Homeschooling refers to the form of education that takes place in a home setup and usually without the restrictions that are found in a traditional education system (Cogan 1). The parent or guardian of the child plays the major role of being a teacher.
Lyman (1) defines home schooling as the art of educating children of school going age at home instead of having to take them to some school. Approaches to homeschooling are as varied as the number of people who opt for it (Lyman 1).
Although it may appear as a new concept, Cogan (1) explains that the concept of homeschooling has been with us for a very long time. In the past, it was regarded as the only option available for a majority of people unable to afford the cost of hiring teachers for their children (Cogan 1). For many parents wishing to start homeschooling, the main concern is whether or not they can effectively be able to teach (Jones 1).
With the advent of formal education, homeschooling lost popularity at some point. This saw a tremendous decline in the number of children under the homeschooling program. This trend has now been reversed leading to an increased number of people changing to homeschooling (Cogan 1). According to Lyman, the continuous rise in the number of home schooled students is a clear indication of the amount of dissatisfaction with the quality of education delivered at schools (1).
According to Ray (1), the concept of home schooling is nothing really new. Ray argues that most people who advocate for this kind of education are very much aware of the fact that it is not in any way, a new idea (Ray 1). The recent past has seen a notable growth in the area of home schooling with a good number of parents gaining confidence in the system.
This advancement in homeschooling is attributed to the fact that the traditional education system is dogged with some serious issues; poor discipline and decreased quality of education among others.
Why Home School?
According to Jones (1), every family including those who send their children to school is in one way or another homeschooling with others putting in more time than others.
Lyman (1) observed that there are a number of reasons that make people opt for home schooling. Some parents are very much concerned about the increasing crimes at school as well as indiscipline. Others are dismayed by the diminishing education standard.
The bureaucratic setup at schools is also blamed for the mass exodus of parents and their children from a school based learning environment (Lyman 1). There has also been a substantial reduction in the cost of education and most families are able to establish stronger family ties (Lyman 1).
Supporters of homeschooling have strongly argued that it makes it possible to develop an education plan that directly meets the needs of an individual rather than a whole class (Mead 2). A common thought shared by most students who have undergone homeschooling is the fact that the program enables one to think for themselves and this to them is quite valuable (Mead 3). Jones (1) sees this as a very a key objective and therefore, a major motivation for those choosing homeschooling.
People may also choose homeschooling for reasons that may be religious, academic and at times, for their own personal needs (Jones 1).
Challenges of Home Schooling
Even though the idea of homeschooling is becoming very popular, it has various challenges. One of the major concerns raised has to do with the socialization of the homeschooled children. These children may grow up in a setup that completely denies them a chance to meet and interact with other people. Later, they get shocked when they join college only to discover that they were not well socialized.
They begin to face problems dealing with other people who were not brought up like they were (Lyman 2). Fitting in a controlled setup later in life may also become a challenge for the homeschooled students (Lyman 3). A similar argument is presented by Mead (2) who made similar observations. From an environment that is to some extent closed these students have to now learn how to deal with the outside world (Mead 2).
Although proponents of homeschooling claim that there are numerous avenues such as the church or events for homeschooling students available for purposes of socialization, exposing the students to a comprehensive educational experience is just next to impossible (Cogan 1).
Testimonies by some who have gone through homeschooling show that despite the many advantages of homeschooling, the traditional education system presents children with a thorough preparation for what is ahead in life (Mead 3).
Although there are a number of challenges with the homeschooling system, there is a very high likelihood that if implemented in a well thought out manner, there are distinct advantages. Parents who are afraid of subjecting their children to the traditional schooling system where there is increased indiscipline and decline in the quality of education, and are considering homeschooling for their children will need to more creative.
They should endeavor to provide their children with opportunities to interact with the outside world. This will ensure that as they instill discipline in the children, they are also able to prepare them to face the future in a world that is full of hostility.
Cogan, Michael F. Exploring Academic Outcomes of Homeschooled Students. Journal of College Admission, summer 2010, pp. 1-10., 2010.
Jones, Lillian. Introduction to Homeschooling. California: HomeSchool Association of California. 2009. Web. 8th April, 2011.
Lyman, Isabel. Homeschooling: Back to the Future? Washington, DC: Cato Institute. 1998. Web. 7th April, 2011.
Mead, Tyra L. Singing the Praises of Home – Schooling. New York: Hearst Communications Inc. 1999. Web. 7th April, 2011.
Ray, Brian D. Homeschoolers on to College: What Research Shows Us. Journal of College Admission, Fall 2004, pp. 1- 10., 2004.