Every culture recognizes the importance of education to uplift the status of one’s living standards. However, not everyone is given the opportunity to study due to the economic state of the family or the educational requirements needed in order to begin or continue studying in schools or universities. Other reasons such as bullying, unsafe school environments, and too much politicizing in schools, among others, also deter students’ learning capacities and abilities. A method of learning that some sectors of society considers as an alternative to face-to-face instruction is home schooling, where parents take on the responsibility of educating their children in the comforts of their home and having the leeway to choose what subjects they deem their children should learn and not (“What is Homeschooling”, 2012).
Home Schooling in the Context of Sociological Theories
It has been established that education is important in society and an individual’s personal growth, thus, sociologists view this from different approaches. Functionalists view education as a means for an individual to be able to perform functional roles in the social order. It highlights how various components of society are interconnected in order to maintain balance and harmony among various parts of society. Conflict theorists view education as a reinforcement of that which separates individuals from another, including differences in gender, class, ethnic origins, and race (Brinkerhoff, White, Ortega, & Weitz, 2008). Interactionists view of education is all about the dynamics happening in the classroom, the exchanges between teachers and students, and how all these relations affect an individual’s daily living (.
Considering the three sociological views on education, home schooling can be a feasible option for students, but with positive and negative sides to it. Because home schooling is still based on what parents perceive as important for the child, they will ensure that their children focus on subjects that will help them shape their future and find themselves a place in society. There will be no instances of bullying and families can spend more time with each other. However, as conflict theorists would argue, this set up could further heighten differences in social structures to the point where the less fortunate and less intelligent ones become submissive towards those from the higher social structures. Individuals will do this to preserve the status quo and to avoid being ostracized by others who deem home schooling as a low alterative to education. Despite the advantages of home schooling, what home-schooled children miss out are the opportunities for them to interact with fellow students during classroom hours and the dynamics of meeting and networking with peers and teachers.
Personally, I see the benefits of home schooling, but I do not think I will allow my children to follow such set up especially during their grade school and high school years. I still want them to enjoy and experience how it is to learn and interact with students of the same age and grade level as them. I want them to learn to stand up for themselves and become independent individuals. I do agree that they can still socialize with other children in the neighborhood, but what I do not want them to miss are the memories and experiences of having school friends, joining school programs, prom, and other similar activities.
While home schooling is not a new concept when it comes to education, some parents are heavily considering this as an option over face-to-face educational system. As modern home schooling receives much support from teachers and other educational institutions, questions pertaining to socialization and working together in projects are now being addressed to help children become well-rounded individuals. However, it is important to note that home schooling is not for everyone. Some students may benefit from the freedom of having to study at home under the care and guidance of a parent or a tutor, while others may need the structure and discipline that the regular school set up brings.
Brinkerhoff, D., White, L., Ortega, S., & Weitz, R. (2008). Essentials of sociology. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
What is homeschooling? (2012). Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-home-schooling.htm