Homeschooling should be a permissible option, but it should be strictly regulated, not based on academic curriculum but based on some basic skills acquired by a child for normal living.
For example, occasional tests can ensure a child is exposed to alternative ideas in religion and culture. Conducting personal interviews with a child to examine its language, general knowledge and math skills are up to the mark will also help. Regulations need not target when, where and how a child should be educated as the whole point of home schooling is to teach outside the classroom. Biological facts can be learned anywhere from farms and kitchen to garden while language classes can extend to theatres and libraries. Some parents can choose to educate their children based on their interest instead of making them spend time in all regular subjects. So the curriculum and the way of teaching should be left to the parent’s choice. But, care should be taken to ensure every kid is progressing constantly in their selected field.
Background of Homeschooling
Before getting into the debate whether the regulations for home schooling should be changed let us see the origin of homeschooling the US. People have been training children in their homes for centuries. Modern schools started to appear widely only in the beginning of this century. However many people started to doubt the reliability of the education provided in the modern public and private schools by 1960's. Modern homeschooling movements especially religion based ones started to appear opposing the governments stand to send every child to school. Conservatives felt public and private schools have sold themselves to secularism and their children should not be forced to attend them. By early 1990 home schooling movements have won the right to educate their children in all the states. Though each country has different laws regarding home schooling, all of them permit both religion based as well as non-religious home schooling. Homeschooling is quite popular among conservative families in the Great Britain and a few selected groups in Germany. But only a few thousands are home schooled in Great Britain while nearly 200 children are homeschooled in Germany (Rhodes, 2012). The number is very high in the US only compared to any other country in the world. Though it might seem like only celebrity kids like Jaden Smith and Cheyenne Kimball are being homeschooled, the reality is much different. Students from all economic background are being homeschooled. Some are homeschooled for special needs because they are slow learners or have physical disabilities. Others are homeschooled because their parents have practical issues in commuting or ethical issues with the way the public and the private schools operate (Klicka, 2004). With security concerns in many public schools being an issue and student massacres like in Connecticut becoming very common many parents feel it safe to educate their children on their own. Differing State Laws Homeschooling parents do not have a standard regulation all through the nation. Certain states like Pennsylvania and New York have appointed various agencies to oversee the homeschooling parents. The parents have to submit everything from the academic curriculum they are choosing to the personal qualification of the tutor to the state recognition. The students should take up private