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Adequacy of Homeschooling

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“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. Exactly in sync with the thoughts of Martin Luther King, Jr., mothers, fathers, teachers, students, the nation as a whole, and its government strongly believe that education is an absolutely vital attribute a person needs to be equipped with in order to function as an effective and involved member to the constantly changing world. The latter groups of people can hardly see that any other earthly material can exceed the value that an education has to a person. However, the intensity of arguments revolve around the choice on specifically how a person should get an education and how effective that method can provide the student with the necessary experience to succeed in life. The strongly selected methods are between home school, and public school. Homeschooling was part of American culture during colonial times. It was the only method of education at the time and it was deemed credible, but as the efficiency of teaching students in a mass setting improved, public school began to become more favored, and homeschooling was neglected. It was not until “the 1970s and 1980s, [that] homeschooling gradually became a popular method of instruction,” and “the National Home Education Research Institute estimated that between 1.9 million and 2.4 million children were educated at home during the 2005-2006 school year” (Lips, Feinberg). This sudden change in the settled status quo brought up turmoil between the stated groups. Advocates of homeschooling, of which include various religious people, and some parents that have degrees believe that that education system is failing. Thus students are no longer being provided with a proper education, and that the risks of public schooling would not only produce an uneducated member of society, but could easily produce one that is morally corrupted, mentally scarred, or worse, killed. Advocates of public schooling, such as previous attendees of public school, and some liberal minded groups, do not exhibit the same views. They believe that a home school envelope a student in a close minded environment, isolates the students, and is a depleted foreground for learning. Homeschooling is relatively new and because of the lack of government influence there needs to be a form of unity to evaluate all homeschooling styles. On the other hand, public education has been more predominant in the American society, yet there have been a growing number of people turning away from public education because its faults grew and they believe there must be a repair to regain a proficient status. The education of every new generation is vital to the survival of America as a great power, and as soon as the masses find out an effective way to promise an well educated population in the future the better off the nation will be economically, politically, and have a better overall welfare. Since homeschooling is growing force that challenges the already settled public school system, the question is: does home school provide students with the necessary education, and socialization in order for the student to become an effective and involved member of society?
An object is usually valued by its characteristic of quality and the skill level of its maker. In the realm of education quality is an enormous factor nearly for everyone who believes in education; consequently, for those that can afford it, the best education is at hand. Writers such as Sylvia Biu, and Greg Laden view homeschooling negatively when valuing the education it provides. In the eyes of Sylvia Biu, a writer for the examiner.com and the author of “Homeschooling is a bad idea”, homeschooling will most likely not provide the student with the education he/she needs regardless of house hold. Homeschooling is based on the parent trying to provide quality education, but Biu’s idea is that “unless a parent is himself a previous honor student or a genius who mastered more than just the three R’s” and “excelled in other major subjects,” the child will not receive a quality education. Public schooling is an area that is saturated with degrees, every teacher must have a degree in the subject he/she is teaching or at least have one specifically for teaching, and in most cases the teachers have both.
In company of Biu, Greg Laden, an off and on teacher with a doctorate in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology, aired his opinion on homeschooling education in his article “Home Schooling: The Bad and the Ugly”. Greg believes in general, “it is simply not possible that homeschoolers really have access to the full range of resources that a reasonably well funded school has”. Homeschoolers claim that they are able to get acceptance for the schools resources. Thus Greg is forceful on his rationalization that if homeschoolers are using the resources of a public school the parents alone cannot be credited to providing that successful education to their child because they did not do it on their own means. This situation can be described as returning a shirt to the store but coming back every so often to use it anyway (Laden). Groups that render homeschooling illegitimate believe that a great education will come from one that has a certified teaching degree to accommodate a variety of students needs. On the contrary, home school supports believe family can better adjust to a student’s needs. The second set of opinions against homeschooling revolves around social skills. To a degree socialization is a part of education because it equips the student with lucidity skills to interact with people of different culture, believes, and other communication abilities. However, advocates of public education like Sylvia Biu argues that the versatile pool of cultures and beliefs in a public school are “imperatives” in the student’s