Answers to Objections
About Home-Schooling- Academic Issues
copyright 1997 - Fred
Worth - Permission is hereby granted to reproduce or distribute
this material as long as it is unedited and provided free of charge.
You're not qualified to teach. Teachers are taught how to teach
in college, what makes you think you'll know how to teach? Why don't
you leave the education of your child to the professionals?
Answer - Who taught your
child to walk? Who taught your child to talk? To feed herself?
To share? If you taught your child to do these things then you
can obviously teach. Granted, some subjects will be harder to
teach because you don't know them as well as you do eating, walking,
talking, etc. But you have shown that you ARE qualified to teach.
Additionally, there are MANY resources
available to home schoolers to help them do the job well. There
are conferences, workshops, periodical, support groups, local
and national organizations, websites and mail lists to help those
who have made this commitment.
If you are a Christian then you
have another factor to consider. Proverbs 22:6 says 'Train up
a child in the way he should go.' I've been told according to
the intent of the Hebrew it's meaning is more accurately interpreted
'Train up a child according to his bent.' To raise a child according
to his bent it could only be done in a full-time tutorial environment,
in other words...home.
In many endeavors, motivation is
at least as important as ability. Parents have a great stake in
their children's education and therefore are going to put in a
great deal of effort. Let's look at results. Statistically, home
educated children are better educated than their government school
counterparts. We must be doing something right. We are constantly
hearing about the poor quality of education in the government
schools. That does not speak well for the professionals or the
training they receive.
Taking all of the home school kids out has damaged the government
Answer - Removing children
from the government schools will reduce class sizes. We are regularly
told that reducing class sizes increases the effectiveness of
instruction. The teacher is able to give more time to each student
and therefore improve that child's education. Also, deterioration
of the quality of education in government schools is a large part
of the reason that home schooling is getting so popular.
Home schooling children damages the government schools by taking
away needed funds.
Answer - Fewer students
attending requires less funding since fewer textbooks, etc. need
to be purchased. Also, my primary responsibility is MY child's
education. If I believe that home schooling is the best option
for my child then that is what I need to do.
Secondly, legalized abortion has
taken more children out of the government school system than home
schooling has. Perhaps those who are concerned about the funding
"problem" for government schools should go after those
who have aborted their children rather than those who are trying
to give their children a better education.
Thirdly, the number of homeschooled
children is small compared to the number in private schools. Society
has never complained about this "drain" on government
school funds. So why pick on home schooler's? Why do educational
elitists not complain about this? The reason is simple. The educational
elitists are the very ones who have their children in private
Lastly, this argument is essentially
irrelevant. Many schools that have very limited funds turn out
very successful students. Increased funding does NOT translate
into increased results.
What happens if your child wants to go to college?
Answer - Home schooled children
have been accepted in colleges all over the
country. They have been very successful in college. Home schooled
children have graduated from Harvard. Home schooled children have
been National Merit Scholars. Some colleges are beginning to go
out of their way to recruit home schooled children because they
are finding them better prepared and more conscientious.
Your child's education will be inferior.
Answer - This is simply
opposite is true. One on one tutoring is easily the most effective
form of teaching. No matter how capable a government school teacher
is, she can not give the kind of education to each student that
one on one tutoring gives.
Test results consistently show
that homeschoolers test at a much higher level than the government
school children. Additionally, home education allows a child to
receive an education that is uniquely tailored to his skills,
interests and needs. Most colleges have at least some remedial
courses. The purpose of remedial courses is to help students learn
things they should already know. Some colleges have as much as
60 - 70% of their students in need of remediation. That doesn't
sound like the government schools are doing a great job.
Elementary school may be OK but you're not qualified to teach all
of the high school material.
Answer - There are many
outstanding curricula available for teaching every course imaginable.
They come with teacher's manuals and other materials that help
the parent teach anything from Spanish to Calculus to Physics.
