For much of our modern society’s time, institutional education has generally filled the need for child literacy, writing, and basic arithmetic. It has been, by far, the default cornerstone to prepare children for the rigors of secondary and finally higher education. Not much has been done to fundamentally overhaul its institutionalized methods, and for good reason: in the vast graduation rates coupled with what was a growing global economy – the process of educating a child appeared to be a linear and smooth road with only dropouts and delinquents being the exception instead of the rule. Of course, this was an over-generalized picture of the state of education – the reality was quite different.
Adults are now, more than ever, in a position to pass on their experiences in the classroom for their children’s benefit. These lessons from experience have their merit, but the inescapable fact that many adults have, instead, chosen to homeschool their children deserve further questioning – especially in the context of education today where an alarming number of graduates lack tangible career and (more alarmingly) emotional skills.
When educational professionals Raymond and Dorothy Moore began to explore the impact of modern schooling derived from the ECE (Early, Childhood Education) theories, they discovered a multitude of inconsistencies challenging the benefits of having children schooled at such an early age (before 8 years old).
They asserted that taking children away from their homes and attempting to mold them via socio-educational theories in the absence of their parents created an environment for increased delinquency, behavioral problems, and academic underperformance. These problems stemmed from the cutting of the important parental bond of a child and replacing it with an institutional bond consisting of varying degrees of teacher proficiency.
The Moores were not the only ones that had begun to question institutionalized education. Parents worldwide who underwent compulsory education had come to similar conclusions and by the time more studies into childhood education had been done to challenge ECE theory, many families had already taken their children out of their primary school curriculum or simply did not enroll them, to begin with.
Homeschooling, as a concept, is not to disparage institutional education as a whole. It isn’t meant to be a full-time replacement for institutional education. Homeschooling is meant to be a correction from the theories of ECE regarding the age at which a child must start to learn how to score well on proficiency tests as well as assimilate in an organized social setting.
Homeschooling asserts that the cornerstone of child education does not lie in the teacher, but in the parents and their ability to set an atmosphere of free inquiry for their child. The emotional benefit of such an atmosphere, coupled with good social examples set by parents is what many researchers believe will help children to learn in a classroom setting and thus engage more rigorously with formalized education.