Debate Rounds (4)
Homeschooling - to teach school subjects to one's children at home instead of sending them to school (public or private)
1. The first round is for acceptance only
2. No trolling or semantics
3. No forfeits
4. No arguments in the final round
5. Breaking any of these rules results in an automatic loss
Round 1 - Acceptance
Round 2 - Opening arguments
Round 3 - Rebuttals
Round 4 - Defense and rebuttals
I look forward to a good debate!
I accept the challenge of why homeschooling should be allowed in society. Myself being homeschooled, I will argue on why homeschooling is good and shouldn't be banned.
The main problem with homeschooling is that there aren't enough checks to ensure that the student is receiving a quality education. Requirements for homeschooling vary in each state, some states requiring the parents to send test scores or have their curriculum evaluated, and some states requiring no prior notice from the parents to start homeschooling (https://www.hslda.org...). These varying laws means that there is no way to ensure the kids are getting a good education. While one of the main benefits of homeschooling is the ability for the parents to make their own curriculum, parents can make a curriculum that is too easy or too full of "fluff" subjects. Some parents do a good job at homeschooling their child and that is great, however, because there is no minimum standards, the negligence or incompetence of the parents may affect their child for the rest of their lives. I acknowledge that there are cases where parents have done a good job homeschooling their child; however, I think this is the exception, rather than the norm. Because of this looseness, homeschooling can break down in 3 main ways.
First, homeschooling doesn't always provide enough social experience. Being schooled at home with no significant interaction with kids (or adults) outside of their family doesn't provide the necessary social experience that is required to do well in the real world. While, to be fair, some homeschool families involve their kids in social activities, many don't do enough, or even stifle their child's social activity (http://www.responsiblehomeschooling.org...).
Second, homeschooling can be a weak academic environment. One way this can break down is in grades, and the other is in actual instruction. As there is no outside check on how grades are assigned, homeschool grades can be accurate or they can completely misrepresent a child's academic ability. Parents can give out a perfect GPA even if the student does poorly, making the student eligible for many college scholarships and possibly cutting other, more deserving students that don't have a perfect GPA out. The other way homeschooling can be a weak academic environment is in actual instruction. Parents are not necessarily qualified to teach their children school subjects. Their parent's academic weaknesses can be transferred to their children.
Third, homeschooling can be used as a way to shelter or brainwash kids. As a National Center for Education Statistics study found in 2007, 2 of the main reasons parents chose to homeschool were desires to provide moral or religious instruction. While these goals are good, there are few external checks on the curriculum, which could lead to parents brainwashing the child without presenting all sides of the issue, not preparing them for real life where their ideas will be challenged. This problem can be compounded if the child only has limited social interaction; being brainwashed by parents and not having their ideas challenged by other kids with different opinions can make the child live in a bubble, unaware of how the real world works.
These three things combined make me doubt that homeschooling should be allowed to continue in its present form.
I thank my opponent for responding, and in this round I shall state my argument of why homeschooling should be allowed in America. Also, this will be the first time I try out a new format for posting arguments so it is easier to see where my arguments are.
Like my opponent stated in his argument in the first round, different states have different regulations when a child is homeschooled. However, no matter the method used, homeschooling is full of the student having to be independent with their work. The term independent, defined from Webster's Dictionary, is "Not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence". With homeschool, this level of independence is achieved by allowing the student into fulfilling his or her given assignments. And it has been proven that homeschool promotes independence, "Parents chose to forgo government factory schooling to let their children develop with independence along the course of their own developmental schedule. These are people who are themselves independent thinkers" (1).
Comparing that to public school, independence is really not achieved because of having to follow a certain format on how schools teach, instead of promoting a students independence.
According to the article "Why Students in Some Countries do Better" (2), the number one reason of other countries education is higher is because of promoting independence in the student. "The trouble with performing the analysis at the individual level is that there are no independent, individual observations for many variables. Within the TIMSS data set, the primary sampling unit (or PSU) is the school, not the student or classroom. Individual students who attend the same school may share some characteristics that are not captured by survey data; the individual observations are not wholly independent of one another". With a promotion of independence among the student, which homeschooling promotes, it allows that independence to shine through and much more better in the life time.
