It was my privilege as a veteran educator and a business owner of a e-commerce company that sells creative, fun educational resources www.kidsartandfunexpress.com to interview some people who are very involved in the home school movement. As an educator myself, I found the interviews very interesting. I was able to solidify some of my ideas about home schools, but I also was able to gather more information about home schooling than I had previously known. One of the questions that often arises is why do people choose home school over the traditional classroom setting? According to NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) although most families had multiple reasons for choosing to homeschool these are the most common reasons:
- Most families included among their reasons concern about the school environment (including concerns about drugs, safety, or peer pressure), the quality of academic instruction, and the desire to offer their children a greater degree of moral or religious instruction.
- Some families wished to homeschool for specific child-centered reasons, such as their child’s mental or physical health issue, other special needs that their child had, or the child’s own desire for a homeschooling education.
- A smaller number of homeschoolers also wanted the greater flexibility that homeschooling can provide or wanted more control over the curriculum.
- When asked to identify the chief reason that they wished to homeschool, about a third of families identified the environment of other schools as the most compelling reason, while another third made the choice primarily to provide moral or religious instruction in their child’s curriculum.
As a result of my conservative upbringing, I have been aware of the home school movement for as far back as I can remember. I was not home schooled, but I knew several people who were being home schooled. After receiving a teaching certificate myself, I began my career as an educator. Most of my tenure was in private schools, but I also spent several years in the public school system. As a result of my involvement in private education, I continued to have contact with home school education. My involvement included interaction with students and parents who were involved in home schooling. Some of the private schools where I taught and even some of the public schools gladly accepted home schoolers into their programs, as a supplement to the home school setting.
As I spent time interviewing several people involved in the home school movement, I was reminded again of the many benefits of this movement! I interviewed friends who home school as well as directors and leaders of home school networks. One thing was clear, whether speaking to a mom who home schools her children, or a director of a network, there was a common theme. Students who are home schooled have much more opportunity for one on one interaction than students that are in a traditional classroom setting.
Many people have the mindset that if a child is home schooled, they are at a disadvantage. However, just the opposite seems to be true. Statistics seem to back up the idea that children who are homeschooled actually out perform children in public school settings (In 1997, a study of 5,402 homeschool students from 1,657 families was released. It was entitled, ”Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America.” The study demonstrated that homeschoolers, on the average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects.), and in some cases, those that are in private school settings. I think it is time that we celebrate the home school movement. Although, it may not be for everyone, it is clear that there are great benefits to it. If you are interested in pursuing the possibility of home schooling your child(ren), I would encourage you to do so. If it is done right, children can benefit greatly from the home school structure rather than being at a disadvantage.
and in some cases, those that are in private school settings. I think it is time that we celebrate the home school movement. Although, it may not be for everyone, it is clear that there are great benefits to it. If you are interested in pursuing the possibility of home schooling your child(ren), I would encourage you to do so. If it is done right, children can greatly benefit from the home school structure rather than them being at a disadvantage.