If somebody suggested to you that they were going to take their children out of school and teach them at home then you might be forgiven for thinking that this is not very sensible and might even be forgiven for thinking that they are just plain crazy.
The public school system has been developed over many hundreds of years and is staffed by a highly trained and dedicated band of people who are experts in educating children. So why on earth would anyone think that they can do a better job of educating their children themselves without any qualifications at all to do so?
Well, before you get too entrenched in your views you might like to consider the fact that well over one million children are currently being home schooled in the United States alone. With a total enrollment in US schools of about 76 million children this is not perhaps a high percentage, but it is a substantial number of children who are being education outside of the public and private school system.
So why do so many parents choose to home school their children?
The theory behind public schooling is all well and good and there is certainly enough money to support a sound school system with the National Education Budget currently standing at more than one trillion dollars a year. In practice however the truth is that, for many people, public and even private school education simply doesn’t work either in terms of the academic standards it achieves or in terms of its responsibility for instilling sound values in our children and producing young adults who are ready to face the challenges of the wider world and to meet their responsibilities and obligations as members of society.
For many parents education is the least of their worries when it comes to public schooling and bad behavior, which is rife throughout the public school system and includes everything from bullying to leading children towards drugs and a host of other problems, is often the issue which leads them to withdraw their children.
This is all very well, but that still doesn’t get us away from the fact that most parents simply are not qualified to teach their own children. But is this really true?
Well, for a bunch of unqualified teachers most parents seem to be doing a pretty good job and, in the majority of cases, home schooling produces better results than either the public or private schools.
The winner of the 1997 National Spelling Bee for example was home schooled and four home school educated sisters recently gained master’s degrees from a very prestigious Ivy League university. Yet another young girl was awarded her master’s degree at the age of only 16 and by 18 was teaching at a Texas community college.
The conclusion that is normally drawn whenever you hear stories like these is that the children in question were simply bright to start with and that their success had nothing to do with them being part of home school environment. However, even the US Department of Education would have to disagree with this conclusion and their own studies have clearly shown that by the time home schooled children reach the equivalent of the 8th grade they are as much as 4 years ahead of their public school counterparts.
There is no argument about the fact that home schooling is not an easy option but, as any home schooling parent will tell you, the fact is that it works. It is certainly hard work but, despite the fact that those in the teaching profession probably don’t like to hear it, you do not need any special training or qualifications to teach your own children. In fact, providing you can read and write then, with a bit of help from your local home schooling support group and other home schooling parents, you will find that you are able to teach your own children very effectively.
You will also find that if you home school it is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a parent and has the added benefit of drawing your family together into a single tight-knit, loving and supportive unit.