The number of homeschooled children has increased dramatically over the past decade. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, there are currently more than 2 million homeschooled students in the United States, and the numbers are growing at a rate of 5–12% each year (NHERI.org). Why do you think that the homeschool movement is growing so rapidly? Should parents who choose to homeschool (or send their children to private school) have to pay taxes toward public education?
The Growth of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is becoming so popular in the United States with the figures of homeschooled children between 5 and 17 years rapidly increasing. In 1999, there were only 850,000 homeschooled children (Russell, 2015). A report by the U.S Department of Education indicated that 90 percent of parents who choose to home school their children in 2012-2013 stated peer pressure, drugs and school environment as major contributing factors to their decision. These reasons show that the public school system should improve since not every child is home schooled.
Most parents have chosen a different path mainly because they disagree with the curriculum taught or social situations within schools. The Common Core curriculum requires that students in public and private schools take tests. This curriculum has driven many parents to consider homeschooling. There was a 14 percent growth in homeschooling in North Carolina due to concerns about Common Care. Some parents feel that there is no control of what children are learning in schools and homeschooling is the best alternative instead of pursuing what some call ‘failed theories’ taught in schools (Russell, 2015).
Research by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicates that 74 percent of parents who choose homeschooling for their children believe that they will get a more competitive education than they can get in public schools. This could actually be true. A large number of homeschooled students are high school students and they perform better that their counterparts in public schools. Their state standardized and SATs tests are higher by approximately 20 percent points. Their excellent performance continues when they go to college and beyond. The NCES indicate that the average GPA for homeschooled children is 3.46 while that of public schools students is 3.16 (Gorman, 2015).
Additionally, the advancement in technology has made homeschooling favorable. The effectiveness and scope of homeschooling has increased overtime due to technology. It is easy for parents to create their customized lesson plans that are suitable for them. Parents with less technological knowhow can get the help of online curriculum providers or enroll their students in online schools. There are any homeschooling support groups for parents and study groups for students. These families can have an extensive virtual network whenever the interpersonal element of education is necessary. Parents are therefore confident in homeschooling since technology will enable them to give their children a better coursework than the public schools are equipped to offer.
The question surrounding homeschooling and even private schools education is whether these parents should pay taxes towards public education. The number of parents who are dissatisfied with the education offered in public schools in increasing. Most parents have chosen homeschooling or sending their children in private, charter or religious schools. A major obstacle standing between students and the quality of education their parents want them to acquire is the method of funding education. The cost of education for most parents is twice since they have to pay for public education even when they do not benefit from it. The best way to solve this problem is to apply education tax credits and deductions. In this case, parents receive partial reimbursements for tuition and other expenses.
Even though homeschooling is effective, the students need school experience and the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. These activities are very essential for a student and they should be accessible to all students. The partial payments that homeschooling parents pay towards public education should enable their children participate in such activities. Although homeschooling has many advantages, the benefit of extracurricular activities available in public schools cannot be overlooked (Colb, 2005).
Colb, S. (2005). Should Parents Who Home-School Their Children Have Access to Public School Extracurricular Programs? | FindLaw. Findlaw. Retrieved 12 February 2017, from http://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/should-parents-who-home-school-their-children-have-access-to-public-school-extracurricular-programs.html
Gorman, N. (2015). Education World: Why Homeschooling is Increasing in Popularity. Educationworld.com. Retrieved 12 February 2017, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_news/why-homeschooling-increasing-popularity-1299542941
Russell, N. (2015). Why Homeschooling Is Growing. The Federalist. Retrieved 12 February 2017, from http://thefederalist.com/2015/09/01/why-homeschooling-is-growing/