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.

Objection - 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.

Objection - Taking all of the home school kids out has damaged the government schools.

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.

Objection - 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 schools.

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.

Objection - 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.

Objection - Your child's education will be inferior.

Answer - This is simply false. The 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.

Objection - 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.

Objection - 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 children.

Yes, it may be more of a challenge to teach different levels, but simply being a challenge does not make it wrong or impossible.

Objection - 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.

Objection - 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.

Objection - 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.

Objection - How will you know you are teaching the right things and at the right times?

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.

Objection - 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.

Objection - 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.

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