Recently a reader named Anthony Garcia, who writes for the website Online Graduate Programs, contacted me and asked if he could review some studies that deal with homeschool burnout. I said sure. His reviews stress the practical lessons homeschoolers might draw from the research rather then research findings and methodology like I normally do, and they’re not really about burnout, but here goes:
Homeschooling continues to gain popularity as families seek to provide optimal learning experiences for their children. While homeschooling provides many educational and emotional benefits, there are also challenges that homeschooling families must face, from the types of learning experiences offered the children to their admission to colleges and graduate programs. There are many useful peer-reviewed articles available as resources to homeschooling families.
In the article “Homeschooling As An Alternative School Model In Creating People Able To Compete In Today’s Highly Competitive World” the author, Chailati Saleh, explains how homeschooling prepares students to become highly creative, self-assured and skilled professionals that can meet the challenges faced when they join the workforce as adults. Saleh addresses some of the criticisms of homeschooling, such as the lack of opportunities for socialization. However, she also provides alternatives for these opportunities, such as having homeschooled children participate in field trips, as well as in extracurricular music, art and sports groups.
This article is useful for homeschooling, because it points out the opportunity for educators to address the children’s individual needs and learning styles, which allows the children to seek alternative methods of finding information, not just relying on the teacher. This forces students to become highly creative individuals, with a set of skills and tools that will serve them well when they join the workforce. Additionally, people who are studying education can choose to incorporate some of the teaching methods and strategies used by homeschooling families in their classrooms to encourage creative problem solving skills.
Another article that can be of interest to parents and educators, is “Homeschoolers Entering Community Colleges: Perceptions of Admissions Officers” by Dr. Kellie Sorey and Dr. Molly H. Duggan. This article is geared towards the admissions departments and officers of community colleges and discusses the challenges facing admissions officers when homeschooled students apply for admission. The authors discuss how the perception of the students’ future academic performance, as well as the students lack of traditional documentation for their education, have made it difficult for colleges to create a successful and fair admissions process for these students. While many admissions officers perceive homeschooled students to be as prepared or better prepared than traditional students to perform well in academia, some officers actually think that these students will not be able to perform as well, particularly due to the perception of lack of socialization. Additionally, most schools do not have programs available that specialize in the transition of the homeschooled students from the home environment to the formal educational environment of an institution of higher learning.
Homeschooled families can benefit from reading the article so that they can better prepare to meet the challenges they will face once their children reach college age and get ready to apply. Some schools still require additional tests for homeschooled children since they do not know how to evaluate and handle homeschooled students’ prior educational preparation. While financial aid is available to these students, and the federal government has put in place protections to make sure that these students have access to financial aid, the actual admission process is different and continues to pose problems.
In “Home Room: Debunking the Myths of Home Schooling,” Lisa Ribero addresses the myths and realities of public school. She discusses the advantages for children and parents when they choose to homeschool, as well as some of the criticisms and challenges. She emphasizes the idea of natural learning, where the educators can take advantage of a child’s natural interest in a topic instead of being forced to meet certain standards and benchmarks mandated by the state. Another highlighted benefit of homeschooling is that by spending more time together, families are allowed to bond and get to know each other much better.
This article can help those families who are interested in homeschooling by providing additional information they can use to make the decision whether to homeschool or not. It also provides ideas of how parents can structure their children’s homeschooling experience. This article may also benefit teachers who are interested in changing their classroom to be more child-centered.
Homeschooling is not a passing fad. It continues to grow in strength and numbers and has become a viable option for many families. The best way to approach the decision making process of whether homeschooling is right for a particular family is by becoming informed.