Homeschooling: A Better Education

Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. -John W. Gardner In 2008, a survey by ACT college testing service showed, “More than 50 percent of students at four year schools and more than 75 percent at two year colleges lacked the skills to perform basic literacy tasks.

The study found, that those students were unable to understand documents and perform math skills needed for checkbooks and restaurant tips.” With such frightening percentages, what can we do to better prepare our children for college? Homeschooling has become a great option. This upstanding alternative to public school provides a wide variety of benefits. For example, you as the parent get the opportunity to choose the best curriculum to fit your family. Some are book smart and others are hands on and by homeschooling you have the control to pick the form of education that fits your child’s individual needs.

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In doing so, you are able to promote a love for learning that will last a lifetime. Homeschooling also provides flexibility. You can create a weekly schedule that allows your child to learn without the constraint of a traditional classroom. If they are quick learners you can move on to new material, rather than boring their eager minds as many public schools do. On the other hand, if your child is struggling with a new concept, you are able dedicate the time to help them understand and fully grasp the idea.

You are not tied down to a strict routine or time line. In public school if you are allotted 45 minutes of time, time is then of the essence, but in homeschool, time is not of the essence, because the importance is on your child’s education. According to a survey done by Trinity University in 2003, over 70 percent of families that homeschool do so because they believe there is a poor learning environment at traditional schools and that they as parents can provide a better education for their children at home. The flexibility of homeschooling also offers you the ability to vitalize diverse learning environments. Studying government, take a trip to Lansing, biology, how about the local zoo, the options are endless and because of that education never becomes boring or repetitive.

Instead, it is full excitement which will ignite a fire of passion for learning. Another example how homeschooling benefits your child, is it protects them from negative influences at a young age. It’s been proven that trauma as a child or teen can have adverse effects on your mental health as an adult. At home education can prevent the scars of bullying that many children receive in the public education system. What better gift can you give your children, then for them to have high self-esteem and confidence to excel in school, college, and one day their future career? In 2007, the National Center for Education did a statistical analysis report and found that there has been a 36 percent increase in homeschooling families since the year 2003.

More recent studies have estimated that there are more than 2 million homeschoolers in the U.S. Thus, lacking socialization is no longer a problem with homeschooling. Since more families are homeschooling every day, there have been many support groups and co-ops organized for group field trips, sport teams, and extra-curricular activities. With so many advantages to homeschooling, it is no surprise that it produces intelligent students.

In 1998, Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner did a study on homeschoolers that was titled Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of homeschooled students that was published in the Educational Policy Analysis Archives. His examinations found home-schoolers to score better than 70 to 80 percent of all test-takers. They also scored higher on standardized tests than public and private school students in every subject and at every grade level.

Even more impressive, he observed, “By eighth grade, the median performance of home-school students is almost four [grade] levels above that of students nationwide.” Homeschooling is a great way to better prepare our children for college and their future endeavors. In agreement with me, Stanford University admissions officer, John Reider, told the Wall Street Journal in February of 2000, “Home schoolers bring certain skills—motivation, curiosity, the capacity to be responsible for their education—that high schools don’t induce very well.” In my opinion, if more of America’s children were homeschooled, our leaders of tomorrow would be better equipped for college and their future goals. Someone once said, “We shape tomorrow’s world by how we teach our children today.”