Wednesday, February 3, 2010

negatives of home education (part 1)

Based on my experience, I'll detail three negatives I have observed:

1. One of the virtually unavoidable negatives of homeschooling is the barrier of experience that exists between homeschoolers and 98% of society. Homeschoolers will never experience the traditional classroom environment and everything that goes with it. Obviously there are aspects of homeschoolers' reality that are not experienced by those who have attended "normal" school. However, there is not a sense of "missing out" or "being different" for non-homeschoolers, because the majority of the population attended public/private school.

2. A negative that can be more easily avoided than the first is the potential for close-mindedness. While this is a risk posed by any mode of education, certain aspects of the homeschooling experience are especially conducive to the development of a very narrow perspective on life. For example, in a "normal" school there are multiple teachers, so the viewpoints of one are easily challenged (in most cases). In contrast, homeschooling involves (usually) only the parents, allowing a limited exposure to to different perspectives. If parents deliberately expose their children to different viewpoints this potential negative is clearly not an issue.

3. Lack of social development is a potential concern that may be overemphasized relative to other concerns (especially in terms of frequency of occurence). For example, the "stereotypical homeschooler" is lacking in the area of social development. This probably is not true in most cases. However, there is a huge potential for parents (esp. those in fundamentalism of various forms) to utilize home education to isolate their kids and, thus, create various social issues.

In later posts, I will relate these negatives to my experience.


  1. thanx, we have considered homeschooling but for similar reasons you confirm, we avoided it.
    I have a 7 and 9 year-old
    Harsh truth: Every solutions comes with compromises.

    BTW, I added you to my "Friends" tab. Why don't you list your Blogroll on your left column. (asking for shameless advertizing !) smile.

  2. Sabio, regarding homeschooling, my belief is that it should be "legal, safe, and rare." There is a trend toward promotion and expansion of home education, which I feel is extremely dangerous (especially in light of the present lack of healthy criticism).

    Thanks for adding me to your "friends" tab. As you have probably noticed, my blogroll is now more conspicuous.

  3. @ Nathan -- I agree on the homeschooling.

    Nice blogroll ! :-)

    Blogspot questions:

    (1)Does blogspot allow you to put a "Search" widget in your right column. It would be a nice addition.

    (2) Cany you list special posts of yours in the right column? In which case I would suggest linking your declaration so when people visit your site they call learn about you with more than just the blogspot profile.

    Just suggestions.

  4. Sabio, thanks for the suggestions. Added the search widget.

    I will probably add my declaration to a new page I'm working on ("Experiences and Beliefs").

  5. Hi Nathan, passing through from sabio's blog. We have both sent kids to school and homeschooled, two are at home now. I agree with your three negatives, though I would probably say that they are balanced out by positives. I don't really see them as three "negatives", but three "dangers" one can have homeschooling.

    I think it depends a lot on the particular parents, and the particular kids, and the particular time in life they're in. I do not necessarily see one as better than the other generally speaking, just on a case by case basis.

    Have you homeschooled, or are your thoughts based on observing others? Just curious.

  6. @ atimetorend: Glad you stopped by.

    I was home educated from kindergarten through 12th grade. I also know a number of individuals who were homeschooled. So, my thoughts are based on my experience and my observations of others who were homeschooled.

    I definitely agree that the "negatives" aren't inextricably linked to home education, but much caution is necessary in order to avoid these dangers.

    You stated: "I think it depends a lot on the particular parents, and the particular kids, and the particular time in life they're in." I concur. However, I do believe that, in general, public (or possibly private) schools are the best option.


    First, I really don't feel that the majority of parents are qualified to be teaching their kids (teachers are required to take the Praxis tests for a reason). Secondly, IMO, only certain (and few) children are able to thrive in the home education environment.

    In a later post, I plan on detailing my observations/experiences that lead to the list of negatives.

    Thanks again for joining the discussion.

  7. Cool, I agree with your points. Coincidently, my wife just passed the Praxis, and at the same time we are thinking it unlikely we will be homeschooling next year. :^)

    Will be interested particularly to hear of your experiences.