists; do you agree that homeschooling is disadvantageous?

Homeschooling is not an effective approach to provide children with education because homeschooling lacks qualified educators; parents are required to invest massive amounts of time as well as dedication and homeschooled children will face social difficulties in their future.

This report is mainly focused on the disadvantages of homeschooling. The reasons why homeschooling is not a right choice are listed in this report. The statistics and data are mainly come from United State. The comments of organization and personal views are put into the report to show the reality of homeschooling.Body Content

2.0 Homeschooling lacks qualified educators

According to Koonar (2006), many statistics have shown that many homeschooling endeavors failed to achieve the target and objective due to the scarcity of qualified educators. Parents choose homeschooling instead of public education because they believe that teachers have to teach 15 to 35 students in a class, hence, they cannot pay one-on-one attention to each child. In fact, certified educators have attended relative teaching classes and they have passed the state examination in order to obtain their teaching certificates. They are more experienced and have a deeper understanding of the children. They possess systematic teaching skills to convey the concept and knowledge to the children. Certified educators can fulfill the various learning requirement of each children and they can comprehend how to handle children with diverse behaviors. In contrast, parents who lack instructional skills are unable to express well what they want to give to their children. If an educator cannot express her ideas to words, how can the learner absorb the essence of teaching? Children will lose interest in learning. Parents who simply put their children in a room with lots of books will definitely result in the failure of homeschooling. As a result, parents will gradually lose confidence towards homeschooling. They feel guilty if their children cannot achieve the academic target they set up. It is crucial to help children build up interest and curiosity in learning. Standard curriculum can help children to develop this interest.

2.1 People do not have faith in homeschooling

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According to Allison (n.d.), a number of people do not believe in home schooling's academic quality because it does not follow the standard curriculum. The standard curriculum focuses on an omnibus of personal development. They are being taught discipline, communication and time management since young. Whole aspects including positive characteristic build-ups are covered. Children can follow the pace of their peers and they do not isolate from them. In contrary, homeschooling children set their own pace and they are more likely to concentrate only on specific areas that they are interested in. Unlike the standard curriculum, homeschooling is unable to provide comprehensive development. Also, positive values are not instilled in the core of their hearts since they are young. Hence, home schooling's academic is not comparable to standard curriculum. Some home schooled children are required to take additional tests to ensure that they are academically ready to enroll in college or university. People are still in doubt regarding home schooling's academic quality because the curriculum is not certified by authorities.

Homeschooling advocates claim that they can prepare the course that is suitable for their children. Parents are given the absolute authority to guide their children's education, ranging from schedules, curriculum and also the development that they want to pass on to their children. However, parents are not capable of delivering the knowledge effectively. According to HomeSchoolingExplained (n.d.), parents need to do more research to teach more effectively. More research is able to expose parents to the proper methods of teaching their children better. According to Williams (2007), at the beginning of homeschooling education, parents do not encounter difficulties in teaching. Conversely, as children get older, preparations get harder. The task is easier when children are young. They need to do more researches in order to teach lessons. Such a situation causes the parents physical and emotional burdens. Parents will feel more stress in preparing lessons.

3.0 Social problems among homeschooled children

Homeschooled children do not posses well-developed social skills as they are not exposed to different types of people. According to HomeSchoolingExplained (n.d.), they would not have the same social life with children who went to school. Children who are under the standard curriculum are provided with the benefit of socialization. They are exposed to a wide range of perspectives and ideas because their classmates come from different background and personal beliefs. This can provide inspiration to them so that they are stimulated to think and criticize positively. Homeschooling noticeably decreases the chance for children to communicate with other children in a learning atmosphere. Even though home schooled children have siblings to interact with, this situation is still not enough to fully develop their social skills. According to Hegarty (n.d.), home schooled children are not comfortable when people are around them, excluding their family members. They will not hang out with others because they lack interaction skills. Besides that, according to Williams (2007), although home schooled children have friends, they are not as bonded because they seldom meet and mix together. They are lonely as they are confined in their homes and they cannot share their happiness and sadness with their friends. Homeschooled children face many social problems; they cannot interact with different groups of people properly and this will detrimentally affect their future life.

3.1 Freedom of children are abstained

According to Allison (n.d.), homeschooled children would not enjoy their childhood because their freedom is constrained by their parents. There are many other things they have to learn through experience and it cannot be taught through educational settings. For example, by exploring nature, children are able to understand more about the relationship between living and non-living organisms. Even if homeschooled children have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, their time is limited and it is dependent upon their parents. In contrast, children who attend school are more likely to come into contact with many new things; this is important to sate their curiosity and stimulate their mind. All knowledge and discovery must only be done through personal experience.

Some homeschooled parents argue that their children will not face the sociability dilemma. However, for those who are home educated for long periods of time and eventually made a decision to attend school are found to be lacking in social skills. According to Allison (n.d.), as they are exposed to social environments such as working or entering a college/ university, they experience physiological problems that mainly result from communication. They are cooped up at home and seldom interact with others; once they are around people, they will feel scared and uncomfortable as they do not know how to handle the situation. They are forced to adapt to a new social environment that they never experience before. It is difficult for them to manage the circumstance that they have never encountered before. So physiological problems will arise and lead to a lot of troubles.

