The Kitchen Table Classroom
What You Need to Know before Homeschooling Your Preschooler or Kindergartner
Although on the rise, homeschooling is still a controversial subject. Patricia M. Lines, Senior Research Analyst with the U.S. Department of Education writes in the government-issued brochure Homeschooling that it is difficult to statistically prove whether or not children do better or worse in public, private, or home schools. However, “scores of homeschoolers who have taken state-mandated tests or who have provided their results to researchers indicate that while some homeschoolers test below average, a larger number test above that mark,” writes Lines. Proponents and opponents both disagree on just how well-adjusted homeschooled children are. But according to Lines’ research, there is no evidence that homeschooling harms children’s social or psychological development. In fact, it appears that teaching children at home elicits quite the opposite result. “These children often demonstrate better social adjustment than their traditionally schooled peers,” she concludes.
Opponents of homeschooling cite isolation and socialization as major shortcomings; however, homeschooling is rarely conducted in total isolation, observes Lines. And this is true for the many families participating in support and playgroups, recreational activities, church activities, arts groups, athletics, and music or dance classes. Through these very social—and fun—activities homeschooled children can enjoy and experience many people outside of their family circle. Although it is true that some homeschoolers may associate only with people who share their same religious beliefs, many, according to Lines, “seek religious, cultural, and racial diversity.”
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