The most common reason to homeschool in America is the obvious failure of the modern educational system to produce educated people. The 1993 National Adult Literacy Survey found that one in every five adults was illiterate. The illiteracy rate continues to escalate and has become a national embarrassment for the American government.
Departments of Education in such states as Alaska, Tennessee, and Washington have conducted studies that found that the typical home-educated student comes out ahead on every significant measurement. Achievement tests have found that home-educators average as much as 30 percent higher than both public and private school students. Many elite universities, such as Harvard and Yale, have recognized the excellence of a home-schooled education and are actively recruiting these students at home-education conferences and fairs.
Many parents are concerned about their child's character development. With the tendency on school playgrounds towards peer pressure, bullying, and cliques, it is difficult to encourage the finer qualities in a growing child such as kindness, justice, and compassion. Equally difficult to foster is self-motivation. In the modern school, where the love of learning is cut off at the root, children lose the ability for self-motivation and become dependent on outside factors to stimulate them. In adulthood, this translates into the subsequent need for entertainment, amusement, and diversion from what should be a life spent in the pursuit of knowledge and truth.
On both public and private campuses, there is the increasing problem of children being exposed to violence, drugs, and sex at very early ages. With children now committing the crimes of adults, molestation, rape and murder by other children in school is a growing and alarming concern for parents. Schools are no longer safe places for children, and this is a reality we must face.
Another important aspect of home-education that is often overlooked is the bonding that takes place between the child, the parent, and his/her siblings. Home-educated children spend much more time with their parents and siblings; time that gives way to forming deeper bonds and more meaningful relationships with their family members. A healthy family relationship sets the stage for the child's ability to form lasting relationships outside of the home, which is essential if one is to get along in the world.
There is an amusing concern about home-educated children being prone to anti-social behavior, the irony being that homeschooled children are in fact, better socialized than their public schooled peers. Home-educated children are not confined to classrooms for eight hours a day where every other person in that room, apart from the teacher, is a child of the same age. On the contrary, home-educated children are always interacting with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends, members of their local community and other children of all ages. They develop a wide range of social skills and are able to engage with people regardless of their age. Based on many studies, the poor socialization factor that is often associated with home-education has proven to be nothing more than a demeaning cliche unsupported by fact.
There are many perks that come with home education: Home educated families, not the state, choose their own curriclum; home educated families, not the state, choose their school's daily and hourly schedule; home educated families, not the state, choose their days off and vacation times; and home-educated children, though better educated, actually have more time in the day to study Quran, learn Arabic and other languages, excel at a sport, become involved in community activities, and form meaningful relationships.
The benefits to home education are many. If we are to have healthy, lasting relationships with our children and raise independently thinking, self-motivated, educated, just, and compassionate people, home-education must be seriously considered by all parents who are able to teach their children at home. The one-room schoolhouse is an excellent option for parents who are unable to home-school their children.