I was home schooled from 2nd grade to 5th grade. I would have been home schooled longer, but my mom had to get a second job. I am also a teacher (HS English) so my opinions come from both sides. The following are rebuttals to common arguments against home schooling.
1) HOMESCHOOLING PROHIBITS THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIALIZATION.
>>>School should NOT be the primary method of socialization. I hate when people say that children should socialize at school. School is not about socializing. It is a structured environment meant for learning. Because so many parents think that students should socialize in school, emphasis has been taken off academics and placed on social skills. Social skills are taught at home, in the community, and through activities outside the classroom. Think about it, when was the last time you had to raise your hand to speak to your friends?
I was home schooled and learned to socialize very well. I was in a youth group, girl scouts, and I had neighborhood friends. I was not a recluse.
2) CHILDREN WILL NOT LEARN EVERYTHING THAT THEY NEED TO KNOW.
>>> Children spend 45-50 minutes a day in a subject class. This is by no means enough time to learn everything. Parents should be supplementing this learning with in-home learning to help children become skilled in the academics subjects. The responsibility of the teacher is to present knowledge in a basic level so that the child understands it, but parents have to ensure that the children practice it. The time between the end of school and the start of school the next day is enough time to forget. If this time is used wisely, it can enable kids to become masters of a skill.
In the home school setting, you do not have these problems (time constraints) because if you notice that “Suzie” needs more time on writing, you can give it to her without interrupting the day or ignoring the others.
3. PARENTS WHO ARE NOT COLLEGE EDUCATED CANNOT HOMESCHOOL.
>>> Parents do not have to be college educated, but do have to be resourceful. This is true in both the home school environment and the non-home school environment. If you are home schooling, it helps to have graduated high school as you do need a basic working knowledge of the subjects, but when you do decide to home school, there are SO many resources available for you. You just have to be willing to look for them and use them. Many times, you can hook up with your neighborhood school and use their curriculum. Alternatively, you can go online to find ready-set-go bundles.
If you are not home schooling, you still need to be active in your child’s education so being resourceful helps. You may need to provide your child with extra materials in order to ensure academic success.
4. REGULAR SCHOOLS TEACH COMPETITION AND COMPETITION IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN.
>>> Home schooling can be better for a child. This is true because any time there is individualized learning, children will learn better. The number one problem with schools is overcrowding. If you take that factor away, students will naturally do better. They get more attention and the learning is tailored for their needs.
However, it also helps with self-esteem. Home schooling gets rid of the competition factor in schools. Yes, competition is good later, but young children need to learn to have faith in themselves. They need a solid level of self-esteem before they can deal with the pressures of peer-competition. In fact, home schooling can prevent kids from falling into the dangers of peer pressure because they have learned to form their own identities.
As for street smarts, you do not learn these things in school. Again, school is a structured community; the streets are not. You learn these things from life experience.
My Home schooling experience.
I was home schooled and had to take all NYC Standardized exams. I always scored in the 90th percentile. I know I am smart (LOL), but a lot of that also had to do with the fact that when I was being taught by my mother, it was always about me. My learning was very independent. I had assignments where she would take me the library and give me a list of things to do and no help. I learned to do things for myself and that gave me a hand up.
I already mentioned the socializing, but let me reiterate, I had many friends; I had family. In addition, anyone who knows me knows that I am very social.
The downside was that in 6th grade I went to Public School and was SO bored. I had done everything that they were doing and I was annoyed. Therefore, I would correct my teacher and make them all mad at me. My mom decided that the next year I would be going to Private School.
Private School was a tough school academically. However, I was ready for it because I had such a solid background. I did well. College was the same way and I flourished there because I was very independent. I admit that the traditional classroom has always (and still does) bored me. I would rather be given a list of assignments and their due dates and be left alone.
Resources for Non-Secular Homeschooling
Find other Homeschoolers in your area
New York Homeschooling Links (links to other states too)