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Homeschooling May Cause Children to Learn the Wrong Thing

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,438 times Debate No: 58950
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)




I wanted to take the place against the assumption, or theory, that kids that are homeschooled may learn the wrong thing.

First off, to start, I am homeschooled, I have always been.

Being homeschooled can be a benefit because it is free. There aren't government rules and restrictions on being privately homeschooled. (Example, I don't mean homeschool as in you order papers from school and send them back.)
I understand there will be those who disagree, and worry that because of lack of government intervention, children may learn the "wrong" thing.

My argument on this is: What is right? How can you say what is wrong or what is right?
How do you know that being taught in a public facility approved by the government is the right thing?
I'm not saying everything my homeschool teaches is right, and I'm allowed to question the authenticity and validity of a couple of subjects.
But if the government has four apples, takes away two, and says the answer is one, does that make it right?

Obviously, I'm being a bit biased by using my base of learning as an example of what is taught, because I know some families want to be rebellious by saying something like that, or some families may teach their children the doctrine of Satan, or Allah, or whatever your deity may be.

I thank whoever accepts my challenge.


Greetings and Good luck!

I accept the challenge, and will attempt to argue that homeschooling may result in students being allowed to learn something that is "wrong."

First, a little about myself. I have also been homeschooled, only for 7th and 8th grades, and I feel that I greatly benefited from the academic focus that resulted from my homeschooling. It called for a much more student specific learning atmosphere, and gave my sister and I a much needed refuge from an overcrowded, underfunded, and outdated school system in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

This being said, I will move right into my argument:

While I feel that I was benefited by my homeschooling, I must first admit that my parents were not the teacher. We have a family friend that had taught for several years, and she undertook the task of being our teacher. In retrospect, I have no doubt that she was far more experienced and thus, more prepared to teach than my parents would have been. My parents had no idea where to acquire textbooks, workbooks, learning aids, and the other supplies that were necessary for our education. The reason that our homeschool experience was so successful is undoubtedly because we were collaborating with a professional teacher.

While it is entirely possible that my parents could have taught my sister and I, I will suggest that most topics require more than a basic understanding to teach. For example, I have a basic understanding of science, but would undoubtedly be a very poor teacher regarding the subjects of chemistry, biology, astronomy, and other similar fields. While my parents could have attempted to teach me these things, they would likely struggle to convey the more difficult facets of each subject, and thus, my learning would have suffered as a result.

Theoretically speaking, when homeschooling is not legitimized (by following professional experience, or government protocol) it is open to inaccurate information, or poor teaching/learning techniques/atmospheres. This can potentially set students back, and make it more difficult for them to recover academically. In addition, homeschooling can lead to complications regarding college enrollment if there is not some level of legitimacy.

Beyond the academic side of homeschooling, you also have the extracurricular side:

When I was homeschooled, I was limited in my opportunities musically, athletically, and socially. I was hindered from playing music, with the exception of a small performance through a church-based chamber orchestra. I was unable to participate in sports, except for backyard football with a handful of friends. My social circle was essentially reduced to church functions, and preexisting family friends. This was not necessarily a terrible situation, but nevertheless, I would have appreciated more variation in my opportunities.

In conclusion, I feel that homeschooling is an intensely focused academic model, but is at the mercy of the teacher's experience.

I look forward to Round 2 rebuttals!
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for the accept, and good luck, too!

It is true that there is a margin of error when it comes to homeschooling, as it is, as said, not approved by government. And I have encountered the people who worry about my college education, should I decide to go to college.
Obviously, every home is different. My family strongly encouraged independence in hobbies and other extracurricular activities.

But concerning legitimacy of homeschooling, I question the real difference between this and public schooling. Of course, the main difference is, as said, that public schools are regulated by the government.
But what makes the government right?
In my house, we teach complete opposites of what public schools teach. (My dad is extremely religious, so we use the Bible, teach creationism, etc., etc.)
So, from my being raised, I can tell someone that God created the universe, and think myself to be right, and someone can tell me about how the universe was created by spontaneous combustion, and think themselves to be right. But this is because of how we were taught.

