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Learn from homeschooling to improve public education- think it can happen?

Posted by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 1:19 PM
  • 19 Replies

Learn from homeschooling to improve public education

Since 1999, the number of U.S. students homeschooling has nearly doubled. It continues to be a viable alternative to public or private education, and as trust in the public-school system dwindles, more and more parents are turning to educating their kids themselves.

An increase in the popularity of homeschooling in America demonstrates a severe lack of confidence in the public-education system. Americans should be able to trust in their government's ability to provide an adequate education for the next generation, and if they can't, we should re-evaluate and refine our approach to schooling. One method is to determine the reasoning behind homeschooling's success and attempt to implement those principles in public classrooms.

The reason homeschooling works is largely because of its individualized approach. This, of course, runs upstream from the consequences of No Child Left Behind, which, in effect, requires teachers to instruct homogeneously. By applying an individualized approach to teaching, interest and innovation would propel our schools to higher achievement and attract more would-be homeschoolers, freeing up parents to contribute to the workforce.

Homeschooling has steadily evolved into more than just a self-righteous alternative for Bible Belt parents who cower at the thought of evolution being taught in biology classes as something more than a hypothesis. Today, the attraction of homeschooling transcends political lines of division.

"Homeschoolers of all stripes believe that they alone should decide how their children are educated, and they unite in order to press for the absence of regulations or the most permissive regulation possible,"writesRobert Reich in a 2005 Stanford University research paper, "Why Homeschooling Should Be Regulated."

The results — without accounting for control factors — indicate that homeschooling produces better students. While the percentile rank for public schools is, by definition, 50 percent, homeschooled children rank between the 65th and 80th percentiles, according the National Home Education Research Institution.

This gap in achievement should act as inspiration for school reform. But of course, evidence parallel to public classrooms should be evaluated before taking any bold action.

One 2012 study, called "Assessing Performance: The Impact of Organizational Climates and Politics on Public Schools' Performance," found that four "climates" were positively correlated to public-school performance: participative, innovative, leadership, and service — two of which are integrated in the foundation of homeschooling. In a perfect world, every child would be homeschooled and receive the same individualized attention.

Yet, not all families have the time or the financial flexibility to homeschool, not to mention the vast majority of parents are most likely not qualified to educate their children in a fashion that prepares them for college and the professional world. The majority of families in America depend on the public-school system to educate their children.

Instead of bashing the government for its methodologies and flawed system of funding, we should address the issue that while some parents might choose to educate their children for personal reasons, others do it out of a fear of sending their kids through flawed or failing systems. Fear of an inadequate education should not be a weighty factor in any family's decision to homeschool.

The goal should be to eradicate circumstantially prompted homeschooling by tailoring educational policy based on what does and what does not improve overall student performance.

When it comes to curricula, schools should focus on individual tutoring, increased instructional time, and cooperative learning. Initiatives such as Edutopia offer some insight into potential methods of bettering public-school performance.

Homeschooling essentially revolves around parental involvement. In the same light, one might also consider the agency of parents in the sphere of public education and the positive effects of being involved in their child's K-12 schooling. Parents getting involved in local educational reform and vocalizing concerns can have an obvious, tangible effect. Programs such as Project Appleseed call on parents to "pledge" to improve public-school systems by being involved.

Every child should have access to an adequate education. Policy should not aim to eliminate homeschooling — it should aim to learn from it.

by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 1:19 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mem82
by Platinum Member on Mar. 13, 2012 at 1:27 PM

The article made some interesting points. I think that if public schools could have an 'extra' teacher in each room to be a silent helping hand, that, alone, would raise testing levels. I believe, also, that homeschoolers should be regulated to a point, if only to protect a small fraction of kids.

carolkey74
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM
2 moms liked this
I enjoyed reading this, with the exception of one line: "the vast majority of parents are most likely not qualified to educate their children in a fashion that prepares them for college and the professional world." As long as there are people with that type of biased attitude, the gap between public schoolers and homeschoolers will never close.
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carolkey74
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 1:42 PM
3 moms liked this
Opening homeschooling to regulation is allowing the government a foothold into my home. The beauty of homeschooling is that I am able to teach to my children's interests, and I don't have to limit them to "state standards". I gave birth to them, my husband and I provide for their needs, and we want only the best for them. I don't need an "official" to tell me how to raise my children. Like you, I have concerns about homeschooled children who may be receiving inadequate education, but I shouldn't have to hand over control of my children's education. I think overall, though that the article made some good points.