life. She sees homeschooling as a depleted foreground for learning about other cultures and developing the skills. With all the interaction that go on in a public school “socialization per se is training of sorts” that accustoms the child to communicate, and thus because a child is isolated in homeschool, “[it] is a tantamount to retarding a child” (Biu). On the other hand, advocates of homeschooling believe that it is better suited to cater to the students needs as oppose to the student just representing a number in the public school system and thus promotes a better educated student. Public school is a setting where the teacher to student ratio was 1:16 in the years 2007-08 (The Condition). In comparison, this ratio cannot beat the 1:1 ratio of homeschooling. In the article “Why do People choose Homeschool Their Children?,” Rebecca Spooner, a freelance writer and mother of 3 children, buttresses the benefits of a 1:1 student to teacher ratio. Spooner argues that parents know their children best and “can tailor their schooling to their child's unique personality and needs” which is a solution to circumstances like when “in a study 17% of students were diagnosed with ADHD in an elementary school in Virginia area.” Spooner believes that homeschool would greatly benefit the students especially if their needs are different to the majority.
To further address a similar opinion that Spooner has, Michelle Wichers, author of “Homeschooling: Adventitious or Detrimental for Proficiency in Higher Education,” presents the increase in proficiency of homeschooling in testing with the reinforcement of a study done by Ohio Department of Education. In the O.D.E, “results from the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, showed 80% of homeschooled children across all age groups achieved individual scores above the national average, compared to 50% of the conventional school population” (Wichers). Because of the “lack of individualized education”, families are having a stronger attraction to educating their children in nontraditional ways (Wichers). The argument that Wichers makes it noticeable that homeschooling has great results for selected students. For those that support homeschooling education, their views are not dependent solely on providing a better education for their children but to be able to see each student individually and find the best teaching methods to educated that individual student.
With socialization as the topic, homeschoolers do not find any support that these students are any different than the general masses at public schools. Delanie Ross, an 18 year old student that has been homeschooled and schooled with online classes, describes her opinion and personal experience about the relationship of social skills and nontraditional schooling in her article “I Am Not Socially Awkward”. Ross supports her statement about the “myth that online schooling and homeschooling limits quality social interactions for kids” by proclaiming that homeschoolers and online students “know that social skills aren’t mastered by repetitiously making eye contact with the same people every day.” She strongly disapproves that homeschool online schools limits that student to never leaving the house. In her personal life, “online school has given [her] the freedom in [her] schedule to take advantage of opportunities to form friendships and socialize” that she couldn’t do while in traditional school (Ross) . When answering the previously stated question, if homeschooling has the requirements to educate a student and provide him/her with social skill, Sylvia Biu and Greg Laden believe that homeschool cannot compare with advantages that public schooling has. Their efforts in homeschooling would only harm and cripple the student in the ambitious life style people lead because inevitably a “pool of teachers drawn from a job search will produce significantly better teachers than a pool of teacher drawn from a single household” (Laden). Supports of homeschooling argue that homeschool will in fact produce a better educated student because homeschooling can be arranged to fix the needs of students, thus produces higher test scores, and allows mobility to develop social skills in different, if not better, environments. One thing that both groups can agree on is the neither method of education is perfect, and has all the answer to all areas a student needs to be proficient in. As a result, ideas that address a fix or a supplement to homeschooling should be considered. Some of these include tutors to help out the student when a parent is not able to, finding facilities that a parent can acquire through their own means, and joining clubs, sports, or group settings that allow a homeschooled student to interact with other cultures and believes.

Works Cited
Biu, Sylvia. "Homeschooling Is a Bad Idea - New York Brooklyn Parenting | Examiner.com." Welcome to Examiner.com | Examiner.com. Examiner.com, 20 July 2009. Web. 25 Jan. 2012. .
Lips, Dan, and Evan Feinberg. "Homeschooling: A Growing Option in American Education." Conservative Policy Research and Analysis. Www.heritage.org, 3 Apr. 2008. Web. 25 Jan. 2012. .
Ross, Delanie. "I Am Not Socially Awkward Virtual Learning Connections." Free Online School from Home: Connections Academy. Connectionsacademy.com. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. .
Spooner, Rebecca. "Why Do People Homeschool Their Children? | Suite101.com." Suite101.com. Homeschooling @ Suite101.com, 23 Apr. 2010. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. .
"The Condition of Education - Contexts of Elementary and Secondary Education - Learning Opportunities - Student Teacher Ratios in Public Schools - Indicator 31 (2010)." National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a Part of the U.S. Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences, 2010. Web. 16 Feb. 2012. .…...

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