I know I will receive feedback of "How can you be right, then?" when I say "How can the Government be right?"
Obviously, two people can be wrong, and only one can be right, so I may even be wrong, and I'm open to that.

I wanted to argue the validity of the government. As I said in my opening statement, if the government wanted to say 2+2=5, does that make it 5?


You have acknowledged the possibility that homeschooling is subject to a margin of error regarding curriculum, and lend credit to my argument. You then suggest that there is no difference between legitimate homeschooling and public schooling. I will once again suggest that the main issue is that homeschooling can be far more focused on the academic pursuits of the individual student, while also hindering the social advancement of students.

However, the larger issue that you appear to be raising is not to defend homeschooling, but to question the authority. You suggest that government regulation is the main difference between the two.

I will first like to acknowledge that my homeschooling experience adhered to the structure of North Carolina School Systems. We were required to log 180 days, to copyright a school name, and to take a standardized test at the conclusion of the school year. I will also acknowledge that we also studied using a creationist science text book.

In essence, we were regulated by the government and allowed to learn creationism.

So, in response, I will submit to you the notion that the government is not truly where your logical dispute would be resolved. The government has no direct say over creationist teachings, as this would be an infringement on our freedoms.

I suggest that you do not wish to argue the validity of the government, on the grounds that the government has no direct control over the scientific community. The academic scientific community is where your logic would be most hotly contested. If the government wanted to say 2+2=5 (nice 1984 reference, by the way), then they would be immediately discredited by the scientific community.

Now, I feel compelled to ask whether you would like to void our last two rounds and proceed with another debate or shall we continue by debating the contrasting logic between creationist science and secular science?
Debate Round No. 2


My wording needs improving, I know. I only intended my sentence to be read on government approval standpoint, not necessarily government education.

(Once again, I was a bit biased in my argument; since the only environment of homeschooling I know is the one I am being taught in now, and we don't have to do the log thing, because we're not, well, acknowledged, if that makes any sense. We haven't gone up to a school system and asked them to provide for us, and regulate us.)

On the issue of social hindrance, I was allowed to socialize anywhere, but I chose not to.

(Also, your sentence about government letting you learn creationism shocks me a little, and hit me unexpectedly.)

I'm up for debating anything I believe in, so I wouldn't mind taking your offer up on creationist science and secular.

What I meant in my argument about the nuance between homeschooling and public schooling, I meant it exactly how I said it. "Of course, the main difference is, as said, that public schools are regulated by the government." This is true. After all, they fund schools, correct me if I'm wrong.

And my real reply about how you said the government allowed you to learn creationism, sure, that's inevitable, because your home wouldn't necessarily be a federal building, so the whole "Separation Between Church and State" (which I don't believe in, their view of it) that they push wouldn't imply a personal home.
(My father works at a school, so I say with confidence that "God" isn't exactly allowed in schools [but Bibles are..?])
I can also bring up court rulings on how religion isn't allowed in schools.
(Need I mention the ever so infamous Everson v. Board of Education?)
All of these next references are from The Myth of Separation by David Barton:
"A verbal prayer offered in a school is unconstitutional, even if it is both denominationally neutral and voluntarily participated in. Engel v Vitale, 1962"
"Freedom of Speech and Press is guaranteed to students unless the topic is religious, at which time such speech becomes unconstitutional. Stein v. Oshinsky, 1965"
"If a student prays over his lunch, it is unconstitutional to pray aloud. Reed v. van Hoven, 1965"


I believe your wording is fine, but I also still believe that the larger issue you are trying to discuss is regarding the scientific community, rather than the government.

I will point out that I am unsure about the regulations regarding homeschooling in locations other than North Carolina. While my homeschooling experience was required to follow certain guidelines, I do not know whether or not these guidelines were universal or specific. I will, however, say that we did not acquire our learning materials from any school system. My teacher went and purchased our text books, along with other materials, from specific markets that cater to teachers. There is a fairly large support structure these days to support homeschool curriculum, and most of the materials you need can be pre-approved and readily available.

