Derham 1 Mark Derham Professor Jessie B.

Powell English 102 15 November 2008 Home Schooling: Is it the Right Way to Go? Home schooling has been debated as either right or wrong for decades. Advocates for home schooling argue that it allows parents to teach their kids values and knowledge that they hold as right and true. Opponents of home schooling argue that it hinders a child’s social development, and children have the chance of being drawn into a cult like environment where there is no escape. I argue that home schooling not only provides a better learning environment for children, but it also provides flexibility in course curriculum, vacations, extra curricular activities, and it gives parents the ability to teach their kids religious values. Many families, such as those living in California where a judge ruled home schooling to be criminal before being overturned, face an uphill battle when it comes to teaching their children in their homes (Feeney 1). But many others have the peace of mind that they will be allowed the right to home school their children. Many parents home school their kids in order to instill their religious values upon them. Separation of church and state has become the bedrock of proponents for schools being free from all types of religion. This has forced many to fall back on home schooling as a means to continue to teach their kids their religious values. This is a very important aspect for many, and to some it remains one of the sole reasons for home schooling their children at all.

Derham 2 Home schooling provides a much better learning environment than public school, and this helps in many different aspects of a child’s education. When children are taught at a public school, they are often times put in a classroom where the student to teacher ratio is overly high. A recent program put into effect in Kansas found that smaller classroom sizes helped boost graduation numbers and lower drop out rates (Education USA). Large classrooms are not an issue for home schoolers. The parent is allowed one on one time with their child in order to address any specific needs that they may have with the current subject at hand. Home schooled kids also do not worry about having their peers ridiculing them if they ask a question that is thought to be dim-witted by others. If a topic is overwhelming and a break is needed, this is not a problem either. There are not as many time constraints in home schooling compared to public schools as well. This means more time can be spent on subjects that are more difficult to the child, and when a topic is not as complicated, less time can be spent on it. All of these things add up to an environment that is relaxed and promotes learning with little to no pressure attached. In the same way that home schooling offers a great learning environment, it also offers an unmatched flexibility in the course curriculum that can be utilized. This means that curriculum can be chosen on the needs of the child as well as the desires of the parents. There is no set curriculum, and no one is tells parents what is best for their children. From the author’s own personal experience, his sisters had completely different curriculum than himself, and this was based entirely off of what was best for them and what was best for him. The author needed a more hands on approach curriculum, and his sisters needed a more text based approach. With there being

Derham 3 flexibility in the curriculum, there can also be flexibility on the amount and the types of field trips that the parents do with their child. This means if a topic arises that a field trip would help explain better, this can be done on the fly with little to no planning required. This is only possible in a home schooling situation. This type of flexibility extends beyond course curriculum, and into a portion of family lives that affect the parents the most; this is vacations and extra curricular activities. When one is home schooled, it is very easy to take a break during the school year without missing a beat. Parents do not have to wait for Christmas break or Spring break to roll around in order to take a vacation. They can just as easily schedule a vacation for the middle of February as they can for the middle of summer break. Extra curricular activities are easier to plan around as well. Since there is no set time that school is over, if a sport or any other activity begins during normal school hours, there is no reason why the child would not be able to go. Additionally, extra curricular activities are promoted heavily in the home school community. This is because parents want their children to get outside and have social time with friends and others. Most home school parents merely want to protect their kids from negative social interaction (Medlin 3). Social interaction is highly encouraged among home schoolers; some might say it is promoted more in home schooling than in public schools since home schoolers have to make a concerted effort to meet up with other families and friends so as to remain socially active. Home schooling is not for everyone as it may appear. There are many financial constraints that are involved as well as social implications that do not work for many families (Lubienski 14). Home schooling also requires one parent to devote a large

Derham 4 amount of their daily lives to their kids. This means that both parents cannot hold jobs. While curriculum choices offer flexibility and freedom, it also means that the parents have to uphold the financial burden of paying for the text books. Along with financial constraints, many kids may not succeed in the home school setting. This is mostly because they require social interaction at all times throughout the day as well as time away from their parents throughout the day. Home schooling provides a means of obtaining a quality education that is shaped to provide the most important values and knowledge that the parents wants to impart on their children. It allows the parents flexibility in numerous ways as well as assurance that their child is receiving the best education possible. Home schooling provides social interaction that is necessary through extra curricular activities that most participate in on an almost daily basis. Although home schooling is not for everyone, it is a great way to provide the quality education that should be strived for by every educational institution.

Derham 5 Works Cited Feeney, Tom. "California Court Declares Homeschooling Is Criminal." Human Events 17 Mar. 2008: 19+. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. APUS Online Library. 7 Nov. 2008 direct=true&db=aph&AN=31423350&site=ehost-live. Medlin, Richard G. "Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization." PJE. Peabody Journal of Education 75.1/2 (Jan. 2000): 107-123. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. APUS Online Library. 7 Nov. 2008 direct=true&db=aph&AN=3331798&site=ehost-live. Lubienski, Chris. "Whither the Common Good? A Critique of Home Schooling." PJE. Peabody Journal of Education 75.1/2 (Jan. 2000): 207-232. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. APUS Online Library. 7 Nov. 2008 direct=true&db=aph&AN=3331803&site=ehost-live. "Program Finds Success In Smaller Classes, Better Teaching." Education USA (Aspen Publishers Inc.) 43.26 (24 Dec. 2001): 12. Education Research Complete. EBSCO. APUS Online Library. 8 Nov. 2008 direct=true&db=ehh&AN=7447900&site=ehost-live.

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