Most homeschooled children are isolated

Criticism of the school system. Can homeschooling be an alternative?

Table of Contents


1 historical introduction

2 Definition of terms: learning
2.2 The image of the learning child
2.3 The image of the adult learning

3 criticism of the school system
3.1 Relation to school anxiety

4 Definition of terms: homeschooling
4.1 Ideological background
4.2 Study situation
4.3 Legal position

5 Discussion and Conclusion




The following work deals with the discussion of the educational necessity and usefulness of school in childhood and adolescence. On the one hand, the pedagogical claim, on the other hand, the given educational framework is discussed, insofar as it will have a positive impact on the child or the child 1 Adolescents. It is well known that there is currently no compulsory schooling in America, but a so-called compulsory education, which enables parents to raise, teach and educate their children from home or in any public institution. This idea, newly born in America, is associated with the term homeschooling. The compulsory schooling in Germany does not apply in all European countries and some German families are moving to England, Spain or France where homeschooling is officially allowed. In Germany there has so far been a strict ban and thus absolute compulsory schooling, which threatens with severe consequences in the event of non-compliance. Against this background, the question arises as to why homeschooling is becoming more and more popular, so that families enter such a lawsuit, and what advantages do children experience who do not go to school.

1 historical introduction

In the 18th century about 250 years ago, the idea of ​​visiting children in a public space arose in order to teach them and, above all, to qualify them. The idea arose not only from altruism, but also to “guarantee the existence of a state at an acceptable level […]” (Fischer & Ladenthin, 2006, p. 11). Around 1750, the circumstances in which, for example, pupils, teachers and even chickens had to share the school premises were far different. In this sense, the classroom was seen as an emergency solution for those who could not afford a private tutor. Instead, private lessons from the court master and private tutor were seen as the ideal of education. This idea extended into the early 20th century.

Although the public school tended to be used by poorer families, compulsory schooling was gradually enforced in small states by 1991. With the increasing obligation to attend school as well as the state regulation and control of the learning content, the people divided into strong supporters and strong doubters who kept the parental rights and free development of the children in the back of their heads. The criticism is due to the legalities that arose in 1797, in which the state "guaranteed parents the exclusive right against other citizens to keep their children for themselves" (Fischer & Ladenthin, 2006, p. 61 ) provided they meet the compulsory education.

For wealthy families and children in the early 20th century, class-conscious, high-quality alliances emerged for which a long distance was often traveled and which could only be visited by normal citizens if they were gifted. Years before, private tutors had been considered less often and lost their jobs. Rather, it was now the work of the nanny and the governess to raise the children outside of school. If the family did not receive the necessary income, the parents would do this themselves. (Fischer & Ladenthin, 2006).

The complete state-organized school system was used in the Weimar Republic for a “criminal ideology” (Fischer & Ladenthin, 2006, p. 22) in which the state could control and manage learning content. Although home schooling at such a time could have been a protection from indoctrination, the public school continued to be required to attend.

In the GDR era, too, great importance was attached to the consequences of pedagogical action in the classroom. In 1978 it was said that the teacher should "direct the activities of the pupils in very specific ways [...]" (Makarenkos, 1978, p.33). The children's independence was encouraged on the one hand with severity and violations, on the other hand with the introduction of exciting stories, followed by disciplined thinking.

Nowadays, the way to school is no longer a problem for students due to increasing mobility. In view of the school crisis and the shortage of teachers, a new educational reform has existed in countries like Austria since 2017. This includes the autonomy package, which is intended to make flexible class sizes, teaching units and opening times possible. The school cluster provides for a connection between schools in a region. The cooperation of two to eight schools takes precautions against teacher shortages by allowing teachers to be used freely or even to plan pedagogical projects across locations (Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, 2017).

2 Definition of terms: learning

According to the German Youth Institute (2012), the concept of learning must be differentiated between formal learning, non-formal learning and informal learning.

The former describes learning in institutions in which the educational goals are specified by the Federal Ministry. The curriculum is structured accordingly and you receive a certificate if you pass the exams.

The latter can take place both in institutions, but mostly outside the institution, based on specific learning support and develops in connection with other activities. 2 The latter means casual or implicit socialization learning, regardless of an intention or planning. 3

Formal and non-formal learning, in contrast to informal learning, are shaped by intentions and learning goals and yet are dependent on informal learning insofar as it is a prerequisite for the first two forms of learning.

With the differentiation of the terms of learning, it becomes clear that with the implementation of a specific form of learning, the way in which knowledge is acquired can also proceed differently.

