With the new school year fast approaching the debate over home schooling vs. public education heats up. With each new generation come new arguments and ideas of what is best for our children. This is a complicated subject with valid points to be made by both sides of the education aisle.
Home schooling vs. Public schooling, it sounds like two heavyweight boxing champs squaring off for a big fight and that is exactly what it is. In one corner we have years of teaching experience with the public school teachers and faculty, and some of the best resources for our children that money can buy. To the tune of six-thousand dollars on average per-student as reported in Ohio.
In the other corner we have dedicated parents that have for whatever reason found fault and dissatisfaction with the public school system and are fed up with what they feel to be a catalyzed approach to addressing their concerns about what is going on in the schools. To get a true picture of these two champions of education we must consider all the facts. Take into account the way we are dealing with the future of these children. We can’t lose sight of this fact, once we do and the politics of education and money takeover we’ve reduced the children to nothing more than pawns in a bad divorce. In fact, dissatisfaction with academic instruction makes up sixteen percent of home schooled students (N. C. Statistics).
While others for religious reasons have chosen to avoid the system altogether and teach their children in a setting that supports their beliefs without ridicule. Religious reasons making up thirty percent of home schooled students. (N. C. Statistics, 1.1 Million Home schooled Students in the United States in 2003)
With others cited being concerns about the environment of the schools, thirty –one percent. (Physical and mental health problems at seven percent.) Other reasons at nine percent and special needs children at seven percent. I must note that home schooling is legal in all fifty states; not attempting to educate your children is not. Keeping children home for the sake of having available labor on the farm is illegal without a foundation of education. In some cases, parents under the suspicion of neglect pull their children out of public schools under the falsehood of home schooling. Away from the prying eyes of the school authorities without ever intending to educate their children. Knowing or having suspicions about a person’s dishonest intentions is one thing, but proving it is another. The hardest thing to do is second guess a person’s sincerity and motives about their children. Just because a person’s ideals may not be inline with the “norm” doesn’t by it’s self constitute neglect. There is a fine line between action and intention.
While the public educators haven’t made it easy for families to home school their children, placing many obstacles in their path. Such as in California, teachers of home-instruction programs must meet state certification requirements. State or local permission is required annually for home study. Home study must be monitored by local school administrative personnel knowledgeable about excellence in a learning environment. Students participate in state or locally mandated testing programs in suitable settings and in other assessments conducted by the school district.
Students have the option of attending public school for part-time instruction. This allows the school district to claim full per-pupil funding with minimal attendance and overhead. (Education) However, this doesn’t tell the whole story, according to NHES, not all home schooled children are entirely home schooled. In 2003 eighteen percent of home schooled children were enrolled in a school part –time. Twelve and half percent of the children were enrolled less than nine hours a week. Five percent were enrolled nine to twenty hours a week. This debate will continue to rage on as money available for school districts becomes tighter and school violence and drug use rates continue to climb.
Education, Foundation for Economic. Foundation for Economic Education. March 1998. 29 Nov 2007 .
Hernandez, Beverly. About.com. 3 Dec 2007 .
Statistics, Homeschooling. Homeschooling Statistics. 29 Nov 2007 .
Statistics, National Center for Education. 1.1 Million Home schooled Students in the United States in 2003. July 2004. 29 Nov 2007 .
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