Friday, August 26, 2011

Homeschooling:is It Working?

Author: Belinda Tenney

Homeschooling: Is it working?
The negativity that homeschooling still receives since its recognizable notability in the late sixties and early seventies due to published content from advocates of the idea of homeschooling is still extreme. The debates on why homeschooling works and why it does not give those that oppose the idea and those that like the idea a plethora of opportunities to express their views on the subject. I, the author of this paper have children and they currently are schooled using traditional public school systems; however, I am in favor of homeschooling if that is the choice of caregivers and believe that homeschooling may have more benefits for children if used to its full potential than that of a public school system. It is my position that homeschooling does not involve lack of socialization, sheltering children from real life realities, nor lack of regulations with regards to beliefs that are acceptable in society. It is my belief that homeschooling, as with any decent education can provide a child with a wonderful start to a bright and promising future.
Unquestionably public schooling offers good practice for students learning to socialize with others outside their close friend and family units and many argue that "when children are homeschooled, they do not have opportunities to work in partners and learn about cooperation and group responsibility" (Wey, 2010 p.1). Those that support homeschooling know that finding other students to work with on projects with is possible when parents of homeschooled children get together with others in their communities to establish effective "group" projects and fieldtrips. Students in homeschooled environments can benefit from the skills of group thinking and collaborations using social measures to contact others in similar situations. Many homeschoolers may view this as a "education play date". Another argument that is often used for socialization problems is that homeschooled students "lack" the knowledge of what is considered acceptable values and beliefs in society as a whole; however, as with any well-rounded education, homeschooled children are often taught about real world systems, which are not limited to religions and political systems. True, many homeschooled students are taught based on personal family values and belief systems, but these same students are also taught that other positions exist and need to respect other positions even if these beliefs and values differ from that of their own. Many famous and successful persons like our second president John Adams and famous photographer Edward Curtis were homeschooled ( Carolyn, 2009) so the argument that homeschooling limits socialization is seemingly ridiculous as presidents must have superior social skills to have come into such a position.
Taking a side that there is a lack of regulation in homeschooling may have made better sense back when homeschooling first began, but now the argument that there is too limited regulation may be harder to convince people of since regulation is quite extreme when it comes to homeschooling. Just a click to may convince even the biggest critic of homeschooling that the new regulations and ongoing updates in laws and guidelines for homeschooling are profound and proactive. This site, although is clearly an advocate site for homeschooling offers updated information on the legal issues of homeschooling and links to several others that offer additional resources for finding current laws on homeschooling.
Social Experiences
Dr. Raymond Moore, an author in more than sixty articles and books about human development has done much research on the effects of socialization on homeschooling and found after a thorough analysis of over 8,000 childhood studies that parents are the best to teach them good social skills and not other children. (Shaw, 2000) Isabel Shaw, a home school teacher and parent and contributing writer on homeschooling topics has interestingly noted that she knows and sees homeschoolers actively going to museums, beaches, parks, etc. (Shaw, 2000) This shows that homeschoolers are not confined to a "seat" all day and that they are able to travel and experience many things that only public schooled children are able to enjoy during an occasional field trip. The flexibility that homeschooled children have to come and go with their teachers to experience many types of environments is unlimited and offers a good dose of social interaction in the "real" world.
Below is a list of some positive outcomes from that of homeschooling
  1. The largest study so far, authored for the Home School Legal Defense Association by respected University of Maryland statistician Lawrence M. Rudner, shows that home-schooled kids score better than 70 to 80 percent of all test-takers. (Anderson, 2000)
  2. SAT and ACT scores in 1999 showed that homeschooled students scored an average of 67 points above the national average or that of the public schooled students. (Anderson, 2000)
  3. Sixty-nine percent of home schoolers go on to college, compared with 71 percent of grads from public high schools and 90 percent of private school grads. (Anderson, 2000)
  4. The year 2000 home-schooled kids swept the top three places on the National Spelling Bee, and Stanford accepted 27 percent of its home-schooled applicants, nearly twice its average acceptance rate. (Anderson, 2000)
Clearly, homeschooling is working and deserves to be respected as another alternative route for educating our children. Public school systems now know more than ever just as people in general are diversified, the way in which we learn to our fullest potential is also diversified. Should we be critical of those that choose to home school because they have found the style that works and allows their children to intellectuality bloom to their fullest potential? No, we should not. Education with all respect is not a one size fits all matter and should not be constricted to be so. Homeschooled children are social butterflies, they are not subject to non-regulation, and they are exposed to a plethora of social experiences. Like the famous Einstein said, "I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn." (Squidoo, 2010) Homeschooling is the environment of many today and it is working for them.
References supplied immediate on request.
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About the Author

About Author,
Belinda is currently a student, mother of six children, and business owner who enjoys various subjects on education, marketing, and human resource development. In her spare time she enjoys crafting paper mache, church, developing her social networks, and spending time with family and friends. Her BS in Human Resource Management will be completed at end of 2010.

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