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Are we talking about schooling or education? They are not synonyms. Schooling refers to organizing certain skills into a predictable result. One of the biggest hurdles faced by our public school system is the failure to recognize that what the children learn at home (that is home schooling) afffects what and how they learn at school. The children brought up in a violent home situation develop skills that are very different from those in a more open society.
My niece is being home schooled, so I have had opportunities to observe closely how my brother and sister-in-law are dealing with some of the challenges resulting from their decision to do so. My observations are that they are working hard to involve her in a wide variety of activities outside of home so she has opportunities to interact with other children in many settings and has chances to experience activities that would not be within their ability to provide. The learning continues through many activities throughout the year, which is probably a better way to relate learning to daily life than what a traditional school year and summer vacation creates. Activities are modified when needed to fit her learning style and preferences, which teachers are encouraged to do in mixed-ability classrooms but seldom have time or resources to manage. I am looking forward to seeing how they manage to provide access to science labs or advanced math applications when my niece gets to high school-level coursework, but they've done very well to this point. Unfortunately, not every parent does so.
Socialisation of young people is vital for social and emotional development. Preschools allow children to mix and develop in an environment designed to promote their development. As my child is an 'only', I was keen from the first few months that he would encounter other children and would be managed at these times by people trained to do the job. I'm a high school teacher, trained to deal with teenagers. I was conscious that my child would benefit from the professionalism and expertise that a good preschool can offer.
Siimilarly, I regularly set up and make use of playdates. my child is a very independent soul, so experience of playing with others allows the teaching and learning of sharing, turn taking, tolerance of others, etc.
Homeschooling of young people due to rural/environmental/medical issues is common here in NZ. However, most parents tend to use the Correspondence School as a curriculum base, resource and provider of distance teaching resources. Many of the homeschooled children I encounter do well academically as a result of this approach, but many more have difficulties in relating to their peers.
Social skills need to be learnt early, often and continuously. I see them as more important than academic hothousing.
Homeschooling can be a great option if it is done properly. In fact, homeschoolers tend to outscore both public and private school students on standardized tests like the ACT: (See link below):
However, I have seen homeschool parents who have no idea what they are doing mess up their kids and send them out into the world unprepared both academically and socially.
To succeed...I think homeschoolers need regular "play dates" or field trips with other students, and also they need times to interact with non homeschooled kids through things like clubs and sports.
I am opposed to home schooling, except in extraordinary situations. And right now, I cannot even think of what extraordinary situation I would homeschool my children for. In addition to the reasons stated above, it seems to me that public schooling exposes children to different points of view, something that we are in desperate need of. When children are homeschooled, they get one point of view, that of their parents, and when they attempt later to navigate their way through the world, this is a deficiency it is difficult to correct for. I am a teacher, and I believe profoundly in exposing my children to different points of view and in helping them to critically examine the information and ideas they are offered. But even given that premise, I am not so foolish as to think that this is something could ever do by myself.
I know a few home schoolers that take it very seriously, adopt recognized, accredited curriculum, take field trips with other home school families, etc. There is certainly nothing wrong with this approach, and while some social skills may be underdeveloped when they reach the upper teens, they also gain a greater understanding into how they learn, what areas they are interested in, and they learn in a way that is less linear. I have also found they tend to be more interested in school and learning in general.
That being said, I know many parents who do not pursue it this professionally. They are angry at public schools or are primarily focused on religion and neglect the other studies. They are not doing their kids any favors.
I believe that homeschooling can and has worked for many people. I do still believe that a traditional educational setting offers the child so much more in regards to gaining independence, experiencing social milestones, interacting with a diverse group of peers, learning to solve social conflicts on their own, and developing their own identity away from their parents.
Pre-school is extremely important as it helps the child build a richer foundation of academic knowledge that is to come. Kindergarten is fast pace and difficult, so pre-school is a must to ensure a child has a successful start in life.
I'm not a big fan of home schooling, primarily because of the lack of social contact that the kids receive while being taught at home. Pre-schoolers and elementary-aged students all need some form of interaction with other children their age as well as additional adult contact. Most former home schoolers who later enter public or private school settings have problems adjusting to the classroom and to the other students and teachers around them. And, as a previous post mentioned, most parents who home school their children are not trained teachers, further reason to question the eventual education their kids will receive.
I agree with the above posts. I believe that children get a well-rounded education in a public school. Also, there are so many extracurricular activities in which children can learn and grow. Clubs such as Beta, FBLA, National Honor Society, etc. are excellent clubs which teach children how to interact with their peers and adults. Extracurricular activities often encourage children to be more social. Playing sports is another area in which children can learn self discipline and commitment to a team. Through home schooling, none of these extracurricular activities can occur.
According to Erik Erikson's theory of the stages of psychosocial development, children ages 3 to 6 should be developing independence and initiative. Preschool is the appropriate place for such growth to flourish. Home schooling, even with scheduled play dates, is a poor substitute, as the parental figures are still present, and they are precisely who the child should be gaining independence from. Children need socialization, routine, and consistency. They also need to have more than one or two adult figures in their lives to interact with and learn from.
I agree with 2; the majority of parents who home school do it for the wrong reasons, and do not do a particularly good job of educating their children either in the basics of the traditional school subjects or in how to interact productively with others. There is a reason that teachers have to study child development and psychology as well as subject matter to become certified to teach.
I have serious issues with home schooling. Kids need to be with other kids to learn social skills and appropriate interaction with others. They also need to be educated by a dedicated non-biased professional on a predetermined schedule. My personal experience with home schooling is that more often than not, parents will not enroll their children in public schools for all the wrong reasons: overly protective, racial bias, or enabling. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, and I expect vociferous disagreement with my remarks; still I believe unless there are compelling reasons (illness, etc.) to keep a child from public education, in the long run that child will be poorer for it.
I am not sure what you mean by play date, but kids do need to be with other kids. This way they learn social skills such as sharing, taking turns, and not always winning. Preschool is also an important element in a child's development. Young children learn more quickly than at any other point in life; they need not learn the basic "three R's" while in pre-school, but they can learn to interact appropriately with others, follow directions, etc.
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