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Is Homeschooling effective?
Children are taught through various forms of educational resources. Homeschooling is a new class of education that is growing in popularity, public school is a type of education that has been around for several years and is most universally used, and private school is the other conventional form of education that some people still prefer over the other options. Nowadays, more and more parents are pulling their children out of ordinary school environments and have chosen to teach their children at home. Now more than ever, parents are confused about which type of education is the best for their children.
Public school is a type of education that most people in the United States are the most comfortable with, simply because it has been around the longest. Although people are comfortable with the public school system, the environment we are comfortable with seems to be disappearing. Many parents send their children to public school today, because they do not know what other options are out there. Public schools today are not what they used to be. Parents used to not to worry about sending their children to public school, but in recent years the notion of whether or not their children are safe from bullying and shooting at school has become a consistent thought in the minds of parents whose children attend public school. Mary Walsh, a homeschooling mother and author of Homeschooling and the Price of Freedom says:
I don’t lay awake at night worrying about why a fifth grader felt it necessary to expose my kindergartener to his private area. My kindergartener will not get off the bus after the first day of school spouting the “F” word, nor will he fall asleep on that bus and be forgotten. None of my children will be molested in the lavatory by someone who is simply interested in testing the new techniques taught in sex education class. And homeschoolers do not have to waste precious learning time to deal with bomb threats (Walsh par. 4).
In addition to concerns about their children’s safety, parents hesitate to send their kids to public school because they do not agree with the curriculum being taught in the classrooms. Parents also contest that their children need normal socialization skills to become well-rounded adults, and many believe that only a regular school setting can provide this for them. However, the socialization skills that kids learn in public schools may not be what these parents want their children to practice at home or in society. According to Claudia Hepburn, Director of Education Policy at the Fraser Institute, “Popular belief holds that homeschooled children are socially backward and deprived, but research shows the opposite: that homeschooled children are actually better socialized than their peers”(Taylor par.2). Homeschoolers are also learning proper socialization skills while interacting with siblings and other homeschooled children. Public education has become something very different from what it used to be. Today, numerous parents realize that the public school system may not be the best option for their children’s education.
Private school is the other common type of education parents choose for their child to attend. Even though private school is considered by many to be better than public school, it still has its flaws. Many parents cannot afford to send their children to private school because the tuition for a year in private school is the same as one semester in college. The price that parents pay to send their children to private school is not worth the education that they are getting. Even at private schools, there is bullying and drugs going on that any parent would not want their child to be exposed to. When parents enlist their children in a private school, they think they are avoiding the negative aspects that are associated with the public school system. However, this is not the case. Angela Baker, a stay at home mother of 5, who homeschools her daughter says, “The problem is the schools have abandoned their mission. They’ve forgotten about educating” (Personal Interview). Many public or private schools have difficulties that can be avoided only with the option of a home school education. Although homeschooling is the newest alternative for education, this untraditional style of learning has a lot to offer.
Homeschooling far exceeds the other options for education for many different reasons. Statistics proves that homeschoolers continually achieve higher test scores than students who attend public or private school. I conducted a case study between two middle schoolers, one in public school and the other homeschooled. I gave each of them each a mock 50-question science test to see which student would score the highest. The results showed that the homeschooler, Ariel, scored way higher than Brionna. This study confirms that homeschooled students are getting somewhat better education than ones attending public school. Homeschoolers also learn better socialization skills away from the dangers of peer pressure associated with public and private schools. According to Angela, “Homeschooling affords parents the opportunity to know where their children are academically, socially and morally” (Personal Interview). When parents homeschool their children, they do not have to worry about how teachers or peers will negatively influence the children. Homeschoolers also learn study skills and develop the ability to direct and organize themselves toward a goal. Children who are homeschooled learn to become dedicated and responsible for their schoolwork. Because of this, college admissions officers have begun to seek out homeschoolers because they have already developed the study habits that university students need.
Some parents, such as Angela Baker, feel like they can give their children a way better education by homeschooling than what they get through conventional forms of education. Baker says, “I’m a result of a Catholic grade school and then public high school education, and I feel like so much has been suppressed. It’s been more like a burden a lot of times” (Personal Interview). She says that she wants her children’s educational experience to be different from her own, “I want them to be able to learn, and think freely which some students can’t in public schools especially in private schools” (Personal Interview). Many parents, like Baker, feel that homeschooling is a better option for their children to receive the best educational experience.
Home schooling provides a safe, secure environment where children can learn everything their parents teach them without the many pressures associated with public or private schools. With home schooling, parents do not have to worry about what emotionally disturbed students might do when pushed to the edge by other students picking on or making fun of them. In 2011 at Munford high school, a classmate of mine was trailed and sentenced to prison for the murder of an elderly couple. There were threats and violence after he was sentenced to jail from his close friend who did not feel that he committed the crime. The dangers seen at Munford high school and other schools across the country are, of course, things that homeschoolers do not have to face. Pressure to try substances such as drugs, and alcohol can also be dodged while children are being taught in the seclusion of their homes. Parents do not have to worry about their child’s morals being corrupted or about their children learning about “adult situations” from their classmates that the parents should be teaching the students themselves. Homeschooling offers an alternative style of teaching while at the same time offering a safe environment for children to learn and feel protected.
Homeschooling has not always been a popular form of education, but it has grown in size and popularity for the short amount of time that it has been around. More people need to learn about homeschooling and everything it has to offer. Parents who are homeschooling their children should encourage those who are considering homeschooling to acknowledge all of the positive aspects of homeschooling and compare them to all of the negative aspects of public or private school. Homeschooling is a wonderful form of education that has a lot to offer for a child in his or her future education. To start homeschooling is very easy, and joining a support group or starting one yourself allows you to get support from other parents who home school. Everyone wants his or her child to have an amazing educational experience, and homeschooling provides a safe, positive, and supportive environment for children to have the best possible education.
Baker, Angela. Personal interview. 8 Nov. 2014.
Walsh, Mary. Home schooling and the Price of Freedom. Human Events 15 Oct.
2001:14. Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost. Durham Technical Community Coll. Lib., Durham, NC. 14 Nov. 2014. <http://www.nclive.org>
Taylor, Latonya. Home schooling Boosts Socialization. Christianity Today 3 Dec.
2001:17. Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost. Durham Technical Community Coll. Lib., Durham, NC. 14 Nov. 2014 <http://www.nclive.org>
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