Homeschooling as Alternative Mode of Education

Topic: Approach to Learning
Words: 1810 Pages: 6

Education takes many forms all over the world, from traditional to formal modes of schools. Most people are aware of formal education that takes place in schools from elementary to university level. However, homeschooling is a widespread mode of education that existed before human civilization and continues to grow in modern times. People usually overlook homeschooling as an alternative mode of education due to ignorance and societal ideologies. Regardless, the increase and spread of homeschooling in the past two decades have brought to light arguments on whether the mode of education is better than private and public schools’ education. Although every parent has the right to choose the most appropriate method of educating their children, homeschooling could offer the best education if parents consider its advantages over public and private schools. This paper explains the advantages of homeschooling over public and private schools to support the idea that homeschooling is a better choice than the two education modes.

Homeschooling

Homeschooling has been part of society and has existed in the United States for decades. The mode of education goes back to traditional ways of learning at home before the introduction of formal education in modern schools. Children were taught by their parent’s various crafts and cultural values, enabling the continuation of the communities’ ideologies and socio-economic activities (Kaufeld, 18). Although most of the learning was a form of passing times and storytelling, it contained basic knowledge of life and societal expectations. Thus, homeschooling is part of human civilization, and the practice continues to grow in modern times despite the introduction of public and private school systems. In today’s homeschooling, one or both parents perform most of the educating responsibilities at home and could have an occasional tutor to teach other areas that are beyond their expertise (Bosswell, 25). Many parents from different religious and cultural backgrounds prefer homeschooling their children for various reasons, including ideological and pedagogical issues. Therefore, the practice’s increased popularity over traditional education systems calls for an in-depth analysis of its strengths which can guide parents during the decision-making of the most appropriate education approaches.

Advantages of Homeschooling

Academic Achievement

Homeschooled learners show high academic performance than students in public and private schools. Research indicates that parents show more commitment and involvement in their children’s education to ensure academic success (Neuman & Guterman, 151). According to Brewer and Lubienski, homeschooled learners score more than half the percentage points above students in public schools in standardized academic tests on students’ achievement (23). Consequently, homeschooled children take up lessons a grade or two higher than their age level, unlike their peers attending public and private schools (Bosswell, 28). With close monitoring of the learner’s education, parents are aware of their children’s weak and strong areas enabling a closer focus on the weak point to balance performance. The student’s success results from the continuous relationship and bonding with the parents making learning more involved. Unlike private and public schools, where the teachers have a supplementary role in a student’s life, parents take the role of a teacher, mentor, and psychologist leading to meaningful and effective communication.

Apart from parental influence, the family plays an active role in motivating students to learn from home. In modern lifestyles where most family institutions are falling apart, homeschooling offers the creation of tight bonds which stabilize the student’s emotional and intellectual well-being leading to success (Gaither, 192). A close family life enables the members to share their dreams and prospects allowing parents to tailor the education to fit the student’s desires. Thus, homeschooling provides intense and extensive education, making the students more academically successful than their peers, and enhancing the chances of enrolling in higher education.

Positive Social Interactions

Critics of homeschooling argue that the approach hinders a child’s exposure to social life and diverse lifestyles that public and private schools offer. Many people shun homeschooling for fear of making their children societal misfits leading to antisocial behaviors and emotional issues. However, homeschooling presents learners with substantial social interaction equal to the traditional modes of education (Kaufeld, 10). Notably, Gaither argues that homeschooling provides more positive social interactions than public and private schools since the students are under close observation during interactions (201). The students attend outdoor and creative activities such as swimming, sports, camping, dance classes, public library activities, part-time employment, and volunteer work, enabling interaction with diverse groups of people (Abuzandah, 1067). Homeschooling parents understand the importance of socialization and ensure their children participate in numerous diverse activities that promote positive socialization, unlike traditional education, where interactions are limited to school activities regardless of positive or negative social outcomes.

Although students in public and private schools interact with more students of their age, the skills are inadequate for homeschooled children who interact with people of all ages. Peer-to-peer interactions are essential but limit students from developing multiage socialization skills such as confidence and self-esteem. A child’s social skills and development of self-concept are closely related. According to Pearlman-Avnion and Grayevsky, homeschooled learners have a higher self-concept than their school-going peers because they feel less pressure to fit in and develop self-worth through self-dependency (74). Thus, the children grow with confidence, dependence, and high self-esteem leading to healthy and responsible adults.

Safety

Safety for one’s child is every parent’s concern and responsibility. Homeschooling provides the learners environmental, health, and emotional security (Leeds). Nowadays, public schools report more crime scenes, bullying, drug abuse, and mischievous deeds such as exam cheating which can corrupt a student’s morals and health. In Cheng and Donnelly’s report, most African American parents homeschool their children for safety reasons such as avoiding peer influence like gun possession, violence, and drug abuse (261). Homeschooled learners are sheltered from the hazards and peer influence that can cause physical and emotional pain. Although parents cannot shield the children from such deeds entirely, they have control of the situation and can moderate unwanted situations and behaviors.

Homeschooling allows children with special needs who find it challenging to attend traditional schools to get an education like their peers. Similarly, families with issues regarding conserving their culture, religion, and tradition through education have a solution to homeschooling since traditional schools offer limited cultural education (Loveless). Specifically, Brewer and Lubienski argue that parents homeschool children to shelter them from racism issues and to conserve cultural and religious traditions (32). Likewise, minority groups such as Hispanic prefer homeschooling to avoid the issue of racial discrimination, which hinders a child’s well-being socially and emotionally (Cheng & Donnelly, 261). Therefore, the student’s morality, tradition, and religious beliefs are explored and upheld in addition to academic knowledge.

