Home schooling is the education provided to children at home by their parents or guardians. The education is conducted at home and not in the public school setting. Before the introduction of compulsory education laws in the 19th century, education of children was conducted mainly in their homes and families. Only a few of them employed tutors and teachers to help them in educating their children. Currently, most of the children especially in the developed nations receive their education mostly in the public institutions. Home schooling is usually an alternative for parents who believe that their children are not getting the quality and the amount of education that they deserve. It’s also an option for those who do not want to comply with the rules and regulations, of public institutions.
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Home schooling may also refer to the education provided to children at their corresponding homes under the supervision of other umbrella schools.
Earliest compulsory education started late 17th century and 18th century in the west. It mainly started in Germany with the states of Gutha and Prussia, being the initial ones. In 1798, the states of Massachusetts were the first in the US to issue a law making education compulsory. It took almost 63 years for the state to fully establish a modern compulsory education system. most of the parents started educating their children by use o f books e.g. the popular McGuffy readers. This time America had been observed as being at the height of its literacy provision. After Massachusetts successful implementation of the system. Other American states started following suit. In 1912 American system of education underwent a major revolution after A. A Berle was conducted by parents on how they would teach their children at home. (Wooster,2000 p68).
Later on in 1930’s there were many court cases with parents complaining about public schooling. Some of them even went ahead to withdraw their children from school and providing an alternative education at their homes. This was a case seen in New Jersey in 1936 when one parent collided with the schools principle and decided to withdraw his child from the institution after the principle punished the child.
John Caldwell Holt in 1964 published a book, ‘how children fail’. He asserted that the reason for the children’s failure was mainly because of schools. He studied the way and the process in which the children learned. He then compared this with that the schools uses and he later concluded that, schools did not follow the right procedure and process of educating children. After retiring from teaching, Holt encountered many books questioning the efficiency of compulsory education and in 1976; he published a “instead of education, ways to help people do things better”. In this book, he called for children to escape compulsory education. He was then contacted by parents that they wanted to school their children at home. He later wrote a magazine growing without schooling which emphasizes in home education. Holt wrote one book dealing with homeschooling, Tech your own, 1981, and he hoped that compulsory education will be reformed one day. (Staella, 2000 p45).
In early 1970’s, and late 1960’s, Ray and Dorothy Moore who were educational professional researchers on the importance of early childhood education. They concluded that early childhood education especially among children aged 8-12 lacked efficiency and was also harmful to the children. they were also added that formal schooling was also damaging children who stayed with their parents for long developed well in all aspects. the Moores wrote a book home schooling. In their book, better late than early, 1975. Around 1985 homeschooling was receiving a lot of attention.( Sheelan,2002 p:21)
Homeschooling is criticized as lacking the socialization with children from different ethnic groups and different Christian backgrounds. Homeschools are also thought to be excluding critical subjects and that parents are denying their children the opportunity to socialize with the rest. Children whose parents have time to socialize with them have unfair advantage than those whose parents do not have enough time.
The studies which conclude that homeschool students does better than public schools is based on voluntary homeschool test and that of mandatory public school test. Also homeschooling is difficult to be differentiated with traditional schooling.
People also argue that homeschools view things only from one perspective because parents might replace other points of view with their own when they are teaching. This may prevent the students from thinking on their own and exploring other avenues of solving things. (Lyman, p69).
Home schooling reduces the chances of students from meeting one another and therefore they might not develop the spirit of working together as one nation.
Florida law defines home education as providing instructions to student by either his/her parent or guardian as stated in the statute 1003.21 and 1002.41.The Florida’s home schooling law provides parents with broad and flexible conditions on the ways of enhancing this system of education in the state. The following are basically the requirements towards attaining the homeschool in the Florida state.
Your countries District school superintendent should be notified and the notice of intent should be filed with the superintendent’s office. This should be done within the 30days of beginning the program. The letter of intent should include; Name of the child, Day of birth, the contact address and the parent’s signature.
A portfolio of records for the child’s home school progress should be maintained. This portfolio must consist of two parts:
- Sample Materials.
- Document records.
Document records should consist of any educational activity which is made and should also consist of any reading material used. Sample materials involves sample writings, workbooks or any creative work used by the students. There are various ways of showing the sample material and the one which is adopted should demonstrate the work done by child in a clear and easy to understand way. (Wichers, P:52)
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The portfolio should be available all the time. This is because sometimes the superintendent has to conduct the inspection in order to clarify that the portfolio is legal. The annual educational progress of your child should be evaluated by a Florida certified teacher of your choice. The evaluation results should be submitted to the superintendent office. You can also carry out these evaluations by use of any nationally recognized test or psychological test.
Incase you want to terminate your homeschool, a letter of termination should be filed and handed to the superintendent. It should contain the same information as the letter of intent. (Reich,2002 p67).
The curriculum used by the homeschool is sometimes referred to as all-in-one curricula. This because it contains various packages which covers wider area as various subjects is concerned. They contain all the various requirements required in schools. These materials come in a way that it makes homeschool as a recreational environment which covers all the subjects as those of public schools. This really transforms homes into schools in a different and interesting way. This curricula is easy to use and require less preparation, since the instructions are easy to follow. (Brandt,2002 p98).
- Classical: This style of education mainly focuses on student’s development and is closely coordinated. Different level of education is offered to an individual depending on his/her mind’s maturity.
- Waldorf: This style emphasizes that imagination play a critical role in one’s education and learning.The teachers gives the students the initial basis of developing into a free and moral person. They then assist in guiding them to realize their dreams.
- Electric: This is the learning style which involves providing the required teachers and providing the correct curriculum to those who are studying at home.
- Unschooling: This is a form of schooling where parents do not direct their child’s education but rather follow up the child’s interests by interacting with them and leaving them to freely explore their interest. Here education is not done in a rigidly school environment.
- Unit studies: involves handling or teaching numerous subjects combined which revolves around central subject which are of great interest to the learner.
- Charlotte Mason: The philosophy of charlotte’s education is based on two key mottos i.e. Education is seen as an atmosphere, a life and also someone’s discipline. Therefore she described education as a science dealing with relations.She asserted that children are born as humans and they should be taught on the ways of reasoning and the will.
A research by Dr. Raymond S. and Dorothy N. Moore concluded that children should not be taken for formal education until when they are 8-9 years. This is because they are not mature enough to conduct formal education because their senses and the way they perceive to different things is still low.
Home school graduates have been known to contribute more to the society in terms of volunteering work, working in the church functions and communal activities as compared to those who underwent the public education.
Home school graduates are also actively involved in civic issues such as voting and they usually do so in larger numbers as compared to those in public schools.
Setting up Schooling
The home schools are mainly conducted in the home environment. The curriculum used is home friendly and comes in packages, which cover wider areas. What an individual needs to do is to file a letter of intent and also school District Superintendent should be notified.
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