For years people have been leaning towards different alternatives to educate their children. One method most people are leaning to, besides public or private schooling, is home schooling. Homeschooling is an option for education where children receive primary and/or secondary education directly from their parents, generally in their own home. This educational alternative has considerably increased since the 1970s, but is this alternative really helping the child in the long run? The National Center for Educational Statistics estimates that as of 2007 2.
0 to 2.5 million students receive their education from home. According to Kreager, this number approximately represents 2.2% of the entire student body in American. This estimation is increasing as the years go on. Homeschooling has a negative effect on children because they are being children, and they do not get a quality education. Parents should really consider the advantages and disadvantages of isolating their children with homeschooling. Just like anything homeschooling has its advantages, but it seems the disadvantages trump the advantages.
Parents always want what is best for their children and in some cases they think homeschooling is the best educational alternative for them. Some parents choose this alternative because of religious views, they feel that they know their child’s strengths and weaknesses so they feel they would be a better teacher for them, they feel homeschooling is safer for their child, or because the parent feels that they should have control over what and how their child should learn. Statistics show that 31% of parents choose homeschooling because of the offered community schools locations, 30% choose it because of their moral or religious view, and 16% choose it because they are dissatisfied with the academics of other schools.
“Whatever their rational, most homeschooling parents believe the education they provide their children is superior to that offered by formal schooling,” (Lebeda, Samantha), but will their rational effectively teach today’s impressionable child? Does the child really want homeschooling?
One disadvantage is that the student does not receive a quality education. With their parent taking on the role as the teacher as well as the parent they can become drained, both emotionally and physically, trying to successfully fulfill the requirements of both jobs. Just like regular school teachers the parent has to plan out lesson plans and different activities to engage the student in the lesson, while at the same time the parent has to maintain the home which can be a hassle at times. “A large number of parents are not equipped to be home school instructors. Without structure and consistency, children can be easily distracted (Tabor, Mathew). Some parent teachers lack discipline and organization causing the student to not get the quality education he or she deserves.
Another disadvantage associated with the quality of the education, is the cost. According to AllAboutParenting.org, parents who choose to home school, as opposed to a free public school education, are responsible for all of the funding for the child’s education. “This includes costs for field trips, computer software, and materials for projects, as well as any other resources the parent may need (AllAboutParenting.org).” According to research, the average cost to home school one child as of 2012 is around $200 to $1000 per year. This cost may seem even higher to families that have one parent giving up their full time job to home school their children. Over time this can become a serious disadvantage for the family as a whole.
In additions to the financial burden and the emotional and physical drain the parent may feel, there is another key disadvantage in homeschooling that pertains to the child’s education quality. The other disadvantage is how and what the child gets to learn. In public school there is more than one teacher per subject, so the child gets to learn the material in numerous amounts of ways, as amy1980 says in her blog, “some subjects are best learned through skilled teachers.” For example, if the parent struggles in certain subject or never learned the subject while they were in school, the homeschooled student might also find the concept difficult to understand. Granted there are tutors the student could seek help from but that would also heighten the financial burden on the family.
Another key disadvantage that comes with the homeschooling alternative is the child’s socialization development. According to Samantha Lebeda, socialization involves interactions between the child and others in their social network. She says that social scientist observed that school plays a significant role in the socialization of children by providing them context in which to develop fundamental aspects of their personality. Failure to let the child develop socially could have harsh side effects such as social isolation and the development of aggressive behavior around a large crowd. For some children, especially younger children this social isolation from other children their age can really affect their development of social skills.
Not being able to learn with friends or being able to associate with children the same age could lead towards developmental problems; such as the “children feeling isolated, passive, lethargic and alone or ill-equipped to handle situations where interaction is required” (educationnews.org). However, “by being involved in other activities such as dance or sports, by living in a neighborhood with many other children that can be socialized with in free time, or by having siblings or cousins that are in the public system, the social skills can rub off on kids that are homeschooled” (Ryan, epinions.com).
The final disadvantage that comes with homeschooling is the child’s experience. Because the child is not actually in a “real” school they miss out on the opportunities to experience normal school activities.