“You get to pick what you learn, that’s the beauty of it.” This is what Elena Kervitsky of Maryland said, on September 22, 2012, about homeschooling. Elena was having difficulties learning in her classes in the third grade and that was when she was pulled out of public school and began homeschooling. She stated in her blog that “the teachers are overwhelmed, and most students don’t get the attention they need for a proper education.” Since she was able to make her own schedule, she could take a trip at anytime without any repercussions. This freedom has allowed her to travel the world and experience a life that few of us could imagine.
Many homeschooled students are like Elena, but critics don’t see this side of homeschooling. In order to fully understand the process of homeschooling, we must first go over what homeschooling is and why parents prefer it, next we will debunk some of the myths about homeschooling, then address the history of homeschooling and the new increase in homeschooled children, and finish it up with the effects that homeschooling has on the adulthood of children. Homeschooling is the education of children at home by their parents. Parents homeschool their children for many different reasons, all depending on the situation. A common answer to the question of why do parents homeschool their kids is that their kids won’t be exposed to peer pressure, drugs, bullying, and other forms of violence (Richards-Gustafson, 2015). They won’t, then, be exposed to physical violence or any unhealthy sexual situation. Parents believe that their children will be kept safer if taught at home. Another reason is that parents can instill the moral and religious values that are important to them in their children.
Homeschooling allows you to build intimate and meaningful relationships with your children and when you homeschool a child, their life isn’t dictated by trends, but rather the values you instill in them. Homeschooling also allows you to teach more effectively by interacting with your children. You get to show your children that learning is not boring, but exciting (Sonlight, 2017). Another benefit of homeschooling that parents consider is that you get to control what your children learn and when they learn so that they can learn more effectively than they would if they were in a public setting with a large class.
A homeschooled student is more likely to think for himself and create his own ideals. (need a transition sentence)Let’s dispel one of the myths about homeschooling. One of the most common myths about homeschooled children is that they aren’t socializing properly, when, in fact, it is actually the exact opposite. Even though a homeschooler may interact with family members rather than other students, you can include them in social activities like after school clubs, scouting groups, groups for homeschoolers, or classes and clubs in the community. Homeschool groups and activities are typically filled with a wide age-range of kids involved. Thinking that homeschooled kids lack in social development and skills is a false assumption people make because they don’t fully understand what homeschooling is and why parents choose that road to begin with. Another myth is that people believe that taxpayers spend more on homeschooled children when, in reality, they spend nothing on homeschool students. Taxpayers spend an average of $11,732 per pupil in public schools.
Homeschool families spend an average of $600 per student for their education. Families engaged in home-based education are not dependent on public, tax-funded resources for their children’s education.Many people also believe that parents aren’t qualified enough to teach their children. Homeschooling is possibly the fastest growing form of education in the United States, but it wasn’t until 1993 that all fifty states made homeschooling a legal option. In 2003, 1.1 million students were homeschooled, which is 2.2% of students. In 2007 there were 1.
5 million homeschooled students, meaning 2.9% of students were homeschooled. The latest report made in 2012 said that there were 1.77 million students being taught at home, which is an 18% increase since the study done in 2007. No statistics are completely accurate, in fact, the actual numbers are thought to be much higher because parents who homeschool their children are not required to inform any departments or agencies of their intent to homeschool. In Canada, there are approximately 60,000 to 80,000 homeschooled children and that number is increasing. Homeschoolers tend to have higher GPA’s, ACT scores, and graduation rates.
Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges because they score 15-30% above public school students on standardized testing. They go and succeed at college at an equal or higher rate than the general population. A study conducted by Michael Cogan of the University of St. Thomas revealed that homeschooled students graduated college at a rate of 66.7%, almost 10% higher than students who came from a public high school. Homeschooling has become so popular that many institutes of higher education have a tab on their website specifically for homeschoolers who want to apply.
Homeschoolers are at the 77th percentile in the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Homeschooled kids score 72 points higher than the national average on the SAT and they score an average of 21 on the ACT. There are many critical arguments on testing when it comes to homeschooled kids. Some critics claim that students who take standardized tests are self-selecting, so we don’t know if homeschoolers overall are excelling more than other students. What they don’t take into consideration is that all SAT and ACT test takers are self-selecting regardless of how they were schooled. They also believe that, if broken down by demographics, homeschoolers may not handle particular tasks or situations so well.
Homeschoolers tend to come from higher earning and better educated families, which may account for the higher scores. Alongside critical arguments, there are demographic arguments. A U.
S. Department of Education study found that homeschooling parents are about twice as likely to have advanced degrees and are less likely to divorce (Wehavekids.com, September 7, 2017). In states like California, Alaska, and Florida, there are now “homeschool charter schools” and “homeschool public schools”. Umbrella schools are another alternative to homeschooling. These are cover schools and they provide legitimacy to a family’s home education program in states that require it.
Umbrella schools can be similar to public schools because they host field trips, academic clubs, reading contests, etc…The family has now legally enrolled their child in a private school and has no reporting requirements to the state. In some states, homeschoolers can get some level of support and legal protection for their home education program. These umbrella schools can even issue report cards and maintain attendance records. Research suggests that homeschooling does not negatively affect the child or children (Richards-Gustafson, 2015). By adulthood, homeschoolers internalize the values and beliefs of their parents at a high rate. People who have been homeschooled participate in local community service more frequently than the general population, and they also vote and attend public meetings more frequently.