Advantages and Disadvantages of Homeschooling

Introduction

Homeschooling in this research is referred to as an educational process involving personalized children, or a child, instruction by the parent or teacher for necessary living skills as well as academic study courses. It includes learning at home or in other places instead of school and is mostly done by online teachers, tutors, or parents. Some families employing homeschooling consider using less official teaching procedures, while the homeschooling practices vary.

Home education ranges from structured programs that were established on traditional school education to unbound forms like unschooling. Prior to the initiation of mandatory school attendance laws, the earliest education of children was conducted by local communities and families. In many developed countries, home education is a lawful alternative to private and public schools. According to Bhopal and Myers (2018), learning from home remains restricted or illegal in particular circumstances, as mentioned by home education international statistics and status in other countries.

Little preliminary research has been conducted concerning homeschooling benefits and disadvantages. Consequently, it is not easy to conclude several advantages and challenges involving homeschooling, but there are undoubtedly various considerable assumptions about what home education may bring to students (Dreyer, 2017). For example, it allows people to direct their own learning due to adult guidance.

This research is aimed to critically analyze the benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling in order to contribute to the promotion of continuous and sustainable school improvement. The author also hopes that information presented in this paper will be useful for people considering offering home education to their children. It is vital for schools and parents to be alert of students’ choices being homeschooled to initiate effective decision-making concerning whether or not learners be home educated.

Research Questions

The following are the research questions developed for discussing and exploring the homeschooling topic in consideration of the appropriate scholarly literature:

  • Are the practices of homeschooling helpful for learners regarding their academic prosperity?
  • What perceived benefits and drawbacks exist for people who are homeschooled?
  • Are social deficits in learners related to homeschooling due to poor relationships with peers?

Hypotheses

This research attempted to describe four study questions concerning homeschooling practices and the advantages and disadvantages facing them. Significantly, the below null hypotheses were evaluated by use of a quantitative research approach:

  • Homeschooled learners show higher academic prosperity levels than those attending public or private schools.
  • Home educated students have admittance to the same social relations that are useful in developing ones’ social skills as public institution learners.
  • Homeschooling is more advantageous than attending public schools.

Literature Review

This section involves a review of the research questions in regards to the benefits and drawbacks of home learning students. It also discusses homeschooling pertaining to academic prosperity. Additionally, the researcher investigated the connection between social development and homeschooling. Finally, this chapter will incorporate information concerning legal entities for homeschoolers.

Theoretical Framework

Fusch, Fusch, and Ness (2017) assert that the theoretical viewpoint reflects the scholars’ theoretical orientation. It is vital to the analysis of data in qualitative research, regardless of whether it is implicitly or explicitly stated. Various theories support the study and include Walberg’s model of educational performance and Lev Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory.

Walberg’s model of educational performance

Brouwer, Jansen, Hofman, and Flache (2016) peer-reviewed the theory’s factual literature concerning the predictors and correlates of academic success and indicated that learners’ characteristics show the most important direct effect on their achievement. It was approved to be among one or two theories of educational attainment. The theory postulates that the psychological attributes of individual learners, as well as their rapid psychological environments, impact academic results, namely attitudinal, behavioral, and cognitive (Phan & Ngu, 2020). Additionally, it identified nine crucial variables influencing academic results, which are motivation, instruction quantity, instruction quality, student’s prior or capacity success, developmental or age level, home environment, classroom climate, vulnerability to mass media outdoors, and peer group.

Academic prosperity

Several research pieces based on Walberg’s academic achievement theory have been conducted to address homeschooling learners’ prosperity. However, it is considered a less structured practice, and then little study concerning homeschooling might be applied to it with consideration to the various techniques and their similarities. Several people may enquire about the capacity of parents to teach their children. Teachers, administrators, policymakers, and multiple parents occasionally question the ability of parents to tutor their youngsters effectively. According to Cochran-Smith et al. (2018), it is unnecessary for a home educator or a parent to contain a significant certification amount for productive teaching.

Nevertheless, scholars with certified tutors succeeded to a higher degree than those whose caregivers’ were uncertified (Cuevas, 2020). However, being without certification did not show that a learner would not be successful since they still showed higher exam scores besides their fellows in public institutions. In contrast, those who had both parents who did not possess a higher education level degree had slightly good results than scholars whose parents owned a university certificate. Home learning students eventually focus on the same discipline areas as those in public schools but generally at an immensely different rate (Cuevas, 2020). Altogether, the concentration of several families who tutor at home is based on moral and religious values; therefore, it is compelling to pass excellently with standardized exams. Home educating students appear to possess enough time to study morals and religion while still defeating their colleagues regarding standardized assessment.

