Bai Lu

ChinAfrica - - Pros & Cons -

Peo­ple choose home school­ing be­cause cer­tain spe­cial de­mands could not be pro­vided for at schools. In the U. S., the spe­cial needs are mostly about re­li­gion, whereas Chi­nese par­ents, mostly elite ones, teach chil­dren at home be­cause of their dis­sat­is­fac­tion with exam-ori­ented ed­u­ca­tion. Some chil­dren are unique and pos­sess out­stand­ing learn­ing abil­i­ties.

Com­ple­men­tary to for­mal ed­u­ca­tion, home school­ing passes the re­spon­si­bil­ity of teach­ing on to in­di­vid­ual par­ents. Com­pared with one­type-fits-all text­books, teach­ing meth­ods and ex­ams, par­ents can arouse chil­dren’s in­ter­ests and cre­ate a more open, more ef­fi­cient and fa­vor­able learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment by teach­ing them at home. Be­sides, it helps foster a har­mo­nious fam­ily and de­vel­ops the child’s in­tegrity.

New prag­matic ed­u­ca­tional meth­ods are of­ten cre­ated by in­di­vid­ual fam­i­lies or at the com­mu­nity level. There­fore, I think home school­ing should be given more le­gal sup­port so that those taught by their par­ents can smoothly fit in to univer­sity life and be fully rec­og­nized by so­ci­ety. Ed­u­ca­tion is not just about im­part­ing knowl­edge, but also fos­ter­ing a sound char­ac­ter. Chil­dren can learn to fol­low rules, respect laws and get along with oth­ers in school, ca­pac­i­ties which may not be well cul­ti­vated at home.

There are prob­lems with both the pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem and home school­ing. School ed­u­ca­tion, so far, is still a bet­ter choice given its ma­tu­rity. Re­ceiv­ing ed­u­ca­tion in school is a le­gal right of ev­ery child. As par­ents, we can­not de­prive chil­dren of such a right. There­fore, the law should pro­tect chil­dren’s le­git­i­mate right to go to school.

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