Home-Schooling (page 2)
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|
How large is the home-school movement?
Home-schooling is legal in all fifty states. In fact, children have been home-schooled throughout United States history, but with the rise of a public education system, home-schooling declined. However, increased criticism of public education has helped revitalize home-schooling. By 2003, about one million students were taught at home (Lines, 1998). It has proven difficult to measure exactly how strong the home-school movement is. For example, despite large numbers, the average home-school education has been estimated as lasting only two years (Lines, 2002). Below the size of home-schooling is compared to other educational reforms.
|Number of States||50||41||3|
|Number of Students||800,000 - 1.23 mil||684,000||24,681|
Sources: Center for Education Reform: [http://www.edreform.org]. Home Education across the United States. (1997).Purcellville, VA: Home School Legal Defense Association. Pp. 2-3. Lines, Patricia M. (Spring 1998). Homeschoolers: Estimating Numbers and Growth. (Washington D.C.: National Institute on Student Achievement, Curriculum, and Assessment, Office of Education Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). (2001). Homeschooling in the United States: 1999. [http://nces.ed.gov/]
Where can I find out more about home-schooling?
Home-school information located on the NCSPE website can be found at http://www.ncspe.org/inforead.php?mysub=5
Books and articles reviewing home schooling include:
Bauman, KJ. 2002. “Home-schooling in the United States: Trends and characteristics.” http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v10n26.html
Lines, P. 2002. “Support for home-based study.” Eric Clearinghouse on Educational Management, University of Oregon. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). 2001. Homeschooling in the United States: 1999. http://nces.ed.gov/
Stevens, ML. 2001. Kingdom of Children. Culture and Controversy in the Home- Schooling Movement. Princeton University Press: Princeton.
For additional information from internet resources see:
The National Center for Education Statistics at:
The Home School Legal Defense Association– a strong advocate for home school education– at: http://www.hslda.org
Reprinted with the permission of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education.
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