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Feb 23, 2012
From the Trenches: Educational Policy, Practice and Beyond
Homeschooling is on the rise, and the issue of homeschooling vs. public schooling is a hot topic of debate among parents and educators.
Some opponents of homeschooling assert that homeschooled children may become socially isolated or even antisocial. Others claim that parents might not necessarily be qualified to provide a complete education for their children.
Let's keep in mind, though, that homeschooling has its share of advantages.
For one thing, homeschooling provides the ultimate in individualized education. Imagine having a personal tutor for every school subject!
Actually, homeschooled students don't need to imagine it, since their schooling is specifically tailored to their learning needs. Homeschooling also provides a safer environment. Homeschooled students are less likely to have to deal with bullying, drugs and weapons — issues faced by many public school students.
Additionally, homeschooling maximizes academic time in comparison to public schools. For many public school students, learning time ends at 3:00, while homeschooled students reap the benefits of "teachable moments" interspersed throughout the entire day. Besides, homeschooling allows for in-depth study, and it tends to encourage students to pursue learning topics that interest them.
Indeed, those who choose to homeschool their children often see positive results. Jill Krasny of Business Insider has reported that a sample of Canadian homeschooled students tested higher than their public-schooled counterparts.
In a United States study, Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute found that homeschooled students consistently outperformed public school students on standardized tests. Thus, when it comes to quality of education, skeptics of homeschooling might not have the current research on their side.
It is clear, to me at least, that a properly structured, evidence-based homeschool program can be of great benefit to select students.
Homeschooling is not for everybody, but it is here to stay. Parents who can afford it might wish to consider homeschooling their children. You never know -- it may turn out to be the best thing for your kids.