The education in our public schools has been on the down slope for many years. With the increased amount of drugs, school shootings, and other dementia in these schools, more and more parents are making the choice to home school their children. Although many people claim that public education is better and more suitable for children, many facts and statistics show that home schooling is equally, if not more, beneficial.
Home schooling parents have many different reasons for choosing to home school their children. According to the Parent-NHES:1999 (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2001033), almost 50 percent of the home schooled students whose parents were surveyed said that the reason for choosing to home school their children was because their child would have a better education at home. Most children would be able to learn better at home because they are able to learn at their own pace while, in public schools, they have to learn at the pace the teacher sets, which may be too fast or too slow for different students. Also, at home, the child is able to have more “hands-on” activities and be more in touch with nature and the outside world and even include many of these things in his or her studies.
Most parents object when someone teaches their children and idea or theory contrary to theirs or teaches them something the parent does not deem appropriate, which occasionally happens in public school. This is also one of the more popular reasons for parents to choose to home school over public school. Home schooling allow the parent to instill upon their children moral and religious values without having anyone else, such as in public school, try to change that. The children can grow up with the rest of the family in the religious and proper surrounding that the parent provides, with no boundaries as to what they can teach.
Most children go to school for 7-8 hours a day with 20-30 students in the classroom and only one teacher. It is very difficult for a teacher to have one-on-one contact with each student each day. Let us say that an elementary school teacher has 20 children in her class for 8 hours a day, and she wanted to have one-on-one tutoring with each student. That would let her have 24 minutes for each student, which is definitely not enough time for the teacher to get a whole day’s worth of teaching in. when at home, the child can have one-on-one tutoring all the time and it would take them a whole lot less time than 7 or 8 hours to get through with all their work for the day.
Just over a quarter of home schooled students whose parents participated in the Parent-NHES:1999 gave the reason of “Poor learning environment at school” for choosing to home school their children. A good and safe school environment is a place where teachers are able to teach and students are able to learn in a warm environment, without the fear of intimidation and violence. Students who are afraid to go to school because they feel unsafe or unaccepted by their teachers or peers could find it hard to concentrate on their studying, which would obviously prevent them from doing well in school. Health Canada (Trends in the Health of Canadian Youth. 1999) surveys have recorded that bullying victims are more likely to have low self-esteem, matters are made worse when they are harassed by other students. The public schools can try to lessen this mistreatment, but there is really nothing they can do to stop it completely.
Some people who have objections to home schooling argue that home schooled students have low self-esteem because they are schooled at home rather than in public school. In 1992, Larry Shyers conducted a study to test the difference between the self-esteem of 70 home schooled children and 70 traditionally schooled children, both groups between the ages of eight and ten. Using the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale, a regularly used way of measuring self-esteem, there was no difference found between the two groups of children. (Larry Edward Shyers obtained his PH.D. degree at the University of Florida in part by conducting the research reported in his thesis, Comparison of Social Adjustment Between Home and Traditionally Schooled Students.)
For many parents, one of the better benefits of home schooling their children is that the family can spend more time together. Most families whose children are in public school never get to spend quality time together, because they never have time. The kids leave for school in between 7:15 and 8:15 and do not return until 3 or 4, or even later if they participate in extracurricular activities. Then they come home and they have to do their homework and there is barely any time left for “family time.” Almost 17 percent of home schooled students are home schooled for this reason.
A great benefit of home schooling is the flexible schedule. Vacations and other outings can be planned for times when the family is ready – and oftentimes when the crowds are smaller and the costs are lower. The children do not have to worry about missing school and having to make up work because they can easily take their work along with them or just make it up later. Also, with the flexible schedule, the children can learn at their own pace. If they understand something completely, they can just breeze right through it. IF they do not understand something else very well, they can take as much time as needed for them to understand.
In the same year that Larry Shyers completed his doctoral degree thesis research on home schooling socialization, Thomas Smedley completed research for a master’s degree at Radford University in Virginia with a similar experiment (“Socialization of Home School Children – A Communication Approach. http://www.members.aol.com/to
Msmedley/smedleys.htm). Smedley states that John Dewey, the “Father of modern public education,” emphasized the fact that socialization is the primary goal of the educational process. Smedley referred to Dewey’s Moral Principles in Education, stating that if Dewey’s conviction was summarized as a research hypothesis, it would read: “Public education aims for, and will result in, great social competence for children…” On page 11 in Dewey’s book, he said that, “Apart from participation in social life, the school has no moral end nor aim.”
In Smedley’s thesis, he investigated the assumption that public school teaches students socialization better than home schooling. The subjects of this experiment were 33 children, 20 home schooled and 13 public schooled. He evaluated the children’s socialization and daily living skills using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. The scores the children received when combined, reflected their maturity levels. After all data was processed using the Statistical Program for the Social Sciences, it was shown that home schooled children were much better socialized and more mature than the public schooled children. The overall conclusion we would come to is that home schooling parents are providing the adequate social needs for a child.
Socialization is the big opposing factor when people are considering home schooling their children. Many people think that home schooled children do not have many friends, but that is only true if that is what the parents choose for their children. Since home schooled students do not have friends in school with them, they find other places to socialize, such as church, Scout groups, athletic teams, home schooling support groups and other places. They also find other ways to spend their time, such as volunteering in the community, like working at nursing homes or the libraries. By participating in the community, home schooled children are around many different people of different backgrounds and ages, so they are very comfortable with just about anyone.
For most home schooled children, doing their work for the day only takes a few hours compared to the 7 or 8 hours in public schools; there are no questions from the parents about whether the learning environment is safe or whether the children are being taught something contrary to what they believe; the schedule is very flexible; they have better speaking skills and are more comfortable with being around a variety of people rather the public schoolers; and there are many more benefits than those discussed in this report. But hopefully, those examples will be enough to show that home schooling really is equally, if not more, beneficial.