The whole home education movement began back in the sixties, with the hippies rebelling against all things government run, but since then, it has grown into a legitimate method of schooling. In fact, home schooling has become so big that colleges and universities now accept applications from children who have never been to school without question. But like any major decision involving your child, you have to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if home education is the right choice for you and your family.
Over the years, home education has received a bad rap due to parents who keep their kids at home, but dont actually teach them anything. These children often emerge from the cocoon of their home life as adults with severe disadvantages. They are not able to interact well socially and their knowledge of basic academic subjects is very low. When people see this, they assume that home education is not a good thing. Also, many people are against home education because they believe that the school teachers are better equipped to teach children than parents. The facilities in the school are better in many areas, particularly the lab and the library. For obvious reasons, gym class is quite different in the school environment as well.
However, not all home education is badly done. There are parents who are very well equipped to teach their children and as long as they realize when they are out of their league, there is no problem, as a tutor can be hired. Also, there are several very good curriculums available specifically for home use that are easy to follow both for student and parent. As long as care is taken, there is no need for social ineptness in the average home education student. There are a multitude of activities and classes that children can take to provide them with a social experience. In fact, many areas have home education groups where families who home school get together for various activities. The parents can discuss children and teaching difficulties while the students play games and sports and just generally interact with other young people their own age.
While it is true that classes such as phys. Ed. and science can be more difficult at home, there are ways around this. One way is to invest in lab equipment as a group, with several families pitching in to buy the required equipment. Also, many schools allow students from home educated families to participate in just one class without problems. This depends on the school and the area it is in, so its best to ask first. Home education can be a very rewarding venture for the right people, but you do need to realize that it is not a vacation. Studying at home means a lot of hard work and less motivation, since you have only your own family to spur you on.
For those who are not very disciplined, home schooling is not a good option. Weigh the choices, talk to other people who are already teaching their kids at home and then make an educated decision.