Public Education Vs. Home Schooling Essay, Research Paper
Public Education vs. Home Schooling
Education in our public schools has been on the down slope for over twenty years. With an increasing amount of school shootings, drugs, and other dementia, many parents today are home schooling their children. Although most people deem public education more suitable, many statistics and facts show that home schooling is equally beneficial. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods of teaching; therefore, the debate is ongoing and increasing rapidly.
Public schools seem to have lost value and biblical morality. Many believe the standards, which founded our country, have been replaced. For example, public schools teach evolution rather than creation, a highly debated topic among parents and politicians. This humanistic view may be due to the removal of God and prayer in public schools, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1962. Since then, SAT scores have plummeted, while teen pregnancies, suicides, alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, and illiteracy rates have increased dramatically.
Many believe disciplinary problems begin before a child s introduction to public school. In Washington, D.C., the principal of one elementary school banned regular recess due to drugs and violence. The children played outside only within an enclosed eight-foot concrete barrier. At times, play was allowed on a small section of playground monitored by the police (Klicka, 51). In the last ten years, research shows that infants raised in daycare “are more prone to behavioral problems as young children than their home-reared cousins (Klicka, 124).”
Millions of dollars are spent on security for our nation’s public schools. Due to the amount of time spent trying to clean up and keep our schools safe, we are more or less falling behind in our education. Americans are farther behind in educational status than countries such as Japan, Taiwan, and China. The teachers spend an enormous amount of time being peacekeepers and tend to neglect the real reason why the children are there. Besides busy teachers, countless textbooks are laden with inaccurate information and lack very important details. Some textbooks state that the atomic bomb ended the Korean War (instead of World War II), and that only 53,000, rather than 126,000, Americans were killed in World War I (Klicka 24-25). One book summarizes Abraham Lincoln’s and George Washington’s life in a mere six lines each. Textbooks also tend to focus on immoral values. Public school textbooks never mention marriage as the foundation of family, and yet these books are suppose to introduce children to a better understanding of American society. A lawsuit has been filed against one Michigan school district after seventh through eleventh graders received instruction in “Self-Pleasuring Techniques” implicating masturbation and descriptions of sexual fantasies involving group and homosexual acts (Klicka 56).
Often forgotten is the option of home schooling when parents are deciding how to educate their children. The idea of home schooling started many years ago, but really began to flourish in the 1970’s. Presently, there are over two million children being home schooled by their parents. There is more than a fifteen percent rise in home schooled students each year (Ray). The majority of home schooled students are white middle class individuals, but minorities are deciding, as well, that it is better for their children than public schools.
Parents have many reasons for home schooling their children. Children often become more independent and responsible with their behavior when taught in the home. The influence of peer pressure descends while study time extends. These factors, among the many, are why today s parents are choosing this educational method.
Critics argue that qualified professionals do not teach home schooled children. In practice, educators who worry about “unqualified” people teaching their children almost always define “qualified” to mean teachers trained in schools of education and holding teaching certificates. Others, in contrast, believe teaching skills are related to commonsense social interaction that, unless we are misguided, we learn only from experience.
Many people are concerned about the social skills of home schooled children. A common belief is that home schooled children are isolated from daily peer interaction. The lack of social contact will most likely impede on proper social dexterity needed in their adult years. Traditional classroom educators believe that competition, in alliance with teacher and peer pressure, helps students learn. While concern for social interchange is tumultuous among public school advocates, home educators maintain that many home schooled children have formed their own social clubs. Some have organized their own basketball teams and 4-H Clubs. Some go on field trips together almost once a week. Home instructors contend that social skills are no longer a problem for home schooled children.
Many statistics show that home schooled students score above average on standard achievement tests. The largest data set on the academic success of the home educated reveals positive results. 16,311 students from across the country were tested with the nationally normed Iowa Test of Basic Skills. The nationwide average for the home schooled on the Basic Battery, consisting of reading, language, and math skills, was the 77th percentile. They were at the 79th percentile in reading, the 73rd in language, and the 73rd in math. The national average for this test is the 50th percentile (Ray). This could be because home schooled children have more one-on-one experience.
The controversy over public education vs. home education has been considered for years. Students are faced with a multitude of menacing obstacles in today’s public school system. In response, parents feel obligated to find a suitable alternative. While neither home schooling nor public education seems to be the perfect solution, both have strong positive and negative arguments supporting them.
Klicka, Chris J. The Right Choice: The Incredible Failure of
Public Education and the Rising Hope of Home Schooling.
Noble Publishing Associates, 1995
Ray, Brian D. Ph.D. NHERI Research. 20 Sep. 1999