Homeschooling vs. Public Schools
What is the most important thing you want your child to do in their lifetime? Most parents would answer for them to succeed greatly in their education and in their future careers. But how can parents be sure that their children will get the best education they can get through their educational careers? Well, they can ask the estimated 2 million children who are homeschooled every year on account of the benefits homeschooling has to offer to students. Homeschooling and public schools vary in quality and the benefits each one has.
The vast differences between the two may determine the better choice for a particular child.
Although parents might not be an expert or licensed to teach, students who are homeschooled succeed more academically compared to public school students and the parents can have a better knowledge of how their child learns the best. Homeschooling used to be the only form of schooling before public school came about. As said in Brian D. Ray’s “Research Facts on Homeschooling”, homeschooling used to be seen as an alternative mode of education just a decade ago, but is now turning into “the fastest-growing form of education in the United States” (Ray, par. ). The statistics included in Ray’s article show that in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade, about 2. 35 million children were being homeschooled in 2010 (par. 2). Homeschooling also used to be just about the schooling. Now, some parents look toward homeschooling as a chance to enlighten their children with their own morals and appreciate their role they have on them as well; being a teacher and a parent gives them the chance to connect with their child, plus be involved with their education.
One of the main questions asked about homeschooling is why parents think it’s the best choice for their children? There can be many reasons why a parent would not want their children in the public school system. From the article “Homeschooling: The Sleeping Giant of American Education”, the authors, Dan Lips and Evan Feinberg, state the average reasons why parents choose homeschooling is because of dissatisfaction with the curriculum and a certain school system, the school’s environment, and religious or moral standings not being supported in the public school system (Lips and Feinberg, par. ). Parents often feel like there is no better teacher to set their children up for success than themselves, which can be true in some cases. They feel that they can teach their offspring certain values and morals, and they can teach them in a more controlled environment without having to worry about any negative influences; making it a safer environment for their children as well. Parents also want the control of having their child accomplish more in their academics than they would in public schools.
This could benefit in how the child is well prepared for the rest of their academic career, for example, college. The possibilities on why parents would prefer homeschooling for their children can be endless, but a question still remains: why would the government support such a small percentage of Americans who home school? Government support and involvement in homeschooling has disregarded the movement because of many issues like approval of curriculum, testing, and access to public school classroom for laboratory work or textbooks.
With the government focusing on issues in the public school system, homeschooling appears to be off their radar for importance, mainly since there are less homeschooled students than there are public school students in our population. [This is where I would put support to back up my claim with a source about government money going to schools]. Taxpayers also feel better about their tax dollars going to education for our future generation, instead of a private homeschooling session for a small amount of students.
The government has provided the public school system for a reason, to ensure the same important knowledge gets passed on to all the students. The public school system is filled with people who have applied their lives to teaching children, but those people can’t determine how each individual student learns in the best way for them. All students learn differently, so why unify them all in one classroom?
It might be easier for the government to support the public school system since every child is getting the same education, but to ensure that those certain students whose parents choose for them not to attend public school get an education, the government needs to support them as well. As said in Lawrence M. Rudner’s study, “The Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998”, “Home school families have a higher median income ($52,000 in 1997) than the median income of all American families with children ($36,000 in 1995)” (Rudner, par. 4). He also states that there is less of a minority percentage (6%) in the homeschooling society than there are in public schools (par. 17). If there becomes more of a diverse population as opposed to ethnicity and family incomes in the homeschooling society, government support can be an alternative as a choice for these families. Rudner describes, “The median amount of money spent in 1997 on educational materials for home school students was $400” (par. 19). We can consider this a small amount of money compared to the high academic achievement of most home schooled students.
After all this being said, the government should support the homeschooling movement to give families of other diversities a chance for their children to succeed higher in their academics. Not every parent or home is stable enough to meet homeschooling requirements. According to The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), “10 states require no notice from homeschcoolers; 15 have “low regulation” (requiring only parental notification): 19 have “moderate regulations”: and six states have “high regulation”” (Lips and Feinberg 22).
This means the homeschoolers in those 10 states who do not require any notice that they are homeschooling can be teaching their children any given subject without the government to approve of the curriculum. How can we reassure ourselves that the future generation of this country is getting the education they need to keep the country going if we have illiterate families who insist on teaching their own children? Parents a lso are not licensed teachers to educate their children based on their knowledge.
If the parents aren’t licensed to teach and don’t have much knowledge themselves, then their children are going to grow knowing the same level of knowledge their parent has. Educating your children by homeschooling is not as effective towards the quality of knowledge they can attain as if they went to a public school here there are licensed professionals who actually knows the curriculum. Most homeschooling parents are highly educated, wealthy, and are dedicated to education.
Rudner describes in his study of how, based on background questionnaires, 88% of home school parents had continued their education past high school, as an average of the nation, only 50% of parents continue their education after high school (Rudner par. 13). This study shows that the majorities of the people who are teaching their children at home are well-educated and most likely know the topic in which they are teaching to their children. With what has been said in the previous paragraph, home school families tend to have a higher income than other families in the nation.
This means that they will be able to afford all the special equipment and supplies it takes to school from home. Parents are also experts when it comes to understanding their offspring. They can know what works for their child in learning new things in the curriculum or how to make them understand in a way that is effective towards the child. Also, parents who home school are dedicated towards education. Either they grew up learning to be enthusiastic about education or they just want to see their child have the highest potential they can get in succeeding in their academics. I would insert some more supporting anecdote to convey why parents are effective teachers for their children]. This exact reason is why parents will devote their time to stay at home to educate their children themselves rather than sending them off to public school for some stranger to teach them. The rate of success of homeschooled students has come up a great amount of times, but how is this success measured? Home school student’s test scores are remarkable compared to public school students’ test scores.
As stated in Ray’s “Research Facts on Homeschooling”, homeschooled students scored in the 15 to 30 percentile above students in public school on academic standardized tests and score above average on the SAT and the ACT (Ray par. 7). Being educated at home allows the students to move at the rate they are comfortable at, rather than going with the strict timeline the public school curriculum has. According to Rudner’s research, “almost one in four home school students (24. 5%) are enrolled one or more grades above age level” (Rudner par. 7).
Rudner then notes that the information he has provided about the average test scores of the homeschooled students are from the students who are actually enrolled into the homeschooling system with the government. We wouldn’t know the average test scores of every homeschooled students in the nation because some states don’t require regulation that children are being homeschooled. Going back to what Ray stated in his studies, home-educated students score above average on standardized assessments despite their parent’s level of education and the family household’s income (Ray par. ). This just shows that the students’ academic achievement isn’t related to whether their parents are certified teachers or not. Homeschooling our children might just be the best choice in our children’s educational careers. Home educating prepares them for further education along in their lives by teaching them, not only the approved curriculum the government provides, but lessons about morals and values their parents live among.
By having more time to have one-on-one interaction with the teacher (which in most cases are the parents), the students are able to achieve higher academic success through above average testing scores. Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular. With this becoming a more popular trend in education, the homeschooling population is also getting more diverse, making it so the government should support more of the home school movements so more families in America can experience the joy of having their children become academically successful in every way possible.