Home Schooling: A Real Alternative
Research and Writing: ENG 215
Professor Kristen Shelton
May 15, 2011
The times in which we live are becoming more competitive than ever before. How well one is prepared to step up and meet that competition is what education is all about. The mainstream opinion would say that the only way to the top is through public or even better; private schools. As most of us are already painfully aware, we all cannot afford private schools for our kids, especially if we have more than one or two children. Homeschooling has been viewed by many as a substandard choice, where many others are coming to realize that it is much better than any other ...view middle of the document...
It is characterized by a one-on-one tutorial method of education using the parents as teachers/tutors and most often takes place within the home of the student. Homeschooling began in this country as early as the 17th century with the Pilgrims and the puritans, both of whom believed that educating children was the responsibility of the parent, whether personally or through a tutor or a governess. Education at the time was largely led by the predominately Christian faith: by schooling at home, parents could monitor their children’s learning, and tailor it to their belief systems.
The public education system began in the mid 1800’s, and has since grown to be the norm in today’s society. The public school system in this country has become by some the pinnacle of education worldwide, but as populations have exploded and cultures have collided, everyone’s idea of a fair and perfect public system has become very different. Homeschooling has recently become increasingly popular among a more diverse group of people than ever before. They are more than just farmers in rural areas and religious fanatics looking to create little images of themselves rather than well rounded individuals who can make it in any environment. There were and still are many obstacles in the search for true freedom here in America. According to the National Home school Association, “Homeschooling is legally permitted in all fifty states, but laws and regulations are much more favorable in some states than others. For example, states such as Idaho, Oklahoma, and Texas are considered user friendly to homeschoolers in that there is no requirement for parents to initiate contact with the state to begin to home school. On the other hand, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York are heavily regulated (curriculum approval by the state, home visits, submission of achievement test scores, and so on).
In the late 1970s and throughout the 1080s, as the homeschooling movement gained more converts, the compulsory attendance laws of various states were challenged in court. One landmark case, for example, occurred in Massachusetts. In Perchemlides v. Frizzle (1978), a Massachusetts court upheld the right of the nonreligious Perchemlides family to home school their young son. The court concluded that “the Massachusetts compulsory attendance statute might well be constitutionally infirm if it did not exempt students whose parents prefer alternative forms of education. By 1995, 33 states had enacted home schooling legislation. The more favorable legal and political climate did not mean that controversies ceased. Christopher Klicka, an attorney for the HSLDA, notes that during the 1990-91 school years, nearly 2,000 homeschoolers with problems sought assistance from his organization. Those problems “involved various degrees of harassment ranging from actual or threatened prosecution to the attempted imposition of restrictions in excess of the law.
In 1997, a study of 5,402 home school students from...