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The Case For And Against Home Schooling

Updated on July 11, 2011

Educational Development

With violence in schools becoming more prevalent many parents have decided to remove their kids from public school systems and home school their children. Many academic professionals argue home schooling is detrimental to a child’s educational development. However parents who have taught their children at home will tell you the exact opposite. In either case, two main points come to the fore when attempting to discredit home schooling.

Many self proclaimed experts say children instructed by parents at home lack adequate social skills because they don’t socialize with their peers. This seems to be the main complaint against home education. Although this might be the case in a few situations it’s not the norm. Home schooled children, on average, have as many friends public school children do. In fact, children they connect with can be closely monitored in contrast to those in public school.

Other Complaints

The second complaint is parents can’t teach as well. Many educational professionals cite their college education as making them better teachers than parents. But statistics show how poorly the public system has been working. Some graduates today can’t even read the diploma they receive.

With resources available for today’s parents many have become better teachers than their public counterparts. And it has been proven many times over home schooled children are outperforming their publicly schooled peers…academically as well as socially. On average, home schoolers score 80 points above their public school counterparts on the SAT.

Individual Attention

This is because parents can give individual attention to their offspring whereas public school teachers can’t slow down for one student. In a study of over 20,000 home schooled students results proved they scored higher in academic achievement.

Another significant finding was a student’s race had no discernable effect on how well home schooled kids scored. On the average, all home schoolers scored in the 87th percentile range in mathematical abilities. Broken down, white students scored in the 82nd percentile while minorities scored in the 77th percentile. Compare this with public schools where white eighth grade students, nationally scored in the 58th percentile in math and 57th percentile in reading. Minority eighth grade students, on the other hand, scored around the 24th percentile in math and the 28th percentile in reading.

In addition to these astounding facts, it was also found the cost of educating a home schooled child averaged about $575 annually while public school students averaged over $5,000.

Another reason parents are opting for home schooling is concern over their children’s safety, accessibility to drugs and peer pressure issues. This is in addition to religious concerns like taking prayer and God out of schools and teaching homosexuality instead. Others are opposed to home schooling because testing isn’t stressed as much as in schools. But that argument doesn’t hold water either since many states require incremental testing. Also, standardized tests on any required courses can be readily purchased.

Improved family relationships are also a byproduct of home schooling, because it allows more interaction with one another. However, it doesn’t seem to matter how many benefits of home schooling have been pointed out; there are still those against it.

It’s been claimed home schooling reduces the amount of money some schools receive because their funding relies on how many students are enrolled. This seems to be a ludicrous view since if a student isn’t in a classroom there is no need for those funds. Besides, families still pay school taxes regardless of where their children are educated.

Why are the teachers unions and National Education Association against home schooling? Could it possibly be because they are a threat to their job security? The fewer students enrolled in school decreases the number of teachers and administrators needed.

Every year, these groups hold conferences to discuss reasons why home schooling shouldn’t be encouraged and come up with ridiculous regulations designed to do just that. Here's one of them. "Home school students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in public schools."So, are they saying children should be punished simply because their parents choose home schooling and they disagree?

There are plenty of people willing to explain the cons of home schooling. People, who have never home schooled, and don’t plan to are terrified of the idea. But, people who actually do it will readily extol the benefits. A few would include, not having to get up as early to get their offspring dressed, fed and off to catch a school bus. Other favorable advantages would be setting your own schedules and being able to take time off whenever needed.


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    • janddplus4 profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm a homeschooling mother of four. I was homeschooled as a child, and when it came time for the yearly standardized testing, I tested at the public schools and my scores were counted with theirs. Years later, as a public school teacher, I learned that my scores (always the 99th percentile) had helped the averages for the local public school. Not that I care or feel taken advantage of, I'm just amused. Of course, when I had children of my own, I quit my job teaching in public school so that I could homeschool my own children. And needless to say, when my children take their standardized testing each year, I do NOT allow their scores to be used by the local public school! I agree with Rabid Puma's criticism, though. I imagine that if the masses of children, those whose parents don't care about their education and use the public school system as a babysitter, were to homeschool, their scores would not be so hot! And I'm not saying that that's the rule, just that it does happen (en masse). Luckily, parents who don't have the concern or ability to educate their own children, usually send them to public school.

    • gr82bme profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Great hub. Nice to meet you

      Here are some Free home schooling resources

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      8 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Good point! It would be interesting to find out.

    • Rabid Puma profile image

      Rabid Puma 

      8 years ago from Illinois

      Home-schooled students doing better on standardized tests is a bit of a misleading statistic because it's a self-selected group. How would those students have done if they had been in public schools? I'd wager they'd still do better than their peers because they have educated and involved parents. How do the test scores compare if you control for economic class or parent participation?

      I think home schooling is great if the parents are qualified and tragic if they aren't.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      8 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      I wrote this because all I ever heard concerning the subject was negative remarks. Just follow the money trail and you'll see why some are against it. Not more against it, they just holler louder. Thanks for the comment.

    • rachellrobinson profile image

      Rachel Woodruff 

      8 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Thank you for this, as a former home school student and a Mom who plans to home school it is always nice to read a positive article on home schooling.


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