Home schooling is one of the more controversial aspects of contemporary education, and encourages diametrically opposed opinions on either side of the debate. Not only is it an often discussed concept, but it is also one that has grown in popularity significantly within the last decade. There are numerous social and cultural issues that act as triggers for parents to decide to school their children at home, and while some are long standing others are more of a reaction to current social climates.
The facts are relatively surprising. An estimated 1.5 million US children are schooled at home by their parents, and this figure has increased by nearly 75 percent within the last 10 years. This significant and persistent growth in home education is particularly interesting, and hints at several parental concerns relating to society and education. Many of these relate specifically to either a child’s individual safety or core education principle, and display a worrying lack of faith in government legislation and resource.
The Reasons Behind Home Schooling
Of the 1.5 million home schooled infants throughout the nation, 36 percent of them are subjected to this process through religious and cultural reasoning. While this has been an understandable and persistent feature of the increasing levels of multiculturalism within the US, other statistics or more indicative of burgeoning social concerns. For example, a further 17 percent of home schooled children are taught domestically by their parents because of inherent and pressing issues with the content or quality of contemporary education.
This data further increases the concern that the curriculum is growing outdated and is failing to meet the requirements of parents and children alike. Most notably, this refers to a lack of flexibility in the number of subjects that children can undertake in state schools, which leaves young students often feeling demotivated or entirely detached from the interactive processes of education. Parents feel that they are able to create a customized schedule and program of learning that will better engage their child and prepare them for adult life.
In addition to this, 21 percent of children are home schooled as their parents are dissatisfied with the environment that exists at individual state schools. This may seem like a vague concern that is open to interpretation, but it is predominantly a reference to the often hostile and potentially violent surroundings within high schools and higher educational institutions. The concern that parents hold is merely a reaction to the continued rise of violent crime and antisocial behavior prevalent in contemporary culture.
Creating a Cycle of Anti-Social Attitudes?
In terms of tacking the perceived hostility of state schools, there is no outstanding or obvious resolution to satisfy both governments and parents alike. While violence is indeed prominent and also increasingly common amongst younger perpetrators and victims, the perception held of schools and the world itself is influenced far too heavily by mass media reporting and sensationalized headlines. The wide and repetitive nature of internet reporting is especially significant, where headlines are posted across diverse websites at the same time leaving publishers seeking an additional competitive edge in order to secure readers.
In addition to this, home schooling is itself a potentially divisive and dysfunctional resolution to the problem of aggressive and anti social behavioral trends. One of the main government objections to the concept is that it deprives children of contact and interaction with their contemporaries, an issue which is exacerbated when you consider the amount of time that youngsters also spend on the internet. In this argument, home schooling does little more than form the semblance of an unproductive cycle, which actually encourages anti social behavior and promotes it further within the young generation.
The disregard for contemporary educational values is a less pertinent but still significant concern amongst parents. This is also partially due to the growth and prosperity of online resources, where information previously accessible only by teachers and professors can now be viewed and digested by parents. This allows them to form considered and in depth views of curriculum subjects, and decide for themselves whether the typical educational content is relevant or to their satisfaction.
Creating a More Satisfactory Educational Program
Home education may well be something that parents believe is preferable to state or government scheduled teaching, but it is a process that can incur specific social issues in the students later life. A far more preferable resolution is for the government to react to each individual parental concern and consider suitable problem resolutions, which help to improve children’s well being and educational benefits accordingly. This kind of reactive governing is both responsible and required in an age where the public informational resources are so enhanced, and also wise given the increased pace at which social trends and conduct are changing in contemporary culture.