Home Schoooling

Home schooling is an alternative to public education. It is a choice that many more parents are making today, and even more are projected to make by the year 2000. It is estimated that at the end of the year 2000 there will be 2,000,000 home schoolers in the United States (Gorder 1996). There are other alternatives to Public School education. Some examples are Catholic or Private schools or a privately hired tutor. There are many reasons why people home school their children. Religious beliefs, academic achievement, social development, moral and psychological reasons are all cited (Wade 1996). However, religious beliefs are often the main reason (Gorder 1996). Some parents feel as if their children are not learning enough academics, but that they are learning moral and social values that conflict with their own (Gorier 1996). Many parents teach their children at home because they feel they can provide a better education for them. Another problem parents see with the school system is the lack of control and discipline in the schools today. “In 1996 every day 35,000 children took guns to school with them” (Gorder, p.15, 1996). Parents feel that since the government funds these schools they are used as podiums for preaching. They see the teacher using the class as an audience to preach to. There are also parents who want to teach their children so that they can spend more time with them. “The average school-age child spends only fourteen minutes a week talking to their parents” (Gorder, p.16, 1996). There are others who think that parents home school their children because they get joy out of seeing them learn and discover new things (Henger 1995). There is some history to the issue of home schooling. There are also many pros and cons, which will be addressed in this paper.
Home schooling has been around for hundreds of years. There are many famous and intellectual people that have had their education through home schooling. Some examples are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie, Margaret Mead, Charlie Chaplin, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain (Gorder, p.11, 1996). Most of these famous people were home schooled when it was a common occurrence and more than acceptable. Home schooling has grown substantially over the last twenty-five years. In that time the number of home schoolers was increased by 185,000 (Gorder 1996). Over the years there have been many legal battles over home schooling. The reality is that each state has control over its school system. Therefore, each individual state makes their own laws except that all 50 states have compulsory attendance laws. Most of these laws require children to attend school form age seven to sixteen (Gorder 1996). Home schooling your child is a big decision and not always an easy one. The process is long and often hard and when it takes its toll on you there are support groups to lend you a helping hand. Most people have some sort of support system be it a few friends or a large organization. These groups are beneficial in many ways. They provide a good way to make friends for parents and children (Hegener 1995). They help new home schoolers become more confident and revitalize the older ones. They help in keeping the group aware of the newest news on political issues surrounding home schooling. The typical activities of a support group may include meetings, field trips, classes, social occasions, curriculum fairs and many other things. These groups also have common goals. Some of those goals are to provide support and encouragement, share information about home schooling, provide educational opportunities and to represent home schooling to the community (Wade 1996).
There are many positives to home schooling your child. However, it is important to remember that every child and family is different. So what works for someone else may not work for you or your family. Home schooling allows you to teach your own values. “Religion has traditionally been the most commonly cited reason for parents to choose home schooling. They feel that the moral training of their children is their responsibility, not the state’s” (Gorder, p.50, 1996). Parents don’t want to send their children to schools where they