We have many friends and associates who are homeschooling their children. Although we value public schooling, we also place value in the need to have alternatives. Parents can then choose the most appropriate learning approach for their child or children.
The number of homeschoolers is bigger than the nation’s largest public school system in New York City and may be as high as approximately 2.2 million. The number of homeschoolers is difficult to quantify, because there is no clear definition of what is ‘homeschooling.’ We believe that homeschooling embraces any student who participates in consistent learning activities in the home. So, that could mean a student who completes a full curriculum at home or one who does supplemental instructional work at home. In other words, any student who participates in a course of study on a regular and consistent basis at home is a homeschooled students. Before we can count these children, we all need to agree on what homeschooling means.
Although critics of homeschool argue that it can’t replace the social and educational tools offered in traditional schools, Patricia Lines, a senior research analyst for the U.S. Department of Education argues homeschooling is instead “reinventing the idea of school.” Homeschoolers use tools such as the Internet and educational software to provide new avenues of learning. Homeschooling can provide a wealth of opportunities for all students including those with special needs such as gifted or learning disabled students.