Today, children cannot only learn from the four corners of a classroom, but they can learn and grow their knowledge in the comfort of their own homes being taught by their parents or private tutors. Homeschooling is becoming a popular educational choice among Americans, with two million students now taking this education approach, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
You may wonder what prompted this approach in the first place. In this article, we will look back to the early years of homeschooling for us to understand its essence better. Make sure to read further!
What is homeschooling?
Home schooling refers to educating a child at home rather than getting formal education at a conventional public or private school setting. The parent is usually responsible for teaching the child, whereas other parents hire a professional teacher to do the teaching. Parents choose homeschooling to strengthen family bonds, develop good values, and avoid detrimental peer pressure. It can be a challenge to homeschool and you will need great home management skills to pull it off, but many have found it rewarding.
The inception of the Internet has paved the way for millions of families to access computer-driven educational materials and other digital resources. To make up for the lack of peer interaction, some home-schooling parents bring their children to group outings and field trips to enhance their socialization skills, cooperation, teamwork, and other interpersonal skills.
The history of homeschooling
Colonial period to mid-1800s
During this period, education is delivered through loosely-structured schools. It was during the start of the nineteenth century when communities in northeastern America came to realize that public schools are essential to “Americanizing” the nation’s increasing immigrant population. Reformers viewed it as a way to strengthen common American culture. This movement gained popularity after Massachusetts became the first state to implement a compulsory education law in 1852. This law required parents to send their children to conventional public schools. As the number of public schools increases in the next few years, home schooling is yet to become a well-known educational method.
The Deschooling Movement
In the 1960s, educators and other professionals in the field voiced out that public schools are fostering unusual values, failing to teach children quality education, and making children adopt unhealthy habits. For this reason, they provoked a “deschooling movement” between the 1960s and 1970s to give importance to child-centered learning.
The deschooling movement motivated an increasing number of parents to educate their children at home instead of sending them to schools. Numerous states also relaxed their compulsory attendance laws to make way to homeschooling.
During this period, state laws implemented regulations regarding home schooling in forms of testing, compulsory curriculum, teacher licensure, and required paperwork. There were nine states that placed no restriction on parents’ rights to home school.
In the 21st century
Approximately 3% of Americans are homeschooled. While parents have varying reasons, there are some common reasons why they are choosing homeschooling for their children:
The education system at public and private schools has become a one-size-fits-all approach
Being put in several classes and activities as thousands of other kids at school provides pressure to the child to excel in all subjects. As a parent, having your child homeschooled will give him/her the chance to choose whatever field he/she desires in life.
The rising demand for subject-specific tutors
Children do not possess equal mental capacity to absorb lessons from multiple disciplines. Homeschooling allows parents to choose tutors for their children. What is amazing about this is that a parent can always handpick tutors for their child, which is definitely not the case with school teachers. Tutors can visit your home and conduct the lessons with less or no distractions. This ensures that your child’s whole attention is on one lesson at a time.
Parents give their child time to develop and improve their aptitudes
The formative years of a child happen during the first five years, why trust an institution to play a big role in this? Homeschooling keeps children comfortable during the whole learning process. There is no room for bullying, fear of teachers, school bells, and other forms of distraction. Homeschooling can provide your child longer hours for certain subjects that they enjoy. There are no classmates that will cause distraction, so you can expect that the child will have much more time developing his/her talents better.