Each year, homeschooling becomes more popular. “According to The Parent Survey which was published by the National Household Education Surveys Program, in the spring of 1999, approximately 850,000 students were being homeschooled (Ramirez, 2003, para. 1). In the year 2001, over one million children were being homeschooled. It is obvious, based on these statistics, that parents homeschool their children for different reasons including religious beliefs, problems with the school system, and disabilities. Although the reasons for homeschooling may be valid; nevertheless, the disadvantages to the parents, children, and school system will eventually outweigh the positives.
Homeschool is an ever-increasing trend for those parents who are insistent on greater success for their children in today’s competitive society. The question that arises with this movement is whether or not homeschooling is actually beneficial. Thirty-three percent of homeschooling parents cite religious beliefs as their main reason for homeschooling their children, as determined by a 2002 United States Census Bureau study (Gordon, 2003, para. 6). The beginning of the homeschool movement in the United States involved mostly white, middle-class Christian families who preferred the teaching of fundamentalist Bible doctrine and those who were disappointed with the bureaucratization of modern education (Gordon, 2003, para. 5; Lyman, 1998, para. 5). Today, however, homeschoolers include those of Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox faiths, all disappointed with public education for some reason or another (Lyman, 1998, para. 6). The total eviction of religion from public schools resulting from the Abington School District v. Schempp (1963) and Stone v. Graham (1980) has been disheartening to many Catholics, to say the least. “When the Justices kicked religion out of state-sponsored education, the home school movement was all but inevitable” (Bradley, 1997, para. 5-6). Catholic tradition has always held that the parent is first and foremost responsible for their child’s education, and parents are seriously beginning to take charge of shaping their children’s lives by providing their education. Many of the parents who claim to homeschool for religious reasons are also disappointed with the face of modern education.
According to Laura Pickford Ramirez, “one advantage of homeschooling is that you take control of your child’s education…you can encourage the exploration of your child’s passionate interests and spend more time in the areas in which he needs extra help” (2003, para. 3). Parents also develop a deeper relationship with the child, since they are with them when they discover some of the most important concepts in life. Many parents remove their children from public schools because of the threat of alcohol, drugs, violence, and peer pressure that, unfortunately, is so prevalent in schools today (Lyman, 1998, para. 7). By...