Some 20 years ago only a mere 50, 000 children were home schooled, and that was mainly by hippie parents who wanted to protect their children from what they called "the system." Now it is estimated that nearly 1. 5 to 2 million children are now schooled at home each year, dissatisfaction with the American public school system being the number one reason (Crary). Since most home schooling families can't afford it, they choose not to send their kids to a good private school. In the next few paragraphs, I will speak of the pros and cons of home schooling children and the fundamentals of home schooling. Here's a fact, the 2000 champion of the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee is a home-schooled student and 27 of the 248 spelling bee contestants were also home schooled (Zitterkopf).

Lisa Kinder believes that home schooling's flexibility with learning and not being on a set time table like public schools is what attributed to the success of her children being able to read, write, and do mathematics far above their grade levels. Sabrina Matteson say's that she can get work accomplished in 3 hours what it would take in a public school 6 hours because there are no recesses, standing in lines, or slow children. I found that most children who are home schooled have accomplished playing at least 1 musical instrument because of the time saved in the day. On standardized national tests and achievement, it was found that home schooled children scored better than 70-80% of public schooled children and they were also shown to have scored 67 points above the national average on the SAT's (Anderson). It is shown that 69% of home-schooled children go on to college compared to 70% of public school students and 90% of private school children. How do they get in? Parents are subject to send in a portfolio of some of their children's work and also of their accomplishments.

If they are required to take a standardized test, they will take them also. And if they need a transcript, either the mother or father will sit down and compute one on the computer. Some 2/3's of the colleges accept such a transcript (Anderson). Why do people home school? It is found that families choose to home school because they want higher curriculum enrichment and want more opportunities for the child to accelerate. The main reason for home schooling though is because of moral and religious reasons; they want to remove their children from a defunct school environment.

There are also the families who use home schooling in a more negative way. Some single mothers are now home schooling their children so that they can have babysitter for their younger children while they work 2 jobs to support the family. Some are taking their children out of public schools because of disciplinary problems yet they aren't motivated or skilled enough to teach their children on their own. Critics believe that by home schooling your child, you are taking them away from their peers and therefore retarding their "socialization." They also believe that home schooling is a form of child abuse because you are taking away the child's right to socialize with other children. But it was found that in a well researched case of 70 home schooled children and 70 regular schooled children who were video taped, that trained counselors, without knowing which children were which only found one behavioral difference and that was that home schooled children had less behavioral problems (Anderson). A big disadvantage of home schooling is the loss of one parent's income.

One parent must stay home to teach the child. Some are lucky enough to be able to live off of one income yet some have to get a part time job, which can put much stress on the one parent. The teaching parent also has to set times aside for people to phone and stop by so that they are not interrupted during the instructional part of the day (Butler). So would I choose to home school my child? I don't think I would. With my experience in public schools, I found nothing to be wrong with the school system and my social interaction with other students was great. Schooling with other children should be a part of growing up and a learning experience.

Without this your child might feel left out and might not have had all the opportunities other children had.