Saturday, December 10, 2011

Homeschooling? A personal Choice

Guest blog by Rena Nickerson:   

Preaching... about everything
Parents who are contemplating homeschooling often search the Internet, reading all the pros and cons. Unfortunately, there are many, many negative posts against home education. Why anyone would concern themselves with how others chose to educate their children is beyond me.

These posts are not written by experts, but by people who appear ignorant of what homeschooling is all about. They strongly object for a variety of reasons, the top two being socialization and an inferior education.

Dr. Phil, who claims to be an expert, said on one of his 2006 television programs, that there is research to back him up, stating that children home schooled past eighth grade end up as social misfits in adulthood.

Research? Really? What research? It has only been since 1993 that homeschooling has been legal in all fifty States. There has not yet been enough kids home schooled, through high school, to provide enough data to conduct any research.

I wonder how Dr. Phil would explain away the fact that a quick Internet search reveals a long list of past and present famous Americans, who were home schooled? Surly they were not all social misfits?

Homeschooling does not cause a child to become a social misfit, unless the parents isolate the child from public. It is a misconception that home schooled kids are isolated and never come out of the house to breath fresh air.

Older home school students sometimes take classes at local community colleges, have part time jobs, help out at homeless shelters and food pantries. Most home educated children join church youth groups, Awnana, Scouts and 4-H. Many take music, dance, drama and karate classes. In other words they are socializing in the same way that their public school peers are.

Since a home school day takes half the time of public school, the home school student has more free time to socialize. They are out there talking and being social with people, not just those of their own ages, but people in all age groups.

Yes, it is possible for a home school child to receive an inferior education. No argument there. It is just as possible as it is for a public school, high school student to have poor reading skills. In either case it is not the norm.

The facts are colleges are actively recruiting home school students, because, on average, they out perform the public school kids on standardized tests and they score above the national average on their ACT's and SAT's.

In the past it was difficult for the parent to find quality teaching materials. Now that homeschooling is on the rise, not just in the United States, but world wide, there is a vast array of curriculum to choose from. All children have different learning styles. In most US States, a parent is free to tailor a curriculum that best fits their needs unlike public schools ,who use a one size fits all curriculum, when one size does not fit all.

Parents home educate their children for a variety of reasons. Many don't want their children in public schools to be exposed to violence, peer pressure, sex and drugs. In our town we have an excellent public school system, staffed with wonderful, dedicated teachers, yet just this past week one of our high school janitors was arrested for selling drugs to students.

We home school our children to provide them with a good education in a safe and relaxed environment. But, homeschooling is a choice each family needs to make after studying the facts on their. It is not a decision easily made.

To educate at home, a family needs to first educate themselves.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Like anything else, the outcome of a homeschooling experience is entirely individualistic. I enjoyed my experience, some of my friends couldn't wait to graduate. I do agree that over generalization of homeschoolers is bad but then, not much generalization is good.