Although education is compulsory in the United States, it is not obligatory for all children to get their education at school. A number of parents believe that they can provide a better education for their children at home. There are about 300,000 home-schoolers in the United States  today. Some parents prefer teaching their children at home because they don’t believe that public schools teach the correct religious values; others believe that they can provide a better education for their children themselves.

Interestingly, results show that home-schooled children do better than those who go to school on national tests in reading and  math. Home-schoolers learn in a different way from children attending regular schools.

Learning starts with the children’s interests and questions. For example, when there is heavy snowfall on a winter day, it may start a discussion or reading about climate, Alaska, polar bears  and winter tourism. Or a spring evening is a good time for setting up a telescope and asking questions about satellites, comets and meteors.


At dinner, if the Brazilian rain forests are on the news, it could be a perfect time to take out the atlas and encyclopaedia. Although the experience obtained by home-schooling is more  interesting than that received in regular schools, home- schoolers miss many important things.

The home-schooler may be uncomfortable mixing with other people in adult life because he or she has never attended school. In addition, most parents are not qualified enough to teach their children and may pass on their own views to their children.

However, most parents don’t have the time or desire to teach their children at home, so most children will continue to get their formal education at schools.


A. What do the following refer to?
1. ‘they’ (line 3):
2. ‘others’ (line 7): other
3. ‘those* (line 9):
4. ‘that’ (line 20) :

B. Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F).

1. In the United States all children must be educated.

2. According to national test results, parents can teach their children reading and math more effectively.

3. According to the text, education in regular schools is more interesting as children’s interests and questions determine the subject of the lessons.

4. Schools will continue to be the centre of education because the majority of parents don’t have the time or patience to teach their children at home.

1. Why do parents choose to educate their children at home?




2. What are the disadvantages of home-schooling?

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