The homeschooling trend is spreading across the nation and around the world. Many parents have decided, for a variety of reasons, that schooling their children at home is the best decision for their family.
What are some of the reasons parents are motivated to teach their children at home? The reasons vary.
One top reason cited is that the parents disagree with the curriculum being used in their local school district. For example, some parents believe that a one-size-fits-all approach to education stifles the natural creativity of their children. Other parents are concerned with the inevitable peer pressure that exists in schools and the negative impact of being exposed to alcohol and drugs which exists in many schools.
Other parents are angered by the English as a second language programs which they feel slows the progress of their children. Another reason some parents school their children at home is because they want to provide advanced, or remedial, classes for their child that is not offered at their local school. There are obviously many reasons why a parent would be motivated to school their children at home. However, many experts still disagree whether it is the best decision or not.
Some experts admit that for some children it may be the best decision. The most commonly cited reason against home schooling is the development of social skills — those against home schooling claim that children schooled at home don’t have the opportunity to develop important social skills. They claim that this will hurt the children when they try to enter the “real world” of college and employment.
They say that a traditional school environment allows children the opportunity to make friends and socialize with others in a variety of projects. Home schooling parents disagree with this argument because they recognize that even without entering school their children are able to make friends in a variety of settings such as church, sports, clubs, and the neighborhood.
They also make the argument that traditional schools are a contrived setting and not a replication of the “real world.” They also claim that developing social skills, which are best nurtured in the family, are not necessarily an important part of a quality education.
Home schooling advocates also cite the numerous studies which have discovered that children schooled at home are usually better prepared to excel at college than children who have attended traditional schools.
Some advocates this is because children schooled at home are able to progress at their own level; whereas, children educated at traditional schools are either pulled down by slower learners or left behind by faster learners. Many advanced and remedial students are unable to progress properly in traditional classrooms.
Home schooling parents are able to teach a curriculum they approve of without the distraction of peer pressure, behavioral problems and at a speed which works for their child.
There are also a wide variety of educational philosophies which parents are able to consider when making the decision to home school their child. There are many pros and cons to both sides of the argument and parents need to consider all of them when choosing what is best for their child.