In the online New Zealand newspaper, “Nelson Mail,” the topic of whether or not home schooling children is effective was raised and answered in the article, “Fear home school can’t make the grade.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/7226245/Fears-homeschool-can-t-make-grade
Though in New Zealand there are no government checks on home schooling and the curriculum, the discussion boiled down to the same thing – learners got individualized curriculum and attention meeting their needs and interests.
I especially liked the example of the parent who had hired a tutor for his son to learn Danish before his trip to Denmark. According to the dad, “Once you get to a certain level of knowledge where you can’t provide those resources… that would be the time that you get somebody else in.”
As a writing tutor myself, I have appreciated being able to individualize instruction for students who are learning to articulate their opinions and ideas in writing, but have also appreciated the parental involvement.
The other interesting idea was that home schooled children fail to be exposed to other cultures would lead to a “narrow world-view.” This struck a chord with me because I used to also believe this as a public school teacher. But, what I have found while working with home schooled students is that they are no different from their same age peers in trying on different identities and finding their place in the world. If anything, in my experience these students have a stronger sense of self than students in the public school arena. Students in the public school arena often give in to negative peer pressure, whereas home schooled students are not faced with this negative pressure to conform.
The article points out many of the misconceptions about home schooling and makes us realize that home schooling faces the same misconceptions beyond the United States.