Allows Passions to Spread
Another thing about homeschool is the ability for the student to find what they are passionate about. My opponent may ask "Can't public schools allow the student to find their passion"? In reality no, because of having so many requirements that the student need to take in order to graduate. This method I like to refer to as "Forced Education", where schools force a lesson down a students throat even though they will not need it in the long run. This idea of "Forced Education" can be homework, where in a majority of homeschools, was not necessary to pass. It mainly consisted of completing lessons given by the homeschool program used by students.
With no homework promoted many passions, as well as actually allowed the student to learn on their own. According to mother and journalist Penelope Trunk (3) "I internalized this idea when my youngest son was learning to read. I didn't teach him. But I watched carefully to see how he learned. He learned a lot from playing video games, but the first time I saw him actually sit down and read, page by page, was in a cab ride on our trip to Las Vegas. The cab was full of booklets advertising clubs with women in crazy, exotic costumes. He was determined to learn how to read those booklets. My first instinct was to tell him to put the book away. But not before I took a picture: self-directed learning". Her son learned because of having the time, after his lessons, to learn how to do common stuff on his own.
And to provide an example of a person who successfully fulfilled their passions, while homeschooled, lets take a look at Sam Sutherland (4). Sam Sutherland was a homeschooled student who graduated early, and became famous for sailing around the world at a young age. This was achieved because of himself being homeschooled, and developing a passion among his free time; and now look at where he is now. He is famous, wrote a book, and proved that homeschool can be effective.
Help Kids Learn When Having a Mental Condition
I would like to quickly share a short story on how I got into homeschool. My younger brother has Asperger's Syndrome (Form of Autism) and had trouble communicating with his peers in school. Even my parents couldn't even talk to him, without him getting extremely nervous. Then my mom did homeschool, where he learned at his own pace and now is in public school where he can communicate with others despite his mental issues. How did this happen? By letting him take a breather from the outside world, and learning at his own pace.
Homeschooling not only did this to him, but others as well. "Why homeschool your child with ASD? Less stress and anxiety for the child, Less fighting upon schedules in school, and comfort" (5). As it is seen here, those with mental issues can solve those issues with being homeschooled. As well as it refers back to my previous argument on how these type of students can learn what they want without as many limitations compared to that of public schools. "Putting aside these debates and focusing on the question of education, autistic children appear to benefit from early educational intervention with an emphasis on helping them acquire language skills and mastering basic social interactions. While speech pathologists, parent-led therapy, and intensive language courses appear to help; most autistics benefit from daily intensive language work which is beyond the logistical and financial ability of most parents to provide. Time4Learning provides a home-based low cost effective method to supplement these others therapies" (6).
I agree that independence can be a (very) positive thing in academics. While the ability to work independently is a good trait to have, students must also develop skills that allow them to work together with others. In this day and age, workers must increasingly work together, rather than independently, to get projects done. Many, if not most, companies specifically look for those that can work well on a team, especially in high-tech industries (http://www.forbes.com...).
Allows Passions to Spread
Regarding "Forced Education" - As I understand it, Con argues that simply because a lesson is not needed, means that it should not be taught. Perhaps this is the case in theory, however, there are many practical issues with this position. Colleges, especially prestigious ones, typically have requirements for classes a student must take before the college will admit him or her. As both Con and I go to Colorado colleges, I will mention the Higher Education Admissions Requirements as an example. HEAR "establishes state-level admission standards for both first-time freshmen and transfer students at each of the Colorado baccalaureate public institutions" (http://highered.colorado.gov...). These standards must be met, regardless of how useful a particular course will be for the student. This is just one example of why "Forced Education" can be necessary.
Regarding giving kids the freedom to direct their own learning - While this can allow motivated kids to learn the skills they need on their own, it can be risky, allowing the child to direct his or her learning. For example, if a student decided that he didn't need to do math for a year, because he wanted to be a botanist, and the next year he decided instead he wanted to be an engineer, he would be put at a disadvantage and would have to catch up.
Students in traditional schools can also pursue their passions: there are many stories about kids coding in their free time, etc.
For example, Daniel Chou was able to create an iOS app in his free time, and at the time of the writing, he went to Lenski Elementary, a public school (http://denver.cbslocal.com...).
