Every parent wants their children to get the very best education they can, but with the public school system having the problems it is currently experiencing and private schools not being financially available to all, many parents are turning back to homeschooling.

Homeschooling is not a new idea; in fact our public school system is newer than parents teaching their children at home. Our founding fathers did discuss whether or not to require children to attend school (compulsory schooling), but they decided to leave the decision up to the individual families and state and local governments. In 1850, Massachusetts was the first state to require children to attend school. There were many reasons for this law, but the main reasons were to keep children out of the workforce and teach them to be “good citizens.”

Even with laws being enacted across the United States, many parents continued to homeschool their children. Homeschooling became an underground movement, but has picked up speed. With American children falling behind in math and science and violence continuing to escalate in schools, parents feel the public system is failing. Statistics show that the top 3 reasons parents decide to homeschool are: safety for their children, being able to teach from a religious perspective and having a program tailored to their child’s learning needs.

There are many different approaches to homeschooling. Here is a small list:

* Classical Homeschooling. The people who use this approach believe that the brain develops in three stages – grammar, logic and rhetoric.
* Structured Homeschooling. This approach most resembles institutionalized schools.
* Unschooling. This approach was started in the 1960s by John Holt, a Boston educator who did not agree with how children were taught in schools. He felt children should be free to learn at their own pace, not to be dictated to by teachers.

Again, this is a small list of different approaches. Each one has its own idea of how children learn best.

There are many advatages to homeschooling, but the one disadvantage I see is the child not being able to socialize with other children. I am sure that there are programs for homeschooled children to be sociable and as this educational choice continues to grow, more opportunities will be made available.

We parents know better than anyone what is best for our children. Homeschooling may be the future for education. And maybe we should look to our past to find the future.



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