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Tamara Neff
English 111
Synthesis Essay
10/30/14
Is Homeschooling Right for your house?
Another school shooting reported on the news shocks the viewers. Another story about a child
or teenager that was being bullied, taking their own life. Similar stories we hear are some reasons as to
why home schooling is becoming more popular of late. Home schooling in the past was used for
teenagers and children who could not function in a normal classroom due to disability or learning
disorders. Now it is an avenue taken by parents to help their children get a diploma on their own terms
so to speak. Most homeschooling now requires internet access because they offer some of the
homeschooling online. Some of these reasons include children not feeling safe at school due to bullies
or school violence, and negative peer influence and with all the news on school shootings and bullying
we cannot blame them. Other reasons for homeschooling are what my own child is struggling with,
children being more advanced than the public school can handle, and he is being held back by the other
children in his classes from learning at a faster pace, which leads to classroom boredom. The students
that are average or just below average are being pushed to or beyond their potential while the
advanced ones are just being left alone, bored. Unfortunately, this is the way the public school system
works. Year after year they pile more and more students into each classroom, and the teacher to
student ratio is out of control. It has been said that homeschooling is not as effective as public schooling
and I believe that is incorrect. Is homeschooling really as effective as traditional public schools, and are
homeschooled children getting the education and socialization they need to be functioning members of
society as adults. There is more information out there that shows homeschooling is more effective or
that its as equivalent as public schooling. So the question is, is homeschooling as effective as traditional

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public school? The audience this essay is intended for are people considering online schooling. Richard
Pearson, and Carmen McCollum are both in support of home schooling, with various points of view on
the subject. Michael H. Romanowski juggles both sides of the grid, covering the strengths and
limitations of homeschooling.
In Richard Pearsons article entitled, Homeschooling: What educators should know, states that
parents choose home schooling for various reasons including differences in religion, concerns about the
safety of public schools, overcrowding of public schools, contrasting views about discipline, providing a
better learning environment for special needs children, avoiding negative peer pressure, devoting more
time to development of children's special talents and interests, and beliefs that school curricula are
ineffective or irrelevant. Research indicates that homeschoolers score as well or better than their public
school peers on achievement tests (Pearson). This research shows that homeschooling is effective and
that you dont necessarily need a traditional public school education to excel in school. It also shows
that homeschooling can cater to a students individual needs. The article also discusses the big
difference in cost of homeschooling versus traditional schooling. Pearsons research uncovers that it is
much more cost effective to homeschool. The cost of books and materials for homeschooling is
significantly smaller than that of transporting kids to and from public school, as a lot of public schools no
longer bus students. Romanowski agrees that it can be more cost effective to homeschool but he also
states that families making under a certain income may have more trouble accommodating the
expenses. Limited resources affect their ability to provide adequate educational opportunities and
equipment, such as computers; field trips and other experiences that cost money such as entrance fees
to museums; science materials such as microscopes and other laboratory facilities; access to tutors to
teach courses such as Spanish or to other needed specialized professional assistance; and simple
everyday school materials. All of these can prove to be a financial burden for poorer home school
families. Even though home school support groups provide some assistance, this is limited

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(Romanowski). And lets face it, who wouldnt love to stay in their pajamas and not have to get dressed
to go to school every day.
Homeschoolers are also doing classes online which allows them to socialize with kids their own
age. Being a single mother of two I am thinking that homeschooling may be a better option financially
for me as well. Living in a county that has no in town bussing I have spent time and gas running my son
to and from school every day or finding and paying someone to pick up or drop off for me. Not to
mention the cost of running him to and from sports activities and games as well. Having only one
household income at my disposal, and the constant jumps in the cost of everything it may be more cost
effective for me to homeschool my children. It has been said by some people that, home schooled
students dont get the social interaction with other students, and this would negatively affect their
ability to socialize with their peers in the future.
In Carmen McCollums article entitled, Students Benefit from Online Schooling, she interviews
kids from opposite sides of the state who participate in homeschooling classes online and are taking the
same courses. Michelle Prater quit her job to homeschool her daughter who was being bullied at the
public school she attended. To make sure her daughter doesnt miss out on socializing with her peers,
Prater said she takes her daughter on field trips and to social activities through their church. She said
her daughter still sees her friends at high school football games (McCollum). Also some school districts
allow homeschooled students to participate in public school sports which offers another avenue of
opportunity to socialize among their peers. Like McCollum, Pearson also argues that, critics of home
schooling argue that unless children are exposed to the social life that is found in public schools, they
will be misfits incapable of socializing properly. For many critics, that