Several factors affect homeschoolers’ academic prosperity. These include both parents’ education level, the gender of the student, the period tutored at home, and the rate of persisted public library visits. The home learning majority tend to study in groups of three or more students. Conversely, they are advantaged with more face to face interactions with the teacher, who usually is a guardian or a parent. Even when families have more children, there is yet an opportunity to study in mini-groups compared to public institutions. Likewise, since homeschooled learners generally are educated together with their siblings, they usually have enough interaction with various age levels. Mixing of age has been proved to contain an optimistic link to a higher level of academic prosperity.

Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory

Lev Vygotsky’s work (1934) seems to be the origin of much study and model in cognitive development across the many recent decades, especially for the sociocultural theory, which outlooks human growth as a culturally mediated procedure whereby people attain their beliefs, social values, and strategies of solving problems through shared dialogues having well-informed society members (Veraksa & Sheridan, 2018). The theory emphasizes the underlying role of cultural interaction in cognition development, as the author strongly believed that society plays a vital role in the procedure of bringing a meaning.

According to him, learning is a vital and universal feature of the exercise of developing socially organized, incredibly individual psychological functions (Veraksa & Sheridan, 2018). Human growth cannot be acknowledged in the absence of reference to the cultural and social context in which it embeds. Higher mental procedures in the person have their foundation in cultural processes. He states the benefit of social and cultural contexts for education (Veraksa & Sheridan, 2018). Cognitive growth originates from social relationships from guided studying in the proximal zone of growth as students and their fellows cogenerate knowledge.

Social growth

Various research-based on Lev Vygotsky’s theory established that social growth is fostered dramatically in the school system as well as the environment of the institution occupies a considerable part in fostering peer interactions and socializing future people between children. Meanwhile, Ryan (2017) realized that social growth depends highly on the network of the social brain that gets vulnerable to the influences of the environment all over the lifespan. Therefore, social growth depends on both environmental and biological influences. The growth of the proper social skills is essential to all learners, development. Lacking social skills can cause numerous problems such as destructive behaviors, developmental issues, psychological distress, cognitive impairments, and neurological conditions. Students with a lack of proper social skills show a higher rate of criminal or delinquent behaviors in adulthood and adolescence. Underdeveloped moral skills are associated with high levels of hostility, psychiatric conditions, violence, and neuropsychological issues.

Ryan (2017) discovered that social problems might grow due to limitations of opportunities and social participation. It means, either at home or school, social limitations can affect a learner’s social growth. A student can grow sufficient social skills if exposed to adequate experiences and opportunities to maintain social development. What homeschooling students do not get in the institution system can be catered for while at home. For instance, when you study at home, you experience several other field trips compared to students in public schools, whereby they can get a magnitude of social relation. Home learners also usually have the support and social groups with other homeschooling fellows (Beláňová, Kostelecká, Machovcová, & McCabe, 2020). According to the explanation above, learning at home appears to allow enough or more relationship opportunities conducive for social growth. No study that has ever suggested those interactions to have been affected or unavailable among homeschooling learners. The social development amount appears to be dependent on the number of external experiences are given by a homeschooling student teacher.

Advantages

Several pieces of research conducted regarding homeschooling have come up with similar benefits to the practice. The first main advantage is flexibility, whereby through observations, it has been admitted that students learning from home have the freedom to select the series of subjects to be tackled. Moreover, they choose the amount of time to spend on a particular unit, where they want classes done, their time to sleep and wake up, their activities, and the kind of music to be playing while studying. The other one is that homeschoolers have time for more activities. It means that they have extra time to do activities of their interests, for example, reading, gardening, and running (Neuman, 2020). It would be impossible to have more time for non-scholastic activities if they attend public schools.

Additionally, family bonding is seen to be another benefit of homeschooling. In most studies, students give their views that they could not have done numerous years of home learning if they were not close to their family, seeing them grow together and the way they help each other. The parents, on this matter, claim that they can notice how their children grow closer to them and the way they are free to discuss various subjects (Neuman, 2020). Guardians find this beneficial, whereas public school students lack since they have restricted time with their parents.

Disadvantages

According to Neuman (2020), the issue of time management among homeschoolers is one of the biggest challenges in this practice. Lack of time management causes the students not to do assignments in time, and this makes them accumulate tasks. The other issue is not attending various school events such as prom and homecoming. However, parents claim that it depends on the importance of these activities for their kids. It is a minor issue, but too many homeschoolers’ parents hear various homeschooled households claim that, at times, their kids wish to have those activities. Most students also claim that on occasions, they miss particular school activities, like honors assembly and science fairs, although they also express that the events are not important to them.

Data Set

Ray (2017) of the National Home Education Research Institute conducted a study and came up with statistics, facts, and trends about homeschooling. The research found asserted that there exist close to 2.5 million home learners in K-12 (school-age kids of 3% to 4%) grades in the US. It means that there were approximately 2.5 million in term 2019. It seems that the population of home education is growing continuously at an approximate rate of 2% to 8% per year recently. A demographically comprehensive variety of homeschoolers include Christians, Atheists, and Mormons. There are also libertarians, conservatives, and liberals; wealthy, middle, and low-income households; black, white and Hispanic, GEDs, Ph.D. parents, and none holders of a high school diploma.

