Homeschool: A Complicated Issue

The following article is a editorial

comment on one aspect of a larger issue

(education) that has generated widespread

debate and comment within our

community. This subject is of particular

concern and interest to the writer, C. Fox

Collins.

How a society educates its children has

always been of paramount importance.

There was a time in America where many

children were homeschooled. Many

families lived far away from any type of

school setting. Therefore, out of

practical necessity, much education took

place in the home. Reading, writing, and

arithmetic formed the core of the basic set

of skills or knowledge that was

considered necessary or sufficient for an

educated person to function or survive in

a primarily agrarian society.
Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 11.53.49 PM

For a society to function well, it needs the

majority of its population to be well

educated. In order to do this in today’s

highly diverse and urban centered society,

our school systems have created large

bureaucracies. In order for a large

bureaucracy to be effective, key societal

groups need to “buy in” to it: parents,

educators, administrators, politicians,

taxpayers, etc. For a long time in our

country this system has functioned

reasonable well.

Recently, however, we’ve begun to see a

significant new trend or challenge to the

traditional school system. More and more

children are being homeschooled. Current

statistics show at least 2 million

homeschoolers in the U.S. Many Black

families are beginning to explore this

option. What are the benefits &

disadvantages of this?

Phillip Daniel brainstorms with homeschoolers about mechanical engineering project ideas on a farm outside of St. Louis, MO
Phillip Daniel brainstorms with homeschoolers about mechanical engineering project ideas on a farm outside of St. Louis, MO

Parents seem to choose the

homeschooling option for a variety of

reasons. There is evidence to suggest that

parents, who have a strong belief system,

use homeschooling as a way to ensure

their beliefs remain a strong presence in

their children’s lives.

While most school systems try to

maintain a secular environment, no such

requirement is necessary if children are

taught at home. A parent can be as

religious or as non-religious as he or she

chooses in a private home. There is also

the perceived added benefit of developing

a stronger bond between parent(s) and

child than the one that would normally

exist when relying on others to teach your

child outside of the home. For some

parents, this is very significant or

important.

There is also an increased need or desire

among some parents to “protect” their

children. In today’s society, children may

seem to be less safe than in earlier times.

Parents who homeschool often feel that

they will have more direct control over

their children’s safety. And yet, this same

perceived benefit may contain some

pitfalls. Many children judge what

obstacles they can overcome based on the

obstacles they encounter everyday.

Removing a child from a traditional

school setting could eliminate many of

the obstacles or challenges they might

otherwise learn from.

It has been said “you cannot discover new

oceans unless you have the courage to

lose sight of the shore”. Some parents

can be overprotective. A sheltered child

may become a child unsure of himself or

herself, afraid to explore new challenges.

While a parent can protect his or her child

in the short run, sooner or later that child

will have to learn to protect himself or

herself.

It is a significant step to remove children

from the mainstream educational system.

Parents need to be aware of all the

implications that such a decision entails.

First and foremost, educating your child

at home does not mean you will be

completely free of oversight by the

government. Therefore, a parent needs to

be well prepared for such an

undertaking

PLEASE BE SURE TO LOOK FOR

MORE FOLLOW UP ARTICLES ON

THIS SUBJECT IN SUBSEQUENT

ISSUES OF THE JOURNAL.

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