Homeschooling, parents want their children to be taught religion

Homeschooling, is a good
alternative to public schools because of certain religious issues, standardized
test success, and variety of options for homeschool students, but in some
states, homeschoolers are having trouble with the school system.

Homeschooling
has been on the rise in the United States and its popularity continues to grow
among American families. According to the U.S Department of Education, in 2003
there were 1.1 million children in grades K thru 12 being homeschooled. The 3 most
popular reasons for homeschooling are concerns about the environment of other
schools, desire for religious or moral instruction, and dissatisfaction with
academic instruction at other schools (2003 National Household Education
Survey). Many parents have resorted to homeschooling their children because of
certain religious issues and beliefs that these families see as not being
taught in the public school systems. Many parents choose this method because
most public schools do not participate in religious activities and parents want
their children to be taught religion also, aside from everyday studies.

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Religion
is also a big factor because the beliefs of these families and things they
value and some believe that their child being in a public school environment
will tamper with these beliefs and values. Some public schools around the
country do still teach good values to their students and do believe in praying
before school. There are a lot of religious organizations around the country
encouraging parents to make a sacrifice for their children and teach them at
home. Some believe that it is a good way to bond with their children and it is
part of their Christian duty to do what is best for their children. Some of the
problems with public schools are that children who go there with certain
beliefs and customs that they participate in at home that they cannot do at
school.

Many citizens in states such as Pennsylvania are having
issues with school systems making regulations on homeschooling that are not allowed
(Doherty, Brian). One of the main arguments that parents are using deals with
the Religious Freedom Protection Act. This act states that state agencies may
not compel conduct or expression which violates a specific tenet of a
person’s religious faith. It also argues that nowhere in religious scripture
is authority for education given over to the government. Not only are parents
saying that the Bible directly calls them out to educate their own children,

but that it is the choice of the parents. Although there are many people
choosing this method of education because of religious reasons, many parents
who are not religious are choosing to homeschool because of the opportunities
it opens up for their children and them. Many parents choose it because they
believe that personal learning will be better for their children and there are
so many products on the market today that it has been simple to be homeschooled
(Kiesling, Angie).

Homeschooling is also advantageous to students is
because of the variety of options that are available. One of these options
deals with the curriculums that are available. Unlike public schools, where the
curriculums are set and students have no choice, homeschoolers and their
parents have the right to choose based on what the child wants to learn and the
parent wants to teach. This is good for the student because they are able to
expand their learning and not just be trapped with the same set of standards as
everyone else. This gives the students a chance to learn specific areas that
they wouldn’t have learned in public school that can help them when going
into college settings. Other options for homeschoolers include the number of
resources they have such as education based software, online classes with
video, web-based learning, and variety of textbooks (Kiesling, Angie). Many of
these can be applied to high school or college level learning, depending on the
ability of the child. Many of the products needed for homeschooling can be
accessed from Appalachian Distributor’s 250 homeschool stores (Tyler, Zan).

Parents can buy anything they want from curriculums to books for their children
at Appalachian homeschool stores. They have all of the stuff that you could
need if you are a beginner at homeschooling or been doing it for a few years.

With the growth of homeschooling being between 7 and 15% annually, the market
for this type of schooling is growing at a steady rate and is worth about $850
million in curriculum and resources (Kiesling, Angie). With all of the options
of learning available and the endless amount of possibilities, it is easy to
see why many parents are deciding to choose this method of education. With
homeschooling, parents are able to focus on the subjects of education that are
the most beneficial to their children in helping them do good on standardized
tests and getting them into good colleges with the knowledge needed to be
successful.

For many years now, reports have shown that homeschool
students have averaged higher scores on standardized tests than public school
students. In 2002 the average SAT score was 1020 for public school students and
homeschoolers averaged a 1092(Beato, Greg).
In 2003 there were 248
homeschooled students who achieved semifinalist status in the National Merit
Scholarship program with 109 winning awards (Beato, Greg). Other tests such as
the ACT, homeschoolers averaged a 22.6 where public school students averaged a
20.9(Beato, Greg). These statistics are just averages and do not mean that all
homeschoolers do good on these standardized tests. Just like public schools,
some do better than others, but the average is just a little bit higher for
homeschool based learning. Some of the success on these tests is due to the
fact that parents tend to focus more closely on subjects that will most likely
appear on the tests whereas some public schools just go quickly through some
subjects without some of the students getting a thorough understanding. Other
reasons for homeschool success is the fact that the students are in an
environment free of drugs, violence, where kids can focus on learning which in
turn will yield them higher academic success (Wichers, Michelle). With parents
spending much of their time and energy into educating their child, the result
is a quality education rather than an education in a public school setting
where teachers based learning on how much was covered and not how much the
students actually learned. Students who are in a personal learning environment
where it is one on one rather than one on 30 also helps in the educational
success of homeschooling (Wichers, Michelle).

As homeschooling grows
popular by the year, its effect on some public school systems in some states is
starting to show. One instance is in Arizona where a school had loss 2/3 of its
students due to influences of religious leaders, and a school with fewer
students equals less funding for that school (Gewertz, Katherine). Due to lack
of funding that particular school had to reduce salaries and fire some
employees. This shows how powerful the influence of religion is in society
today when it comes to children getting the best education.

While
most people envision homeschooling as a child kept in the home and is secluded
from the rest of the world, it has become just the opposite of that (Teicher,
Stacy). Homeschoolers experience most of the opportunities and are as much
involved in the world as public school students (Teicher, Stacy). While most
students are crammed in rows of desks, homeschooled students get individual
attention and do not have to go through being packed in the classic classroom.

As more people start to realize the pros of homeschooling, they will soon
recognize that there is an alternative to public and private schooling where
education is not the best for public and private costs a lot of money.

Homeschooling will be the third option for parents who want their children to
experience a good education and succeed in college, without taking out a second
mortgage to pay for private school or waste time in public school. With more
and more students graduating high school illiterate and not by any means ready
for the real world, it is no surprise that homeschooling seems like a good idea
to most parents. While some think homeschooling is heading into the future of
education, some believe it is a jump back to the future which is a good thing
(Lyman, Isabel). It goes back to the old times when kids were taught in their
homes and would actually learn something during a day of school. Many people
choose to homeschool because they believe that public schools have lost the
meaning of what a school should be for children and why they are put in
society. Schools were organized to educate people in need of education and help
students to their best ability in order to prepare them for the outside world (Lyman,
Isabel). With most schools just passing kids through school instead of taking
the time to actually teach them, they are not doing society a favor because
these kids have no skills to bring to society to better it. Homeschooling
provides the personal With the ever growing population of kids being
homeschooled it is no surprise that more people are starting to realize the
benefits of homeschooling and seeing it as a positive alternative to public
schools. Some states are having problems with regulations, but most are doing
just fine with the adjustment. Homeschooling is a good idea because of
religious issues, its success on standardized tests, and the options open to
kids who are homeschooled.