Im 13 and have been home-schooled for eight years. I think people need to know more about home schooling because of the unfounded stereotypes that seem to label every child who is home-schooled. While some people do home school primarily because of their beliefs, special needs children or other reasons, it does not mean that all home-schoolers are religious fanatics or that they cant cope with the stresses of public school. Many parents home-school because of the faulty public education system, possible multiple school transfers, fear of gang violence and school shootings.
One of the big issues that are brought up in discussions about home-schooling is socialization. A lot of people have the opinion that home-schoolers spend their lives at the kitchen table, apart from the rest of the world. While schoolwork is the same no matter how you are educated, home-schoolers arent tied down at a desk for six hours, five days a week during the school year. Instead, they are free to extend their classroom to museums, colleges, hospitals, capitol buildings, state parks and other locations at any time of the year. Family vacations can be to anywhere at any time.
Another issue is the authenticity, quality and success of a home-school education. Here is an excerpt from a study of home-schoolers that shows the opposite viewpoint: According to a report published by the Educational Resources Information Center and funded by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, home-school student achievement test scores were exceptionally high. The study states, Even with a conservative analysis of the data, the achievement levels of the home-school students in the study were exceptional. Within each grade level and each skill area, the median scores for home-school students fell between the 70th and 80th percentile of students nationwide. For younger students, this is a one-year lead. By the time home-school students are in eighth grade, they are four years ahead of their public/private school counterparts.
Being home-schooled is just as good, if not better, than going to public school, and the stereotypes about home-schoolers are wrong.
SARAH PRATER LaOtto