In America, families have a lot of choice about education. In this episode, I talk about parents who don’t send their children out of the home to learn. So how do they educate their kids?
56 – American schools, part 2 – Homeschooling –
Hey there. Last time we talked about school in America and the most common, the most popular way that children are educated. This time I’m going to tell you about a different way that children learn, that children are taught in the United States. So, sit back, listen, watch and just try to understand as much as you can.
(intro: English without Fear, where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)
Have you ever heard of homeschooling? That is, parents teaching their children, their kids at home? Homeschooling in America is very popular. So, what is homeschooling? For about 2.3 million children in America, these children learn at home. Their parents do not send them to school.
Why do parents choose to teach their children at home? What are the reasons? One reason is that parents don’t like the school environment. They don’t like the drugs. They don’t like the violence, the gun violence. They don’t like the bullying, that their child might receive, another child saying mean things or fighting.
Parents choose homeschooling, also because they don’t like the way children are being taught, the academics. They don’t think the academics are so good. Or parents choose homeschooling because they want their children to receive religious and moral education. What is moral? Moral is learning about right and wrong.
Another reason parents choose homeschooling is they might like to travel as a family. Or maybe the parents are in the military and have to move a lot. Another reason is that some children have more time if they are homeschooled, more time to read, more time to learn what they want to learn. There are many reasons why parents and children like homeschooling.
Well, how does it work? How do parents homeschool their children? Usually it’s the moms, the mothers, who do most of the teaching, but sometimes it’s the fathers as well. There are lots of plans, lots of resources, lots of material that families can buy and find online.
What is really wonderful about homeschooling is that families can do all the schooling for the day in fewer hours. A lot of families finish the day’s schoolwork by lunchtime. Then in the afternoon, the children are free to go on field trips or do a hobby or help around the house or around the farm.
There is also more time for extra activities like sports or dance or art or music. There’s more time in the day for families and for students.
There’s another way or another method of homeschool that sometimes families do together with work at home. This is called a co-op, a homeschool co-op. A co-op is when families come together and help one another. For example, imagine a mom who was really good at biology. At the homeschool co-op one day a week, this mom might teach 13 and 14 -year-old children about biology. Another mom might be really good at French or art or math. Parents who have special skills teach other children for one day a week and this is called a homeschool co-op. There are many co-ops in America.
Is homeschooling allowed? Is it legal in America? Yes, in every single (one) of the 50 states, homeschooling is legal. But each state has different requirements, different things parents must do. Some of it might be having the public schools test your children. Or you might have to submit, to give an idea of what you were doing for the year. It depends on each state, but it’s not too much.
Do moms and dads have to be trained teachers? No, not at all. It is wonderful.
So, I have known lots of homeschooled students. For example, I have a friend whose son suffers from autism, which is a brain disorder, a brain disease, autism. And her son learns best with no distractions, no other kids, in a quiet environment.
I have had students leave my classroom and choose homeschooling because they were dancers or they were pursuing gymnastics and they needed more time for gymnastics, for dance. And homeschooling made their life, lives, their days easier.
Do homeschoolers do just as well? Do they get into good universities? Yes, absolutely. Homeschool students do very well. One of my son’s best friends who went to West Point, the United States Military Academy, which has very high standards, he was homeschooled all the way until he was age 18. And I know many families at my church whose kids, whose children have been homeschooled and gone on to university.
So, obviously it works, but not for every family. One of my sons, his wife tried homeschooling, but she found it wasn’t for her. It was too hard. It took too much time. So, their children are in regular school, in public school, and the family is much happier right now. That might change.
Well, what about where you come from? Does your country offer homeschooling? Is it legal? Leave me a comment below this video.
And if you’re a teacher, coach, parent of some English language learners, and you would like the transcript for today’s episode, go to www.englishwithoutfear.com and there you’ll find a link so you can add your email address, receive a newsletter. And then each time I upload a new episode and a transcript, I’ll be sure to send you an email.
Well, this is Maria from English without Fear. Talk to you next time.
(outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments. Here’s my email.)