Even if the parent is not well versed in a particular field of
study, they can work with the child and learn together. Two people
working together can learn incredible amounts of material.
In areas where the parent feels
inadequate they can always use the expertise of a private tutor,
a relative or a neighbor to help.
Also, for the Christian, we need
to remember that God promises to supply all our needs and He is
even more intimately concerned about the education and training
of our children. As we seek Him, He truly guides according to
the child's needs, which may not necessarily be what this distorted
world deems important.
It must be difficult to teach more than one level at the same time.
Answer - Not all subjects
have a particular sequence of study that is necessary. Mathematics,
reading and writing have a fairly fixed order in which they need
to be done. But history, science, social studies, etc. can be
done in any order. Children of any age can study Ancient Egypt.
Children of any age can do studies on magnetism. This is along
the lines of what was done in the days of the one room school
house. It worked well.
When something is being done sequentially,
it still can be used for children of various levels. When one
child is being taught about something, it can be a review for
older children and an introduction for younger children. When
the ages are further apart, older children can help teach younger
Yes, it may be more of a challenge
to teach different levels, but simply being a challenge does not
make it wrong or impossible.
Who will recognize their diploma? Homeschooled kids won't have a
real and acceptable high school diploma.
Answer - As stated above,
many colleges are eager for home schooled children. In any case,
it would not be difficult for the home schooled child to take
the GED to get a "recognized" high school diploma, if
that is necessary.
What about PE (phys ed.), Driver's education?
Answer - At most government
schools, PE is nothing more than playing games for a little while
as seldom as once a week. Most children get at least as much exercise
outside of school as they would from a government school PE course.
Regarding driver's education, parents
all over the country have taught their children how to drive without
any help from government schools. Also, there are curricula available
that help parents in teaching driving.
What about them not having enough competition from other kids challenging
them to do their best?
Answer - In the average
government school, children are not challenged to do their best.
Teachers have to spend time trying to teach the slower students
so the brighter ones are left unchallenged.
How will you know you are teaching the right things and at the right
Answer - By personal observation
of your child you can notice when they are ready and able to learn
something. Just like we choose toys by our children's abilities
and interests, we can tell when they are ready to learn. In a
classroom of 20 or more in a government school, such observation
and individual adapting of curricula is impossible.
Also, there are scope and sequence
charts dealing with these things that are available with the text
books. But each child is an individual and that is the beauty
of home school. You can teach and encourage when the child is
ready, not push them when they are behind or keep them back when
they are ready to go ahead.
Lastly, there is no uniformity
among government schools as to what is taught when, particularly
in grades K through 8. Not only do scope and sequence vary from
state to state and school district to school district, but even
two fourth grade classes in the same school may study completely
different things in science, history, reading, etc. So homeschoolers
can be confident that they are not missing anything that "all"
or even "most" government schooled children are getting
at any particular time.
How will you teach your kids the lab sciences? Homeschooled high
schoolers can't have a good science course because you can't have
a full lab in your home.
Answer - There are many
science experiments which can be done in the home with easily
obtainable things to show all sorts of scientific facts. Science
with known and familiar items is more likely to have a strong
impact on the child and more likely to be remembered and understood.
You can't possibly give the quality of education that is received
by children in the government schools.
Answer - First, I question
whether the government schools are giving a good quality education.
We are constantly hearing that our government education system
is failing. If that is the case, then certainly home education
looks like a good option. Even if that is not the case, the government
school education is not as good as it may appear. An education
involves learning how to learn. In most cases, the government
school does not provide that.
Most education there involves learning
facts. While there is nothing wrong with learning fact, there
needs to be more and the government school system doesn't accomplish
that. The old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water
but you can't make him drink."
Sitting in a government school
classroom for 13 years does not guarantee an educated student.
Home education, with its capability of being personally tailored
to the needs and interests of the child, is more likely to produce
a child who retains a love of learning. That child will know facts.
But she will also know how to find out facts she doesn't know.