Should parents be
encouraged to home school
their children?
Valerie Meyers
Janelle Mitchell
Kristin Thomas
Definition of Home
 The instruction of a student in an
educational program outside of an
established school system, typically in
the home environment
History of Home Schooling
 17th-18th century
 American colonial period, majority of education was home schooling
 Public schools taught trades, these schools were used by the
 Private tutors were used by the wealthy
 1860s
 States began enacting compulsory attendance laws
 Requiring school attendance for all school age students by law of that
declared state
 By 1929, compulsory attendance laws existed in every state
 19th century
 Public schooling dominated, home schooling was not used at this
History of Home Schooling
 1957
 Utah was the first state to recognize home schooling as an
educational option to parents
 Idea of home schooling started to reemerge in American
 1970s
 Home schooling was objected to by school administrators,
teachers, and teachers unions
 Recent history did not promote home schooling, though it was
obvious that portions of the current population wanted this
 Courts decided that children needed to be educated and states
had the right to require education but it was up to the parent to
decide the type of educational program for their child
 1986
 All states adopted laws recognizing that parents had the option
to home school
Relevant Court Cases for
Home Schooling
 1923 Meyer v. Nebraska
 A 10 year old was taught German, when the existing law
stated foreign language could not be taught until 8th
 Ruled that it is the right of the parent to give their child
the education they see suitable
 1925 Pierce v. Society of Sisters
 Questioned the Compulsory Education Act, which
required school aged children to attend public school
 Ruled that this violates the rights of parents to direct the
education of their children by enforcing a standardized
system whereby children are forced to be educated by
public teachers only
 This case changed the state compulsory attendance
laws, requiring inclusion of both public and non-public
Relevant Court Cases for
Home Schooling
 1927 Farrington v. Tokushige
 Legality of foreign language schools in Hawaii was questioned
 Ruled “The…parent has the right to direct the education of his
own child without unreasonable restrictions; the Constitution
protects him…”
 1972 Wisconsin v. Yoder
 Amish families challenged the age listed in the Compulsory
Attendance laws
 They believed that sending their children to school beyond the
8th grade level endangered the practices and ideals of their
 Ruled that the First Amendment freedom of religion outweighed
the school attendance laws and if the parental interests were
religious, rather than personal or philosophical, children were
exempt from the Compulsory Attendance law and did not have to
attend school for the required number of years
Relevant Court Cases for
Home Schooling
 1998 Brunelle v. Lynne Public Schools
 The school committee enforced a policy that
included home visits by the superintendent or
school representatives to observe and evaluate the
home schooling process
 Brunelle argued that the home visits were in
violation of his and his family’s rights
 Ruled that the government may not intrude
unnecessarily on family affairs
Home Schooling is
Dependent Upon the
Individual State Laws
 Criteria for home schooling varies across all the states
 States have the right to decide the:
Minimum qualifications for the home instructor
Curriculum requirements
Minimum amount of time spent on instruction (hours/day, days/year)
Measurement of student progress
 States range from having no regulations on home schooling
(besides compulsory school age) to having strict regulation
requirements for home schooling
 Pennsylvania is a state with strict regulation requirements for
home schooling
Pennsylvania Home
Education Law
Compulsory school age: 8-17 years
Attendance: 180 days/year (900 hrs elementary, 990 hrs secondary)
Parent must have a High School diploma
The parent must inform their local superintendent of their decision to
home school their child/children by August 1st
 Curriculum:
English: reading, writing, spelling, language, literature, speech, composition
Math: general math, statistics, algebra, geometry
Science: basic science, biology, chemistry
History: geography, US history, PA history, civics, social studies, world
history, economics
 Foreign language, music, art, physical education, health, safety, fire
 Evaluation: portfolio of materials used, examples of work completed,
written evaluation by a teacher or administrator, and standardized tests
(submitted yearly)
Reasons for Home
 Parent occupations involve extended stays
outside of a school system
 Families live in rural areas where the
educational options are limited or not available
 Parent educational experience influenced their
decision to home school their kids
 Political and/or religious beliefs
 Belief that the “one-size-fits-all” concept used
in public schools is not beneficial to their
Of Home Schooling
Main Advantages of Home
The main advantages of home
schooling involve a parent’s increased
control & influence in the following
Religious/Philosophical Beliefs
As well as increasing a child’s “family
 Home schooling allows a family to weave their
convictions into every aspect of their
"curriculum." They are now in control of the
subject matter and in control of the topics.
 Provides students with “proper” social, moral,
and religious values
 Avoid “problem ridden” public schools
 Some parents are under the impression that public
schools are crime-ridden, drug-filled, dangerous
 This allows them to incorporate a religious basis to
the educational curriculum
 Fastest growing group of home schoolers (2/3 of
families choose it for this reason)
 Fewer behavioral problems
 Less negative influences from peers
 More respectful
 Removes them from confinement with their
 With students of the same age, opposed to students
at the same academic level.
