Switch on the TV and you are sure to find a negative news item about public schools: violence, teenage crime and a low level of knowledge are often mentioned among the problems related to many public schools, especially in depressed areas of big cities. Terrified with the perspective of their child growing up in this kind of surrounding, many people seek for an alternative from of education. Homeschooling seems one of the options, but what are its advantages and disadvantages if compared to public schools?
The main positive point of homeschooling is that parents can control the surrounding and eliminate negative influence. Not being bullied, many children find the educational process fascinating. Another positive point is that working with a child individually means the possibility to identify his/her preferences and talents. These areas can be developed with a bigger emphasis and provide a good basis for the future career. Moreover, the studying process is actually not so time-consuming, as it is easy to grasp the attention of a child and it does not involve so much stress, as there are no marks and the only thing that matters is the successful completion of tasks.
However, homeschooling has its potential dangers. Limited communication opportunities can influence the ability to adapt to the society, make friends, learn compromising and negotiating. Moreover, parents may find it difficult to invite teachers with experience and a profound knowledge of academic disciplines to ensure high academic results.
So, homeschooling is a good alternative for those parents who want to protect their children from the negative experience they may gain in public school, but are they really the ideal solution? Unfortunately, not, and the choice of the form of education must be made by each parent taking into account all pros and cons.
Homeschooling refers to the process of educating children at home instead of sending them to public schools which are shared by students from different families. It happens when a child learns subjects taught in standard schools at home either by parents, brothers, sisters, or students from the neighborhood. Homeschooling is not for everyone. As we shall see later, it has been found out that homeschooling has its pros and cons and demands a lot of courage and commitment to make things go through.
Arguments Against Homeschooling
A parent may be having good quality education but may not be qualified to be a teacher. Teaching is an art that requires talent and ability to understand better the physiology of the child, and to do that you must have attended a course or training towards education of children. In this case, special needs of homeschooled children are not met because a trained teacher is not available to guide him or her. Some children at a certain stage require special learning aids and tutors who have had experience with many kids before; therefore they must be given proper guidance that might impact their education positively. Similarly, certain subjects require different methods of teaching aids and a parent may know only one method and may therefore train their child with an outdated tactic that may not reflect the current trends. Parents, having to manage work and household responsibilities while devoting some of their time to the education of their children, a situation known as homeschool burnout, become tired and stressed due to teaching for long hours at a stretch compared to many teachers that standard schools offer and would therefore not result in this scenario.
I do agree with this argument because a parent intending to homeschool their children may have created a specific timetable for teaching the children and will have to follow standard procedures in teaching. Because they devote their time to teaching, they would be looking for updates in the curriculum and update according to the world trends.
Homeschooled children are lonely, friendless and isolated in the event they don’t have siblings, as most of the other children in the estate go to standard schools, thus leaving the homeschooled children by themselves. Friendship in schools will help them learn the importance of sharing and being there for one another as opposed to being dependent only on their families and friends. This is actually the most critical argument that is leveled against homeschooling: it hinders development of the child by limiting social interaction. In a standard setting where children go to school, they are exposed to diverse cultural backgrounds and promote interpersonal skills as opposed to homeschooling, where this aspect is lacking, thus proving detrimental to the child. Schools give the children an opportunity to participate in various social activities for example debates, sports and other competitions. They expose them to the real world and therefore maximizing the child’s emotional, social and psychological development of children (Chen).
Homeschoolers do not regularly take exams, and even the exams taken may not be according to the required standards as the parent may base the exams on only what he has personally taught to the child and may not be appropriate for the child’s level. In standard schools, the progressive periodic tests given to the children prepare them for the next level which they mark symbolically by moving to the next physical class. The child sees that he or she is progressing in life physically and will even work harder so as to continue moving to the next level. At home, this symbolism is not replicated as there is only one house, hence the child does not get the progressive feeling of learning. The competition provided for by the other children in a school setting makes the child to seek improvement every term, and this increases the quality of his progress in academics, growth and development (Moor).
I do oppose the third and the second claim that homeschooled children do not take regular exams as well when they are isolated. Isolation is not an issue to reject homeschooling. After all, a child enjoys every minute with his or her family. On the argument about exams, it is very possible to find homeschooled children doing better than those in public schools. This is because parents tend to be more concerned of the welfare of their children and cannot afford to let them fail in their presence…
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