FAQS

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Q:

Is home schooling legal?

A:

We can answer with a resounding YES! People who home school for a religious conviction stand on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion. In the landmark case of Wisconsin v. Yoder, the U.S. Supreme Court stated: “The history and culture of Western civilization"

Q:

Is home education a new idea?

A:

Public education as we know it today did not exist in colonial America or in the first decades after the adoption of the Constitution. Education of children was left strictly to parents, who provided the necessary instruction at home or through private (usually church-affiliated) schools. Home education therefore has in roots in America’s history. Home education was successful. Historical evidence indicates that prior to the introduction of public education and compulsory attendance laws, Americans were probably the most literate people in the world. John Adams observed in 1765 that “A native of America, especially of New England, who cannot read write is as rare a phenomenon as a comet.” A study conducted in 1800 confirmed that literacy was universal in early America. Many great leaders of the past were home schooled or privately tutored, including: John Quincy Adams, Hans Christian Anderson, William Penn, Alexander Graham Bell, Pearl S. Buck, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, General George Patton, General Douglas MacArthur, Albert Einstein, Agatha Christie, Albert Schweitzer, and Andre Wyeth. More recently, Dr. Frank Vandiver, President of Texas A&M University, was home tutored after the seventh grade. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was taught at home for one year.

Q:

Why home education?

A:

The reasons for home education are varied, but generally fall into one or both of two categories: (1) moral and religious reasons, and (2) academic reasons. Many home schoolers are concerned that the traditional school has become a battleground for the minds and souls of America’s youth. Youngsters in our nation’s schools are increasingly being asked to choose lifestyles and behaviors that are directly opposite those held by their parents. Drug usage, teenage pregnancy, suicide, and homosexuality are increasingly the accepted norm in many of our public schools. The critical role of parents in the academic process is well documented. Parents who home school for academic reasons point to the advantages of one-on-one tutoring and the more personalized, lower stress environment in the home school, which build self-esteem and leads to improved academic performance. Studies have shown that many “school-aged” youngsters are not ready, either mentally or physically, for formal classroom education. In short, home education provides for the unique needs of each child.

Q:

Are ordinary parents qualified to teach?

A:

In another verification of the many other studies done on this subject, Hawk, Coble and Swanson of East Carolina University in their study of all available research evidence concluded that there is little, if any, documentation to support the assertion that the effectiveness of teachers is a function of increased certification requirements (Journal of Teacher Education, May-June, 1985). It is gratifying that Missouri has recognized the injustice and futility of trying to force state teaching certificates on parents who choose to educate their own children in their own homes and for whom the state certificate was never designed. Missouri home educators are clearly demonstrating what a half-century of educational research has confirmed – a total lack of any significant relationship between the teacher’s certificate and a pupil’s achievement.

Q:

What about socialization?

A:

A common misconception is that well-socialized children require the peer group association provided by conventional schools. However, research studies funded by Cornell University found that children who spend more elective time with their peers than with their parents become peer-dependent, thereby diminishing their self-worth, optimism and respect for their parents, all of which are crucial to sound mental health and positive socialization. The child who feels needed and depended upon at home will usually be a social leader because he/she is more likely to be self-directed and independent. Perhaps the most compelling study to date was done by John Taylor of Andrews University. Mr. Taylor found tat the self- concept of home schooled children was significantly higher than conventionally schooled children as measured on the Pier-Harris Children’s Self Concept Scale. Half of the home schooled children scored in the upper ten percent on the scale. The researchers attributed these findings to the one-on-one tutoring environment in the home and to higher levels of parental interest and peer independence. First hand observations of home schooled children commonly impress observers with their of maturity, stability responsiveness and self-assurance. In fact, parents often report that their decision to home school their children came from observing the impressive social qualities of other home taught students. And, regardless of the student’s academic standings, with your positive parental example, your children will have the role model they need to develop strong character and independence as the real measures of educational success.

Q:

How much are membership dues with SCCHE?

A:

Membership dues are $15 per family per school year.

Q:

What are my membership dues used for?

A:

The two big expenses that are paid from the membership dues are group insurance and website maintenance fees. Remaining money is used for goods and services that benefit the group.  Examples of this would be paying a guest speaker to speak at an SCCHE event or rental fees for a facility that the group needs to use.

Q:

I can't afford the Membership Fee / Renewal Fee.  Can I still join?

A:

Yes.  SCCHE does offer scholarships, based on need.  If you are requesting membership, please write a message to the administrator explaining your situation and why you would like a scholarship.  Renewing members have several check boxes they can mark indicating why they should be considered for scholarships.  There is also a comment box where they can give additional information.