2.2 The image of the learning child

The principles of constructivism indicate that the learner always observes the events that are relevant to him, insofar as he asks questions about it (Mietzel, 2014). A child who has been verbally instructed to water the balcony plant twice a week may soon see that the plant needs different amounts or often of water depending on the weather and temperatures. The child will notice and learn different reactions through different actions. Our experiences are therefore particularly subject to our visual, auditory and generally our sensual sensations4, as well as the individual attention and “applied method of asking” (Mietzel, 2014, p. 59). This assumption points to an individualized as well as automatic learning behavior of children, to which special attention should be paid.

The significance of discovery learning from the constructivist point of view is comparable to Piaget's development stage model (1977, quoted from Pinquart, Schwarzer, Zimmermann, 2014). The Swiss biologist saw the child as a scientist who is engaged in an active and constant confrontation with the environment and who collects knowledge through his own experience. Piaget saw thinking as internalized action, thus showing the need for learning through action. The child learns from internal motivation without structured guidelines. In order to promote this attention-oriented learning of the children, the teachers and parents should ensure that suitable materials and opportunities from the environment are made available. According to Piaget's conviction, the child learns under optimal conditions when it "pursues its own questions [.] [...] and finds the answers by doing itself [t]." (Mietzel, 2014, p. 102)

Psychologists, whose thinking is shaped by constructivism, even assume that cognitive processes are tied to social and spatial contexts, so that knowledge in that environment "it was learned [...] should be applied" (Fenwick, 2000; Greeno et al. 1993 , quoted from Mietzel, 2014, p. 63).

What has been learned is therefore both stored and retrieved in a situation-specific manner using cognitive schemes. The strength of the context dependency is also reflected in the principle of the encoding specificity. As part of this principle, the retention performance was tested in that test subjects had to memorize word lists once under water and on land. The retrieval of knowledge was about 50% higher when the word lists were queried in the context in which they were learned (Baddeley, 1982).

In order to expand the model of encoding specificity, I would like to mention the network theory at this point. The theory developed by Bower (1981, quoted from Petermann, Maercker, Lutz & Stangier, 2014) actually represents the importance of emotional memories for the development of depression. According to this, a hint is enough to call up an entire network that contains information about past events and, above all, their emotions. With the activation of the network, past feelings are transferred to the present. 5 This theory is not aimed at learning success, but at the retrieval of information related to “head, heart and hand” (Pestalozzi, 1746-1827, quoted from Schell, 2018, p. 21). According to Heinrich Pestalozzi and Rainer Winkel (1974, quoted from Storck, 2001) ideal learning always takes place with head, heart and hand. Another indication of the need for comprehensive learning support for children and young people, not only on an economic level, but also on a pedagogical level, which primarily refers to a positive and loving environment.

In view of this, the question remains open as to what consequences students face if they learn in a context-bound manner (learning and queries in public space), but this knowledge cannot be used usefully in the real world.6 What are the advantages of not learning in a situation-specific manner, for example as part of distance learning? Not every student can act freely in the school environment in view of the method of applied questioning and thus cannot discover the world from his own questions.

2.3 Image of the adult learning

In the following I would like to briefly discuss aspects and strategies of learning in adulthood. The following section is intended to list possible connections or differences between learning adults and children.

According to Mietzel (2016), the motivation of adults to learn is often based on the background of tight situations in which the further training of information chains serves their own work or their own life. Cognitive schemes that have already been learned are supplemented or reinterpreted, and information is learned 'immediately' when it is linked to existing knowledge networks (Schell, 2018), which makes learning faster and more fun. Learning offers are mainly accepted if they belong to subject areas, already existing interests and thus also fulfill the person's wish or need for adequate further training. An adult would like to learn independently and decide which competences or abilities he would like to acquire in the course of the knowledge he has already collected. In addition, he also has the ability to organize his life and his available time and to carry out those plans with discipline (Mietzel, 2016). Since adults are rulers of themselves and are usually not exposed to a meticulous learning situation, it is in their interest and self-control to shape the environment and their thoughts in a positive and motivational way. In the distance learning study recommendation according to Angelika Schell (2018) it is praised that the learner should give himself a sense of achievement and rewards. Different reward systems are presented, which are intended to make learning progress visible in order to maintain motivation. Above all, however, frustrations and negative thoughts should be controlled and reinterpreted and, if necessary, the curriculum should be reorganized. With these recommendations, the reader is also made aware that he can influence the consequences of his behavior and can correct the curriculum according to his or her own situation, something that some schoolchildren cannot do.7

Learning in adulthood happens above all through a positive feeling. If the learning requirement or the task reaches a match between one's own ability and requirement, one also speaks of a perceived flow experience (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990 quoted from Frey & Bierhoff, 2016), which brings joy to the activity. Fear, anger or anger represent emotions that inhibit learning success or that lead to excessive demands.

