Home And School Education
What do George Washington, Thomas Edison and Theodore Roosevelt have in common
besides fame? None of them joined school formally (Winger and Kantrowitz 6). In
recent years, many have followed their example and started learning at home in
the United States. The number of home schooled children has greatly increased
over the past decade. Many have argued against home schooling while many others
see no negative outcomes involved. Although homeschooling has no major benefits
over public schooling, evidence shows that parents can help children achieve a
level of education similar to other school students and that homeschooled
children do not lack in social skills. Home schooling was previously favored by
religious people who wanted their children to conform to their own values and
beliefs, which they believed could be altered in a public school (Wingert and

Kantrowitz 1). Home schooling was made legal in 1993 in the United States (Wingert
and Kantrowitz 1). Some states have minimum qualifications for parents and
provide supervision from the government. Today, 1.5 million, almost 1 percent of
the total population of students are learning in their own homes (Lyman,
"Not home alone" 3). Now home schooling and home schooled children are
more acceptable by the public than in earlier years. One of the oppposing
arguments states that parents do not have the knowledge required by an educator
to take responsibility of teaching, therefore the children would be poorly
educated in comparison to other students (Wingert and Kantrowitz 2). However,
this is not so. Parents are not alone, as there are many facilities available
today to help them. To begin with, home schooling parents form groups in their
community to help each other out. They take turns teaching small groups of
children. For instance, where one parent might be good at teaching math, the
other might be better at language (Wagner 5). In addition to the help they get
from each other, there are many tools and services available that enhance and
enrich childrenís learning experience. For example, various on-line services
are available on the world wide web, which include interactive classes and
virtual libraries. Also, educational CD-ROMS, workbooks, and magazines are good
sources that provide the parent with information on new educational tools (Wingert
and Kantrowitz 3). Furthermore, support can be found at public schools (Hawkins

1). In Des Moines, Iowa, a program was developed that allowed home schoolers to
use school computers, books and teacherís guides, and provided biweekly
supervision from a teacher that records the childís progress and offers
advice. Parents and their children are also allowed to participate in extra
curricular and group activities, as well as field trips (Wagner 2). Similarly,
in Oregon, home schooled students are allowed to take different classes of their
choice at different schools (Wingert and Kantrowitz 3). Although these
advantages are not available in every state, parents who chose to take education
into their own hands will work to hard to use what is available, regardless of
their own educational degrees. This is illustrated well in a recent report from
the Departement of Education (DOE), which states that "student achievement
in a home school has little to do with the level of education of the parent...it
is consistent with tutoring studies that indicate the education level of a tutor
has little to do with achievement of a tutored child." (qtd. in Wagner 4).

Several studies have been conducted that show that homeschooled students are
reaching close and sometimes higher achievement to their peers, proving that
parents are doing their job well. One example is a study that showed home
schoolers performed better than 79 percent of other students on reading on the

Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (Hawkins 3). Also, home schooled children score above
the 60th percentile in math, science, and verbal skills on the Stanford

Achievement Test when compared to the average of other students (Latham 2).

Another study in Washington found SAT scores of home schooled children to be
higher than average (Lyman, "What\'s behind" 9). In more than 65 other
studies, the results show that home schooled children perform better or average
in comparison to traditionaly schooled children (Hawkins 2). All this scientific
research is genuine evidence that verifies that parents can teach and help their
children achieve high educational levels. Another major argument against home
schooling is that confinement to a home environment where children have little
or no contact with their peers will deprive them of social skills necessary in
their development (Wingert and Kantrowitz 2). However, there are many ways
homeschooled children can get involved in social activities. For example, home
schooled children that