By Martha Buckley
As the American educational system continues to lose ground on the world stage, more and more parents are teaching their kids at home. Although morality and religion sometimes play a part in home-based academic instruction, there are also real and measurable scholastic advantages. Fact: SAT scores fell to their lowest level since tracking began in 2012. Fact: public and private education is more expensive than it has ever been. Fact: parents have either too much or not enough input regarding what their kids learn, depending on the school district.
Around 1.5 million students receive home-based education, which is only a small percentage of the 65 million U.S. students who are enrolled in primary and secondary schools. With that said, homeschooled students score higher than most of their public school peers, according to numerous studies. In one study called Progress Report 2009, students who were homeschooled scored 86 percent higher than their public school peers!
Race, gender, grade level, and family income do not seem to play much if any role in the academic performance of these homeschooled students. They excel far beyond their peers in all subjects in all states. Now, this does not mean that most teachers are incompetent. It simply means that children tend to learn better when class sizes are smaller and they trust their teachers, who are generally their parents for homeschooled kids.
We should also note that safety is an issue for most parents that pull their kids out of public and private schools and educate them at home. As we all know from the tragic spate of school shootings that occur on an almost monthly basis, fatal violence can happen in any school at any time, regardless of the security measures the school district implements.
For obvious reasons, traditional educators resent parents that homeschool their kids. They look at them as untrained amateurs who cannot possibly handle the awesome and challenging task of educating their own children, even though it was quite common in the past. Even today, most kids are taught to read by their parents. This most important of academic skill is entrusted to amateurs because they can do it better than professionals when they have a class of one.
When you need help
As we mentioned, the overwhelming majority of students who are homeschooled are taught by their parents, and most of those parents are not trained or certified teachers. It should come as no surprise to anyone then that most of these amateur educators need some help and guidance along the way. They may remember their school lessons well, but that doesn’t mean they have all the answers and can capably and confidently teach multiple courses and subjects.
Although the internet is a helpful tool for parents who choose to homeschool their children, they may on occasion require individual instruction. Workshops, mentoring, and personal consultation can be of enormous benefit to new teachers. Probably the single biggest concern of these amateur educators is that their pupils must take standardized test just like any other student. And if they are not properly prepared for these tests, the state can step in and insist that your child return to a public or private school.
Whenever your child is required to take a standardized test such as the IOWAs or the Stanford Test, he/she must be monitored by a professional, approved proctor. For obvious reasons, the parent-teacher must step out of the room while their child takes the test.
No matter how dedicated a parent might be, there are certain subjects that he/she might not feel entirely comfortable or confident teaching. In most cases, these subjects involve mathematics, particularly calculus and geometry.
When your child passes the requisite test and is well on the way to his or her high school diploma, it is often advisable to shift the focus of his studies to things they are interested in. If, for example, your child wants to go into public relations, it may be prudent to spend the last year or so of his/her education studying the humanities. Rhetoric, linguistics, literature, history, and other subjects can help your child become a more effective and persuasive communicator as they prepare to enter an institution of higher learning, or the workforce.
Author Bio: This is a guest post by Martha Buckly, blogger and writer since a very long time. She loves to share her experience and to help others, she also writes at best custom writing. If you like this post, follow her on Google+