Interestingly, adults often need to motivate themselves to learn, while children do not need any external motivation. The adult learns rationally and can divide his learning workload in view of his situation-specific circumstances and vigilance, while the child is presented with a certain workload that it has to fulfill. In these circumstances, a child is not allowed to organize his / her time independently. Also, much positive reinforcement is recommended at the adult learning level, while the adult still wants to educate the child for better learning with rewards and punishment. A child would probably not punish themselves, and an adult who punishes themselves may have learned to be punished as a child if they weren't good enough.

In summary, it can be said that an adult learns, guided by interests, based on experience and supplements or reinterprets his or her cognitive schemes. In contrast to a child, an adult has already accumulated more knowledge, has already made up his own opinion and has the competence to master his life in a structured manner.

3 criticism of the school system

The teaching activity has been subject to a dynamic structure right from the start: from the highly respected, intuitively acting private tutor to the school teacher for the public who is subject to framework conditions. At this point it must be emphasized that the pedagogical work on the part of the teachers has also changed significantly. Among other things, class teachers are in regular contact with other teachers about the development of students. In addition, parents' evenings take place, which are intended to guarantee that the parents participate in the decision-making process and, ultimately, the educational work with students is less characterized by threats and punishment. Even if schools still have wishes unanswered, historically they are showing a positive trend. Nevertheless, there is talk of an ending school crisis.

The school system processes knowledge in an abstract form with the assumption that it guarantees good conditions for the requirements in real life. However, this assumption is criticized on the basis of the observation that school and work success show a low correlation (Mietzel, 2014). The school teaches subjects subject-specific and one-sided. So far there has been no evidence that isolated exercises cause an increase in general memory. In order to get a rough picture of the division, usefulness and effectiveness of a school day, the teaching time available to a teacher was divided into actual teaching time, time of commitment and effective learning time. At this point I would just like to go into the effective learning time. This is the time in which a student is committed and at the same time has achieved a successful and effective learning result. This averages 16 minutes to two hours in primary school classes (Mietzel, 2014).

This shows a problem on the part of the teacher that, especially with increasing class size, it cannot be ensured that all students are fully attentive, or that the teacher cannot pay attention to all students. In the remaining time, students devote themselves to other things and thoughts and teach themselves and each other behavior that cannot be productively evaluated.

Due to a lack of attention or interest, as well as the specification of the execution of the learning content of a given plan, there is an external control of the activities to be carried out for the children (Mietzel, 2014). External determination leads to the perception of an external belief in control, i.e. the expectation that the achievement of a certain situation is beyond one's own ability to influence (Rotter, 1966, cited from Rammsayer & Weber, 2016). People with an external belief in control (see Table 1, p.10) tend to be fearful, aggressive, insecure and less performance-oriented, which in turn leads to lower self-esteem and low self-efficacy.

Against this background of learning through externally induced motivation, a further central challenge for schools arises, namely the need to impart lifelong learning. As an adult in the 21st century, it is of great importance to continue to educate oneself even in professional life, which is why people "must be enabled to learn more than before on their own initiative, self-determined and responsible" (Dohmen, 1998). Whether in GDR times or in the 21st century, the question of the higher productivity of the learning performance of children and adolescents always arises. The Pisa study (German Pisa Consortium, 2000) made it possible to test and compare the competencies of students internationally. The evaluation scales were standardized so that the OECD (Organization of Economic and Cultural Development) - mean value at 5008 Points and the standard deviation is 100. According to the study, Germans achieved an average reading of 484 points in 2000 and placed 21st out of 31 countries. The mean achievement in mathematics is 490 points (rank 20) ​​and in natural sciences 487 points (rank 20). It should only be noted here briefly that the reading tasks also include understanding the content, arguments and analyzes and, under the scientific tasks, means above all texts with subsequent questions / items. In this field of vision, it should not be left unnoticed that Finland is number one. As part of this term paper, I will not go into detail about the Finnish school system, but it is worth taking a look at.

