Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Home Schooling And Its Effects On The Family

By Owen Jones

If a survey by the National Center For Education Statistics is to be believed, almost 1.1 million children underwent home schooling in 2005 alone. That's a lot of children. Not so long ago, homeschooling used to be a radical statement - something like a declaration of independence.

It was the right-wing Christians who pushed for homeschooling in the 1980's and legalized it in every State. But nowadays the typical homeschooling pupil is not religiously motivated.

More recent surveys indicate that parents are really fed up with the public school system where much of the learning is superficial and compulsory. They are also concerned about the negative environment in school, which ranges from drugs and abuse to negative pressure from their peers.

Because of this, we have a surprising mix of people who make up the homeschooling world of today. They cut across all religious creeds and all regional borders. Their main aim is providing meaningful and productive learning through a method that strengthens the bond between the various members of the family.

These families all have one main thing in common - a long standing commitment to the sanctity of childhood. The children of these families are given a primary position. Many believe, and, I think, rightly so, that home schooling allows parents to bring up their children in a more natural and caring environment.

Public schools can make a child nervous, diffident and downright mean. Children who get their education at home are protected from these damaging, negative influences until they reach an age where they can withstand them.

Home-schooling draws the whole family into the almost religious task of teaching. Everyone has a role to play. Both the parents together form a bond with the children. Any experience can be turned into an educational experience. Both the parents are aware of exactly what is going into their child's education.

Parents also have a greater control over the type of religious and moral values that the child is taught. Even watching a film together can become a learning experience. Trips to the libraries, zoos, museums and other places become educational as well as recreational.

A home-schooling family is primarily dependent on the income of one earning member. That means that often outgoings have to be curtailed and proper planning of expenditure is a must. This helps to bring the family members together and everybody gets involved in the process of saving money.

Just having a parent at home to supervise, to nurture and to care for the children brings with it a lot of love and caring. Even the husband chips in and there just is no room for boredom.

Yes OK, problems still do sometimes occur, and there will be many misgivings in your mind, but when you know that your kids can always count on you, and your kids know it too, then homeschooling becomes a richly rewarding experience.

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