The Politics Associated with Home Schooling
Some people find it surprising to find out that home schooling is filled with politics. As a matter of fact, the politics of home schooling evolved as soon as home schooling itself. Advocates of home schooling prefer their own methods due to the failure of the public education system. They therefore present homeschooling as a working alternative. This raises the concern about the qualifications of the support home schooling is receiving.
How did the concept of home schooling start anyway? To put it simply, it started with parents who were deeply involved in the education of their children, These parents wanted something better, better than what the public schools can give but more affordable than what the private schools can give. In a nutshell, these involved parents took matters into their own hands. But where does the politics of home schooling come into play?
Many school systems, if not all school systems, are overly bureaucratic. They are not likely to listen carefully to the parents' and the communities' concerns. They often act defensively when questioned about what knowledge is deemed "official". Here enters the politics of home schooling. Though it is also important to mention that from these same criticisms arose a great change in the public school system.
Opposition to homeschooling comes from all over, including some teacher organizations and school districts. The National Education Commission is one outspoken critic who opposes home schooling. Another would be the United States Teachers Union. Why do these organizations oppose home schooling and say that it has potential negative effects on society? Here are some of their reasons.
Home schooling does not provide adequate standards of quality and comprehensiveness. It means that no governing body is directly supervising homeschooling families, thus resulting into non standardization of the materials used in home schooling.
Home-schooled children lack certain social skills like interacting with people of different religious and ethnic background. In a world that is so diverse, it is important to know the sensitivities of the cultures and the religions that we interact with on a daily basis. Isolating children from such interactions will make them socially numb, or so the critics say.
Home schooling might develop religious or social extremists. Given the fact that the majority of families in the US that prefer home schooling from the public school system have deep religious convictions, the one-tracked means of home teaching might develop a person to believe that his or her religious and/or social convictions are right and won't care about anything else.
Children that are home-schooled are denied of their rights, such as social development. Critics deem it unfair that these children who are homeschooled be caged somewhat and their social skills might not fully develop.
Homeschooling potentially develop sub-societies that do not fit into the community. It's like developing a country with a totally different culture and belief structure within a country who also has a different set of cultural and societal values.
The argument has been going on for quite some time now, and there seems to be no clear winner emerging. No clear compromises have been made as well. In the end, the conclusion to this battle of ideas may just be up to the most basic unit of society, the family. Whether a family decides to home school their kids should be their right, provided that home schooling methods should be standardized to some degree as to it parallels the public education system. Not putting an end to this debate will only result into a country who educational system is in turmoil, and a citizenry whose educational background is not equal.