Now, regarding the comment that you are not acknowledged, I will not pry, but I will say that this makes it far more difficult to achieve academic legitimacy. If not acknowledged, then it becomes hard to defend your schooling when/if you try to reenter the public school systems. This makes it incredibly difficult to enter college, and places you at the mercy of academia.

Regarding social hindrance, I understand, but suggest that there are cases of students who fail to develop socially as a direct result of homeschooling. This may be partially because of personal choice, yet may also be the result of lacking opportunities, as I have mentioned.

The circumstances behind my creationist science text book is simply that the text book is part of an approved series of homeschooling curriculum. It teaches modern science, but differs on the major points of evolution(not adaptation) and the Big Bang Theory. Other than these two points, the text book was essentially similar to any other science text book.

You are correct in your statement that the government funds the public school system, but I reject your logic that the government has any real power over what is specifically taught. The state and federal government fund the public school system, but the information taught in each subject essentially is provided by the scholarly community, and teachers are mainly regulated to ensure that they uphold the standards of this community. Keeping to your hypothetical: if a teacher were to teach that 2+2=5, then the government would first have to discover that this had been happening. Second, the government could theoretically suspend their status as a teacher, but the mathematic society would be the ones with the true power. Conversely, if the government authorized teachers to say that 2+2=5, then the mathematic scholars would instantly discredit the government. Education is not about regulation. Education is about knowledge.

Regarding my learning creationism: yes, technically this was a private home. However, it was a legitimate schooling program, submitting to all of the state requirements. In addition, there are private christian schools that are deemed legitimate and subject to government regulation. Therefore, the argument that it would only apply to individual homes is nullified.

Considering the separation of church and state, I will not argue my views about it in this debate. However, this is intended at an official level only. Officially, the government is not allowed to display bias in any way, shape, or form to any religious stance. That does not mean that government employees do not have individual rights to practice religion, it means that they may take no official stance.

Extending this concept to schools, I will reiterate that this is at an official capacity only. Officially, public school teachers and other faculty are discouraged from taking any explicit stance on religious matters. While God may not officially be allowed in schools, there is nothing to prevent students from exercising their religious rights in a reasonable fashion. I also have two uncles and several family friends in the school systems of California, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Kentucky. My uncle in California is actually a principal, and devoutly religious.

In response to your quotes:
While I will again acknowledge that I have been schooled in North Carolina, I would also like to say that I have publicly prayed, discussed religion, and spoken with other students about God without any repercussions whatsoever. Furthermore, I have attended extracurricular christian events, I have had one teacher specifically and directly encourage me to pray with another student, and my wrestling coaches led the team in the Lord's Prayer before every match (a ritual that I continued when I began coaching).

So, while I understand your concerns regarding government regulation, I must admit that I have not been personally affected. If this is not the case where you live, I apologize. However, I still must admit that it seems there is more to your argument than simple government regulation.
Debate Round No. 3


You put up a very great debate, and thank you for participating.

I never did intend the discussion to be forced on the scientific community, but rather the stamp of approval the government puts on it (which you addressed.) Obviously, I am in no position to argue with science, but my main issue was, I realize, theoretical. (Example, I saw a picture on the internet that said, "What if the guy who ate a poison berry was actually allergic, and all this time we were ignoring delicious berries?") I may try again next time on what is considered right, when I'm more experienced with science.

As you said, it does make it difficult to enroll into college, because I wouldn't have a real record of education (although my step-grandmother assures me time and time again that I could still apply for a scholarship if I wanted to.)

As far as supplies go, my father didn't go to a supply store that was necessarily "pre-approved," he went to a local convention to get the supplies. (Legitimacy of the convention, I can't say, although it is a school itself.)

