Term Paper: Should More Children Be in Homeschooling

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Home Schooling

Traditional school-based education was once though to be the most effective and essential part of the education of children. Yet, recent trends have dramatically increased the number of alternatives available to students and their parents'. One of those alternatives that has been around for many years, but was historically thought of as inferior to school-based education has become more and more popular as an alternative for children and parents.

Houston and Toma)

Zirkel)

Critics denounced the choice as a detriment to children's social development. "

Veigle 1) Yet, it is not the home-school that is under attack at this time in our culture, it is the school itself.

It is no accident that one of the most significant countercultural movements in America today has been the parent-driven expansion of educational alternatives to the public schools particularly the rise in small public "charter" schools (schools released from mandates and bureaucratic regulations), denominational private schools, and home schooling.

(Mack and Duflon 18)

Opportunities for change have occurred as a result of many factors, not the least of which is a general dissatisfaction with available public education. In this work the question "Should More children be home-schooled?" will be answered. The work will address some problems with school-based education and will in turn disprove some of the popular myths associated with home schooling. This work will argue that home-schooling is a viable alternative for many students and should be taken advantage of to a greater degree.

A leading education expert expresses concerns about the isolation children experience when they are removed from their community to attend school. "Holt feels that children are not treated as if they are part of the community, that they are removed from the community for their education, and that they are not ready for it when they graduate."

Hausen 163)

In many cases, the bright children he taught in public schools would play a role of obedience and stupidity. "We ask children to do for most of a day what few adults are able to do even for an hour," he says. Children should be helped to make sense of the world and should have the "freedom to live and think about life for its own sake." Schools should be a smorgasbord of artistic, intellectual, creative and athletic activities. Communities could become places where people ask questions of each other and share what they know.

Hausen 163)

Holt is a strong supporter of home schooling.

His observations are as a response to many years as a teacher in public schools. He believes that the challenges that students face, in a public school are absolutely contrary to their natural development into successful adults.

He advocates home schooling for concerned and able parents. He feels that government interferes with the rights of parents to educate their own children or to have the final say in decisions on education.

(Hausen 163)

Even in a home school setting the state still has at least a limited amount of control over the subjects being taught and the educational progress of the students. Different states have different standards for the acceptance of a home schooling situation yet, nearly all demand yearly if not quarterly progress reports of one nature or another.

Innerst 11)

In one rather staunch book detailing the way in which our culture is un-family friendly and even family hostile associates the standards of socialization within public school as the source of increased violence and decreased ability among today's children.

Could it be that in their determination to loose children from family loyalties and to promote the peer group as a source of both emotional support and social approval, educators have inadvertently promoted such hideous behavior? [increased violence] Could it be that in their zeal to lay bare children's inner lives for scrutiny and refitting, they are selling children's souls to their peers? Some parents think they are. Home schooling parents often point up what they consider the unhealthy ways schools socialize kids.

Mack and Duflon 161)

Some of the main proponents of home schooling have often addressed socialization as the thing that home schooled children are missing and need tin order to thrive in their future. Yet, as this work contends the nature of the unhealthy socialization within schools is to blame for not only increased violence in schools but increased violence among youth who attend school and must deal with unnaturally extreme pressures of peer groups and social enemies.

African-American home schooling mother Donna Nichols-White told Time magazine, "When people mention the problem of gang membership, I mention that the common factor amongst all gang members is they attended school." 126

Mack and Duflon 161)

Some experts even agree with this connection between violence in the youth and the unhealthy ways in which school socialize students.

Curiously, former guru of the human potential movement Dr. Roger Coulson has acknowledged a connection between behavioral education and increasing juvenile violence and disaffection, and has disavowed it as psychologically manipulative, destabilizing, and morally confusing. Social policy-makers who bemoan the propensity of teenagers to succumb to unhealthy peer pressure ought to consider rethinking the schools' herding approach to socialization and returning the focus of education to academic achievement, leaving children's psychosocial development to the family...Contemplate the outbreaks of ethnic, racial, and misogynist violence in neighborhoods where children have taken courses in "tolerance" and "self-esteem," but have been given no rules to live by. Consider just briefly the deliberate sins of our schools, perpetrated daily on a captive audience of 45 million American children: They undermine family intimacies; they impede parental authority; they disorient the moral compass; they trivialize feelings

Mack and Duflon 161)

Public schools have been under intense scrutiny for several years. The level of student failure, in the United States, one of the most advanced nations in the world casts a clear and reasonable doubt upon the validity of our school systems. The responses from the public education system has been to adopt a system of outcomes-based testing which does not change the school but then makes educators and students follow a curriculum that is geared almost exclusively toward test success and yet there is no real proof anyone is learning any more than they were before the testing became the focus.

Those who don't wish to educate all our children will simply substitute pleasant- sounding rhetoric for resources. Intoning a slogan like "No child left behind" never taught a child to read. Neither did "All children can learn." But the most preposterous of these empty rhetorical phrases is "No child left behind." The simplicity and stupidity of this statement prevent us from doing what we ought to do: provide sufficient resources to educate all our children successfully. The complexity of providing for an adequate education (as nearly 15 state supreme courts have said) requires much more than slogans.

(Thomas and Bainbridge 781)

As is pointed out here many of our schools fall short of the resources needed to educate children to a degree which our culture should find acceptable. Even early reformers are sadly disappointed by the new standards which are simply a smoke screen to hide the fact that children are failing not because of the inadequate testing procedures but because of inadequate school funding and inappropriate school design.

The majority of our schools are underfunded, especially those in low- wealth states and in low-wealth school districts. Children in these schools lack adequate instructional materials and access to technology, and they are often housed in buildings that fail to meet the safety codes of their states. They are usually taught by less-qualified personnel. These children are left behind.

(Thomas and Bainbridge 781)

These children and the institutions they attend are inadequate and faulty, not to mention a breeding ground for discontent and disillusionment, when those attending them realize that no matter how hard they work they will probably not have the success they hope for.

Descriptions of traditional mass schooling present the familiar features of educational inequality: intense overcrowding, overworked and underpaid staff, grim and decaying facilities, insufficient and arcane textbooks, ethnic and racial hostility, vast disparities in funding. The socialization that occurred was not a lesson in democratic values, but a convincing exposure to the hard realities of competition and social stigma.

Bastian et al. 35)

The blows of such social stigmas and failures in competition can be seriously cushioned by the maintenance of the student in the family, in a home-school setting. Challenges to children to socialize could then continue to be decided, as appropriate or inappropriate given the input of those who should remain the most influential people in the lives of children, their parents. In one study it was found that community involvement and other opportunities for socialization were more often a part of the lives of home-schooled children than their schooled peers.

"community enrichment" index was created by adding the number of the following activities done with the child in the past month: visit a library, attend a play or concert or other… [END OF PREVIEW]

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