Home schooling
 

Disadvantages of Home Schooling

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Some may ask what they can expect as far as the disadvantages of homeschooling. Most advocates of home education, who have studied as well as experienced this type of schooling, would say that there are no real disadvantages to it.

However, the fact that the benefits for all involved far outweigh the negatives, does not mean there are no challenges in choosing to school at home. After all, there are always challenges involved when we choose to live according to our convictions.


TIME

Homeschooling provides parents with the opportunity to be involved in what their children are learning both academically and in character growth. This is an incredible gift, but it means the parent must be willing to invest whatever time is necessary to determine the best curriculums, teaching methods, and other details regarding a plan for each of their children. It also requires daily effort on the part of the parent in preparation time and class time. In order for a child to be engaged in the learning process at both intellectual and emotional levels, the parent must be motivated and engaged as well.

teaching children


SOCIALIZATION

There are some who say a lack of socialization with other children outside the home, is a disadvantage of homeschooling, but the research shows otherwise. In general, studies show that children who are exposed to dealing and relating with a variety of age ranges (from younger siblings to grandparents) have better social skills and adapt more readily to a variety of social settings as adults. Children who are unnaturally segregated into classroom settings of their peers and daily exposed to one another as role models are often socially stunted.

In the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale, over half of the homeschoolers in a nationwide sampling, scored in the top 10% in regard to healthy self-concepts and sociability. Urie Bronfenbrenner of Cornell University Research found that children who spend more of their time with peers than with family, tend to become peer dependant. This results in a loss of self-worth, optimism, respect for authority (including parents), and trust in people in general. One can easily imagine how this happens when you consider what children would learn from unsupervised interaction with one another versus learning how to appropriately interact with all age groups.

Of course it is healthy for children to learn to interact with children of their own age as well. Any need for peer interaction is easily satisfied through involvement in home school support groups, church activities, or even home school co-ops. The family can also sign up for piano lessons, sports, etc. by joining extracurricular community events if they so desire.


EDUCATION QUALITY

Another misconception regarding a disadvantage of homeschooling is that the quality of education at home is always lacking. The facts are, that very often, homeschoolers score above the national average on test results where they have been compared to public school scores.

The Home School Legal Defense Association asked The College Board, publisher of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), if they could tell us how home schoolers were doing on this college preparatory test. The following information is excerpted from the College Board's May 2, 2001 fax.
 - In 2000, 5,663 of 1,260,278 high school graduates with SAT scores (0.45 percent) said they were home-schooled.
 - Also in 2000, the group of home-schooled SAT takers also had higher SAT averages:
 - The average SAT scores of home-schooled students were 568 Verbal and 532 Math, above the national averages of 505 Verbal and 514 Math.
 - Among home schoolers---men's scores were 568 Verbal and 554 Math (vs. 507 Verbal and 533 Math nationwide); and women's scores were 568 Verbal and 513 Math (vs. 504 Verbal and 498 Math nationwide).
( The College Board, 45 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023-6992, 212-713-8000, www.collegeboard.com.)

For more in depth statistics and studies on Academic Statistics of Homeschooling and the positive results of homeschooled students visit http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200410250.asp.

For the most part home schooled students get the individual attention and help needed to assure that genuine learning takes place. In a public school setting it is easy to get lost in the crowd, barely getting by with the minimum in memorization, lacking in personal tutoring, and thus retaining less as an end result.

Whatever paths we choose in this life will provide us with challenges worth facing in order to be the men and women God designed us to be. As you can see from the above information, schooling your children at home may well be one of those challenges worth taking on, as the benefits are many and far outweigh the disadvantages of homeschooling.

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