Increasing numbers of families are opting for the ultimate in private school. They are hiring teachers to educate their children at home. Unlike the more familiar home schoolers of recent years, these families aren't interested in getting more religion, nor do they have a problem with ordinary education. Simply, public schools don't fit their lifestyles.
Take Lisa Mazzoni, whose family splits its time between California and Florida. Lisa may have her algebra or history homework delivered poolside or on her condo's rooftop. Lisa's mother says, "For someone who travels a lot or has a parent who travels and wants to keep the family together, it's an excellent choice." The Mazzonis own a speedboat company, requiring frequent travel.
The price tag for private teachers generally runs from $70 to $110 an hour. Furthermore, the cost can easily equal or surpass tuition at the upper echelon of private schools, where $30,000 isn't unheard of. Advocates see in-home teaching as a chance to offer unequalled levels of academic attention and flexibility in scheduling. There is also a sense of family cohesion and autonomy over what the children learn.
The downside, however, may be that social goals are hindered. The children have fewer opportunities to interact with their peers, and so important social skills may be underdeveloped. Group lessons, such as ballet or sculpture, help to replicate some social interaction.
Companies that supply teachers and curricula are abundant, making it easier for families to step away from traditional schooling. Tiffany Wheeler, another home schooler, sums it up best. "It's fun," she says, barefoot and looking relaxed at her bedroom desk.
Preview some of the lesson material:
Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- Home schooling is for the elite and powerful. It’s an unfair system!
- Grades are the most important part of school.
- Children must learn social customs, and so should go to school.
- Learning from home with a tutor or via the Internet is the wave of the future.
- All children should be required to attend public school to receive the same education.
True or False?: Guess (before the article) or answer (after the article) whether the sentence is true or false. If false, correct the sentence.
- In the past, home schooling was often due to religious reasons.
- The price tag of home schooling can be greater than the top private schools.
- Opponents say that home schooling offers unequalled levels of academic attention.
- There are no downsides to home schooling.
- Social interaction among peers can be duplicated outside the school environment.
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- What are some reasons that you would want to home school your child?
- What are some reasons that you wouldn't want to home school your child?
- Do you think home schooling via the Internet is the wave of the future? Why/not?
- What is the single greatest advantage of home schooling of public schooling of private schooling?
- What would you say if your son or daughter wanted to quit school and study at home?
Google Search: Type "home schooling" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.