Homeschooling or home education, as it may be referred to, is the education of children at home as opposed to institutionalized education.
Home schooling has been legalized in many countries. In the USA, it is more of an extension of the Institutional Schooling system with the home schooling programs at par with the School or Correspondence School curriculums. The term ‘Unschooling’, coined by the American educator John Holt in his magazine ‘Growing Without Schooling’ in 1977, refers to homeschooling that does not follow any set education curriculum.
History Of Homeschooling
Before the introduction of the Compulsory School Attendance Laws (in the year 1852), home schools were the trend. With home schooling books like Warren Burton’s Helps to Education In The Homes Of Our Country, Fireside Education by Griswold and the very popular McGuffey Readers, children were taught at home by parents with occasional help from local or itinerant teachers. Only a small section of the society attended schools or institutions.
The Modern Homeschool Movement picked up when John Holt published his first work, ‘How Children Fail’ to express his utter dissatisfaction with education being provided by the Compulsory Schooling System. He found the way children were being taught at these schools erroneous, advocating an approach ‘friendlier towards children’ in his follow-up book ‘How Children Learn’. Around the same time, career educational professionals Ray and Dorothy Moore raised questions about the effectiveness (rather useful aspects) of early childhood education.
Homeschooling – Votary-Speak
Admirers of home schooling have repeatedly spoken of the harmful effects of formal schooling. The Moores, through their studies, established how young children were affected by and responded negatively to institutional schooling in the initial years. They opined that the bonding between the parents and children at home lays a strong foundation for the emotional development of the child, which aids all-round development – behavioral, intellectual, physiological, psychological and social maturing of the individual as he/she grows up.
Studies And Surveys
It has not been claims and claims alone from the votaries that have placed homeschools ahead in competition. Several studies have shown that home school students fare better than public/private school peers do. This has a lot to do with the comprehensiveness of academic and mixed education curricula of home schooling programs. Homeschooling has been found to be a cheaper option to institutional schooling.
Speaking of parents, home schooling is preferred in many households and that owing to a number of factors. The 2003 US Census Survey indicated that issues like religion, morality and poor learning environment play big roles in promoting homeschooling.
Criticism Of Homeschooling
Of course, the home schooling concept is not going unopposed and even today most children are institutionally schooled. The opponents cite concerns like academic quality and completeness, socializing and sharing among children of different ethnic and religious backgrounds and similar reasons. Concerns such as denying everybody equal opportunities for education, especially in case of students whose parents lack the time or money for home education have also been highlighted.
There has been a massive shift in the commoners’ views on homeschooling; however, it is not the right time to make any declarations.
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