Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Thursday, May 30, 2013



BY Domenick J. Maglio PhD.

Home schooling has a long tradition in America. Many historically successful Americans were home schooled especially during the founding and the settling of our frontiers. There often were no alternatives but to help their eager children to learn the necessary skills to become self- educated.

The initiators of the recent home school movement had a different motivation. These parents were unhappy with the quality of education and the anti traditional moral values being promulgated at school. Many were religiously inspired to do everything in their power to make their children excellent students with strong moral values. They had incredible success throughout the United States.

Many of the "Johnny come lately" to home schooling do not have the same inner commitment. Too many are avoiding the hassles of having their children attend public schools rather than having a strong urge to make their children the best students they can be. For a few it is easier to withdraw a child from school when absences and tardies pile up than having to confront a truant officer. The vast majority is exiting from school due to the child’s difficulty academically, socially and/or emotionally.

These disgruntled “new home school parents” have to take an honest look at themselves and their lifestyles before jumping into this monumental undertaking. A poor educational home experience could set the child so far back academically that he will develop “games” to disguise his lack of learning. This could disable him from ever recovering to become a successful student.

Today’s confused parents are rarely able to accurately evaluate their child's academic scores on complex statewide testing and evaluation. They believe their child’s inflated quarterly grades are a true indicator of the progress rather than using their eyes, ears and common sense in listening and reviewing the material the child is supposed to be learning. Saying my child is on the honor role is easier and more satisfying than digging deeper into the child's academic skills and realizing there is a significant problem.

When many parents open their eyes to the child’s actual level of functioning they impulsively think home schooling is a viable option. They do this without thinking through or analyzing the time and necessary research that has to be done to successfully be a home school teacher.

Adults in the electronic age arrogantly think they have the skills and knowledge at their computer fingertips to teach the child anything they want. However, modern parents have a harried and complicated lifestyle that does not afford them the time or the will to do what they think they can do.

Students need a structured environment where they can learn organization, time management, integration of knowledge and inner discipline. In our harried lives most parents do not have the personal discipline to manage their own interests and responsibilities no less cover a comprehensive curriculum for their children.

The audacity of parents being able to teach their own children is based on hope not on reality. Most parents do not make the effort to see whether their child has mastered even the most fundamental skills in language arts and math while in public schools. Diving into home schooling without a trial period in the summer or on weekends is a reckless act. These parents are relying on hope.

Many of the new students being home schooled today are not being provided the consistency and structure required for a well-rounded education. The interest areas of the child are overly covered at the expense of fundamental subjects and less exciting ones. The hassles of motivating the child to even sit down to begin home schooling lessons become progressively more frequent. It probably is one of the reasons so many school age children are found wandering around the local stores instead of being in school learning the subjects they need to learn. 

 Down the academic road many home school parents are surprised to learn their child has large gaps in learning when they reach the higher grades. They are confronted by the reality of college entrance exams that show the child cannot qualify for courses in college without taking remedial classes to begin.  These parents learn too late that they do not have the power to decree their child is bright enough to enter college. Being a well-rounded academic student has to be achieved to earn acceptance and the completion of higher education.

A reality check is needed before a parent attempts home schooling. It is understandable that many parents are aghast with what is happening in many chaotic government schools. They feel pressured to home school their children in order to protect them. Under the right circumstances parents can learn to be good teachers with the necessary free time, right temperament, discipline, control of their children, ability and incredibly strong commitment to the child's comprehensive education.

Home schooling is a parental right although it is not for the faint of heart. It is for special, dedicated parents who are willing to spend the time to be good managers of their child’s education. The decision to home school one’s child should be determined after careful consideration as it could leave your child in an unprepared state to succeed.

Dr. Maglio is an author and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. You can visit Dr. Maglio at


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