Those involved in home-based learning do not depend on the public, tax-financed resources for the family’s education. The funds related to their home-based learning likely represent more than $27 billion that Taxpayers in America do not spend per year because these individuals are not enrolled in public schools. An average of $11,732 per child is spent by Taxpayers in public institutions, as well as capital expenditures. They do not spend on most home learning students, but home educating families spend $600 on average per child annually for their studies. Home-based education is growing faster in popularity amidst minorities. Close to15% of home educating households are non-Hispanic or non-white (Ray, 2017). Furthermore, an approximated 3.4 million United States grown-ups have been home educated for more than a year regarding their K-12 years, and they were home tutored for 6-8 years on average. If someone adds to this figure, the 2.3 million currently homeschooling, and evaluated 5.7 million Americans have passed through home learning.

Results

Academic Success

Generally, homeschoolers achieve points between 15% and 30% above students in public schools based on standardized examinations of academic success. A study in 2015 found that homeschool based black people score 23 to 42 points in percentage more than public school-based learners (Ray, 2017). They attain above-average marks on academic exams regardless of the level of parents’ education and household income. It does not matter whether the parents of homeschoolers are certified tutors since it is unrelated to their kids’ academic prosperity. The homeschooling regulation and the level of state control does not relate to academic success. Finally, students in home education typically achieve above-average regarding ACT and SATs, which are considered for college admissions. Therefore, homeschool individuals are continuing to be recruited actively by colleges.

Social Growth

Facts concerning homeschooling research propose that the students are performing well, generally above the standard, regarding emotional, social, and psychological growth. Study measures involve interaction with peers, skills of leadership, self-concept, self-esteem, family cohesion, and community service participation. They are frequently involved in educational and social events outside their home-grounds and with other individuals besides members of the nuclear family. The students are usually engaged in events, including scouting, field trips, church ministries, society volunteer tasks, political drives, and 4-H. According to limited research conducted, homeschooled mature people are more tolerant politically compared to those studied in public schools.

Reflection

I have learned that homeschooling is a critical practice because students studying from home are performing well compared to those in public schools. I also have acknowledged that students in homeschools are free to choose the sequence of subjects to work on and that homeschoolers do not manage their time well. It is because while at home, one feels relaxed, which results in delaying doing and submitting assignments. Before I started writing this report, I wish I knew that homeschooling is this beneficial. There was a biased notion that no student could perform well while studying at home only since I thought that learning in an environment you are used to cannot produce better results. Finally, what would be done differently next time is that, instead of using preexisting data for research, I will collect and gather my data through questionnaires offered to be filled by parents, teachers, and students regarding facts about homeschooling.

References

Beláňová, A., Kostelecká, Y., Machovcová, K., & McCabe, M. (2020). ‘Twofold otherness’: On religion, spirituality, and homeschooling in the Czech Republic. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 1-13. Web.

Bhopal, K., & Myers, M. (2018). Home schooling and home education: Race, class and inequality. New York, NY: Routledge.

Brouwer, J., Jansen, E., Hofman, A., & Flache, A. (2016). Early tracking or finally leaving? Determinants of early study success in first-year university students. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 21(4), 376-393. Web.

Cochran-Smith, M., Carney, M. C., Keefe, E. S., Burton, S., Chang, W. C., Fernandez, M. B.,… & Baker, M. (2018). Reclaiming accountability in teacher education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Cuevas, J. G. (2020). The effects of the practice-based coaching model in emerging biliteracy instruction: A descriptive case study of Early Head Start mentor coaches and caregivers (Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX). Web.

Dreyer, M. C. (2017). Former homeschooled students’ perceptions of social skills attainment (Dissertation, California State University, Fullerton, CA). Web.

Fusch, P. I., Fusch, G. E., & Ness, L. R. (2017). How to conduct a mini-ethnographic case study: A guide for novice researchers. The Qualitative Report, 22(3), 923-941. Web.

Neuman, A. (2020). Ask the young: What homeschooled adolescents think about homeschooling. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 34(4), 566-582. Web.

Phan, H. P., & Ngu, B. H. (2020). Schooling experience and academic performance of Taiwanese students: The importance of psychosocial effects, positive emotions, levels of best practice, and personal well-being. Social Psychology of Education, 23(4), 1073-1101. Web.

Ray, B. D. (2017). A systematic review of the empirical research on selected aspects of homeschooling as a school choice. Journal of School Choice, 11(4), 604-621. Web.

Ryan, N. (2017). Reconceptualizing pediatric traumatic brain injury as a disorder of the ‘social brain’: A longitudinal prospective study of brain-behavior relationships (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia). Web.

Veraksa, N., & Sheridan, S. (Eds.). (2018). Vygotsky’s theory in early childhood education and research: Russian and Western values. New York, NY: Routledge.