Analytical Essay English 1010
February 25, 2014
Years ago, when my son was little, the idea of the perfect nuclear family appealed to me. Dad and Mom would go off to work, while the child went to school and teachers were responsible for one part of his education. We were supposed to be the support system that bridged the gap. It didn’t work like that though. As our son got older, he began having more difficulty in school and I had no way of bridging the gaps without the teachers’ willingness to communicate and see that he was struggling.
I would hear some parent say, “Well just quit your job and homeschool, I do it!” A few more years went by and our son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, things in school went from bad to worse, and I ended up having to give up my job as he simply couldn’t function without panic attacks and a variety of other ailments before I would be called to go pick him up. We spent more time in the doctor’s offices than he spent at school.
Now when asked, “Where does your son go to school?” I proudly announce, “I homeschool him!” While wrinkling their noses like they have smelled something sour, they usually whisper a simple one word question, “Why?” My answers are always the same, the environment he is exposed to (i.e. safety, drugs, bullying etc.), dissatisfaction with teachers performance including control of informational flow, and the fact that he has learning disabilities coupled with a mild form of autism. Teachers are not equipped to only help one student, but I am.
Homeschooling is a relatively new concept in today’s modern day and at one point was illegal in 30 states. A parent could have been charged with criminal truancy. Fast forward 30 years and we can see a new trend that seems to be growing exponentially. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducted a study in 1999 and found that approximately 850,000 students were being homeschooled. Three more samplings were taken and are as follows, including the 1999 findings:
1999 – 850,000 students identified as being homeschooled
2003 – 1.1 Million students identified as being homeschooled
2007 – 1.5 Million students identified as being homeschooled
2013 – 1,770,000 students identified as being homeschooled
(Please note that not all states are required to inform authorities of their decision to homeschool and some may not have participated in the polling listed above or in other statistics listed throughout this paper.)
Statistically there are approximately 50 million children, K – 12, enrolled in brick and mortar schools throughout the nation, public and private. So to put all of these numbers into perspective, only 3.4 percent of the population are actually identified as homeschoolers. The numbers are growing with every year, especially with the addition of online virtual schools which offers teacher services and formatted curriculum that meet graduations standards for receiving a diploma.
Research found that a survey, Parent and Family Involvement In Education Survey of the National Households Education Surveys Program (NHES), conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, that many parents had the same concerns and these were the primary reasons for the decision to homeschool were made.
In my own experience and having spoken to other parents that homeschool, and even some who wish they could, the same sentiment keeps coming up. We are all concerned about the environment our children are being exposed to in school. This is including the safety of our children, drugs and bullying. Bullying is a hot topic subject right now and to most parents it feels like the bullies are getting away with more, while the children that are being bullied are silenced by underworked and underpaid teachers. Parents like myself also want more control over the information that our children are