Essay on Public Schools vs. Home Schooling

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The war of words in the media and the courts between advocacy groups for public schools on one side and families who home school their children on the other side has left both sides wary of the motives of the other. In recent years, public schools have fought against the rights of home schoolers to join public school teams, to take instrumental lessons, join after-school clubs or in many other ways to participate in the school community. Websites, blogs and communities of home schoolers have sprung up criticizing public schools that “monopolize” the education system (Hoffman, 2006) and graduate paper-doll automatons devoid of independent thought. For their part, even teachers’ unions have gotten in on the act. The Connecticut…show more content…
At the same time, students who attend the public school to which they have been assigned dropped from 80% in 1993 to 73% in 2007 (7). Some of that can be attributed to a greater number of families choosing charter or magnet schools, religious schools, or choosing to use school vouchers, all of these possibilities including home schooling can represent a general decline in the public’s trust of the public school model. This is reflected in the 2003 report, Homeschooling in the United States, where 85.4% included safety as a major concern 68.2% included academics as a major concern (13). If these families don’t believe in the public schools to educate their children, or even to keep them safe, then public schools have a lot of ground to make up! Religious instruction, traditionally a major reason for families to choose home schooling over public schools, was cited by 72.3% of families as a deciding factor. Additionally, as information becomes more readily available to wider audiences, parents begin to feel empowered to guide for themselves their children’s educational directions. The deregulation of home schooling, and its subsequent increase in popularity, has raised a number of questions as to the rights of home schooled students to participate in limited public school activities. At issue for parents of public school students is the
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