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Home Education Program



The term "home education program" refers to the same practice of teaching children at home as the term "homeschool." Read this article for more information about home education, why parents choose home education, and different types of home education options.

Home education - also known as Elective Home Education (EHE) or home schooling - is the name for the education of a child or children outside of schools, public or private, and not be an instructor representing a public or private school. By these criteria, home education is distinguished from home visits or other home study undertaken for a child who is temporarily homebound, whether from accident, illness, or other cause. For more about home education, read on.

Why Parents Choose Home Education

Parents choose home education for a variety of reasons. Some reasons have to do with the school itself or the school environment. Some have to do with quality of education at home as compared to school. Still other reasons were tied up with beliefs. And finally, a child’s special needs might be better served in a home setting.

  • Some parents express concern about the school environment, whether the state of discipline, the behavior standards, physical safety issues such as from bullying, the presence of drugs, and/or negative peer pressure. Any and all of these concerns can be alleviated by home education.

  • Other parents were not satisfied with the quality of education or curriculum, either at the particular local school which their child is slotted to attend or with education standards in general. Such parents may be in favor of additional subjects, different approaches to existing subjects, or a higher level of expectation.

  • Parents with a strong investment in a particular lifestyle, culture, religion, or philosophy may wish to employ a particular pedagogy and/or integrate aspects of their lifestyle, culture, religion, or philosophy into the academic curriculum to further invest it with relevance or give it a moral basis.

  • Parents of children with special needs, whether students with disabilities or gifted and talented students, may see opportunities for meeting these needs and furthering their child’s education in particularly apt ways in the home setting. Another situation that could be considered a special need is the child’s expressing a strong preference for home education.

Besides these reasons, some parents may want to encourage the family closeness that home education can engender, which they may have experienced themselves in their education. Other parents, trained as educators, may find themselves uniquely qualified in a variety of ways to educate their children. Additionally, if the child had a condition or was in a situation that made regular attendance difficult, home schooling could insure that the child would not be viewed as truant for not meeting attendance criteria.

Various Home Education Contexts

Home education is not necessarily a “once and for all” choice. Some families choose home education for elementary years and enroll their children in a public or private school for their secondary education.

Additionally, home education is not necessarily an exclusive choice. Some parents choose to combine home education with other educational opportunities. This may mean that children receive part of their education from parents and some from a distance learning institution, or alternatively, they might attend a local public or private school for certain subjects. Some home educated children participate in extracurricular activities with their peers in nearby public or private school settings, while others take advantage of the offerings of park and recreation departments or other agencies.

Another alternative form of home education is one that involves several families, whether related by blood or not, sharing resources and personnel for their children’s joint instruction. This approach can broaden the children’s opportunities for social interaction as well as allowing each of the adults involved to focus on the subject areas that they feel best prepared to instruct. In addition, multiple instructors can brainstorm together, trade off if illness or family circumstance intervenes with school demands, and share equipment and materials, which may cut costs.

Sources

National Center for Education Statistics, “Homeschooling in the United States: 2003,” Table 4 - nces.ed.gov

Department for children, schools and families “2006041 - Prevalence of Home Education in England - A Feasibility - dcsf.gov.uk