Annotated Bibliography

Bosswell, Alexander. R. “Homeschooling and Learners’ Academic Achievement: Evidence from the United States of America.” Journal of Education, vol. 4, no. 5, 2021, pp. 25–36.

Boswell gives insight on the worldwide increase of homeschooling in recent years, gaining the attention of education scholars, scientists, and sociologists. With the increased awareness, the author reveals that people prefer homeschooling because of academic performance. According to various literature consulted during his investigation, homeschooled children have higher academic scores than their peers attending traditional modes of education, leading to a continued rise in homeschooling in the coming years. Boswell’s article gives a holistic view of why homeschooled children perform better than their counterparts, such as more time for assignments, emotional well-being, and enough resting time, which prevents burnout. The information is helpful in the current research as it provides critical arguments supporting homeschooling as the best approach to excellent performance.

Gaither, Milton. The Wiley Handbook of Home Education. Wiley Blackwell, 2017.

Milton Gither’s book on Home Education covers numerous topics about homeschooling. The main focus is chapter eight, which discusses parents’ reasons for homeschooling their children. Primary reasons include religious ideologies, pedagogues, negative peer influence, academic performance, socio-relational issues, and safety. Most parents prefer homeschooling to avoid conflict with the state over control of what their children should learn in school. Further, the author explores gender issues regarding the motivation and influence of homeschooling since most tutors are mothers. Result findings indicate that motivational factors to homeschool children arise from the decision of both parents and the family. Gither’s book helps understand how different people perceive education and learning methods to achieve their expectations. The literature will help the current research by backing up the argument that homeschooling provides solutions for students with special needs and offers safety and conserving individual traditions.

Leeds, Jennifer. “Homeschool vs. Public School vs. Private School: Which Is Best?” BJU Press Blog, 2022.

The author of this article explains the difference between homeschooling and traditional modes of education. Leeds gives the meaning and set up of public schools, homeschooling, and private school, which present a picture of each mode of education for better comparison. The article presents the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling and traditional learning with distinct differences that set apart each method of education. Leeds’ article provides extensive knowledge on the learning approaches which can guide parents in the most appropriate method. The literature presents critical points about the benefits of homeschooling regarding cultural and religious conservation, which is limited to the formal education curriculum. This article is resourceful in the current research as it provides vital points of comparison on the pros and cons of homeschooling.

Neuman, Ari, and Oz Guterman. “Homeschooling Is Not Just about Education: Focuses of Meaning.” Journal of School Choice, vol. 11, no. 1, 2017, pp. 148–167.

Neuman and Guterman explore the significance and meaning of homeschooling to parents who prefer their children to learn from home. The article reveals the primary reasons for homeschooling: holistic perspectives and pedagogical aspects. Using a qualitative research method, the authors discover that parents put diverse meanings to homeschooling, such as lifestyle, control, family, and child characteristics. Specifically, parents homeschool children for control and to keep the family intact. Neuman and Guterman’s research answers why people from different backgrounds choose to homeschool over traditional modes of education such as public and private schools. This article’s information will help construct solid arguments about the advantages of homeschooling in the current research.

Pearlman-Avnion, Shiri, and Mor Grayevsky. “Homeschooling, Civics, and Socialization: The Case of Israel.” Education and Urban Society, vol. 51, no. 7, 2017, pp. 970–988.

This article explores the social efficacy and civic engagement of homeschooled students compared to students attending traditional schools. The authors aim to discover whether homeschooling hinders socialization and acquisition of social skills and engagement in political matters. The investigation results indicate that both groups of students possess similar social skills and the ability to engage in civil issues despite the different modes of education. The research findings eliminate the misconception that homeschooling negatively affects children’s social life and the development of social skills. The literature offers essential information in the current research, which supports the argument that homeschooling enhances the development of positive social skills and confidence for civic engagement.

Works Cited

Abuzandah, Sameer. “Social Skills for Homeschooling Students.” Creative Education, vol. 11, no. 07, 2020, pp. 1064–1072.

Bosswell, Alexander. R. “Homeschooling and Learners’ Academic Achievement: Evidence from the United States of America.” Journal of Education, vol. 4, no. 5, 2021, pp. 25–36.

Brewer, T. Jameson, and Christopher Lubienski. “Homeschooling in the United States: Examining the Rationales for Individualizing Education.” Pro-Posições, vol. 28, no. 2, 2017, pp. 21–38.

Cheng, Albert, and Michael Donnelly. “New Frontiers in Research and Practice on Homeschooling.” Peabody Journal of Education, vol. 94, no. 3, 2019, pp. 259–262.

Gaither, Milton. The Wiley Handbook of Home Education. Wiley Blackwell, 2017.

Kaufeld, Jennifer. Homeschooling. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2020.

Leeds, Jennifer. “Homeschool vs. Public School vs. Private School: Which Is Best?” BJU Press Blog, 2022.

Loveless, Becton. “Benefits and Disadvantages of Homeschooling.” Education Corner – Education That Matters, 2022.

Neuman, Ari, and Oz Guterman. “Homeschooling Is Not Just about Education: Focuses of Meaning.” Journal of School Choice, vol. 11, no. 1, 2017, pp. 148–167.

Pearlman-Avnion, Shiri, and Mor Grayevsky. “Homeschooling, Civics, and Socialization: The Case of Israel.” Education and Urban Society, vol. 51, no. 7, 2017, pp. 970–988.

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