Homeschooling, also called independent homeschooling, means the education of school-age children in private or semi-private homes, schools, or various locations other than formal school. Many parents who are uncomfortable with public education and wish to educate their children without the involvement of a school system decide to homeschool their children. Others simply don’t wish to enroll their children in a public school and choose to homeschool them on their own.
In many ways, homeschooling is much more effective and successful than public schooling. However, many people question the educational philosophies of homeschooling, especially the use of standardized testing. Standardized testing is important to the public school system, and many feel that homeschoolers do not need to be tested so consistently. Standardized testing allows educators to compare a child’s progress to their peers and allows students to be tested by their peers so that they can know what is they are learning and how well they are doing. Homeschoolers do not have this advantage.
There is some resistance to the use of standardized testing from the traditional school system, but many homeschoolers recognize that there is a real need for these tests in today’s world. Some feel that homeschooling parents should be allowed to choose their own educational philosophy and apply it to their children. In addition, many feel that the homeschooling movement is not truly based on academic considerations but on emotional and social ones. It is argued that homeschooling is simply a way to avoid school.
But do these arguments hold up in an era of continuous technological advancement? Do those who believe in homeschooling really need to be tested? And do the homeschooling parents who embrace that type of educational philosophy also need to conform to a set of educational philosophies or will they somehow lose what makes them unique? Can homeschooling be both effective and beneficial?
In considering the homeschooling movement, one cannot help but consider the negative effect that the Common Core Standards have had upon the overall reputation of the United States. This was a decision that some saw as unjust and others decried as having no basis whatsoever. Now, does that mean that the homeschooling movement is not truly American? No, but it would seem that the overall reputation of the homeschooling community has taken a hit. And this is true whether you look at the homeschooling curriculum reviews, online discussion groups, or the opinions of other educators.
Many homeschooling families are working hard to provide their children with an excellent education. They are relying on professional teachers, online courses, and homeschooling software, all of which rely on the flexibility and quality control of homeschooling parents. Does this mean that these same parents who have put so much time, effort, and money into providing their children with an excellent education now feel that they are being forced to abandon those same qualities in favor of a new trend? Certainly not, but many do suggest that there is a loss of control when it comes to homeschooling within the United States.
The standardized testing involved with the current Common Core Standards for mathematics is another issue that is causing concern among parents. Many parents feel that standardized testing is so harsh that it is hurting the ability of the United States to teach students. Does that mean that the homeschooling movement is not truly American, as many claims? No, but it would seem that many are sacrificing their belief system in order to meet the demands of the Common Core Standards. Many homeschoolers feel that they are doing the right thing by sticking with a curriculum that is based upon the Old and New Testaments, as taught by the early Christian fathers and mothers.
Does this mean that homeschooling is somehow inappropriate or unAmerican? Well, homeschooling is simply a choice, one that parents must make, and it’s one that they shouldn’t be afraid to make. In the end, parents should be the leaders of the homeschooled children, and if the parents feel that they can’t handle this on their own, then the best thing to do is ask for some help from other parents who are more experienced than you are. Although most states are moving towards making high-school graduation optional, you can never be too safe when it comes to the safety of your child.