 Increased interactions w/ parents (adults)
 Promotes more mature and poised youth
(A) Custom-Designed Curriculum
 Flexible schedule to teach desired curriculum.
Follow interests with a passion, which provides a profound love
of learning
Foreign languages
Other special skills/academic interests
Spend as little or as much time on a desired subject
Learn things when ready
Encourages & strengthens a child’s individual potential
(B) Children can learn at their own pace.
 Move as fast or as slow as needed
Encourages self-motivation
Encourages thinking for themselves
(C) Working with the Child’s Learning Style
 Many parents are under the impression that public
schools are graduating illiterate students who are
unprepared for the work force due to a lack of
individualized attention
 Students of average ability, who are able to input &
process information according to their natural
learning style, become great learners
 a parent is better able to discover the child's
learning style
 The traditional classroom is teacher-driven, whereas
the home school can be student-driven, and the child
allowed to master areas in the best way at the best
time for the best results
Do home schooled children
actually do better than
public school children?
 On most academic measures, home schooled students
outperform public school students on standardized tests.
 The largest study so far, authorized for the Home School
Legal Defense Association, by University of Maryland
statistician Lawrence M. Rudner, examined 20,000 home
schooled students from 50 states.
 The data gathered in this study is consistent with information
found in the Education Policy Analysis Archives.
 These students scored higher on standardized tests than
public and private school students in every subject and
at every grade level.
 The longer their parents had home schooled them, the better
they did.
 Standardized national tests of skills & achievement:
 Home schoolers scored better than 70-80% of all test takers
 By 8th grade, the median performance of home school
students is almost 4 grade levels above that of students
 By 12th grade, home schooled students scored in 92nd
percentile in reading.
 In 1999, when the SATs began tracking its scores, home
schooled students scored an average of 1083, 67 points
above the national average
 They also scored an average of 22.7 on the ACT, which is higher
than the national average of 21.
Home Schooled Students
Attending College
 69% of home schoolers go on to college
 Parents put together portfolios w/ samples of
work & lists of accomplishments
 More then 2/3 of American colleges now accept
such transcripts
 If other standardized tests are required, students
simply take them
 Harvard, for example, accepts approximately
10 each year
Home Schooled Students
Attending College
 Home schooled students do well in college, after the initial
 A 1997 study reports that home school students are in fact
academically, emotionally, & socially prepared to excel in
 Also in 1997, for example, a four-year study of students at
Bob Jones University found home schooled children
scored higher in campus leadership activities than
students from either the public school system or private
 Home school graduates average a 3.3 GPA their freshman
year, compared to the average 3.12 GPA received by public
school graduates
 "Home schoolers bring certain skills -- motivation, curiosity,
the capacity to be responsible for their education -- that
high schools don't induce very well," says Jon Reider,
Stanford's senior associate director of admissions.
“Family Time”
 Brings families closer together.
 Parents feel that children need to learn from
people who care deeply about them.
 After a child enters the public school system,
they begin spending more awake time with
peers than parents.
 Less emphasis on parent-child relationship
 Parents become the main role-model in a home
schooling environment.
 Easier to instill values & morals
 Improved language development
 Minimizes friction between teens & parents
What Can Public Schools
 In a study conducted in Kentucky in
1998, the question, “What can public
schools do to re-attract families who
home school their children?” was asked.
 The #1 answer received was:
 “Infuse religion into the practices and
curriculum of the public schools.”
Five Main Disadvantages
of Home Schooling
Time and Effort
Limits of the Teacher
Lack of Recognition
Time and Effort
Time consuming for parents
 Designing the curriculum
 Getting the materials
 Teaching the curriculum
 Energy to stay informed
Limits of the Teacher
 Feel inadequate to teach subject in coherent
and skillful manner.
 Sciences
 Languages
 Multicultural awareness
 Lack of resources
 Enrichment activities
 Books
 Fundamental Materials
Lack of Recognition from
 Academically
 SAT scores
 Spelling Bees
 Athletics
 School Districts
 They are funded by the number of students
enrolled. When students are pulled out, the
school loses that funding.
 Without funding, other effects could happen
 Extra curricular programs like sports, music, and arts.
 Parents/Family
 They have to buy the materials
 Provide transportation for field trips
 Lost of income since one parent stays home.
 Diversity
 Not exposed to diversity
Religious views
 Becky Martin, 17, stated:
 “I feel the school setting is providing a ground for
what lies ahead.”
 She was home schooled, went to catholic school,
then home schooled again because she couldn’t
conform to the teacher’s method of teaching.
Group’s Conclusion
 As a group, we feel that parents should
not be encouraged to home school their
children; however, we do acknowledge
that home schooling is a viable option for
 Questions?
 Homeschooling: Parents’ Reactions by:
Margaret Martin