Quoting mem82:

The article made some interesting points. I think that if public schools could have an 'extra' teacher in each room to be a silent helping hand, that, alone, would raise testing levels. I believe, also, that homeschoolers should be regulated to a point, if only to protect a small fraction of kids.


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oredeb
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 1:49 PM
1 mom liked this

 interesting i agree with carol, that line !!!! wrong!!!

the vast majority of parents are most likely not qualified to educate their children in a fashion that prepares them for college and the professional world

usmom3
by BJ on Mar. 13, 2012 at 1:50 PM
2 moms liked this

 No matter how much they "fix" the PS I will never subject my children to it! I will fight every attempt to regulate homeschools because the fear that a few children will be harmed is not justifiable to me for all of us to be under suspicion of harming our children. For those of you that are thinking "If you have nothing to hide then what is the problem with a little regulation?" The answer "The problem is the government wont stop at a little regulation! You give them a little control & they will stealthe rest of your freedom over time" Don't believe me go read your history we haven't been the "FREE" country we where meant to be in a long long time!

mem82
by Platinum Member on Mar. 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

I don't worry about the government regulations because, sadly, society has a habit of being stoopid without a little monitoring. The Chaos Theory doesn't work with us, humans. A test or portfolio once a year isn't a violation of anything. I would fight against something more strenuous. As for the freedom we were founded on, we have to adapt to the changing world. At that time, less than half the population could read beyond their name and no one of any other race was taught doodly squat. 8)All children have a right to a decent education and I do believe the government should ask us to prove we are providing it.

Sweet_Britt
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Ummmm.... I totally disagree with this. Fear of an inadequate education should not play a large part in someones reasons to homeschool? It ABSOLUTELY is. You want your child to have an education thats going to matter and help them in life and if you dont feel the schools can provide that, you ABSOLUTELY should look into homeschooling.

 "Fear of an inadequate education should not be a weighty factor in any family's decision to homeschool."

mem82
by Platinum Member on Mar. 13, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I think he means the school's level of education should match that of a home. That the schools should improve enough that other reasons to homeschool take precedence instead of wanting to give the best education.

The goal should be to eradicate circumstantially prompted homeschooling by tailoring educational policy based on what does and what does not improve overall student performance.

Quoting Sweet_Britt:

Ummmm.... I totally disagree with this. Fear of an inadequate education should not play a large part in someones reasons to homeschool? It ABSOLUTELY is. You want your child to have an education thats going to matter and help them in life and if you dont feel the schools can provide that, you ABSOLUTELY should look into homeschooling.

 "Fear of an inadequate education should not be a weighty factor in any family's decision to homeschool."




Sweet_Britt
by on Mar. 13, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Oh ok, I see. That public schooling should improve to the point that adequate education isn't a concern or reason for homeschooling. 

Sorry, his tone threw me off towards the end...haha

Quoting mem82:

I think he means the school's level of education should match that of a home. That the schools should improve enough that other reasons to homeschool take precedence instead of wanting to give the best education.

The goal should be to eradicate circumstantially prompted homeschooling by tailoring educational policy based on what does and what does not improve overall student performance.

Quoting Sweet_Britt:

Ummmm.... I totally disagree with this. Fear of an inadequate education should not play a large part in someones reasons to homeschool? It ABSOLUTELY is. You want your child to have an education thats going to matter and help them in life and if you dont feel the schools can provide that, you ABSOLUTELY should look into homeschooling.

 "Fear of an inadequate education should not be a weighty factor in any family's decision to homeschool."



mem82
by Platinum Member on Mar. 13, 2012 at 4:11 PM

LOL Me, too! I had to read it, like, 3 times. 8)

Quoting Sweet_Britt:

Oh ok, I see. That public schooling should improve to the point that adequate education isn't a concern or reason for homeschooling. 

Sorry, his tone threw me off towards the end...haha

Quoting mem82:

I think he means the school's level of education should match that of a home. That the schools should improve enough that other reasons to homeschool take precedence instead of wanting to give the best education.

The goal should be to eradicate circumstantially prompted homeschooling by tailoring educational policy based on what does and what does not improve overall student performance.

Quoting Sweet_Britt:

Ummmm.... I totally disagree with this. Fear of an inadequate education should not play a large part in someones reasons to homeschool? It ABSOLUTELY is. You want your child to have an education thats going to matter and help them in life and if you dont feel the schools can provide that, you ABSOLUTELY should look into homeschooling.

 "Fear of an inadequate education should not be a weighty factor in any family's decision to homeschool."






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