How did the movement start?

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How did the movement start?

Post  Admin on Thu 6 Dec 2007 - 20:11

How did the movement start?

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Lyman, in Homeschooling: Back to the Future, traces two historical strands of homeschooling: One inspired by Raymond Moore, a religious-right author, the other, a countercultural-left thread inspired by John Holt. Moore, a former U.S. Department of Education employee, laid the groundwork that would "legitimize homeschooling as one of the great, populist educational movements of the 20th century," Lyman writes. With his wife Dorothy, a reading specialist and former elementary school teacher, the Moores researched the effectiveness of the elementary school setting. They also investigated the best age to first send children to school.
Their findings led them to investigate formal learning and socializing. Eventually, the Moores explored home schools and their research led to several books, Home Grown Kids and Home Spun Schools, both published in the 1980s. The Moores advocated a firm but gentle approach to home education that balances study, chores and work outside the home in an atmosphere geared toward a child's particular developmental needs.
Meanwhile, Holt emerged in the 1960s and early 1970s as a voice advocating decentralizing schools and returning greater autonomy to teachers and parents. Holt saw schools as organizations that cared less for the humanity of its charges than for producing obedient, but bland citizens. His philosophy of education: "learning by living." In 1977, to spread his philosophy, he founded Growing without Schooling, a bi-monthly magazine for and about persons who had removed their children from school.
Are religious concerns the main reasons parents choose homeschooling?
Religious beliefs and values stand as the most compelling reason, says Dr. J. Dan Marshall, associate professor of education at Penn State University in University Park, Penn. Most people who choose homeschooling for religious reasons are Christian fundamentalists, he says. (Marshall and Dr. Don C. Adams, assistant professor of education at Bucknell University, recently surveyed 118 Pennsylvania parents, each of whom was educating at least one secondary school-age child at home.)
Nurturing close-knit families is a second reason: "Homeschoolers believe they have a right to assume control over their children’s socialization," Marshall says. "For these parents - who many not always have deep religious convictions - maintaining a strong family unit is extremely important. Through home education, they feel they can get to know their children in a way most parents don't."
Parents feel public schools have written off their kids
A final motivation, they found, is that many homeschooling parents feel schools have "written off their kids," Marshall says. "Public schools are institutions aimed for a general audience. Because of this, parents who believe their children have special needs and capabilities may be more inclined toward homeschooling."
What types of families choose homeschooling?
Homeschooling attracts families from all races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds. Holt Associates, a clearinghouse for information about homeschooling and the work of John Holt, describes homeschoolers as families who "live in the country, city, suburbs, small towns. Some are single-parent families. Some run family businesses, and some parents combine working outside the home with homeschooling."
Traditional schools often fail to meet the needs of African-American students. Worse, school officials often treat black children unfairly because of the color of their skin. Numerous studies have shown school officials suspend black children disproportionately and that white teachers often fear black children - particularly black boys. Many teachers perceive black students as rambunctious, overly talkative and less intelligent. For many African-American families, homeschooling stands as both a way to counter the horrors of traditional schooling and also to continue the progress of the Civil Rights movement.

Schools often fail to meet the needs of African-American students
Meanwhile, a recent study of 5,402 homeschooled children from 1,657 families conducted by the HSLDA, found that homeschooling fathers hail from three primary occupational groups: accountant or engineer (17.3 percent); professor, doctor or lawyer (16.9 percent); and small business owner (10.7 percent). Nearly 88 percent of the mothers surveyed list their jobs as "homemaker."
Do homeschoolers lag in social development?
The point is highly debatable. Homeschooling critics contend homeschooling handicaps children socially. "Educating children to live in a global society means learning to work with people from different races, backgrounds, and ethnic groups," says Anderson of the NEA. "This is something that public schools provide and it is something best learned by experience." Businesses today, she adds, seek employees with skills "such as team problem-solving and working in cooperative groups" which "are hard to achieve in a homeschooling setting."
Homeschooling advocates dismiss these concerns. They cite studies that conclude homeschoolers possess a more positive self-concept than their schooled peers. Homeschooled children, they argue, typically engage in a variety of activities outside of the home environment. The Howe children list dance class, gymnastics, karate, basketball, baseball, swimming and Sunday school among the activities where Rob says they "have ample opportunity to learn to relate socially with children from all walks of life."
Is the average person qualified to teach his or her individual youngster in all aspects needed for an education?
At their 1997 annual convention, the National Education Association adopted Resolution B-63, which concluded that homeschooling programs "cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience." Noting that some parents will homeschool regardless, NEA added that if homeschooling is employed, "instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency."
Rob Howe begs to differ. Though he admits at the start parents may have some difficulties, he says motivated parents can find resources to supplement their deficiencies. For example, at the start, the Howe’s Latin was less than polished. But they compensated. "We found a very high quality curriculum for Latin with tapes, workbooks and 'distance learning' type instruction ... by phone and mail and e-mail," Rob says. "It's a matter of motivation and execution on the part of the parent. The curricula and the materials exist in abundance."
What are the benefits of homeschooling?
The major advantage homeschooling offers is control over every aspect of your child’s education. Through homeschooling, parents can tailor the learning environment they feel most appropriate for their children and structure the curriculum to fit the child’s individual needs and learning style. Unlike traditional classrooms, the teacher-to-student ratio is ideal. What’s more, depending on how deep your pockets, your home school can provide resources, real world experiences and outside the home activities that most schools only dream about.
Homeschoolers, like the Howes, derive other benefits. Rob Howe believes his children "have learned a level of teamwork and of helping one another we do not believe they would have learned. Perhaps most importantly, they have learned how to discover things on their own. When they want to know something, they know how to go about finding it out. This is not to say they wouldn’t have learned these things some other way, it’s just that homeschooling allows these things to be nurtured at a high level because of the lack of all the other kinds of distractions."


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