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The idea of homeschooling is taking form all over the world as the desire for children to spend the majority of their time in a classroom environment is being questioned. Parents nowadays prefer to involve their children in enjoyable educational experiences that allow them to see school as a significant yet enjoyable experience. Furthermore, homeschooling is thought to help raise children in the best way possible while avoiding the many shortcomings of public schools. The education department of the United States estimated over a million homeschooled children in 2003. In comparison to 1999 figures, only 850,000 children were homeschooled at the time. This denotes a significant increase given that other advocate for the homeschooling approach claimed that an actual number could be well over two million (Issues & Controversies). According to Michelle (2001), in the United States, homeschooling is appreciated as a practical alternative to having public schooling.
Homeschooling is an educative situation whereby children are taught by either their parents or private tutors in a non-traditional learning environment (Wichers). There are so many reasons that make a parent decide to homeschool a child. This can be due to religion, conflicts arising as a result of constant travel, environmental concerns, dissatisfaction with the academic progress in school, the need to provide special care and attention, dissatisfaction with capabilities of public schools, or even time constraints (Issues & Controversies). With the recorded increase in the number of parents opting for this model of education, there is a growing debate regarding the best style of learning between the two. Homeschooling is a more satisfactory model since it provides flexibility as well as creating an intimate setting favoring education. On the other hand, the public schools offer a more disciplined environment that fosters a child’s social development. The aim of this paper is to show that Homeschooling may have a positive direct impact on a child’s education, however, public school students have many advantages including social skill development.
History of Homeschooling and the arising Conflict
Homeschooling has been in existence for more than a hundred years. As represented by some of the most influential individuals in the history of the United States like George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, this method of study is competent enough and effective. However, it is also noted that such form of schooling was as a result of limited choices since few schools existed. The key reason as to why parents homeschooled their kids was solely to instill the desired religious beliefs via their education. Before the 19th century, homeschooling was the only adopted learning method for most children from all walks of life. It was only in the nineteenth century that public schooling was introduced to propagate ideals and values of a democratic society. Also, it was only until the middle of the eighteenth century that public education developed in the U.S. The laws requiring that children to at least attend elementary school were passed in 1918 by all states within the country. Moreover, it was not until the mid-20th century that high-school graduation becomes realistic (Issues & Controversies).
In the late 1950s, some parents became frustrated by public schooling that they began speaking against them. The accused the U.S. public school system of being too conservative and rigid. Some perceived these schools as more secular and liberal. Thus they wanted the opportunity to teach the children religious values by the home-schooling setting (Issues & Controversies). Currently, the education setup across the 50 states allows for home schooling whereby Michigan in 1993, became the last one to make homeschooling legal. However, the law governing this platform vary from state to another (Lawrence). In some states, parents can withdraw their children without informing the school administration while in others, parents are first subjected to tests before they are allowed to withdraw the kid (Issues & Controversies).
Refutation of Claim
It is widely believed that homeschooled students do not get to participate in social events such as field days, prom or senior trips. Therefore, their social development is believed to be limited and that they are not prepared for ‘real life” situations by being protected at home. However real this might seem, it is not entirely correct since home-schools provide sufficient time for their students to participate in recreational activities. The sports activities are usually what other public and private school children engage in. For the homeschooled children, they get more involved in these programs since they have fewer opportunities for interaction. Thus, once they get the opportunity, they maximize on it. For those who are homeschooled mainly due to religious issues, they often get a chance to interact with others to whom they belong in the same church group. To some, they interact with peers during special lessons such as scouting and dance classes. Thus, they sufficiently interact with their peers which replacing similar activities and interactions as contained in the traditional education set-up.
When it comes to socialization, homeschooled kids have an equal if not a greater probability of meeting other people. This is because they have the capability of socializing with whomever they want and not as a result of peer pressure. Often, they are not shy, and they exhibit a resolute propensity to learn, and this is reflected by their inquisitive nature. Irrespective of whom they meet, they will never fail to ask questions (Hall).
