Home schooling is very helpful for children. First, students who engage in homeschooling get an opportunity to get individualized attention that is difficult to get at school. Parents get the opportunity to offer their children not only academic guidance but also religious and philosophical advice. Secondly, homeschooling guarantees flexibility that makes it possible for the student to study at his own pace.
Through homeschooling, a student learns how to manager his time well in order to accommodate academic work, home duties and family vacations. For time management skills to be acquired, a student is forced to be disciplined. This can never happen at school, where learners have to wait to be driven into literally every activity, including classrooms, games, cleaning duties and all other extracurricular activities.
Linda observes that when a child is at home, he has all the time to develop a strong, stable relationship with his parents, who can always influence him in matters of behavior, discipline and academic excellence. In this case, parents play a very important role not only as guardians, but also as teachers (372). This increases family cohesion and unity.
Goldring, Cohen%u2010Vogel, and Smrekar observe that the home learning environment, while being highly individualized, affords the child an opportunity to learn about the pragmatic aspects of education (41). The child can readily associate learning tasks with the particular real-life events that relate to the lessons learned. At home, there are no limits to the line of thinking that a child can adopt in any topic. This makes the child become a confident, independent thinker who can use the concepts learned to solve day-to-day life’s problems.
Medlin says that homeschooling denies children the valuable opportunity of interacting with other children (119). Interactions among children are a very important component of elementary education. The shared schooling experiences play a crucial role in physical, social, mental and emotional development among children. When the child is all alone at home, there is no one to challenge him with class work, physically strenuous games or intimate social encounters.
At school, a child gets an opportunity to be exposed to the expertise of a teacher who is specially trained on how to manage interactions among children. Denying children this opportunity is not a good thing for their future academic lives. Since the parent is most likely not a trained teacher, he may end up using the wrong curriculum and interaction strategies.
Socialization in the home setting is not as engaging as it is in the school environment. A child is exposed to affectionate siblings, locking the child out of an opportunity to learn how to build his own affectionate relationships from scratch with classmates and schoolmates.
Additionally, in a formal schooling setting, a child is exposed to children whose social backgrounds are very divergent. Therefore, a child has to learn how to adapt to behaviors and attitudes of children from diverse educational and social backgrounds as well as to build mutually beneficial relationships.
Socialization, according to Aurini and Davies, gives children the confidence to argue and think critically (465). The capacity to think and argue critically is increased when one is exposed to people whose ideas and perspectives are very different from one’s own. In the home setting, a child always lacks this wealth of divergent perspectives to stimulate his critical and creative thinking ability.
In summary, home schooling is helpful in one way and detrimental in another. It is helpful in the sense that a child gets individualized attention, benefits from flexibility in time management practices and builds a stable relationship with all members of the family. However, the main disadvantage of homeschooling is that it denies children the valuable opportunity of becoming socialized into the outside world.