In the past few years, there has been a steady climb in the number of students who are homeschooled. Some parents feel that their children can get a better education at home; a place where more can get accomplished in a shorter amount of time and at a lower cost. Are these parents actually helping their children by homeschooling, or are they denying them of a quality education?
The most important learning that takes place in schools does not happen in the classroom. It is in the hallway, cafeteria, and at recess. These are the main locations where students socialize, an extremely important aspect of schooling that is simply missed out by homeschool students. It is vital that children learn to associate and communicate with their peers, as well as making friends and developing basic people skills. These skills include things like sharing, apologizing, and developing some independence. Some homeschooled students definitely miss out on this sort of development and human interaction. Even as students become older, high school and college is a place to develop street smarts, independence, networking skills, and friendships. These are all experiences that are missed by homeschooled students. I’m not saying that all homeschool students are social recluses, but I definitely think that these students miss out on some awesome learning experiences and the opportunities to meet some pretty amazing people.
Another con of homeschooling is that it costs more money than public schools. Parents need to buy expensive textbooks each year. This makes it very difficult for the poorer students, who live in areas with bad schools, to be homeschools because of the expense. Also, unless parents can afford tutors, some students may lack in some skills such as writing, especially if their parents aren’t good writers. This could be a problem because students would only be as strong as a writer as their parents. This lack of academic skill may not be sufficient to pass the final exams that students must take each year. If they fail the exam, then they are year behind in writing or reading which poses a large problem for the students and parents.
There are some special cases where the school has a bad learning environment and homeschooling is the next best option. There is also the argument that a particular student may have a learning disability which is best handled at home or by parents. For these students, homeschooling can definitely prove to be more effective than regular schooling. Additionally, some religions also prefer that students are not subjected to some of the activities that go on at schools. Therefore, children with those beliefs are homeschooled and still have the opportunities to socialize with others. If parents do chose to homeschool their children, they should make sure that their children have enough exposure with other children their age in order to have some social skills for when they later enter the workforce as adults.