On the issue of the "Church and State" I brought up; I also didn't intend it to be taken as solely for home issues. I know private schools can be under the same rules and freedoms. I know public schools fall under the Separation clause, because for some reason, religion isn't supposed to be in public facilities. Of course, the stance, I mean. To some people praying aloud in a school cafeteria counts as setting up a religious view.

On the concern of what the government controls, the whole Separation clause issue does crawl into it, to an effect. (As stated, I wouldn't know much about the private school rules, as it is to each his own, but that's the real reason private schools can pretty much do what they want within reason.) But if a creationistic textbook or teaching would enter a public school, it only takes one person to feel that the school has taken a religious stance. (As far as I know what happens after that, Dad tells me that the government stops funding the school if it won't take the teaching out; similar to another case that says that schools can't have the Ten Commandments hanging in view, because "children may read them, meditate upon them, and follow them." [Stone v. Graham, 1980])

I would really hope an experiment like what you said would happen, because as far as I can determine from watching programs about school systems, all the schools care about is the money on the heads of the kids who attend it. (I wouldn't want to pose such an experiment in college.) Every year, I hear about how schools want to make it easier to pass students, either by taking parts of the quizzes out, or lowering the grade requirement. Education should be about knowledge, but as far as I know in my area and nearby, education is all about money.
(Needless to say, whenever bad weather prohibits or prevents children to attend school, the only thing you hear from school systems is "This school lost XX.XThousand/Million/Hundred dollars due to the lack of attendance because of the bad weather.")

I digress. The argument I initially made was authenticity of government approval, and you delivered it well. Thank you for such a good debate.


Thank you as well for initiating this debate! I look forward to any future discussions!

Regarding college, I would recommend preparing as much as possible for the SAT, and shoot as high as you can with your reading and math scores on it. Those two scores alone play a big role in scholarships.

If your father received the materials through a convention, I would imagine they were pre-approved in some manner.

Religion isn't supposed to be in public facilities, but individuals are free to pursue religious freedom. The difficulty lies in the enforcement, and that is why this topic is so intensely debated in American culture. So, really, it comes down to the simple question of: can the authority really be religiously neutral?

I will close with a statement that a good friend has made more than once: "As long as there are tests, there will be prayers in school."
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by XionChan 7 years ago
We're pretty much non-existent as a school. We're like.. Native Americans when it comes to teaching, really. (Besides the obvious barbaric teachings.) Not in the records, at all, besides obvious census and home stuff.
Posted by IndianaFrank 7 years ago
Some of you folks must live in strange states. In mine homeschooled children are required to pass the same I-step exams and such and the regular school kids do. I know several kids who are homeschooled and they have learned the same things however, in most cases they are far more shy and not as capable of socializing with children there own age. The world requires competition, that's a fact of life and they cant learn that at home.
Posted by Free_Th1nker 7 years ago
There is no doctrine of Satan, at least in Laveyan Satanism. Satan is a concept, rather than a natural or supernatural being.
Posted by JasperFrancisShickadance 7 years ago
Homeschooling is almost never free, Con.
Posted by Preston 7 years ago
wait did you notice that he compares Allah, God, to Satan!

" I know some families want to be rebellious by saying something like that, or some families may teach their children the doctrine of Satan, or Allah"

what the heck??!?!?!
Posted by Free_Th1nker 7 years ago
I'm very tempted to accept this debate on terms that a child who is homeschooled can be taught that creation is correct and evolution is wrong when in fact the opposite is true, but a Christian family who wishes to homeschool their kid could certainly teach them that creation explains our universe.

Homeschooling allows for parents to teach their children religious pseudo-science that is left out of a public classroom.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Ignorant teachers are more likely to teach ignorance, as Pro noted.
Vote Placed by rings48 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Was this really debate? Pros points in round 3 are the reason I am voting. Pro's points developing that the scientific community deems what content is accurate not the school effectively rebuttals the conclusion. However the two ended up just having a discussion/conversation so this maybe should be considered a draw?

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