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Why Home Schooled Students Should Have Access To Extracurricular Activities

2481 words - 10 pages

Over the years I was plagued with questions about my homeschooling: “You mean you don’t go to school?” Or my favorite: “So you wake up whenever you want?”, both of which are good questions for this obscure child that doesn’t “go to school”. I was weird. Although I assumed this was simply the childish reaction, there was always part of me that dreaded the question, even from adults. Why had my parents chosen this for me? Religious reasons? Inferior public schooling? Really it boiled down to the belief that they could better tailor my education and develop a more creative and energetic mind in their children. Homeschooling was the difficult but sacrificial choice my parents made for my siblings and I, and we thank them for it. Although homeschooling seems to be gaining ground as a more acceptable and less obscure form of education than in previous years, the general public has yet to fully embrace it. One big battle is the debate over extracurricular activities offered by public schools and their policies regarding the inclusion of local homeschool children. Should they be allowed to take part in the school’s offerings, even if they don’t attend the school for classes? Extracurriculars can be an important part of a child’s development. Team sports, for example, offer lessons in fairness, teamwork, disappointment and even victory. Although perhaps some of these lessons aren’t considered necessities in the educational world, we can all agree these are beneficial lessons every child should have a chance to learn. Homeschooling is often considered a sub-par form of education when in reality it offers a full and rich educational experience that deserves similar rights to the publicly educated, including access to public school extracurricular activities.
In order to begin any debate surrounding homeschooling, it is important to first establish its credibility as a valid form of education. Although homeschoolers are often the brunt of many jokes for being nerdy, socially inept and fashionably challenged, we do not have to rely on these stereotypes for an accurate understanding. There have been many surveys conducted over the years, several establishing homeschoolers and their education and academic abilities in a positive light. In her article “Home Schooling Debate” Rachel Cox, a contributor for CQ researcher, touts the academic success of homeschoolers “In 2000...home-schooled children took home the top three trophies in the prestigious Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee, just a week after other home-schoolers won four of the top ten spots at the National Geographic Society's geography bee” (Cox). This is ‘just spelling” some could say, but another angle is SAT scores, in which “the homeschool[ers] have scored, on average, at the 65th to 80th percentile on standardized academic achievement tests, compared to the national school average of the 50th percentile…(Ray). Clearly not only are the homeschooled children placing in organized educational...

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