Home-schooling is often perceived as the ultimate privatization of education, because parents must secure funding, choose curriculum content, and determine how to grade and progress their child. Home-schooling occurs when a family decides to teach their child at home and a parent assumes responsibility for the formal instruction of his or her child.
|For further reading on the development and character of home-schooling see the following NCSPE articles:|
|Occasional Paper 48: Nemer, Kariane Mari. 2002. “Understudied Education: Toward Building A Home-Schooling Research Agenda.”
|Occasional Paper 62: Belfield, Clive. 2002. “The characteristics of Home-Schoolers: New Evidence from High Schools.”
|Occasional Paper 64: Isenberg, Eric. 2002. “Home Schooling: School Choice and Women’s Time Use.” http://www.ncspe.org/publications_files/406_OP64.pdf|
Why is home-schooling controversial?
Home-schooling has become an attractive choice for families that hold values not promoted in public schools or existing private schools. Families may home-school to teach religious beliefs and alternative values. This agenda may make educators and politicians nervous, especially when home-schoolers avoid other tasks of public education, such as citizenship preparation. In addition, recent plans have used public money to fund home-schools. Both California and Alaska allow home-school charter schools, while charter schools that use the internet to instruct students are popular with home-school parents. The potential advantages and disadvantages of home-schooling are listed below.
What are the possible advantages of home-schooling?
- Individual Attention. Unlike in a large classroom setting, home-schooled children receive the full attention of their parental teacher.
- Greater flexibility. With limited students, a parent can design a curriculum that addresses the specific talents and needs of each child.
- Reduced Peer Pressure. Public education often encourages unhealthy forms of competition among students. Home-schooling allows students to focus on learning.
- Promotes Family. Many people believe parents have the right to promote core beliefs and values in their children. Home-schooling enables this process.
What are the possible disadvantages of home-schooling?
- Greater Costs. Home-schooling usually requires the family to absorb the total cost of their child’s education, including classroom materials and technology unless provided through charter school provision.
- Poor Civic Participation. Learning in a group promotes social learning and values of citizenship. An isolated home-schooled child does not encounter the diverse perspectives needed to develop shared values.
- Lost Social Services. Public schools not only educate, but also provide many social services through trained workers. Home-school families lack such expertise and resources.
- Lack of Quality Control. If education is privatized through the family, it becomes difficult to ensure that competent instruction is provided or that a student is engaged in learning. Only a few states require home-school students to be tested.
|For further consideration of the debate surrounding home-schooling see the following NCSPE articles:|
Occasional Paper 45: Nemer, Kariane Mari. 2002. “Exploring the Democratic Tensions with Parents’ Decisions to Home School.”
|Occasional Paper 49: Belfield, Clive. 2002. “Modeling School Choice: A Comparison of Public, Private-Independent, Private-Religious, and Home-Schooled Students.” http://www.ncspe.org/publications_files/20_OP_49.pdf|
Reprinted with the permission of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education.
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