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Home Schooling and its Benefits essay
 
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The article explores the progressive historical of home schooling as a viable option over contemporary educational approaches. In the contemporary setting students are more acquainted towards the attendance of formal school systems in which students are required to attend schooling in an institutional setting. Several regulations exist that guide the utilization of formal or informal educational systems by most families. According to an interview with a home schooling user, it is revealed that they spend far much less than formal scholars. For instance, a study in Alberta, Canada reveals that home schooling expenses are 16% of the total of the individual pupil public expenditure. The emancipation of home schooling as a legal option has undergone significant development in the case of United States due to the initially limiting constitutional regulations. For instance, in the year 1980 home schooling was classified an illegal activity in almost 30 states and has been legal in 50 states since the beginning of 1993. To present however, there has been significant development in the home schooling sector. There is a significant variation between high moderation states and low moderation states.The number students registering under the home schooling phenomenon has recorded has increased significantly over a long time. For instance, according to the US Education Department the number of home schooling children was estimated at 50,000 in 1985; 300,000 in 1992; 500,000 in 1995 (reaching a high of 750,000 by the end of the year) ; 850,000 in 1999; 1.1 million in 2003. Further data from the Home School Legal Defense Association indicates that the number must have risen to 2.1 million. This progressive increment is significant considering the high rise in preference to home schooling over formal schooling methods. In study carried out to establish why parents increasingly prefer homeschooling as a choice for their children. It was found out that 33% had concerns regarding unavailability of religious instruction, 30% associated public schools with poor learning environment, 14% had issue with the curriculum content taught in public schools while a further 9% had issues with a low morality profile in public schools. In the American setting, several issue have arisen in the recent past regarding insensitivity of the public school system towards the continuously rising political pressures and other policy oriented concerns affecting the traditional school setting. Efforts being put to address the fundamental gaps in the public school system have only yielded mixed results of deterioration and partial success.The research article discusses the developing homeschooling trends, reasons for homeschooling, academic performance review, social, emotional, and psychological development, respect for gender differences in children and youth, success in the real world adulthood, and general interpretations of research on homeschooling success trends and impending failure. An analysis of the American home-educated students revealed that there were 1.9 - 2.5 million children seen in grades 12 - K, from 2008 to 2009. This trend projects approximately 5% - 12% yearly increase in the total number of students schooled in the home environments. Another aspect of homeschooling is that families stop relying upon public tax resources for their young ones. Furthermore homeschooling as an option presents a mixed religious and racial participation as seen in the high number of Christians, atheists, Mormons,  liberalists, conservatives, blacks, whites, Hispanics, low income families, middle income families and high income families. This therefore represents a significant participation among family types, which have been traditionally classified as minorities.Parents taking their children to homeschooling environments are a number of reasons for doing so. Some of the reasons include the benefit of customizing the curriculum and learning setting for the child; academic accomplishment; the application of diverse pedagogical approaches as opposed to institutional settings; enhancing family bonding between parents and siblings. Others include providing well-guided social interaction with competent adults; safer learning environment due to the elimination of instances of physical violence, psychological abuse, alcohol and drugs, and unhealthy sexual practices; and the promotion of a different set of values common in the public school settings.

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In regard to academic performance, variables it has been established the homeschoolers perform far much better than there public school counterparts. For instance, the general trend indicates that homeschoolers generally score 15 - 30 percentile points more than public school students when looking at the standard assessment examinations administered to both groups. There is also an increasing trend for homeschoolers to perform better regardless of the parent's level of education. In addition, other studies indicate that homeschoolers generally score well above average when considering the ACT and SAT tests commonly required for college admissions.Looking at social, psychological, and emotional development, homeschoolers tend to present far much better developmental trends than there public school counterparts. Some of the indices used for measurement include leadership skills, peer interaction, community service participatory approaches, self-esteem variables, and self-concept. The average homeschooler is regularly engaged in educational and social activities aimed developing the individual with more emphasis being put the nuclear family setting. Some of the activities they are involved in include church ministry, sports, community volunteer work, field trips, and political drives.The article discusses some of the technological and pedagogical strategies that have been put to use with regard to enhancing learning initiatives of the traditional home learning environment. There are major worries regarding the probability by which homeschoolers can successfully join college without and transcripts or diplomas being given to them. Some of the options available to home user include SATs and ACTs scores inclusive of significant portfolios entailing real life experiences. The programmers developing software programs for schools have developed a home school record keeping application that can be used for recording transcripts. These have subsequently turned the homeschooling life experience into a fruitful and productive learning phenomenon through provision of an orderly spreadsheet in which credit hours are continuously recorded. This aspect combined with the results from significant test scores allows the college admission officers to build an assessment formula for evaluating homeschoolers using relatively similar tools used in the public school setting.The other aspect involves the creation of a portfolio of homeschooler life experiences, which will be used for ascertaining college admission criterion. This basically involves the creation of a real life experience record for the individual homeschooler by portraying the day- to-day life experiences of the homeschooler. This offers a commonplace assessment criterion that can be used similar to the formal school setting especially when assessing the qualifications of the candidates joining tertiary institutions. This ascertains their fulfillment of the critical learning requirements found in the contemporary learning environment. As Russell postulates, "Instead of showing two years of High School Spanish, they may tell the story of the volunteer vacation, three month trip to Brazil to build a school, then volunteering in the school to teach students English." The portfolio technique merely serves to sum up the collective learning experiences of the child through incorporation of all relevant components of independent research, job shadowing, internships, travel and experiences in foreign lands. A good number of homeschoolers have used the technique to further their educational prospects at university and college level.

