July 03, 2005

In the Meantime

Just got back from a busy weekend in NC. But I will tell you all about it later. In the meantime, here is my persuasive essay. Once again, warning, this is a 3 page essay.

Home schooling is an oft argued topic, and parents may hesitate for many reasons such as educational (parents not educated enough, children will fall behind their peers) or social (afraid children will not develop social skills). However, home schooling is better then public schooling because parents have better control over style and type of education, more time spent one on one with the child, and it allows the child to learn at his or her own pace. As a child, I learned to read rapidly, but my younger brother took longer. Had he been placed in public school, he would have been held back several grades, and would perhaps have been diagnosed with a learning disability. But because my mother home schooled us, he was able to learn at a pace that best suited him, and today he is a college graduate working in a very successful computer career.
In today’s society, parents are choosing home schooling in ever increasing numbers though. In a survey conducted in 1999, there were an estimated 850,000 home schooled children in the United States, in 2003; those numbers had increased to an estimated 1.1 Million. Home schooling allows the parent more control over their children’s curriculum. With many different types of curriculum available, parents are able to choose precisely the lessons the children learn. Public schools typically have only one curriculum, and parents have no say in choosing what their child does or does not learn.
Over 60% of parents who have chosen to home school give either their concern for the environment of schools, or to provide moral or religious instruction as reason. With children staying at home, they are better protected from peer pressure.
Socialization, or lack thereof, is often cited as a reason not to home school, and why public school is better. However, this myth has been studied in a number of studies and been proven that home schooling is just as good, or better, concerning the socialization of children. In his 1992 study, Larry Shyers of the University of Florida found that children taught at home showed fewer behavioral problems then did those children schooled at conventional schools. Many people have the view that home schooled children are sheltered, secluded, naïve to the ways of the world, when many times it is entirely opposite. There are many opportunities for children to socialize with their peers, such as home school groups, recreation classes, and little league, among many others. From my own experience with home schooling, when I was younger, my mother always had myself and my siblings enrolled in classes through the public parks and recreation, orchestra, ballet classes. We also had a group of home schooled friends, as well as our friends from church.
There have been many studies conducted on the social and educational benefits of home schooling, far too many to cite here. Home schooled children are often better educated and more socially adaptable then their conventionally schooled peers. In a scholarly analysis, Professor A. Bruce Arai stated that individuals who are or were home schooled “are keen to integrate into the wider society”. Home schooling is a personal choice, but one that is the best choice.
Works Cited

Lines, Patricia M. “Homeschooling comes of age”. The Public Interest, 140 (Summer 2000): 74-85

Lyman, Isabel. “Answers to Home School questions”. The New American. May 6, 2002. 18.9: 31-33

National Center for Education Statistics. “1.1 Million Home Schooled Students in the United States in 2003”. Issue Brief. July 2004: 1

National Center for Education Statistics. “1.1 Million Home Schooled Students in the United States in 2003”. Issue Brief. July 2004: 2, Figure 2

United States. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. “Statistical Analysis Report: Home Schooling in the United States: 1999” NCES 2001-03: 9
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