During the last ten years, home schooling, or home based education, has risen 361%. Is this just an increasing popular option for families or a damning verdict on state school education? Are parents, more than ever, turning towards home education because of the lack of faith in public education? There are several key factors in determining which type of education is the best option for each family and why.
The Role of the Government
The role of the government in education has slowly grown over time. In the beginning, education was locally controlled by mostly the town or city that the school district was located. Next, it moved to state controlled education, whereas the state would enforce guidelines for all schools to follow. Now, the federal government controls most aspects of education.
The government’s increasing role in anything should be a great concern to the informed public. More and more people seem to agree that the less government involvement in today’s society, the better. But the government’s full blown intrusion into enforcing mandatory education requirements and assessments could be leading more families into the world of home based education.
There are also positives with the increased role of the government in education. It ensures equal opportunity for all children across the country. The government also plays the part in distributing funds to the school districts in an equal manner, but again, only if they meet their mandated requirements. It isn’t difficult to see why some people would skip all of this and choose to educate their children at home. The parents would choose the importance on what to teach their children, not having to be at the mercy of the next federal mandate.
Parents that decide for their children to have a home based education are also choosing to increase the amount of family time they spend together. A loving family unit is of great importance, and with a parent usually the one to educate their child during home schooling, the family grows even closer together.
A child’s family time will often become less as the kid proceeds through public education. Peers become more important than parents, and a gap forms in the family unit. Again, it is not difficult to see why there has been such an increase in home education.
Class sizes are becoming larger and larger to better suit dwindling government funding. The amount of teachers are now less in most districts, while the amount of students in every classroom has risen. There is a direct correlation between a richer educational experience and smaller class sizes. It is unfortunate that the current trend in public education is ignoring this fact.
Homeschooling allows for parents to tailor-make the curriculum according to what their child needs. Of course they will still be teaching all content areas, but only having one or two students enables them to spend more time on whatever it is the child is struggling on. And at the same time, they can proceed faster through content that the kids are excelling at. It’s a win-win situation either way that you look at it.
The ongoing cycle in public education is cram for the test, take the test, and then move on to the next topic. Grades are issued to show how well each of the students did during the process. A home based education can be argued that it entails more mastery of the subject rather than worrying about grades on every assignment. No other teacher in the world will usually care as much about a child’s learning as their own parent, especially if they are placed in charge of it.
Safety is sadly often a major decision to homeschool a child. Bullying is a behavior that has made public school almost unbearable for many students. It is tough to receive a quality education when children are just trying to figure out how they are going to survive the day. Drugs are also something to be concerned about when discussing public education. Peer pressure is a real thing, and has turned good kids down the wrong path. Home education limits the amount of this drama and protects your child from outside forces.
With the amount of free content available online for home education, the numbers are bound to rise due to how many are unsatisfied with the public education provided by the government. Private school is another alternative, but it is generally seen as too expensive. There are reasons why so many families are looking elsewhere than public schools, and with this continued unhappiness, home based education numbers are going to continue to increase.