Home school in recent years has grown, increased, and flourished. According to the US department of education, in 2013, “approximately 1,770,000 students are homeschooled in the United States- 3.4% of the school-aged population.” This is a growing trend that has attracted many families from all walks of life. Many who home school enjoy teaching their child in a home setting environment because children are taught one on one. Parents also like the fact that their child gets undivided attention from them and that they do not move forward until the child has mastered the level that they are currently in. Also children in a home setting are not limited to the amount of questions that they are able to ask. Many of these parents believe that their children are in a safe and comfortable environment and that they do not have to worry about them being accepted by their peers because they interact with all sorts of people throughout the day. However, home school is not something new or foreign in America but has been around for years. Before 1852, when school attendance was not required, many parents educated their children at home (Miller) . Some of the great men that contributed tremendously to our country were homeschooled. This includes Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Charles Dickens, and Benjamin Franklin (Miller). After 1852, parents begin sending their children to private or public schools. However in 1983, when tax regulations for Christian private schools were changed, many were no longer able to send their children to private school. These parents chose to home school their children instead of sending them to public schools. What has motivated parents to home school their children in the last decade is mainly due to religious reasons, disappointment with the current school system, and the increase of violence in schools.
For many devoted homeschoolers, religion is still a major motivator for educating at home. This is largely due to the fact that parents want to instill a strong foundation into the child from a young age. They strongly believe as the bible says in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Many believe that public schools teach children contradictory to their religious beliefs. An example of this is the increase of homosexuality introduced to elementary students without parents’ notification. Children as young as five are taught that some families have a mom and dad; others have two dads, or two moms. They are taught that every family is different and that it is okay to be different. When this is taught at a young age, children start believing that it is normal and that it could be an option for them. In 2007 a family in Boston was upset and hurt with the fact that material about homosexuality was read to their six year old child. However, a judge in Boston ruled that the constitution allows public schools to teach about material such as homosexuality because this material is geared towards forming good citizens and diversity (Jalsevac). Another issue parents have been concerned about in recent years is that young females if pregnant can now turn to school officials and have their child aborted without the parents consent. A student who attended Ballard High School in Seattle was given a pregnancy test in the health center and then taken on a taxi during school hours to have her child aborted. Her family knew nothing about their child’s pregnancy or that she would abort the fetus (KOMO).
Many parents are motivated to home school their children in recent years because they are disappointed with the current school system. Many are disappointed with the teacher-student ratio in the classroom and believe their children are not getting the attention that they require. In addition, many hardworking devoted teachers have been laid off. California alone in 2010 gave out 22,000 pink slips to teachers (Bernard). This has left schools with fewer teachers and more students. Many schools have closed due to the economic crises that have endured in the past few years and have caused parents to look elsewhere. Also, many want their child to be academically above and well rounded and believe that the public schools are lacking this. If matters are not already bad enough, Governor Schwarzenegger, in 2008, proposed a suspension of the minimum school funding guarantee that would equal to a $4.8 billion cut to the California states public schools (Carnahan). This would mean even more layoffs, less resources, and increased class sizes. Teachers who are fortunate to still have their job would be dealing with more homework and papers to grade and less time to help students who are struggling.
The increase of violence in schools has been a major motivator in this growing trend. Public schools are no longer a safe haven for many children like they were years ago. A student shooting other students, gang rape, bomb threats, and metal detectors on school campuses was a thing unheard of before. However, many students who have endured bulling or peer pressure choose to kill and hurt others in return. The Columbine shooting in 1999, made everyone concerned with the mentality of our youth. Many were speechless with the fact that two seniors could kill 12 students, one teacher, injure 21 more students, and then commit suicide (Wikipedia). Another tragic incident that occurred was the 2009 Richmond High Schools gang rape, which made everyone question how such an inhuman act could be tolerated by twenty young adults who either participated or who knew about the sixteen year old being raped and beaten for 2 ½ hours (Wikipedia). The bomb threat in Stockton made many parents wonder why someone would play such a prank that stirred concern for the safety of four Stockton school districts (Phillips). Also, due to all the violence and crimes that have occurred in recent years, some schools are considering metal detectors. “Metal detectors were common in New York City, D.C., Detroit and other large cities.” However, every middle and high school in the District of Columbia uses metal detectors and X-ray scanning devices. These examples make many devoted parents concerned with the values and morals their children’s fellow peers hold.
Home school is a responsibility, life style, and commitment; however, it is worth it. There are many options and support systems available. Home school is now less perceived as weird or un-popular. I believe home school will be a growing trend for many more years because parents will not watch morals and values being stripped away from their children. As long as the culture will in grade into children that homosexuality or abortion is an option, then those who oppose it will not send their children to public schools. In addition, if the school system will not receive the amount of funding or teachers needed to successfully educate children then parents will take their children’s education into their own hands. Also, many parents will not send their children to an environment that can threaten their children’s wellbeing. Our society, culture, and schools need to focus on raising children with great character. They should not conform to the needs and wants of this new generation if it causes more harm than good. Until then, homeschooling will be growing, increasing, and a flourishing trend.