4.0 Time commitment and dedication

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According to Koonar (2006), homeschooling is a procedure that entails a massive amount of dedication and time. Homeschooled children require parental supervision in order to motivate them towards academic excellence. Hence, parents need to spend a large part of the day with their children. The key success in the home schooling process is constant parental control. Kids are kids; they cannot do by themselves in their studies without parental supervision. Parents have to keep astride with their children. Moreover, according to AllAboutParenting.org (n.d.), parents require time to organize outdoor activities and field trips, prepare and instruct lessons, and seize the chance for their children to nurture their social skills. Homeschooled communities often schedule weekly or monthly gatherings with each other for that purpose. Parents have to manage their time well and be diligent and active in such communicative activities. Hence, parents will not have much time left for doing other things. Furthermore, parents have to discover and develop their own hobbies and interest. These activities are not easy tasks. Unlike trained educators, they have experience assisting children in finding out their interests. Since most of the time is used for homeschooling, parents do not have the luxury to relax and enjoy. They suffocate because of homeschooling.

4.1 Additional financial burden

Either one of the parents is forced to give up his/her full-time job for homeschooling. There are additional costs for purchasing the curriculum needed. This includes the cost of materials for projects, field trips, computer softwares and other resources. Each child needs approximately $400 each month to sustain his/her study. For those families that rely on two earnings, this can be a serious disadvantage. This may put stress on parents who are both breadwinners of the family. Homeschooled communities cooperate together to organize activities such as Scouts, learn side-by-side, sport teams, 4-H clubs and dance classes so that children can socialize with other children. However, these are costly, so they are additional financial burdens for the family.

Homeschooling supporters opine that the home educated children have close-knit family relationship as children spend most of the time with their family. However, the fact is there are conflict between parents and children due to their different personalities and opinion. According to AllAboutParenting.org (n.d.), homeschooled children may have the desire to attend school. They wonder what they are missing out compared with their peers. Their desires will become more intense when parents are not active in involving their children in outdoor activities. At this time, parents who are committed in homeschooling programs will feel challenged. Children will fall out with their parents as they have different point of view. Furthermore, children clash with their parents because they have different personalities. According to Williams (2007), parents and children have different personalities, leading to squabbles. Children require doing their matters in their own way. They do not want to follow the words of the parents and parents will feel disappointed.

5.0 Recommendation

When people approach this issue, they must examine and investigate both sides. Homeschooling has both its pros and cons. Therefore, it should be addressed in the best possible manner. These scope of these recommendations are confined to Malaysia to handle the issue of homeschooling within the currently population residing here

Firstly, to tackle the problem of parents thinking they are able to educate their children better, higher authorities should ban homeschooling by further enforcing the law. Children by the age of 7 onwards must be made compulsory to attend schools no matter it be private or national. Parents who do not adhere to this will be convicted and be brought to court to have this matter settled. Mandatory fines should also be issued should this law be opposed.

In addition to the law, schools should increase the number of qualified teachers. Training programs and workshops can be inducted and reinforced to conform to the needs and requirements of current students, and thus should be made compulsory to be attended by teachers. Aside from that, the curriculum of schools should be improved upon to keep up with the pace of education in the world. Syllabus of subjects being taught must be constantly updated in regards to the amount of new knowledge being churned out every single day.

Homeschooling can be banned if the ways suggested as above are strictly operated.

6.0 Conclusion

Homeschooling is not an ideal choice to educate children. Even though it provides alternative option to the standard educational method, this system is not complete and poses a lot of imperfections.

Parents are not well-trained educator so they are unable express well what they want to give to their children. Due to this fact, people do not have faith in homeschooling because it cannot provide comprehensive development to their children. Homeschooled children do not interact with a wide range of people. If a child is deficient in social experiences, they will definitely encounter dilemmas once they continue studying in higher education institution or strive for their career. Their social circle is small and they will face psychology problems as they interact with people. Their freedoms are abstained as well. Furthermore, parents have to invest great amount of time to supervise their children's education. Parents who are both breadwinner are forced to give up his/her career in order to tutor their children. As a result, the family will face financial difficulty.

Parents have difficulty predicting what the result of homeschooling will be. It takes decades to judge the success of their choice. If their choice is a mistake, they cannot return back and start all over again. The consequences are dire; it will affect the children's growth and future. Parents must take responsibilities and are blamed by their children. Their children's future is in the hands of their parents. As arbitrators, parents should choose the safest option that is the traditional educational system instead of homeschooling. In a nutshell, homeschooling is not suitable for children.

Bibliography:

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Hegarty, P. (n.d.), "Schooling Pros and Cons -Learn about Pros and Cons", Ezine Articles, viewed on 7 February 2010, http://ezinearticles.com/?Homeschooling-Pros-and-Cons---Learn-About-the-Pros-and-Cons&id=3587899

Homeschooling Explained (n.d.), "Disadvantages of homeschooling you must consider", Homeschooling Explained, viewed on 7 February 2010,

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Koonar, K. (n.d.), "Disadvantages of Home Schooling", Articlebase, viewed on 2 February 2010,

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