Factors Influencing Homeschooling Choice in Israel

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Homeschooling is a personal choice families may or may not choose to make for their children. The concept of homeschooling is having the parents, or another caregiver, teach their children at home rather than in a traditional educational establishment. In the past, the concept of homeschooling was very popular in most areas. Parents were responsible for educating their children, and there were few people in classroom settings. 

After the Industrial Revolution, education laws were put in place, and that was the beginning of more traditional schools (Blok, 2004). In Israel specifically, there has been a large increase in the number of homeschooled children. Many considerations should be taken before taking a child out of an educational system, but every family is different. 

Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

Some of the benefits of being in a traditional school environment include building social skills. When children are only around their families, they may not understand how to interact with others on a social or professional level. They may also miss out on group activities, and how to be patient with larger groups in general. In addition to this, parents are able to work part-time or full-time jobs more easily if someone else is educating their children. 

Some parents and families prefer to homeschool their children for various reasons. In some cases, the parents feel that the child is not learning enough or may not be learning the right things. For example, some schools do not promote or allow religion in their classes. If parents want their child to learn about religion, they’ll have to teach it themselves. Other factors that are considered in homeschooling decisions are the specific needs of the child. If the child has special needs, requires more attention, is experiencing gaps in achievement, or is in a situation where they are having difficulty getting along with others, the parents may decide to teach them rather than having them attends a traditional education setting. 

Some parents feel that they can provide a better educational setting for their children than a school is able to. Private schools are often looked at as another option, yet they can be an expensive or unreachable option for many. The traditional school environment is not accepted by everyone, as different children have different upbringings. As a result, children must be prepared to deal with different types of people, and many different situations, including potential conflicts in a school setting. 

Some parents feel like the decision to homeschool is an important one. Other children are raised differently and can negatively affect a child. For example, children can bully other children, and negatively affect their self-esteem as well as their learning environment.  Pedagogical reasons are the most common factors when making the important decision to homeschool a child. Parents enjoy knowing their kids are being taught in a certain manner, and that they have more control over what they are exposed to, and how they approach the teaching process. 

 In Israel specifically, the parent’s views on the education system play a big role in their decision. Sometimes their background is considered- if the parent was homeschooled and it worked well for them, they may want the same experience for their child. Parents in Israel tend to pave their own way when it comes to educational practices, rather than following the Education Ministry. Some of them develop their own custom curriculum following a few guidelines, while others do not use a curriculum at all. 

In addition to their background, personal views about their faith in the education system. Some parents feel that they can provide a stronger education themselves, or that they are more educated than those who are teaching their children. Other factors to consider are demographics.   Mother’s education levels had a large impact on homeschooling their children, showing that the more education the mother is, the more likely they are to homeschool. In addition to this, family activities are viewed as beneficial to homeschooling. Mothers incorporate cooking meals, family trips, and other related experiences into the homeschooled environment. It is assumed by these studies that mothers have a greater influence on the education of their children than fathers do, yet both are important (Noel, Stark, & Redford, 2013). 

Other factors to consider are the family size and economic situation. If both parents go to work full-time jobs, they are more likely to put their children in a traditional school environment. In situations where only one of the parent's works (usually the father) or if there is poverty, it makes economic sense to put the children in school. In other situations, the more children that are in a family, the more likely they are to be homeschooled.

None of these decisions are cut and dry, but these studies show different trends that are specific to Israel. Some mothers leave the workforce to spend more time with their children and enjoy homeschooling them. Others may not have an option to homeschool, as their financial or economic status may require them to work full time (Aviram, 2003). 

It seems that homeschooling is an increasingly popular trend in Israel as times change. Schools are viewed as more dangerous than ever and have more students than in previous years. Traditional education works well for many families, while others feel better and more comfortable with having their kid’s home for their learning experiences. While homeschooling takes more work, parents have more control over what their children are being taught and how they are learning it. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are different factors that play a role in determining whether a child should be homeschooled or not in Israel. Parental preferences, religion, economic and demographic factors are all considered when making these decisions (Merry & Karsten, 2010). In the past, homeschooling was a more popular option, but after the educational laws were passed in many areas, traditional educational establishments became more widely used and known. Some people assume their kids will be fine in these establishments, while others want more control over the children’s education.

There are benefits and cons to both homeschooling as well as sending a child into a formal education environment. If children are not socialized with others, they may have more trouble learning social skills to use later in life or following directions from others. Other parents feel that the decision to educate their children themselves is more important, and safer. Parents know what is best for their children and should make the decision based on their family’s needs. Many parents see a lot of benefits of schools, while others find the homeschooled environment much more beneficial. 

Israel, in particular, is heavily interested in customizing its education; so many parents are turning to homeschool as an option. Mothers seem to have the greatest effect of the education of their children, while the fathers continue to work and provide for their families. The higher the education level a mother has, the more likely she is to homeschool her children. This is a result of different decisions, but the mother most likely enjoys being close to her kids, while controlling their education experiences. They can be more creative and unique with how and what their kids are taught while incorporating things that schools do not teach. Vacations, meals, and other life experiences are important in homeschooling environments and curriculums.

References

Aviram, R. (2003). Homeschooling as a fundamental change in lifestyle. Evaluation and Research in Education, 17(2–3), 132–143

Blok, H. (2004). Performance in homeschooling: An argument against compulsory schooling in the Netherlands. International Review of Education, 50(1), 39–52.

Merry, M. S., & Karsten, S. (2010). Restricted liberty, parental choice, and homeschooling. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 44(4), 497–514. 

Noel, A., Stark, P., & Redford, J. (2013). Parent and family involvement in education. From the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012 (NCES 2013–028). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education