The Homeschooling Dilemma

the flaws of homeschooling

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A home-schooled family (Credit: IowaPolitics)

Homeschooling is a nice idea, it really is, great on paper, but it is not entirely practical.

I see how homeschooling can appeal to parents who wish to become more involved in their child’s education, who wish to take their children out of a “negative” environment that school is and who wish to stray away from traditional schooling. It seems nice to imagine learning through museum visits and library trips, free from the stress of homework in an environment where creativity and imagination is free to blossom, but reality overcomes this ideal.

In recent studies, homeschooling is great! There are higher test scores among home-schoolers, learning is customized and engaging, home-schoolers tend to participate more in communities and have a higher rate in going to college. This appears to be wonderful news, but all these studies overlook real disadvantages of homeschooling.

Some children lack motivation and need to be challenged in order to learn. Some parents can be impatient in educating their child. Sometimes learning is neglected in an environment where it is not mandatory or enforced. Sometimes a home lacks the proper technology and equipment or a parent is not qualified enough to be teaching a certain subject. It is difficult to attain all these expectations which learning requires at home.

But above all, the biggest flaw in homeschooling is the isolation. Indeed, there are homeschooling social groups and events that home-schooled children participate in, but that is not enough. Although home-schooled children can perform perfectly in social aspects and situations, they remain largely sheltered, not from all people, but people with different religious and political beliefs, people with different cultures, people from different environments and upbringings, people with more and people with less, people who are mean, people who are nice and people who are anything in between.

One of the most important concepts of public school is not the curriculum or the time-management skills, it is the diversity. A home-schooled child might never experience anything like walking through the busy hallways of a school filled with individuals–of different walks and talks, perspectives and personalities, opinions and backgrounds, and different pasts and futures.