Of all the issues facing mankind today and of all the things in which we should invest, few are as important as education. However, if the quality and depth of our education is poor, our lives will be poor in every way. With this in mind, let me introduce you to what has been historically and scientifically determined as the finest form of education on the planet – Homeschooling.
Certainly, the most popular and most common form of learning is public education. On the one hand, it is praised for being free, for providing socialization, for its many extra-curricular activities, and for its accountability to a higher authority – the Government. On the other hand, public education is criticized for limiting school choice, for being unsafe, for being underfunded, for standardized EOC and EOG testing, for its unbalanced student/teacher ratios, and for rewarding mediocrity and conformity and penalizing overachievers. For these reasons, many are turning to homeschooling, the fastest-growing form of education in America at 15-20% per year, according to CBN News.
Naturally, there are many who think that because something is new to them it is new to everyone. Nevertheless, history is full of great leaders who were educated at home, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Booker T. Washington, C.S. Lewis, Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, Claude Monet, and many others. But why were they educated at home? Well, as you will see, there are certain timeless principles of education that always work when they are used.
For starters, when the parents take charge of their children’s education by choosing the right curriculum for their child and then proceed to teach them in an environment of love and patience where they can give their child(ren) the focused attention they need, their child(ren) will develop a life-long love of learning. And when it comes to academic performance, their children will excel far ahead of their peers. In the online article “Research Facts on Homeschooling” in National Home Education Research Institute, Doctor Brian D. Ray states, “The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (The public school average is the 50th percentile; scores range from 1 to 99.)” (Ray). This explains why home-educated students are being more actively recruited by colleges. Incidentally, homeschool students are able to meet these accomplishments regardless of their parents’ level of formal education. Moreover, whether home school parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement. Plus, the degree of state control and regulation of home education is not related to academic achievement.
Secondly, parents are the most effective agents for the positive socialization of their children. Thus, the home-educated are typically above average in social, emotional, and psychological development which results in higher levels of peer interaction, leadership, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem. Contrary to what many think, home schoolers are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their nuclear-family members. In the online article “Socialization: Homeschooling vs. Schools” in CBN News, Michael F. Haverluck reports, “Instead of being locked behind school gates in what some would consider an artificial setting characterized by bells, forced silence and age-segregation, homeschoolers frequently extend their everyday classroom to fire departments, hospitals, museums, repair shops, city halls, national parks, churches and colleges, where real community interaction and contacts are made” (Haverluck).
Thirdly, homeschooling gives young people an unusual chance to ask questions such as, “Who am I?”, “Why am I alive?” and “What do I really want?” And as the child is allowed to inwardly process these life-altering questions, over time, without the external distractions and pressures found in the public school system, they develop the strengths and the resistance abilities that give them an unusually strong sense of self.
Fourthly, children who are home-educated normally grow up with a greater sense and appreciation of the world around them and, therefore, participate in their local communities more frequently than the general population. And since they are taught in an environment that is focused on family, they internalize the values and beliefs of their parents at a very high rate which influences their perceptions and decisions for the rest of their lives. Also, when they graduate, they go to and succeed in college at an equal or higher rate than most people. And, when they are of age, they are more likely to vote and attend public meetings than their peers.
Finally, in ChristianNewsWire, the online article “New Study Shows Homeschoolers Excel Academically” points out, “The average public school spends nearly $10,000 per child per year whereas…the average homeschool parent spends about $500 per child per year” (“New”). Furthermore, homeschool families are not dependent on public, tax-funded resources for their children’s education. The finances associated with their homeschooling likely represents over $16 billion that American taxpayers do not have to spend since these children are not in public schools. In conclusion, while everyone is free to choose whatever form of education they want for their children, they would do well to consider homeschooling. Of course, as was true of my mother who homeschooled my brother and me, making this kind of choice will require a level of self-sacrifice that many are not used to; however, in the final analysis, those sacrifices will be well worth the kind and quality of education their child(ren) will receive.
Written by Joel M. Killion
Haverluck, Michael F. “Socialization: Homeschooling vs. Schools.” CBN News. CBN News,
2 May 2007. Web. 8 Dec. 2010.
“New Study Shows Homeschoolers Excel Academically.” ChristianNewsWire.
ChristianNewsWire, 10 Aug. 2009. Web. 8 Dec. 2010.
Ray, Brian D., Ph.D. “Research Facts on Homeschooling.” National Home Education Research
Institute. National Home Education Research Institute., 10 Aug. 2009. Web. 8 Dec. 2010.