Why Should I Homeschool?
Every good parent wants the best for their child. Every good parent has different views on what is defined as the best. So why is homeschooling being defined as the best more and more every year? In the United States, an estimated 1.73 to 2.35 million children (from grades K to 12) were home educated during the spring of 2010 and the homeschool population continues to grow around 2% to 8% every year (1). What is so great about homeschooling? Why are so many parents making the switch away from private and public schools?
These, and many more, examples are the reasons why many are choosing homeschool over more conventional means. The choice is up to each individual parent on what is exactly the best for their child. The members of this group are in complete agreement that homeschooling is the best choice for their child/children. Take a look at some famous homeschoolers throughout history:
- Performance Levels
Who knows your child better than you do? Obviously no one. Therefore, it makes sense that you would be in the best position to reach your child with educational concepts. The average homeschooler scores on the standardized tests at the 84th percentile or higher whereas the average public school student scores at the 50th percentile. These subject areas include language, reading, math, science, and social studies (2). A teacher in a classroom full of kids cannot devote the one-on-one time to help every student succeed like a homeschool teacher can. It is only logical to see this reflected in these areas of testing. Also, all children learn at different rates. A teacher in a classroom has to make one speed and that forces children to keep up, some at speeds they just aren't able to perform. A homeschool teacher can work around their child's own speed and apply a plan to fit their child's needs.
- Bigger Voice
In 2005, Judge Reinhardt of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit made a ruling (in the case of Fields v. Palmdale School District) that will forever echo in the ears of parents. In the case, a survey was handed out to elementary school children which included explicit questions relating to marital relations. As soon as the parents found out, they sued for the right to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to [marital relations]. The judge ruled that the [parental] right does not extend beyond the threshold of the school door (3 & 4). This is a very dangerous statement towards parental rights. It only gets worse with every passing year.
- Religious Freedom
There seems to be an apparent war on religious freedom within the school systems. The Medina Valley Independent School District in Texas was specifically forbidden by Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery from having the freedom of prayer with the possible consequences of incarceration or other sanctions for contempt of Court if not obeyed. Among the verbiage outlawed was prayer, amen, bow their heads, invocation, benediction, and in [a deity's name] we pray. (5) This is a direct violation of the freedom of religion that was afforded us within the writings of the Constitution. And don't think that North Carolina is an exception to the rule. In February of 2014, a football coach for Mooresville High School was ordered to cease praying, baptizing, and encouraging players to go to church before, during, or after practices. The baptisms were performed off school property within the Charles Mack Citizen Center (which is a church)(6). So, in other words, if you are employed by the state in any way, you have no rights to religion at all when it comes to students, even on your own time. This is a huge stumbling block for religious freedom. This message is put to us very plainly from these occurrences: in the name of tolerance, religion is not tolerated. Hmmm...
- Parental Guidance
Today, in the school systems, there are so many unhealthy influences pulling our nation's kids in so many different directions; more often than not in bad directions. According to statistics put out by the Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base, 30% of all middle and high schoolers are offered drugs. The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that 74.3% of High School students have tried alcohol. The American Lung Association has recorded that 3.1 million teenagers now smoke. Lastly, statistics recorded by the Kaiser Foundation suggests that 50% of all teenagers feel pressured with regard to premarital relationships. (7) Common sense dictates that if parents are the constant guidance system, and not students that are poorly monitored by a school, then these statistics stand to decrease a substantial amount.The benefits greatly outweigh the risks.
The NC school year of 1997-1998 counted a total of 7543 acts of violence. The last annual report of school violence statistics published on the NC Public Schools website is from the year of 2006-2007. That year recorded a total of 11013. That is a 46% increase, and that's not even up to current! Out of that same school year, there were 4339 occurrences of possession of a controlled substance with 971 occurrences in middle schools. There were 3925 occurrences of possession of a weapon excluding firearms and powerful explosives; 670 occurrences in elementary schools and 1341 occurrences in middle schools. Lastly, there were 175 bomb threats and 97 sexual assaults. (8 & 9). Children are much safer at home.
- Schedule Flexibility
Based upon personal experience and the testimonies of fellow homeschoolers, homeschooling does not require rigid adherence to a set schedule as in a school system. If an emergency or a better learning opportunity for the day comes up, it doesn't take much to drop everything and pick it back up later. How many folks can say that who have their kids in a more traditional school setting?
There are so many options for curriculum with regards to homeschool to fit everyone. Some homeschoolers prefer to buy entire sets of curriculum already gathered by an outside source (i.e. Classical Conversations, Abeka Curriculum, etc). Others prefer to create their own by cherry-picking textbooks and resources from free or cheap websites and stores. Ace Homeschooling Association hosts a used book sale every year that helps many homeschoolers gain the instructional materials needed at an even more affordable range. You don't have to be rich to homeschool, believe me!
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
John Quincy Adams
William Henry Harrison
Florence Nightingale, nurse
Susan B. Anthony
Alexander Graham Bell
George Bernard Shaw
Hans Christian Anderson
Louisa May Alcott
Pearl S. Buck
Leonardo da Vinci
Robert E. Lee
John Philip Sousa
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Colonel Harland Sanders
US Supreme Court
Sandra Day O'Connor
George Rogers Clark
(1) Ray, Brian D. Ph.D. "Research Facts On Homeschooling." National Home Education Research Institute, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 July 2014. < http://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html>.
(2) "HOME-SCHOOLING: Outstanding results on national tests" The Washington Times, 30 Aug. 2009. Web. 30 July 2014. < http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/30/home-schooling-outstanding-results-national-tests/>
(3) Davis, Elliot M. "UNJUSTLY USURPING THE PARENTAL RIGHT: Fields v. Palmdale School District, 427 F.3d 1197 (9th Cir. 2005)" Harvard Law School. Web. 30 July 2014. < http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol29_No3_Davis.pdf>
(4) "427 F. 3d 1197 - Fields v. Palmdale School District" Open Jurist. 2 Nov. 2005 Web. 30 July 2014. < http://openjurist.org/427/f3d/1197/fields-v-palmdale-school-district/>
(5) Starnes, Todd. "Federal Judge Prohibits Prayer at Texas Graduation Ceremony ." Fox News, 2 June 2011. Web. 8 Aug. 2014. < http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/02/prayer-prohibited-at-graduation-ceremony/>
(6) Fearnow, Benjamin. "NC High School Football Coach Ordered To Cease Baptisms, Leading Prayers." CBS Charlotte. 2 Feb. 2014. Web. 8 Aug. 2014. < http://charlotte.cbslocal.com/2014/02/02/nc-high-school-football-coach-ordered-to-cease-baptisms-leading-prayers/>
(7) "Peer Pressure." Family First Aid. Web. 8 Aug. 2014. < http://www.familyfirstaid.org/issues/peer-pressure/>
(8) "2001-02 Annual Report on School Crime and Violence." Public Schools of North Carolina. Web. 08 Aug. 2014. < http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/research/discipline/reports/schoolviolence/2001-02schoolviolence.pdf>
(9) "2006-07 Annual Report on School Crime and Violence." Public Schools of North Carolina. Web. 08 Aug. 2014. < http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/research/discipline/reports/schoolviolence/2006-07schoolviolence.pdf>