Help Kids Learn When Having a Mental Condition
I concede this point.
In this round, I shall rebuttal against my opponent on why homeschooling should not be suspended across America.
My opponents main argument is that homeschooling is not as good of an education than public school. I will agree that it may need tweaking, however it should not be banned completely as I have mentioned in my own argument. The fact is, the education given in public schools clearly isn't as great as homeschools with the ability to be flexible in the childs schedule on what they believe he or she needs to learn in life. This is good more so because of actually gaining more experience, than being forced to learn something they won't down the road. Also, statistically proven that those who were homeschooled outscored public schoolers on tests, as well as graduation rate (1). And another thing on what my opponent claims as "not enough education", lets look at the results of ACT and SAT tests. According to Chris Klicka (2) "Homeschoolers continue to exhibit academic excellence when compared to public school students and to national averages for college admissions tests".
Lack of Social Eperience
This argument is actually fairly common, however this accusation is false. According to Naomi de la Torre, she states: "Of course, it is easy to imagine homeschooled children as sad and lonely social misfits, stuck at home without anyone to socialize with. But this is far from the truth" (3). How is this a lie that homeschool children don't get social interaction? Well the truth is that after being cramped up for so long in a homeschooling environment, they want to interact with people. Because of this, they are factually slightly more social interactive than those who attend public school (1). Also, we must think common sense here. Just because someone is homeschooled does not mean that they isolate themselves from public.
Education Learning Referral
I addressed my opponents argument here within my first argument at the top.
Personally, I don't see what the issue with this is. A child is adapting to a parents religion or belief. This is the same way with anything, not just homeschooling; so I really don't see the issue with this. Its not really brainwashing, more so being influenced on believing something.
In this round, I will defend against my opponent's rebuttals.
I concede this point. Pro convinced me that homeschooling can provide a good education, although I still hold that there should be checks on the curriculum used to make sure it is at least as rigorous as public school.
Lack of Social Experience
While I don't have any empirical evidence to back my position up, I know plenty of homeschoolers who are socially awkward and can't pick up on social queues. Perhaps they grow out of this when they go to college or get a job however.
While conforming to a particular way of thinking isn't necessarily bad, While I agree that "brainwashing" can happen at public or private school too, other kids will have different opinions, and thus will give the student a more rounded view of life.
Thanks for debating, SnaxAttack. I enjoyed our debate, and I wish you the best of luck in college!
For the final round, I will defend my own arguments and state the conclusion for this debate.
I argued that one benefit to homeschooling is the gain in independence. In the last round, my opponent rebuttaled that independence is a very important thing, however he argues that social interaction is far more important. I will argue that independence is a primary factor more so than social interaction. According to the article Ian Welsh, a high uptight business man, "It makes sense that the more independent employee, able to work alone, should be the best choice" (1). He argues that independence should come first for the simple fact that no one is always going to "hold your hand". Homeschooling achieves this idea by promoting more independence than social interaction. However, social interaction shouldn't be completely neglected, more so a second end priority.
Allows Passion to Spread
My opponent then argues that forced education is needed within a schooling system. Maybe at times yes, however we are arguing on whether or not homeschooling should be banned from America. I'm not saying that all education should be free will, but a majority should; and homeschooling achieves this value greatly. It is agreed that certain colleges and classes require a curriculum, but I like to look at a more successful type of school that did a more hands on learning, than being forced to learn something. The example I am bringing up are Tech Schools.
Tech Schools, or Trade Schools, are schools in which the student learns a job hands on than through a book or series of required courses that will never be used later on in life. Homeschool does the same thing closely by driving a students passions to be used in the public, than having a delayed start on that hands on learning. And trade schools are actually better factually because of cost benefits, and getting a higher employment rate for knowing how to do the job instead of having to be trained. Homeschool achieves this value once more (2).
To conclude this debate, my opponent makes many arguments but fails to follow through with them. My opponent, multiple times, has conceded to many of my previous arguments meaning he dropped the debate. He did this for about three of my own and his arguments combined meaning an easy indication on who won this debate. I followed through with my arguments on proving why homeschools should not be banned in America.
I thank my opponent for this debate, and wish him good luck with his future!
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