Should home-schooling parents be required to have teaching credentials?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Should home-schooling parents be required to have teaching credentials?
No, parents are inherently qualified to teach own kids.
Yes, there should be some kind of standards in place.

View Results

The benefits and drawbacks of home-schooling have long been discussed by parents and teachers. Three quarters of the teachers who took part in this poll feel that there should be some kind of standards in place for parents who wish to home-school their children.

As with most issues there are two sides of the story. Proponents of home-schooling, and a quarter of the people who took this poll, believe that parents are inherently qualified to teach their own children. The argument is that parents know their children best and will be able to work to their strengths. Knowing a child's learning style definitely makes a difference in how well they comprehend course material. Home schooling also gives student's whatever time they need to finish and understand a lesson. With no other students in the class, the parent-teacher can take whatever time is necessary to make certain the child understands the concepts. Greater comprehension of course material should mean better grades.

Those in favour of school-based education will point out that home-school children lack socialization opportunities and the development of team and leadership qualities. These opportunities only present themselves when children are put into situations with other children on a regular basis. Also teachers in school-based education are qualified and must pass extensive training before receiving their teaching certificate. Parents teaching their children at home do not receive the same type of training. Many of these parents teach themselves the course material before they teach their children.

Those involved in the education system work hard to ensure that all children are presented with equal learning opportunities and teacher certification, learning standards, and standardized testing are ways that the system remains accountable for student learning. Home-schooled students fall outside these parameters and it may be difficult to make sure learning standards are being met. The concern is whether it is a disservice to home-schooled students not to ensure they have adequate instruction. Parents have their children's best interest at heart but whether they are effective teachers or not is the question. If parents of home-school children were to undergo training or testing that could alleviate some of the concerns. Until or unless that happens, we are going to have to trust that parents are doing an acceptable job of educating home-schooled students.