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Home School Education - Advantages And Disadvantages

Jan 15, 2008
Why Parents Choose a Home School Education

An increasing number of children today are receiving a home school education. The reasons for making the choice to homeschool their kids varies from family to family but there are three main reasons why parents are removing their children from the public school system and giving them a home school education.

The first reason is that the public education system in the United States is struggling to provide a proper education for the nation's children with out of date text books, run down school buildings and inadequate equipment. Provision of a home school education enables the parents to have control over the quality of the educational materials used by their children and the general conditions in which they are educated.

The second reason is that parents wish to assume more control over the influences their children will be exposed to. This is often on the basis of religious grounds but, very often, it is simply because a home school education will ensure the child learns the values upheld by the family and is taught from an early age what behavior is appropriate. Unfortunately, many public schools have a poor reputation for instilling good discipline in students. This often results in badly behaved children disrupting lessons and preventing their peers from getting the full benefit of classes. Discipline and the upholding of proper standards of behavior is an important part of a home school education.

The third reason many parents choose to give their children a home school education is fear for their safety. Violence is on the increase everywhere and the public school system has not escaped this trend. Violence in the public education system is getting worse and the individual acts of violence are more serious. Since the shocking events at Columbine High School there have been further tragedies involving firearms where teachers and students have been injured or killed. A home school education ensures the safety of children who would otherwise be seriously at risk of harm.

The Disadvantages of Opting For Homeschooling

Providing a home school education is not simply a matter of parental choice. In most cases the state education board of the state in which the family resides will have to approve a decision to give a child a home school education. The person taking on the responsibility of homeschooling must be certified to be a home teacher, the curriculum must follow the state curriculum, and the text books and other educational materials to be used must be approved by the state. Although this might seen like undue interference in what is a matter of personal choice, the state has a responsibility to ensure that all children receive an adequate standard of education and checks will be made to ensure that any child being kept away from public school is being properly educated.

A home school education might mean that a child is deprived of certain opportunities which would have been available within the public school system. There could be difficulties in providing facilities for athletic children to realize their potential. Musically talented children could be similarly disadvantaged. In some states there is provision for children receiving a home school education to take part in amenities such as being able to attend sports lessons and join after-school clubs. However, the level of assistance provided to homeschooling parents is not uniform and varies a lot from state to state.

The final potential disadvantage to affect children receiving a home school education is that they will not develop the social skills which will be important as they grow up. Social interaction with their peers and with adults outside the family is essential if a child is going to grow up with a properly balance personality and a reasonable level of social skills. These developmental issues can be fairly easily overcome if the child lives in a state where homeschooling parents are given support and the child receiving a home school education is accepted into classes and extra-curricular activities.

The decision to keep a child out of the public education system is not one any parent would make lightly and any weighing up of the pros and cons must take into account the level of support the state will provide. However, if the public school system continues to deteriorate, the number of children receiving a home school education is bound to increase.
About the Author
Tammy Carter reviews Home School Education at HomeSchoolResourcesOnline.com
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