Tackling the Trap
A girl sits in class. It is only second period, but her mind is lost in a fathomless sea of boundless boredom.
Slowly, like a clock’s hand falls gradually from twelve to six, she sinks into its gray and ominous waters. Once it traps her in its clutches, there will be no escaping from its perpetual prison. This girl is one of many who endure the routine drag of conventional schools. While the school’s intent may be to avoid this, the subjects may not interest the students, or they may simply have understood the material long before the remainder of the class. Someone must do something to help these caged children. The academic advantage that homeschooling provides, along with the individualized environment and adequate socialization, gives parents of school-aged children a superb alternative to traditional school.
Approximately 2.6 percent of children were homeschooled in 2007. Of that, fifty percent of the parents who chose that path claimed they did so due to the better education they believed they could provide their child. Many thought the curriculums and standards of their local public school systems to be deficient. Advocates of homeschooling declare that, “…more children in public schools receive a substandard education than homeschooled students.” To back up their statements, statistics on standardized tests display a trend of higher scores by homeschooled students, as compared to students attending a regular school (“Homeschooling”).
Homeschooling is not stiff and generic like regular schools; instead, parents design their own child’s school day around the student’s specific qualities. In this environment, the child’s specific strengths and skills get the attention required for full development. Parents of homeschooled children enjoy more supervision over the people who influence their kids. This protects the children from common complaints about schools, such as bullying. Most importantly, in the eyes of the majority of supporters, homeschooling provides a way for the student to move fast or slow, depending upon the strengths and weaknesses of the student (“Homeschooling”).
Those in opposition to homeschooling, including the National Education Association (NEA), argue that homeschooling does not provide for the social needs of its participants. They claim that a traditional school environment provides a much easier means of socialization. Proponents of homeschooling agree with their opposition that socialization is key to a child’s development. However, they counter that homeschooling supplies adequate, if not superior, social encounters. Due to that lack of a strict schedule, homeschooled students are often on errands and field trips that expose them to all varieties of people, not just teachers and peers.
Furthermore, Terry Osborn of Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education spoke well when she made this statement, “The idea of a homogenous grouping of 25 to 30 children who sit at their desks all day long and do activities—to call that socialization is tortured,” (“Preface to: Is Homeschooling a Good Option?”). Think again of the little girl in a world of suffocating monotony. How can anyone rescue her from that dreadful fate? I compel you to allow your children, nephews, nieces, younger cousins, whomever you know that is trapped in the same cage as the little girl, to experience the full potential of their mind in a place that is tailored to their exact needs. Let them learn at home. Let nothing more stand between them and the education they deserve.