Pros and Cons of Home Schooling
In 1999, the US Department of Education estimated there were 850,000 home schooled children across America. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, between 1.5-1.9 million children are now being home schooled in grades K-12. Why are so many parents taking their children’s education into their own hands? Most parents say it is necessary because they want their children to learn at their own pace. Others say it is for safety concerns or that they want to tailor their child’s education to suit his/her needs. Whatever the reason, it is a growing trend in America.(Walsh, Mary (2001). Human Events. (57))
Many companies now sell home schooling curricula for parents to buy. The religious sect has made home schooling publications available. These include: A Beta Books, Alpha Omega Publications Inc., and Bob Jones University Press, which is affiliated with Christian University in Greenville, S.C. There are home schooling publications for almost any subject or philosophy. One upside is that 40-50% of home schooling families spend less than $400 per year. However, there are many different sources of home schooling curriculum, some with outrageous prices. (Walsh, Mark (2002). Home School Enrollment Surge fuels ‘Cottage’ Industry. Education Week (21))
Parents choose to home school their children for a variety of reasons. Most home schooling parents agree that letting their children learn at their own pace is very beneficial. Another reason that parents like to home school is for convenience. Parents who telecommute to work can stay at home at teach their children while also working. Parents get to spend more time one on one with their children, seeing how they learn and customizing the curriculum based on what they think their child needs. Many parents have grown weary of public schools insisting that they could do a better job than many teachers. Violence in schools and the increasing number of children in the public school system has led parents to look for alternatives that might give their children the advantage later in life.
Many parents feel that the public school system spends entirely too much time reviewing material over and over when children could be learning about new topics. In a job market that is becoming highly specialized many parents wonder what the advantages are to a standard public education when their child could learn, for example, specialized computer skills at a much younger age. This would give the parent’s child a head start in that particular field. The idea of a general education is something that belongs in the past some parents might say. What about the social ramifications to home schooling a child? How will a home schooled child react to group setting when he/she goes to college or enters the workplace?
Many proponents of public schools say that the social scenarios in public schools are...