Homeschooling can be described as “the practice of providing education to youth outside of publicly and privately funded educational institutions” (Kridel 448). It is rather a big decision for parents to choose to send their children to a public school or homeschool them. In the contemporary society, most parents are paying more attention to homeschooling. A lot of families today do not select public schools for their children as they are more interested to home school them. Now-a-days, the debates regarding sending children to public schools or choose homeschooling have become a controversial issue.
There are many people who believe that children must be provided a proper education at public schools. On the other hand, many disagree with this notion. As far as my personal opinion is concerned, I believe that homeschooling offers more advantages to both parents and children as compared with public schools. Homeschooling is a unique educational setting that makes parents “responsible for determining not only what children are taught, but when, how, and with whom children are taught” (Cooper 111).Therefore, homeschooling must prevail and selected due to the time, custom-designed curriculum, and environment it offers. Homeschooling is a better educational option as it offers a more focused and straightforward educational approach than public schools.
Unlike public schooling, homeschooling provides students and parents with the most basic advantage of custom-designing the curriculum. It is an exceptional advantage as “with all of the various texts and websites, parents have the option of creating a unique curriculum according to the needs of the child or children in the home” (Sloan 25). First of all, students who are homeschooled can attain excellence over work keeping their own pace. It is a great opportunity as they are not compelled to go beyond their capabilities to achieve the graded curriculum structure and its expected level (Cooper). According to advocates of homeschooling, it is a better educational choice as a lot of students do not have the required capacities for all the courses and at the same time. Many students excel in reading but are not good writers; some students are not interested in the resolution of mathematical problems but may take high interest in Biology, and so on.
The main argument presented by homeschooling advocates is that even the best teachers at the traditional public schooling cannot fully concentrate and pay attention to all the students. They are not fully careful concerning the level of every student. On the other hand, homeschooling allows students to progress at their own level. It is an exceptional schooling method that sets up the real level capability level of its students ensuring that they understand and comprehend their studies.
In the same connection, students who are homeschooled are given the opportunity to proceed to the next subject matter anytime. In particular, such students have the power of controlling their unique studying pace. Unlike public schooling students, they are allowed to move on to the next level of studying after finishing the previous one. Homeschooled students are not liable to wait for other pupils for moving to the next page, chapter, or question. Moreover, they are also given the choice to give more attention to the topics that interest them.. Homeschooling does not bind students to follow every step of the teacher as required in a traditional public school setup. As a matter of fact, homeschooling allows the students “to repeat material, correct and retake tests, and study longer in order to master material because there is not an entire classroom of other children ready to go on” (Clements 39).
In addition, homeschooling is the method that makes students attain knowledge, employing their distinctive learning styles. It is also important to highlight that the parents who make their children get educated through homeschooling have a better understanding of the educational needs of their children. The public school teachers do not have enough understanding of every student’s actual capabilities. On the other hand, parents are aware of the learning style and significant patterns of children when they study. It can be said that homeschooling grants students the ability to select and comprehend their subjects of interest. It does not compel students to follow the learning style of a teacher (Clements).
Homeschooling, in contrast, believes in the natural abilities and natural learning styles of students. This discussion, therefore, crystal clearly highlights that the homeschooling method and its custom-designed curriculum is far better and productive than the preset curriculum taught at public schools. In short, parents can integrate intellectual home schooling with the extracurricular opportunities of public school. Moreover, they can maintain and preserve family time, peace, and energy as well as develop assorted community-based enhancement studies for the children at home (Perry & Perry).
Another most distinguished advantage of homeschooling method is the environment it provides for the learning experience of children. To begin with, homeschooling offers the opportunity of touching a real environment to its students. Unlike traditional public schools where students have access to an artificial and deceptive environment, the environment offered by homeschooling let the students learn from real experiences.
In a traditional setup of public school, students attain knowledge utilizing books and teachers’ help. On the other hand, children who study in a homeschooling setup are provided a real milieu at home to learn things from an original perspective. Homeschooling method does not only teach children theoretical knowledge of different subjects. Instead, it is also a basic platform where the social skills and moral values of students are molded. The students experience reality in its purest form at homeschooling. They understand the basic concepts of humanity such as love, trust, support, friendship, goodness, morality, and also attain the skills necessary to resolve various issues in life. On the other hand, traditional educational setups are not as dynamic and vivid as homeschooling. Thus, homeschooling allows children to “learn by experiencing real life on a daily basis, by living, functioning, and interacting in their environment and in society” (Linsenbach 69).
Furthermore, homeschooling students are provided a tension-free setting where they are not pressurized by testing their learning levels. Such students learn in a far relaxed environment as compared to children who study at traditional public school settings. Homeschooling allows both parents and children to balance their personal, professional, and academic lives with real schedules. This is because there is no pressurization inflicted by constant testing and evaluating. Homeschooled students can participate in a variety of tasks, such as taking care of ill family members, going out for grocery shopping, making meals, and helping in domestic chores. All the mentioned tasks can be easily executed along with studying.
