Home...the best place to learn.
So, you've been considering home education for your children but you still have doubts? Ask any home educator, veteran or neophyte, and you will discover that they, at one time, shared the same worries that you may be facing. Thoughts of assuming the responsibility for your child's education can be overwhelming; and, is a decision that should not be made lightly.
New Article! Worried about your ability to present the material correctly? Read "The Great American Textbook Scandal" to put your mind at ease.
In his work, Democracy and Education, John Dewey, the "Father of Modern Education," states his belief that "...there is the necessity that these immature members be not merely physically preserved in adequate numbers, but that they be initiated into the interests, purposes, information, skill, and practices of the mature members: otherwise the group will cease its characteristic life." Who are these immature members who must be taught how to be conformed to our world so the current culture will not die out? Our children. Mr. Dewey also believed that "Religious associations began, for example, in the desire to secure the favor of overruling powers and to ward off evil influences; family life in the desire to gratify appetites and secure family perpetuity..." (Ibid.) Was Mr. Dewey, then, a scoffer? Why would we want our children to sit at his feet? (If you'd like to look at the complete text of this work, go to Democracy and Education at Project Gutenberg).
The real socialization question is "What kind of social skills do you want your child to acquire?" Do you want your children to be influenced by you or by someone who does not share your values or by someone who perhaps shares your values but because of the educational system cannot share those values.
Social skills are important. As Christians, our behavior is to be holy (1 Peter 1:14, 15) so that when others see us they may glorify God (1 Peter 2:12). Our children must be trained in the long-lost arts of politeness and mannerly behavior so honor is brought to the Lord. They must be taught to respect the old, care for the young, and cherish their family.
So how are home schooled children doing in this area? Do they relate well to others, young and old? In his publication, "Home Schooling on the Threshold," Dr. Brian Ray reports the findings of several studies which utilized the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. In the first, a nation-wide study, Dr. John Wesley Taylor found that the self-concept of home-school students was significantly higher than that of public-school students for the global scale and all six subscales of the test. In another, Vicki Tillman concluded, "...show that these home schoolers are not isolated but active, contributing members of society, even in childhood. Ninety-eight percent are involved in weekly church meetings and other activities which require interfacing with various ages and settings. ...As rated by the Self-Esteem Index, these home schoolers have above-average self-esteem."(1) To order a copy of "Home Schooling on the Threshold," visit NHERI the National Home Education Research Institute.
National Home Educator's Research Institute
(1)Printed with permission from "Home Schooling on the Threshold: A Survey of Research at the Dawn of the New Millennium" by Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. (1999). Published by and available from the National Home Education Research Institute Publications, PO Box 13939, Salem OR 97309, (503) 364-1490, www.nheri.org.
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