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Homeschooling has continued growing progressively with time in the contemporary American education environment. In the past 5 years, the trend in homeschooling has progressively developed into a common phenomenon as a result sparking research in this domain. According to prevailing statistics, the number of homeschoolers recently reached a high of 1.5 million, ever since the Department of National Centre for Education Statistics began their record keeping mission in 1999. In 2007 alone, the figure rose from 2.2% - 2.9 % as seen in 2003. It has also been established that the main motivation for parents preferring to pursue homeschooling as a viable education option comes from the increased need to motivate their children towards positive religious morals. In a survey carried out in 2003, parents were asked to select the most probable reason as to why parents choose to pursue homeschooling as an option of learning. After compounding the data, majority of parents chose 'other reasons' at a significant statistical figure of 32%. Some of their reasons were mainly connected to the unavailability of critical finances to fund public school's constantly increasing requirements.Other reasons were also connected to the significant time the child has with regard to quality family time. This could be as a result of the need to groom the child towards the adoption of a distinct set of values associated with unique family connections. There was also the factor of parents wanting their children to learn at their own pace considering the manner in which public school systems require students to complete the assigned academic modules within stipulated time intervals. The learner is therefore given significant amount of freedom within which he or she is supposed to accomplish particular academic content going by the respective subject selection and curriculum. In the 2003 survey, parents were also required to select their preferred mode of curriculum. This was based on the notion that most parents lack confidence in the contemporary curriculum with regard to education components contained in it. Parents therefore tend to pursue other forms of curriculum, which they are convinced are much better than the traditional ones.The article by Knowles seeks to establish the progressive development of the child's social and emotional stability as he or she pursues homeschooling as a viable option for education. It has been established that home educators significantly address the learner's socialization needs better when in the home in the home environment. For instance, it has been found that home educators implore students with better self-help concepts than the public school counterparts. In an observation experiment of children during free play and in interactive group settings, it was found that, "conventionally schooled children had significantly more problem behaviors than did the home educated."There is a significant similarity in terms of involvement in out of school extracurricular, core-curricular, and out of school activities seen in both homeschoolers and public school goers. For instance, it is very evident that there is better prediction of leadership in the learner's adulthood in homeschooled students than those in public school settings. This is an attribute of the fact that homeschoolers exhibit more maturity and enhanced socialization trends than their public school counterparts.In another survey focusing on public school, homeschooled graduates, and conventional Christian schools in terms of their academic achievement history and level of academic preparedness. It was established that the home educated presented a better record of accomplishment of in terms of their performance variables focusing on all these variables. There was also a better record in terms of behavioral variables seen in the homeschoolers. Students attending formal school environments had significant disciplinary problems than the public school counterparts. This could be as a result of the manner in which they are different set of values from various centers while in the school environment. The homeschoolers portray these standards as a result of their parents' utilization of the primary models of behavioral teaching leading to far much better outcomes. This could be significantly attributed to the parents continued supervision while the students are in these settings.The article by Michael Van Beek primarily explores the academic performance trends of the homeschoolers as they go on with their day-to-day learning activities and the provisions existing in certain state educational jurisdictions. For instance, in Michigan homeschoolers have a voluntary option of whether to take standardized tests or not. It entirely an issue of individual discretion, however, results from those students who decided to take the tests there is a significant improvement in terms of outcomes compared to those who attend formal systems. A report by the National Home Education Research Institute released this year reveals that on average homeschoolers scored 34 -39% above the average/provisional standardized scores. Furthermore, the national average score is at 8oth percentile in core subjects, for instance, math, languages, arts, social science, while 90th percentile is recorded in reading skills.  This therefore implies that homeschoolers present far much better performance in individual subjects as opposed to the general outlook.Homeschoolers are therefore present better performance prospects as seen from their core subject performances variables, which the public school counterparts barely much up to.  A further analysis of the factors influencing negatively upon performance of most homeschoolers reveals that aspects like parent's level of education and family income significantly impact upon their overall performance. For instance, homeschoolers with parents from a rich and educated background tend to perform better than those from poor settings. Contrary to this claim, homeschoolers with poorly educated parents still passed with a significant 83% success, which is quite impressive going by the already established standards. A similar focus on a public school setting would present far much less results with lower percentiles.

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