Every morning, Mary Jane, who is nine, doesn’t have to worry about gulping down her cereal so she can be on time for school. School for Mary Jane is literally right at her doorstep. In this era of growing concerns about the quality of public education, increasing numbers of parents across the United States are choosing to educate their children at home. These parents believe they can do a better job teaching their children than their local schools can. Home schooling, as this practice is known, has become a national trend over the past twenty years.
Home school advocates believe that the numbers may even be greater; many home scholars don’t give official notice of what they are doing because they are still afraid of government interference. What is home schooling, and who are the parents choosing to teach their children at home? David Guterson, a high school teacher whose own children are home schooled, defines home schooling as “the attempt to gain an education outside of institutions. ” Home schooled children spend the majority of the conventional school day learning in or near their homes rather than in traditional schools; parents or guardians are the prime educators.
Home-schooling parents create structured plans for their children, while others prefer looser environment. Most say they home school for one of two reasons: they are concerned about the way children are taught in public schools or they are concerned about exposing their children to secular education that may contradict their religious beliefs. The first group generally believes that children need individual attention and the opportunity to learn at their own paces in order to learn well.
This group says that one teacher in a classroom of twenty to thirty children cannot give this kind of attention. These parents believe they can give their children greater enrichment and more specialized instruction than public schools can provide. At home, parents can work on one-on-one with each child and be flexible about time, allowing their children to pursue their interests at earlier stages. The second, and larger, group, those who home school their children for religious reasons, accounts for about 90 percent of all home scholars.
What causes underlie the increasing number of parents in bot groups choosing to home school their children? As the public educational system has continued to have problems, parents have seen academic and social reasons for their disappointment with public schools and for their decision to home school. Many schools also cannot afford to buy laboratory equipment and other teaching materials. Parents also cite overcrowding as a reason for taking their kids out of school. Faced with a large group of children, a teacher can’t satisfy the needs of all the students.
Thus, a teacher ends up gearing lessons to the students in the middle level, so children at both ends miss out. Gifted children and those with learning disabilities particularly suffer in this situation. At home, parents of these children say, they can tailor the material and the pace for each child. Studies show that home-schooling methods seem to work well in preparing children academically. In addition, home-schooling parents claim that their children are more well-rounded than those in school.
Because they don’t have to sit in classrooms all day, home-schooled kids can pursue their own projects, often combining crafts or technical skills with academic subjects. Many home-schooling parents believe that these activities provide the social opportunities kids need without exposing their children to the peer pressure they would have to deal within school. Occasionally, peer values can be good; often, however, students in today’s schools face many negative peer pressures. Another reason many parents decide to home school their kids is that they are concerned for their children’s safety.
In addition to fears that peer pressure might push their children into using drugs, many parents fear drug-related violence in and near public schools. There are stories practically every week about drug-related violence in schools even in elementary schools. Home-schooling parents say, they want to protect their children from dangerous environment. In conclusion, I think that home schooling will be more helpful to teenagers because not only it helps them succeed but it also gives really guaranteed protection.