When it comes to educating our children there are more options than ever before. Technology has advanced and allowed teachers of all kinds to have more access to teaching resources and information. And, with the rise in this accessibility of information, it is becoming a more common occurrence for parents to decide to homeschool their children. And, while there are certainly a lot of positive things that come with homeschooling, like with anything the choice has its disadvantages. The cons of homeschooling could be detrimental to not only our children as individuals but it may also have adverse effects on their entire generation.
So, how do we negate these negative effects and ensure our children get the best quality of education available to them? How do we decide if homeschooling is worth the risk? To do that, we need a better understanding of homeschooling and the possible pitfalls of converting to home-based education. Here is a closer look at homeschooling in the USA but also the effects it has on students in general.
How Many Students Are Homeschooled in the U.S?
The number of students being homeschooled and the U.S is growing rapidly. This form of education is practiced by a multitude of households. And in the last 10 years, this means of learning is becoming far less of a rarity, with over 2 million students being taught from home in 2019. It’s been estimated that as many as 2.5 million students are being homeschooled in the spring of 2019. In the states that are around 3 to 4% of the school-age population. Data analysis has shown that that percentage is growing by an estimated 2 to 8% a year.
1. Many families experiment with homeschool.
Over 3 million American adults have experienced homeschooling for at least a year in their schooling careers. Combined with the estimated 2.5 million homeschooling children today and there are around 5.5 million Americans who have been schooled from home at some point.
2. Homeschooling is practiced by a lot of diverse people.
A 2013 study by Noel, Stark, and Redford showed 32% of homeschoolers are Asian, Hispanic, Black, and other non-Anglo people. Furthermore, homeschooling is practiced by people from various religious backgrounds and those of differing political opinions. An NHS survey in 2016 showed homeschooling took place almost equally in rural and urban settings. With around 30% of students being homeschooled in each setting overall.
Facts About Homeschooling
3. Homeschool can be more affordable.
It costs a family around $600 on average to homeschool a single student.
4. Homeschooling families have more kids.
Reports from the NHERI and the HSLDA showed that families who homeschooled had an average of 1.5 more children than traditional schooling families.
5. They are scholarship programs specially designed for homeschoolers.
Foundations, organizations, and others offer scholarships to homeschooled kids for anything from art to academic achievement. The scholarships or not only given by independent organizations but by universities and colleges themselves.
6. Homeschooling laws and regulations vary.
While some states in the U.S are very strict homeschooling regulations, New York and Massachusetts for example, others have little to none. As many as 11 of the 50 states do not even require homeschoolers to be declared.
7. Homeschooling is not only popular in the US.
The popularity of homeschooling is spreading. There are an estimated 60,000 homeschoolers in Canada alone. Plus countries like France, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and many others are joining in on the movement as well. With the 2020 quarantines and lockdowns, people all over the world were left with little choice but to be schooling their children themselves.
Reasons Homeschooling is Bad in 2020
Whilst homeschooling has become a popular option for schooling, the 2020 pandemic has more and more people believing it’s a necessity. However, homeschooling has evolved. Virtual classes are more popular than ever before. But there are some problems with homeschooling in 2020.
8. Online courses may not be effective long-term.
The study of virtual charter schools found that one of the main issues is keeping students engaged. A report by multiparty in 2016 deducted that full-time virtual schools were not a viable option for the majority of kids. The main cause for this was found to be the less hands-on nature of these virtual classrooms.
9. Low-income families may face severe setbacks.
The president of the Education Trust, John King, voiced his concerns about the effects of homeschooling in 2020 on low-income students. With many parents of low-income families having to work through quarantine, many children are left without someone to teach them at home. These children will be left then to return to school along with others from possible higher-income families who may have received extensive online teaching. Inconsistency of education at this time is one of the biggest homeschooling disadvantages in 2020.
Why Do Parents Homeschool?
The reasons parents are choosing to homeschool their children are multiple but ultimately, it varies from family to family. As previously mentioned, homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular among families from a multitude of cultural and religious backgrounds. All of these homeschooling facts play into the decision to educate one’s children at home. Sometimes students are even homeschooled at their own request. However, in most cases, there is not a singular reason for the decision. Usually, there are several motivating factors that lead to a family beginning a home-based education. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest reasons parents give for homeschooling their kids.
10. A more controlled learning environment.
By far the most common reason, given by parents, for homeschooling is the protected learning environment homeschooling provides. In both 2015 and 2016, studies by the NCES showed that up to 80% of homeschooling parents surveyed said that they’d chosen a home-based education out of concerns about the more traditional schooling environment.
11. Better academic performance.
Reports by the National Home Education Research Institute found that homeschooled students outperformed their traditional school counterparts by up to 30% on their SATs. The college statistics displayed a similar trend. A study was done at the University of St. Thomas showed that up to 10% more homeschoolers graduated college than their public-school peers.
Why is Homeschooling a Bad Idea?
Well, after reading the college statistics, you may be inspired to start homeschooling your kids today. However, one has to weigh both the pros and the cons before making that huge decision. The truth is, for many households, homeschooling is just not a good fit or a viable option. And, as parents, it’s important to think very realistically and carefully before making any decisions that may cause an upheaval to your children’s education. Especially if it’s unnecessary. This may hinder your child’s learning and retention of knowledge. In the end, the question should not be “is homeschooling bad?” But rather “is home-based education right for my family’s needs?” Take a look at some ways for you to figure out what’s right for you and your situation.
12. Decipher the needs of your child.
Researchers believe that children with certain learning difficulties/setbacks can benefit from being taught one-on-one in the home environment. Boys, for example, have been found to be more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Disorders such as this one need to be considered when making your decision on whether or not your kid should be homeschooled.
13. Assess social implications.
For years there has been much debate over whether or not homeschooling has negative or positive effects on children socially. However, there is currently no research to fully support either claim. This tends to be dependent on the individual child and their unique personality and needs.
14. Homeschooling is time-consuming.
One of the biggest cons of homeschooling is how time-consuming it can be. Children need consistent schooling hours and to follow set a curriculum for the education to properly take place. Many parents do not have this kind of time as they usually work full-time jobs. That is why many homeschooling families have a stay-at-home parent who does most or all of the teaching.
Homeschooling during the 2020 pandemic comes with its own set of challenges. These challenges will have a profound effect on the current generation of school-goers who have no choice but to be home-schooled at the moment. In order to help the aftermath be less devastating on these children, schools will have to do damage control upon reopening. Furthermore, while the popularity of online learning can not be denied there are definite cons of homeschooling in a solely virtual way. This is because children naturally thrive and learn better in more hands-on environments which keep them engaged and encouraged in a way virtual classrooms cannot. Either way, parents need to understand the full responsibility that comes with partaking in home-based education before diving headfirst into it. And all decisions should be made with their child’s best interests at heart.