A Brief History of Homeschooling

Once upon a time, right here in America, home school was the only way to get school. The settlers of this great country continued the traditions they brought over from their home lands – and very few of these home lands had established schools for children. At least, not for the children of working class people.

Is home schooling right for your child?. (photo by woodleywonderworks)

Is home schooling right for your child?. (photo by woodleywonderworks)

Teaching children to read and write, how to add and subtract, to remember the history of their people – all of these things were the responsibility of the parents. Having a diploma or a formal education wasn’t that big a deal, compulsory attendance to school didn’t exist because there were no common schools for a community. Schools began to become more commonplace during the mid to late 19th century, at which point the American culture began to put more and more emphasis on a formal education.

There have always been advocates for home schooling, and people who despise the concept of organized school for children. Culturally, the Native Americans resisted the practice, and they weren’t alone;  working class people and agricultural workers from all cultures had a strong work ethic, and due to that and economic reasons would often prefer their children stay at home to work or help with the family business.

During the 1960s, some sociologists, fundamentalists, and educators began to push back against the educational system, and became lightning rod advocates for home schools. The reasons were many and varied, from thinking the secular nature of the educational system was harming the moral fiber of the children, to claiming the rigid structure of the school system adversely affected the psychological and mental development of young children.

Over the last couple of decades, home school advocates have won a lot of minor and major victories. Home school students are more accepted in college than ever before, and have proven with standardized test scores that they are getting an education as good as – if not better than – the one offered at public school.

Now more than ever before home school kids are recognized by the State. The stigma it once had is starting to diminish, and thousands of new families every year start down the path of schooling their own children. With the increased numbers of home school students, there are more studies about the effects of it on their development. And by and large, the studies support the practice. More precisely, the studies debunk many of the negatives usually associated with home school.

Several studies, run between 2008 and 2011, all support that children who are academically schooled at home tend to outperform public school students on standardized test. Furthermore, different studies indicate that home school kids have a better self image than their public school counterparts, which disputes the argument that home school kids become awkward socially.

Learn more about home schooling your kids, and see if its right for your family.

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