On the other hand, public school students do not have enough time to spend with family members or carry out any other task as they are under a persistent test pressure. They are required to spend every minute at home to study for achieving good grades. There is no doubt that children learn extremely well within the protected environment of their homes. Moreover, they acquire the exceptionally significant understanding “that life is more than evaluation and that they are more than the sum of their test results” (as qt in Rockett 77).
Another important advantage associated with the homeschooling environment is that students are able to interact with different people who possess different mental levels. This interconnectedness with diverse people helps students to improve themselves. It is not an untold secret that a classroom consists of students who are almost the same age and have similar mental capabilities. It is only the teacher who can guide them to make certain improvements in their personalities. However, homeschooling is advantageous in a way that different family members can teach different things to a child for his improvement and enhancement. Therefore, it can be easily concluded that the environment accessible through homeschooling is far richer and comfortable than the one accessible through public schooling.
In addition, the environment of a home school is a far protected and safer one for studying as compared to a public school. This is because there is increased violence on public school grounds. Students are bullied on a regular basis. Moreover, there have been increased incidences whereby students bring guns to schools for harming other students and faculty members. There has also been an increased trend of bringing mobile phones to the school premises. Students use these technological devices to harass other students by sending humiliating texts (sexting). Thus, it is crystal clear that students who are homeschoolers do not have to experience the mentioned harms.
Time flexibility, without a doubt, is one of the most significant advantages of homeschooling. This is because homeschooling approach let parents and children control the amount of time they spend to study. In contrast to public school students, homeschooling students can tailor their learning course and time around illnesses, family gatherings, vacations, or emergencies. As they are not required to attend school on a regular basis, homeschooling children have more time relaxation and flexibility. In a similar fashion, they are also able to catch up their studies in case of an unexpected event or illnesses. However, it is important to mention that it is the responsibility of parents to keep a check on the time table of students who are a part of homeschooling. This is important to ensure that children are not wasting their time in other activities.
It is also worth-mentioning that homeschooling students do not have to waste their precious time to travel to school from home and vice versa. They also do not have to waste their physical energy while travelling to school and back. Instead, they are able to utilize this time in studying in a relaxed and untiring manner. It is no surprise that public schooling students waste more of their precious time and energy in travelling. In addition, homeschooling makes student learn the skill of time-management as they have to set up their own schedule in order to carry out all the tasks efficiently and effectively.
There are, however, a lot of arguments put forwarded by the opponents of homeschooling regarding its advantageousness and effectiveness. Although homeschooling image has gone through a positive evolution over the past decade, many believe that homeschooling hampers the socialization process for students. Homeschooling opponents hold the belief that this education method makes it impossible for students to grow up as socializing individuals because of the isolation they have to experience due to homeschooling. They believe that sheltering students from the outside world obstruct their ability to socialize with others (Wenkart 139). On the other hand, Romanowski concludes in his 2010 study that children who are homeschooled do not have socialization problems. They have similar opportunities to interact with people of different backgrounds. Parents of homeschooled children make sure that their children do not lag behind socially. It is the reason almost all homeschooled children are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities at church, support groups, communities, and neighborhoods (Wenkart 136). They also have enough time and resources to interact with children who go to public schools. Therefore, it is only a myth that homeschooled children have socialization problems. Romanowski’s study reported that 71% of homeschooled graduates are the participants in a continuing community-based activity. On the other hand, only 37% people in the United States who belong to similar age group participate in such activities. He also highlighted that 88% of the graduates from homeschooling have the membership of a church, community group, or professional society in contrast to 50% of adults in the United States who belong to same age group (Romanoswski 126).
It is also argued by critics of homeschooling method that it is not triumphant enough to produce productive, fruitful, and efficient citizens. This assumption is based on the ground that homeschoolers lack the awareness regarding the political structure and scenario of the society. Many believe that students of homeschooling method do not have the knowledge about society’s greater good. It is also assumed that the isolation at home does not make them competent enough to understand the politics. Therefore, they are disregarded as social introverts with no good citizenship skills.
However, this claim is absolutely incorrect. According to a study, homeschoolers have a higher probability of contributing money and funds to a political cause or party. Moreover, 76% graduates from homeschooling participated in elections by casting their votes. This number is extremely higher as compared to 29% of the population in United States that belongs to same age bracket. This study also highlights that homeschoolers with a graduate degree are more likely to participate in a boycott, attend community meetings, and sign petitions more frequently than the general United States population. Thus, this myth regarding the ineffectiveness of homeschoolers as good citizens can be easily debunked under the light of the mentioned study (Romanoswski 126).
Clements, A. D. Homeschooling: A Research-Based How-To Manual. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Education, 2004. Print.
Cooper, Bruce S. Homeschooling in Full View a Reader. Greenwich, CT: Information Age, 2005. Print.
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Kridel, C. Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies. Vol. 01. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE, 2010. Print.
Linsenbach, S. The Everything Homeschooling Book: Take Charge of Your Child's Education. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media Corporation, 2003. Print.
Perry, J., and K. Perry. The Complete Guide to Home Schooling. Los Angele: McGraw Hill Professional, 2000. Print.
Romanowski, M. H. "Revisiting the Common Myths about Homeschooling." The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas 79.03 (2010): 125-29. Print.
Sloan, L. Homeschooling Guide. USA: Lulu.com, 2011. Print.
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