Homeschooling

Homeschooling is seen in the United States today as a viable alternative to public school education. Homeschooling has been designated as a learning situation where children are taught, generally by their parents, in non-traditional environments. There are more and more parents resorting to

alternative methods of learning for their children because in their opinion, the public school has let both students and parents down. Homeschooled children are able to develop their social skills despite their alternative to learning. Homeschooling offers personalized curricula for each child.

More than ever traditional schooled children are not getting an adequate education. If this trend continues then when these children become adults they will not be able to compete in our society. “The number of parents teaching their offspring at home will increase if the current public school system continues to be viewed as an irrelevant institution that can hinder a child’s ability to learn. The rise of homeschooling reflects broadening dissatisfaction with formal education in the United States. Discontent is high for two reasons. First, public schools are turning out a poor product–illiterate and unprepared graduates. For example, American 13-year-olds have been documented as having math skills that rank below their counterparts in 14 other developed countries. One survey noted that just one-third of high school juniors could place the Civil War in the correct half-century. Equally troubling, public schools have become crime scenes where drugs are sold, teachers are robbed, and homemade bombs are found in lockers (Lyman).” “Increasing gun violence, lack of individualized education and the proliferation of drugs within the schools have turned families within my social circle to nontraditional education.” (Wichers 2001).

Homeschooled children are able to have friends even tough they do not attend a traditional school setting. “Typically, homeschooled kids engage in a variety of activities outside the home–sports teams, scouting programs, church, community service, or part-time employment. Richard G. Medlin of Stetson University notes that homeschoolers rely heavily on support groups as a resource for planning field trips and maintaining personal contact with like-minded families (Lyman).”

Some children are improperly labeled and placed in categories that can hinder their developments. “Lehua is a bright, sensitive, inquisitive, active 12-year-old who has been referred to special education, suspected of having ADHD. His parents know that Lehua is able to concentrate at home because he has several continuing projects as well as notable success dancing hula and excelling in many out-of-school endeavors. He is often found outdoors skateboarding and playing with his cousins and neighbors. In school Lehua feels trapped and unmotivated. Once, Lehua dyed his hair a bright orange and pink and was told to wash it immediately. He is of mixed cultures and struggles with any prescribed way of behaving. Articulate when he needs to be, Lehua is a superb drawer of cartoons and word phrases. During English however, Lehua dreams of surfing. He is respected for his skills in listening and his ability to resolve conflicts. The thought that Lehua might be placed in special education only fuels a spirit of rebellion and shuts off any potential of blossoming in a structured school setting. At one time in history, Lehua might have been labeled as an underachiever or as a learning disabled student, but not considered or selected for a G/T program. Today however, there are more available choices. If he lived in Montgomery County, Maryland, Lehua might be identified as GT/LD and have an array of programs available to meet his unique learning needs. In many areas of the country, Lehua and his parents could select an appropriate learning environment like a charter or magnet school that focuses on project-based, integrated curricula, and culturally appropriate methods that would strengthen Lehua’s connection to the community and allow him to develop his talents in school as well as out. Hawai’i, along with all the other United States, gives Lehua and his parents the option to learn at home through home schooling. (Roeper Review).”

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