Home schooling has been a controversial and even touchy topic for years on end. Many factors in 2013 have caused parents to teach their kids at home. These range from bullying to more personal attention to better test results.
Now it's hard to argue against the raw data of home schooled students versus private and public school students. They typically perform five times better than their mainstreamed counterparts. These are the types of kids that score high on the SATs and win the National Spelling Bees.
However, everyone is not meant for home schooling. It all depends on the individual needs and abilities of the student. Some thrive in this environment, and others suffer from it. Even the students that excel tend to lack in social skills and can develop introverted, even erratic behaviors.
Two of my cousins have home schooled their children. One just mainstreamed her son after years of home school and he's adjusting well. He has already been socialized, being heavily involved in church and Boy Scout activities. The other child just became home schooled after being in public school his entire school career. This cousin has found problems that the public schools overlooked. He struggles with certain basic school skills that should have been mastered years ago but were never addressed. Talk about a child being left behind.
There are many problems with education already. One is in standarized testing. Everyone doesn't test well on them, yet they're still a benchmark and a vehicle for schools to receive extra funding. Consequently, many schools teach to these tests, rather than making sure their students actually learn fundamentals and skills.
I'm not degrading all teachers and parents by any means. I know plenty of really good parents, teachers, and those that are both. They must work together, however, to ensure the student is receiving the best education.
A balance is definitely in order. I believe a student, given the ability, should begin their school career mainstreamed with other students in a classroom. Later on, if it is determined that home school is the best alternative, then that is what should happen. Either way, the child should develop strong social skills through organizations, youth sports, volunteer work and the like. There is life after high school which may include higher education, the military, and eventually the workplace. You can become someone who works from home. However, you still need to know how to properly socialize and talk with others. Social media and texting have already robbed our youth from interpersonal interaction. Not many people talk primarily on the phone or visit others anymore. We cannot allow any school system to do this also.
True education includes learning proper academic, study, and social skills, as well as discipline and a good work ethic. These are universal tools that one cannot and should not be about.
So if home schooling your child is the best, then that's great. Just ensure that your child still receives the proper well rounded education that everyone deserves.