The Home-School Teacher’s Aide

July 30, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Kaysville, UT, August 2006 -– The phrase, ”back to school” for most children means going back to the classroom, but for an increasing number of kids it means going back to the family room. The stigma of home-schooling in the U.S. has been slowly receding as more parents find success educating their own children.

Over the last decade, the number of children being home-schooled has been steadily rising. In 1999, the U.S. Department of Education estimated the number of home-taught kids at 850,000. By 2005, the number grew to approximately 2 million, out of 50 million K-12 aged children.

There has always been a strong disdain for home education. Critics contend that home schooling produces academically intelligent yet socially dysfunctional adults. Other criticisms include parent’s lack of educational training and that home schooling impedes a student’s chance of being accepted to a reputable university.

However, over the last ten years resources have proliferated on the Internet to improve the parent-turned-teacher; including: curriculum guides, course manuals, exams and textbooks. Online companies like ABC Office ( supply home teachers with classroom equipment like laminators, paper cutters, banner stands and binding machines for creating booklets and study guides. Parents are also using the Internet to organize local support groups to share teaching ideas, arrange inter-group field trips and even stage proms.

Home-schooling’s growth can be attributed in part to a surge of positive publicity. In 1997, Rebecca Sealfon of Brooklyn, NY, was the first home-schooled student to win the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. In 1999, 13-year-old home-schooler David Beihl, of North Carolina, won The National Geography Bee. That same year The College Board and American College Testing Program reported home schooled students had average SAT scores of 1083 – 67 points greater than the national average.

Subsequently, colleges and universities have now adopted admissions policies for home-school graduates. Universities currently enrolling home-school alumni include the University of Miami, Michigan, and UC Berkeley.

Parents cite several reasons for choosing to opt out of the public education system. According to a 1999 Education Department survey, the majority of parents chose home-school believing they could educate their own children better. Religious reasons were a close second. Other reasons included fears of children being exposed to violence, drugs, bullies or elements that conflict with their values.

Here are some tips for parents considering home school:
· Time Commitment – Successful students/parents devote at least five hours per day to schoolwork or activities.
· Financial Commitment – Home-schooling itself is fairly inexpensive, but it may require the teaching parent to quit his/her job resulting in reduced household income.
· Protect Materials – Laminating and binding maps, charts, and handouts will increase the life of your teaching materials, saving you money.
· Parental Unity – Both parents must agree to home-schooling. It is very difficult to maintain consistency without the commitment of both parents.
· Social Considerations – Parents must provide frequent opportunities for interaction with other children to prevent antisocial behavior.
· Child’s Compliance – While it is ultimately up the parents whether or not to home-school, the chances of success are greater with a willing student.

For further information, please contact Morgan Cloward, Marketing Director of ABC Office, 1-800-543-5454.