Katelyn Norquist & Caroline Schultz
History of Homeschooling
The modern homeschool movement began in the 1970s when John Holt, an educational theorist and supporter of school reform, began arguing that formal schools’ focus on rote learning created an oppressive classroom environment designed to make children compliant employees. Soon after Holt’s arguments inspired the first homeschoolers, Holt’s friend educational theorist Raymond Moore added his voice, arguing that early schooling was detrimental to children and that children should be schooled at home until age eight or nine in order to give them a firm educational, psychological, and moral foundation. Homeschooling has continued to grow by leaps and bounds since the 1970s, especially as it has increasingly come to be seen as an acceptable educational alternative. More information about the history of homeschooling can be found at:
Why do People Choose to Homeschool?
Many parents now choose to educate their children at home after realizing many homeschooling benefits that the approach can give. Homeschooling will help keep your child safe, independent and smart, among other things.
1. Homeschooling attends to children’s needs on a personal level
The approach generally involves one-on-one tutoring, which is why teachers can evaluate their students’ needs individually and create a personalized educational plan that will address specific issues. Teachers can ensure that their students master concepts and skills before moving on to new lessons. Teachers are constantly aware of the personal strengths and weaknesses of each student, based on a report by RaiseSmartKid.com.
2. Homeschooling encourages independent thinking
Since children usually deal with their teachers one-on-one, they are more inclined to make decisions for themselves, as compared to classroom setups where students usually follow the majority decision. Later on in life, homeschooled children are shown to be more mature and decisive compared to classroom-taught children.
3. Homeschooling focuses on learning, not grades
In a classroom setup, students are usually pressured to get high scores and compete with others. Homeschooling benefits include encouraging children to maximize their personal abilities and enhance knowledge. This way, children can realize their potential better and not merely aim for high grades.
4. Homeschooling benefits include creating a safer environment
SonLight.com reported that children in schools are more prone to bullying, negative peer pressure and even misbehaving teachers. In a homeschool setup, children can be themselves without fear of getting teased or ridiculed by both classmates and teachers, resulting to a more independent and confident individual. Parents also do not need to drive far and get to save time by not having to bring their children to campus.
5. Homeschooling enhances family relationships
Since parents can easily monitor their children’s progress as well as get involved in the learning process, relationships between parents and homeschooled children are stronger. This also improves communication between parents and children at a young age and kids are less prone to alienating themselves from family in favor of friends.
There are also special homeschool programs that address children with special needs. The homeschooling benefits are tried and proven to improve the disposition of children with personality and psychological issues.
Benefits of Homeschooling
Families embrace homeschooling over public schooling for a wide variety of reasons, but several reasons continue to rise to the top. The top ten reasons families listed in random order are:
- Academic Quality
- Positive Socialization with people of different ages
- Family togetherness
- Separation of government and school
- Tailored student learning plans
- Emphasis on mastery instead of grades
- Private School Expenses
For more information regarding each homeschooling benefit visit:
Negatives of Homeschooling
More parents are choosing to homeschool their children because they see the many benefits of homeschooling, differences in ideology and issues with public school policy are only a few reasons why some parents choose homeschooling over public or private schools. When considering enrolling a child in a homeschool curriculum, there are many different factors to consider. While there are many positive aspects of homeschooling, there are also the negative aspects of homeschooling.
When parents take the responsibility of educating their children at home, they may need to set aside time to make it work. The task of homeschooling a child is certainly not easy, especially for working parents, single parents or stay-at-home parents. They have to take time to organize and prepare lessons, teach, give tests, and plan field trips. Homeschooling is a full-time commitment and to make sure that the child receives a quality education, parents need to invest time and effort needed.
In comparison to public schools, where education is free, homeschooling can be costly. Purchasing the newest curriculum and teaching tools can be very expensive. Parents may choose to use a paid homeschooling program, such programs may have added benefits, but may increase the cost of the child’s education. There are also other costs to keep in mind, like project materials, stationery, books, computer software, and field trips. Parents who choose to home school their children should be prepared to spend more money than parents who send their children to public schools.
Home schooled children may not have as many opportunities to interact with other children in comparison to children who attend regular schools. Forming bonds and socializing with children their own age is important for the child’s developmental health and development of social skills. If home schooled, they may be deprived of the chance to form friendships and may suffer socially. Of course, they can make friends with other home schooled children, but it is quite different when special effort has to be made to arrange meetings. The lack of socialization may affect them in later stages of life.
4. Lack of Facilities
It is quite impossible that a home can be as well-equipped as a regular school in terms of facilities. For classes that require experiments like physics and chemistry, it can be hard to get all the necessary chemicals, materials, apparatus, and so on. The home would also lack facilities for sports like swimming pools, running tracks, gyms, and fields.
One of the reasons why homeschooling is bad is the fact that parents may lose patience when they are trying to educate their children. Some parents may be too overbearing or impatient, which may cause the child to react in a negative manner. It is may be hard for parents to draw the line between educator and parent in the child’s mind.
One of the most glaring negative effects of homeschooling is the matter of motivation. Some children need to be challenged to excel in their studies. In this sense, they thrive when they are involved in some competition. Children who are homeschooled would not have this motivation because most of them are educated separately.
Teach the tools of learning (i.e., grammar – mastery of a language, dialectic – logic, and rhetoric – the expressive and creative use of language) so they may be used in the study of any subject.
2. Lifestyle of Learning
Teaching and learning are treated as a seamless and organic part of living within a family, geographical community, local faith community, and nation – that is, the "real, everyday world."
3. Schooling at Home
Parents generally teach as they were taught in schools. There is a high degree of structure. It often involves active teaching with the teacher having a clear-cut and outstanding role. There is no significant integration of subject areas.
4. Structured/Mastery Learning
Content to be learned is clearly presented in (usually) consumable booklets (or via computers) in a sequential, step-by-step manner while immediate feedback to the learner is emphasized. Often the parent is viewed more as a moderator or administrator than as an active teacher.
5. Unit Studies
These emphasize the concept that all knowledge is interrelated and learned more easily and remembered longer if it is presented and studied in a related way. Subject areas (e.g., math, history) are blended together as the teaching is centered around a common theme or project.
This approach emphasizes giving children as much freedom to explore and learn about the world as parents can comfortably bear; it does not mean allowing them to misbehave (Holt Associates, 2000).
This approach emphasizes that all education is value- and belief-driven and no form of education or schooling can be otherwise. It purposely and explicitly integrates a particular worldview in curriculum materials, activities, and ways of thinking.
More information about choosing homeschooling strategies can be found at:
Over the years, certain homeschooling styles have become very popular. Most homeschoolers do not follow one style or method exactly. Instead, they select the ideas and suggestions that fit their family and eventually end up with a method all their own. It may take some time to develop your own routine and you may discover that you start out more structured in the beginning and become more flexible and relaxed as time goes on. The following are the most popular homeschooling styles: