As a mother who chose to homeschool her child in the elementary grade years because her daughter was gifted and the public school was not equipped to handle that situation, I can say for sure that homeschooling CAN be a wonderful option for a child. HOWEVER, I have also seen the flip side of the coin. Parents who are crazy or lazy have been known to “teach” their child the arts of witchcraft and to call it “homeschooling.” This, too, is absurd.
IF the parent is knowledgeable enough AND dedicated enough to subscribe to a curriculum for their high school student that will adequately (and preferrably BETTER than adequately) prepare them for the rigors of the real world, including college if they so choose, then homeschooling can be the best type of learning there is. The one-on-one between parent and child should be far better than the 20:1 ratio that we see in the classroom. Learning is usually inversely proportional to this all-important ratio. The higher the ratio, the less individual attention is given to each student, and the learning that results is generally less. The lower the ratio (as in homeschooling, a 1:1 ratio), the greater the learning because the child is given undivided attention.
Students who find social interaction a difficult task – shy students, students who may require extra help, and even gifted students who are often misunderstood by their peers – generally feel more comfortable in a homeschooling atmosphere. They have more control to pick and choose topics that interest them more, and they should always feel comfortable asking the “teacher” questions without feeling shy.
When I began homeschooling my child, I was a strong advocate for learning from home. To me, that was the natural way to learn – and, sometimes with arrogance, I argued that it was the ONLY way to learn. School was unsafe; teachers didn’t care at all whetehr a student learned or not – they were just there to collect a paycheck; school was a sespool of bad influences; school was a sespool of germs – you name it, I said it. How arrogant!
Now that my daughter has been a top honor student in high school all four years, I can honestly say what a fool I’ve been. Whether it’s homeschool or public school, your child has all the opportunities to learn, and most of the learning depends on them. Their motivation to learn will drive them to excel even in the worse case scenario. And, homeschooling as good as it CAN be, is often abused by the lazy crazies who use homeschooling as an excuse to keep their kids home to learn a world of nothing, taught by parents who are either not knowledgeable enough to teach at the high school level, or just too arrogant to admit that the system can do better.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that ALL homeschooling parents are nincompoops. Some present their kids with a challenging curriculum that could put public schools to shame. Those students are lucky to have such parents and to be offered the opportunity for what can be the best chances at success. However, it’s the parents and student on the flip side of homeschooling that worry me as they drive their children into a realm of ignorance that will only help them to self-destruct later on when they can’t face – because they are not equipped to face – the competition.
So, the “evils” of high school are not limited to public schools. There are evils of learning styles in both the public and homeschool sectors. It just depends on who is teaching, what is being taught, and how connected the curriculum is to the future needs of the student.