Homeschooling offers numerous benefits to both the child and family. Home schooled children will receive one-on-one instruction, can learn at an advanced level, and will avoid the stress of the public school setting. Texas is one of the most home school friendly states in the nation.
In 2007, I was invited to a local home school meeting. At the time I was considering homeschooling my children. I had the opportunity to hear a guest speaker from the Texas Home School Coalition. She discussed homeschooling laws, dealing with complaints and how to start homeschooling in Texas. It was a very informative meeting.
I was shocked, however, to learn that home school parents are not legally required to teach science. As you can see from the THSC website here, the curriculum must only cover “reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and a study of good citizenship.”
Yes, that means that legally, if a parent does not want to teach chemistry, biology, health or just basic earth science, he/she can refuse to do so. Technically, a home schooled child in Texas could go his entire home school career with learning what a chemical compound is, what stalagmites are, and what is the purpose of the gallbladder.
I’m sure that most home school families, however, do teach science. While some may not teach it as rigorously as public schools do, I believe that most home school families do help their children learn the basics of science.
But it upsets me, that somewhere out there, a home schooled child could be depraved of learning science. Here are a few reasons why I believe science should be mandatory for home educators in Texas.
The child’s career opportunities could be limited.
Our nation needs more nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, chemical engineers and more. If a child does not learn at least the basics of science, he/she will become educationally handicapped in the subject of science. While it is not impossible for an educationally neglected child to “catch up” while in college, it can be very challenging. Most college science courses will require that the student have a basic understanding of science. This includes knowing the periodic table, how the human body works, what an acid is, etc.
I feel that it is unfair to the child to not teach him/her science. He or she will have a lot of difficulty should he aspire to become a veterinarian, astronomer or plant scientist someday.
Children need to know science in various life situations.
Science is applicable to real-life scenarios in many ways. One of the most common ways it is needed in life is through health care. If a child does not even know what organs are, it could be challenging if he or she has a diagnosis of gallstones someday. While he/she could educate himself, it is ideal for patients to have a basic knowledge of science. In addition, if a child does not learn science, he/she may not learn about the basics for nutrition for a healthy lifestyle.
Science can also be applied to other life situations including cooking, helping someone in distress, parenting, taking care of the environment and much more.
Science stimulates a child’s mind and creativity.
I believe that cognitive stimulation is very beneficial to children and teens. Science offers many opportunities to stimulate creativity through science experiments, projects, and discussion. Some of world’s most gifted inventors excelled in science. We would not have many necessary inventions today, had children not learned science.
Science is fun.
Children need an opportunity to have fun while learning. Science can be very entertaining. It can fun to mix chemicals together, watch ants in an ant farm and learn how your food is digested. I believe all children need to experience the fun side of science.
These are just four reasons why I believe science instruction should be mandatory for home schooled students. At the very least, it should be required up to eighth grade. I understand that not all children may excel at science, but they should at least have a chance to do so.
If you are a homeschooling parent, I urge you to teach your child science. You can even teach your child about science on the toddler level. Read “Tips for Teaching Science to a Toddler or Preschooler” for more insight. If you can afford it, take science themed vacations. Read “Fun Family Vacations that will Teach Your Child About Science.”
If you are looking for advice from other home school parents, take a look at “5 Home School Forums and Message Boards for Home School Parents.”
If you are looking for more debate topics for a school paper, please read “Argumentative Essay and Speech Topics for High School Students.” You also might browse “Debate Topics for College or High School Students.”