lack of socialization is cited as

the major drawback of home schooling. However, homeschoolers present a different perspective. They
argue against traditional understandings of the socialization process and maintain that there are both
positive and negative forms of socialization (Pearson).

I also worried that my son may miss out on the

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social interaction, but after reading this information on how other parents get the socialization in for
their children I am convinced that it can be done. This information from both sources shows that even
though it has been said that homeschoolers may not get the socialization they would in a traditional
school but do not generally suffer from lack of socialization. They both have about the same view on all
aspects of this subject. There is a lack of communication and understanding between teachers who
teach in a standard traditional classroom and their view of parents who choose to homeschool. The
teachers and educators tend to have an us versus them mentality. With a negative mentality about
homeschooling they miss the opportunity to learn from the parents individualized curriculum for their
children.
In Michael H. Romanowskis article entitled, Undoing the us vs. them of public and
homeschooling he argues that Homeschool parents are stereo-typed as loners who do not care about
the opinions of others, as people who are withdrawn from society and want to shelter their children
from the "evil" of public schools. They are often viewed as arrogant because they express their view
that public schools aren't good enough for their children (Romanowski). Whether they the parents
mean it in that context, which I dont think most do its often misconstrued to that belief. When really
its mostly because their child didnt function well in a traditional school setting, or they felt that their
child wasnt getting the attention they needed in the school they attended. With all the budget cuts
teacher layoffs, the larger classroom sizes, and the less money per student every year its hard not to
jump on the homeschool bandwagon. So how can they get passed the, us versus them
obstacle? Principals and teachers must also begin to transform negative views of Homeschoolers and
parents who choose it, recognizing that parents have the primary responsibility for educating their
children, and that parents, the school, and the community must work together to maximize every child's
potential. Rather than questioning motives and feeling threatened when families homeschool, public
school educators should aid those families wherever possible (Romanowski). If Educators and parents

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worked together for the better of the students whether they are home schooled or traditional schooled
it would be a better system on both ends. Homeschooling works because parents know what their
children need and can cater home education to their personal needs. Teachers have so many students
and classes that they cannot cater to each individual students needs. Romanowski and Pearson both
agree that homeschooling caters to the needs of the student. Research indicates that home schoolers
score as well or better than their public school peers on achievement tests. This can be attributed to the
significant amount of time parents' devote to their children's education and the availability of
educational resources for home schooling. Because rural communities have different needs and
resources from those found in the populated areas, nontraditional programs such as home schooling are
becoming more prominent (Pearson).
So is homeschooling as effective as traditional public schooling? I believe its more effective
than public schooling. Because we can cater to our childrens individual needs. Who knows our children
and the way they learn better than the parent. Homeschooling provides, a custom learning
environment, no worry of bullies, or school violence, religion differences, socialization outside a regular
classroom environment can be achieved. Time to join the homeschool craze.

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Works Cited

Pearson, Richard C. Homeschooling: What educators should know.ERIC. Web. 31 Oct. 2014
http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED402135.

McCollum, Carmen. Students benefit from online schooling. The Times.


Web. 31 Oct. 2014. http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?sid=534201c7-86ef-4986a6ba2614fd9802bf%40sessionmgr115&vid=0&hid=116&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#d
b=nfh&AN=2W61014014912

Romanowski, M. H. (2001). Common arguments about the strengths and limitations of home
schooling. The Clearing House,75(2), 79-83. Retrieved from
http://search.proquest.com/docview/196889532?accountid=35715