Homeschooling in the United States is growing at a rapid pace. Cyber schools are a common choice when it comes to education these days and more and more parents are opting for the convenience that they afford families.
When I was a child, I seldom remember hearing about home schooling. It was socially looked down upon and was stereo typed as “only for scary religious people”. This train of thought is an ignorant one, but that was how many people perceived home schooling thirty years ago. The homeschooling movement first emerged in earnest during the 1980s. Back then it was largely led by evangelical Christians.
The truth is, home schooling has been around for a very long time.
According to SOTT.NET,
“… homeschooling was common up until the late 19th century. Most children received a substantial part of their education within the home. In the late 19th century, states started passing compulsory attendance laws. These laws compelled all children to attend public schools or a private alternative. In this way, education outside the home became the norm for children.
It was in the 1970s that American educator John Holt emerged as a proponent of homeschooling. He challenged the notion that the formal school system provided the best place for children to learn. Slowly, small groups of parents began to remove their children from the public schools. Today, homeschooling is becoming part of the mainstream. It is legal in all 50 states. In addition, a growing number of states are making attempts to engage the homeschooled population for at least part of the day.
For example, 28 states do not prevent homeschooled students from participating in public school interscholastic sports. At least 15 more states are considering “Tim Tebow Laws” – named after the homeschooled athlete – that would allow homeschoolers access to school sports.” (Read More)
The question I always had as a parent when it came to the topic of home schooling was social interaction and growth of the child. Would my child develop good functioning social skills with others if he was learning from home?
With the continued growth and acceptance of home/cyber schooling as a valid academic medium, the statistics are saying yes. More and more school systems are allowing home schooled children to participate in sports, extracurricular activities and even attend field trips.
“Changes in technology have brought about the rise of online charter schools, which utilize remote online instruction to serve their students. This means that more students are educated in their home at public expense. California, Ohio and Pennsylvania have led the way in this regard. In 2006, it was estimated that 11 percent of Pennsylvania’s charter schools had online instruction. What is noteworthy is that 60 percent of the students in these schools had previously been homeschooled.” SOTT.NET goes on to say.
There is however a growing concern for the decline in Public School enrollment. Greeneville City Schools have noted a 2o% increase in children being home schooled in their district, hampering the number of students enrolled in earlier grades according to a recent article from the Greenville Sun.
According to the article from the Greenville Sun,
Greeneville City Schools Federal Projects Coordinator Ken Fay said there have been gains in enrollment at the high school level but the decline “is a continuing trend in those early grades. … Our elementary schools are probably going to decrease in size.” (Read More)
With Cyber Schools and Online Charter schools on the rise in the United States, old stigmas and clichés about home schooled kids are becoming a thing of the past.
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