English 101-006, Ms. Medlin
Nov. 13, 2015
Home schools vs. Publix schools
Making sure safety and educational support for all home schooling students should be a top priority as the state works to help parents who want to still have an opportunity to home school their children. Over twenty thousand Carolinians students attend school at home in 2013 and according to Martin-Chang, Gould, and Meuse (2011), the national number of home school kids was close to two million children in 2010. She noted that while home schooling has become a “fashionable choice” for young urban professionals who want the best education for their children. The subject is ...view middle of the document...
In many cases, parents do have total control over the home schooling environment. South Carolina, for example, monitors home school kids by requiring children to take standardized tests in “grades three, five, eight, and 10” (Hovde, 2013). This requirement is the only major assessment. According to Joyce (2013), many states require even less from families who choose to home school. Twenty-six states do not require any testing, and eleven states do not ask for any kind of notification from home schooling parents. In these locations, parents becomes the law in place of any formal guidelines. In most cases such parental freedom benefits the children, but in others, as opponents note, the children lose out.
In her article “The Home school Apostates,” Joyce (2013) tells the stories of several former home school kids whose home school experiences were dangerous and harmful because of their parent’s lazy stance. One woman explained, “I was basically raised by someone with a mental disorder and told you have to obey her or God’s going to send you to hell . . . . Her anxiety disorder meant that she had to control every little thing, and home schooling and her religious beliefs gave her the justification for it” (as cited in Joyce, 2013). In this same example, the parent failed to take an interest in teaching their child, choosing to simply hand out school books and require their pre-teen to self-teach. Joyce argued that this type of situation is not unusual and cited websites such as Homeschoolers Anonymous and No Longer Quivering where hundreds of others have shared similar accounts of their home schooling experiences. These students are in situations that are dangerous to their emotional, intellectual, social, and sometimes physical health, but little is done to protect them.
Outcomes are not just limited to abusive situations. Sometimes home school students struggle to reach the same level as their peers despite their parents’ best intentions. According to Martin-Chang, Gould, and Meuse (2011), children whose parents chose “unstructured” home schooling do not learn as much or make as good of grades as their peers, falling behind students who were in structured home schooling and traditional schooling (p. 200). In the unstructured form of home schooling the learning process is entirely determined by the child. Where in “structured” forms, “the parents view themselves as important contributors to their children’s education (p. 197-198). Structured home schooling may still focus on a child’s individual needs and benefits, but the parents create lesson plans or otherwise guide the child’s learning (Concordia University, 2012). In a interview for Concordia University, Martin-Chang acknowledged that the results of the study might have been different if student success had been measured using a different tool. The results here were gathered from a standardized test with no connection to either the public school program or home school groups. Or if the...