News / USA

Education Begins at Home in Many US Households

Homeschooling has broadened to include parents of all faiths

This woman at the wheel symbolizes parents who give up paid outside work to stay home and teach their children. The drawing is a logo of a home-schooling website called Parent at the Helm.
This woman at the wheel symbolizes parents who give up paid outside work to stay home and teach their children. The drawing is a logo of a home-schooling website called Parent at the Helm.

Multimedia

Audio
Ted Landphair

Before 1918, when Mississippi became the last U.S. state to require that school-age children attend public or private schools, many children were taught by their parents at home or by teachers informally hired by the community. Quite often in rural areas, kids of all ages were taught in the same one-room schoolhouse.  

Decades later in the 1980s, homeschooling made a comeback when religiously conservative parents convinced states to approve and give full credit for the teaching of children at home. The homeschooling movement has since broadened to include parents of all faiths - or no faith at all. 

In this photo of an old, one-room classroom in Grundy, Iowa, the 7-year-old boy getting help at the blackboard is the only second-grader in the class.
In this photo of an old, one-room classroom in Grundy, Iowa, the 7-year-old boy getting help at the blackboard is the only second-grader in the class.

Thus, an estimated 1.5 million American children - about 3 percent of the school-age population - won't be going anywhere as schools open for the fall term.

Instead, one or both of their parents will gather books and other materials, prepare lesson plans, and teach their children everything from algebra to zoology right in their living rooms.

Homeschooling's big selling point for many parents is the argument that children get their ethical values from the people with whom they spend the most time.  

Adults who choose to stay home and teach their children often object to standardized testing and what they see as the regimented way in which schools group students by age rather than ability, and pass them ahead to the next grade whether or not they've grasped the material. 

The idea that one parent, or even both, make the best teachers, and home makes the best classroom, has long been accepted in many parts of America.
The idea that one parent, or even both, make the best teachers, and home makes the best classroom, has long been accepted in many parts of America.

In home-schooling households, it's not unusual to find several children, ages 4 to 16, being taught together.  Older kids help younger ones, as they once did in those one-room schoolhouses.

Many home-taught students excel in several subjects and have no trouble moving on to college, often with academic scholarships in hand.  

But critics point to home teachers' lack of experience and credentials.  No one's supervising them, say.  And they argue that pulling kids out of school may deprive them of social skills.

Home-schooling parents dispute the notion that their children are socially isolated and bookish.  They are, the parents say, simply hard workers who go to scout and church meetings, play sports, and shop at malls right alongside their friends who go to school.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More