Social and Cultural Foundations of American Education/Choice/Against Home Schooling
Tommy and Sara are both second graders and they both live in the same neighborhood. They get up every morning and attend school; however, they do not go to the same school. Tommy attends an elementary school nearby. He sits in a class with his fellow classmates, eats lunch with his friends, and plays on the swings during recess. When he comes home, he tells his parents about what he learned and how his day went. Sara, on the other hand, is learning at home. She gets up, attends a teaching session with her mom, eats lunch with her family, and plays on the computer in her room. Why did her parents choose to teach Sara at home?
According to the Webster's dictionary, home schooling is the act of learning in your own home, not at an institute. Instead of riding a bus to school and being taught by a teacher, you are taught at home with the rules and regulations created by your parent. Usually the parent is the teacher, and they choose the curriculum, pace, and instruction of the child’s learning.
Home schooling is a rapidly growing process in the U.S. The population of K-12 students has grown from 850,000 in 1993 to 1.1 million in 2003 (Green 2007). The movement was developed in the 1960s and 70s in order to ?despise? public school systems, and encourage parents to seek control over their children’s education and future (Collom 2005). Though the idea began in the 60s and 70s, home schooling was not legal in all 50 states until 1993 (Green 2007). The movement has pushed more and more parents to teach their children at home, instead of at school.
Why Choose Home School?
Parents in this category believe that the school system is not teaching what needs to be taught, for lack of better words. Today, the school system is trying to steer away from religious acts because of the growing diversity in the classroom. While most parents support this, others are outraged because they are not teaching religious values and character development. There becomes further difficulty with the teaching of such things as evolution or even dinosaurs because it goes against the beliefs of certain religions. A family has certain beliefs, values, and skills that they believe their children should learn. The religious belief seems to be the most influential problem when taking a child out of school and into their own home. "75% of homeschool educators are conservative Christians who stress Biblical values and doctrine for their children and tend to believe that public schools are not able to teach the values they want their children to learn." (Green 2007) The school system does not practice or emphasize their certain beliefs; therefore, home schooling allows the parent to teach their religious views to their children. Also, the children may practice religion throughout the day without getting in trouble or being criticized.
Contrary to the ideologues, parents are not concerned with what is taught, but how the information is presented. In other words, “they believe that whatever public schools teach, they teach ineptly”(Romanowski, 2005). Pedagogues also include parents of special needs children that were not receiving what they consider to be appropriate care and education for their children. Pedagogy and special needs are the growing motivator for parents to begin home schooling (Green 2007).Teachers in the school systems are not able to look at their particular child and teach them the unique teaching style that would suit them the best. In result, home schooling will allow the parent to focus on what the child’s best learning strategy is and focus on their needs. This also gives the parent the freedom to create the curriculum and pace throughout the day.
Parents would rather teach their children at home in order to keep them safe. Who wouldn’t? These dangers include: bomb threats, drugs, large classrooms, cliques, peer pressure, bullies, etc. Keeping your child at home will not only reduce the risk, but keep them away from the exposure as well. This is home schooling motivated by fear.
The Case Against Home School
An argument against homeschooling is the qualification of the teacher. First of all, is the parent even qualified to teach children? According to Romanowski (2001), ten states require that a parent who teaches their child have a high school diploma or equivalent. Does that mean that some parents do not have to have a high school diploma? This creates many question regarding professionalism, organization, and the teaching skills to teach their children properly and efficiently(Romanowsk, 2005). Teaching is a big responsibility and children deserve the best.
Social concerns are one of the main disadvantages. A child needs to develop social skills and interact with their peers in order to succeed in life and be prepared for the real world. By being at home all the time, the child is “sheltered” from the real world and are not presented with opportunities for question, debate, or a maybe even an alternate viewpoint. The classroom offers a chance to hear different ideas, questions, interaction, and discussions(Romanowski, 2005). When being home schooled, the child can only hear the views of their parents. There are online courses the child can take, but they will never be able to experience a heated discussion. These are qualities that cannot be obtained at home.
Along with the socialization, the child does not encounter diversity. A child does not interact with diversity in their home, unless they are on a computer. Classrooms have diversity from gender, race, sex, to ethnicity. A student needs to be exposed to different beliefs and backgrounds in order to create his own original self. Even though home school children do
Naturally, if one of the parents is teaching a child all day, they are not employed. Instead of making an income and paying for school, the parent is only spending money to provide the adequate education and resources. These are only a few of the items: software, videos, books, record books, paper, supplies, field trips, etc. Another cost other than money, is the cost of time. Many families lack the time to put in full responsibility and effort into the child’s education. Distractions will occur throughout the day such as: phones ringing, baby’s crying, siblings fighting, unexpected visitors, emergencies, etc. Dodging distraction becomes a task in itself.
This follows up on the qualification of the parent. Does the parent know enough about a subject in order to teach it? What if both the child and the parent do not understand the subject? Or what if the child had the opportunity to excel, but the parent could not teach any further? These questions are very important to consider, because if the problem arises, then the parent will be its own bias. The parent will then be limiting their own child from furthering their education.
In today’s world, every parent has to decide what is best for their child. Once the child is born, a common question is, where should my child go to school? An alternate option is to home school their child. With growing technology and resources, it is now becoming easier and more convenient to pick this option. It is important for parents to know the biases and especially the limitations in order to make a correct judgment on whether or not it will be best.
Multiple Choice Questions
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- (2006). The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling. Retrieved 25 April 2007, Web site: http://school.familyeducation.com/home-schooling/parenting/29861.html
- (2007). Retrieved September 20, 2007, Web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_schooling
- (2007) Retrieved September 20, 2007, Wet site: http://www.homefires.com/articles/costs.asp
- Agnes, M. (Eds.). (1999). Webster’s New Word: College Dictionary. (4th ed.).
- Collum, E. (2005). The Ins and Outs of Homeschooling: The Determinants of Parental Motivations and Student Achievement. Education and Urban Society, 37, 307-310.
- Romanowski, M. (2001). Common Arguments about the Strengths and Limitations of Home Schooling. [full text]. The Clearing House 75 no2 79-83. Retrieved September 20, 2007 from Wilson Web.
- Green, Christa (2007). Why do Parent's Homeschool?: A Systematic Examination of Parental Involvement. Education and Urban Society, 39, 264-285. Retrieved November 8, 2007 from Wilson Web.