One of the advantages of homeschooling students is that they have safety in their own homes, one on one teaching, flexible time schedules as well as parental guidance and involvement. One on one teaching, as provided in homeschooling creates a better environment that most instructors and teachers desire. The parents involved can closely monitor the performance of the child as well as provide parental guidance to ensure that the kid is effectively learning. Individuals who have been brought up under homeschooling end up being successful or even more successful than those who attend public schools. Due to the parental involvement and guidance throughout, such kids end up being disciplined and hardworking. Depending on the manner in which the curriculum is followed, home-schooled children end up getting a quality education (Conkey). Moreover, parents who homeschool their children often offer to expose their kids to lessons which are less likely to be offered in public schools and the student is allowed to progress at his own pace. As such, they spend enough time in majoring particular topics and concepts and can only move on after mastering it (Hall). Homeschooling is also flexible suiting the learner as they have the time and freedom to follow their interests. The best part of it is that a Child gets to perform not as a result of competition for grades but out of a passion for learning.
Another benefit of homeschooling is that students are less prone to the exposure to bullying, fighting, drugs, and other negative influences. By having lessons at home, a child is often protected from physical violence and harassment. Moreover, the parents act as the disciplinarian in case of any unwanted or undesirable behavior by the child. Unlike in public schools whereby administrations seem like outsourcing security from the police department, a homeschooled child is in better care and a safer environment than in the traditional classroom setting. Nowadays, it is common for public educational facilities to be monitored by police officers who are responsible for overseeing the activities of students. Any small mistake that can be easily handled by a teacher is passed on to the police. The result is that the institution lacks the conducive environment for kids to focus on their studies but rather concentrate on avoiding the police (Soave and Koteskey). Homeschooling enables students to surpass socialization in public schools which often have some negativity. When being homeschooled, there is no competition to be the best while also a kid is kept far from peer pressure. To these children, battles over status, bullying, and disciplinary issues are not a part of their setup. To some parents, public schools at times are extremely dangerous as evidenced by the Columbine High School 1999 shooting. The rampage resulted in 15 deaths, and this portrays how violent the environment of public-schools can get (Issues & Controversies). Scenarios of gun violence are what largely contribute to a parent’s choice to homeschool his kids.
Despite the various benefits of homeschooling, Public school teaches students not only their own responsibility but also prepares them for the real world that we live in. Starting at an early age, social development, school participation and extracurricular activities among many other advantages public schools help children adapt to life. To grow up into responsible citizens, children need to socialize with others of the same age as they are. As stated, “Most opponents of home schooling argue that homeschooled children miss out on one of the most crucial aspects of a traditional education: the ability to interact with an ethnically and ideologically diverse group of fellow students.” (Issues & Controversies). Homeschooling only exposes a child to better learning conditions but ignores the social aspect that is provided in the traditional set-up. Socialization is very crucial to a child’s development, but these home-schools keep kids away from the pluralistic, vibrant, and democratic world (Issues & Controversies). Public schools offer the opportunity to students into fostering their own unique relationships, embrace diversity, while also learning how to come to terms with different viewpoints. This exposure opens up the kids into conflicts and thus develop some conflict management strategies. When a homeschooled person enters into the fray of the real world as an adult, he may end up struggling since things are not as they seemed to be. Also, he may find it hard to get along with the harsh realities of life. In addition to these revelations, public schools are known to cultivate new citizens. Thus, homeschooled kids hardly fit in since they lack social stimulation which is a key concept in creating good citizens.
Public schooling versus homeschooling is a debate that is not likely to end soon. Children are different thus learn differently. The objective of choosing the best education system should be based on advantage learning. However, “if a parent wishes to see his child involved in drugs, if a parent wishes to see his child taught sex education while still in kindergarten, if a parent wants his child to become sexually active as early as the teenage years, if a parent wants his child to lose religious faith due to the emphasis on evolution and the big bang theory, if a parent wants to see his child carry a firearm to school, if parents enjoy the pleasure of seeing their child self-mutilate due to the peer perception that that navel rings and eyebrow safety pins are the source of beauty, this is not a difficult choice, send the child to a public school.”
Conkey, Don. "Homeschooling: Who knew how positive it could be?" Patriot Ledger 29 March 2003.
Hall, Katie Kolt. "Alternative Education Parents of home-schooled students discuss reasons, results of home education." Journal, The (International Falls, MN) (2010).
Issues & Controversies. "Home Schooling: Is home schooling a viable alternative to traditional classroom-based education?" 13 January 2006.
Lawrence, Neal. "Home Schooling Versus Public Education." Midwest Today September./October 1994: 7-10.
Soave, Robby and Tyler Koteskey. "Why are Cops Putting Kids on Cuffs?" Reason March 2017: 46.
Wichers, Michelle. "Homeschooling: Adventitious or Detrimental for Proficiency in Higher Education." Education 122 (2001).
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