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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Research Paper on the Benefits of Homeschooling

Research Paper on the Benefits of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is defined as an educational approach in which children receives most of their education at home. Oftentimes, the child is taught either by the parents or tutors. This educational method is largely different from the traditional type of “schooling” which involves classroom-based education. Home-based learning is considered as a legal option for parents in many parts of the world. In the United States alone, there are more than 1 million homeschooled students (Lines, 2000 74-85). A large body of study now suggests that homeschooling has numerous benefits for both the child and the parent. This includes moral and character development, flexibility, and an increased parental participation in the child’s learning experience. 

Recent surveys show that most of the parents who advocate homeschooling believe that a child who receives his or her education at home is more likely to develop proper social and moral values. Although public school environment provides the chance to socialize, it similarly exposes them to negative influences that may affect the child’s social and moral development. In fact, scholars suggest that discerning and avoiding harmful values from beneficial values is a quality that is difficult to for an adult, let alone a child to practice. And this is evident in the increasing number of school-related bullying, teenage pregnancy, teenage drug use, and drinking among many others. The growing number of such cases therefore suggests that it is difficult for most students to handle the pressures and temptations of the outside world. This is where homeschooling comes in. Home-based learning allows the parent to monitor and instill the child with essential moral values. Moral and character development can be integrated as major part of the curriculum, thus allowing the child to build a strong foundation that he or she will need in the future.  

Another benefit of homeschooling is that it offers flexibility in learning. This is particularly beneficial to student with special needs such as physical or mental disability. Homeschooling allows the parent or the tutor to tailor fit the activities to suit the student’s need. This way, the pupil gets the most out of his or her education. Flexibility in learning may also apply in terms of learning style. Scholars argue that every child has a different and unique learning strategy. Home-based education allows the parent to adopt a different teaching style that will cater to the child’s learning capacity. For example, parents or tutors can teach a child who is a visual learner by using images and audio-visual materials among many others. Similarly, a kinesthetic learner can be taught using activities that will allow the pupil to understand the lesson better (Brian, 2002, p. 50).

In addition to moral development and flexibility in learning, homeschooling also benefits the parent as it allows him or her to be an active part of the child’s educational experience. Studies and researches suggest that homeschooling fosters a stronger child-parent relationship as compared to public educated students who feel distant and disconnected with their parents. This is because most public-educated children often depend on their peers for emotional support. In addition to this, public-schooled students look up to their friends to find their sense of identity. On the other hand, homeschooled students are more open and honest with their emotions to their parents. At the same time, homeschooled children derive their sense of self from their family as well as from the values that they see at their home (Parker, 1999, p. 413).

Based on the points provided, it is apparent that homeschooling presents a number of important benefits for both the parent and the child. This includes the child’s moral and character development, flexibility in learning, as well as a better child-parent relationship.

Lines, Patricia. (2000). Homeschooling comes of age. Public interest, 140. pp. 74-85
Parker, Boak. (1999) Parent-child relationship, home learning environment and school readiness.
School Psychology review, 28 p. 413
Ray, Brian. (2002).  Customization through homeschooling. Educational Leadership, 59. p.50

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