A point that performance in schools is not fun for many students could be a reason for correspondingly negative results, because, comparable to the flow experience from the previous chapter, it becomes clear that pursuing one's own activity, even according to psychological findings, does not involve Displeasure is related (Pekrun & Schiefele, 1996)

Figure not included in this excerpt

Table 1: Achievement motive of child and school

One cannot be forced to improve or motivate one's performance. Because of the top-heavy work, the emotionality withers in favor of increasing intellectualization (Florin & Von Rosenstiel, 1976). In addition, convergent thinking is trained almost exclusively, while divergent thinking and imagination are tired. Interests and hobbies that are irrelevant to performance must be put on the back burner and lose their end in themselves and self-worth.

3.1 Relation to school anxiety

Fear has an ambiguous character and can act as a blockage and demotivation that paralyzes us to carry out actions (Grossmann & Winkel, 1997). On the other hand, it can also activate, since it has the character of an invitation to overcome it through the challenge. Fear occurs in situations that are new to people and that they are not yet able to cope with (Riemann, 1961) and the school has adopted this knowledge as well, assuming it is as desirable as it is efficient (Grossmann, 1977).

The extravert may see a challenge in overcoming fears, but what about those who do not have the necessary self-confidence and withdraw into passivity? Is the school system only for the “lone fighter high schools” (R. Winkel, 1975 quoted from Christoph Storck, 1986, p. 12f.), “Careerists or rebels?” If so, the number of rebels is limited, because According to Storck (1986), 60% of the pupils suffer from fear of school, 20% of the children need psychological care and only 22% are completely symptom-free and show no behavioral disorder.

Fear is a basic emotion, the sensation of which cannot be prevented per se and must even be experienced, but as long as the “individual resilience of fearful situations is unexplained, the 'carrot-and-stick pedagogy' has no place in school and upbringing “(Winkel, 1977, p. 89). The development of mental disorders is of course more far-reaching and does not only mean the development of fear, but also includes deficits in social skills and the associated depression.

Regardless of the pressure to perform and exam situations, fear can also be found between the children in the form of bullying, cyberbullying or violence in schools. In a study in the UK, 4% of students reported being bullied at least once a week and 10% were bullied sometimes and more often (Smith & Sharp, 1994). Often these situations arise through social comparisons, in that those who have more status resources create a group norm and, as owners of goods, 'buy' a social identity. According to Festinger (1954, Social Comparison Theory) a component of the youth, however, this should not be arrested with negative consequences or humiliation. With this in mind, I would like to go into the pedagogical goals according to Article 29 of the UN Convention (quoted from Mietzel, 2014), in which the child should be taught respect, tolerance and equality. In this area, schools seem to be failing and growth in schools is limited to science.

According to Walter (1978), school-age children do not yet have adequate and stable mechanisms for dealing with and coping with fearful and stressful situations, which is why they are more or less exposed to the test situations. The influence of fear on school performance and intelligence was measured as early as 1956 and a significant correlation was found (McCandless & Castaneda, 1956).

School avoidance is determined to the highest degree by the variables feelings of interpersonal maladjustment, depression and passive unsocial factors. In the case of girls, it was also found that the variable “socially introverted” explains a beneficial influence on school avoidance (Honjo et al., 2003).

Walter (1978) describes performance and test anxiety as a universal experience that corresponds to long-term chronic anxiety. By restricting escape or avoidance behavior, students are exposed to exam situations. The school seems uncontrollable and inevitable, so that an expectation of helplessness results. Schoolchildren have not yet learned effective mechanisms to inhibit anxiety. In the worst case, the expectation of helplessness is also transferred to other situations.

4 Definition of terms: homeschooling

It now stands to reason that homeschooling can be viewed as an extension of the head of house model. The reason for this decision is different than 250 years ago, determined from the point of view of the availability of an existing public school system. In addition, private tutors are less often considered these days, but teaching is enforced by parents, although it should be noted that some of them use didactic material from correspondence schools.

The decision in favor of homeschooling and against the school system does not have to arise immediately from critical considerations, even if there may be critics among them. From this point of view, a distinction must be made between the following groups:

1. Homeschooling - families who live abroad and cannot reach a German-speaking school in the area. There are supervised courses offered by the Deutsche Fernschule Wetzlar.
2. Children can be exempted from compulsory schooling if they suffer from mental or physical illnesses.
3. Children or young people who are considered popular in the media and whose attendance at school would endanger normal school operations.
4. Families or parents who want a different pedagogical education system for their children can avoid entering school if they live in a relevant country without compulsory school attendance.

In the following, the last group of families will primarily be discussed who, for educational reasons, teach their children at home.

4.1 Ideological background

For those who have never questioned school, it is a completely natural development and it may not be possible to imagine life without it. What motivates families not to send their children to school?

The everyday school life of young people comprises about 6 - 9 hours, in the upper school there are also 10/11 hours. Schoolchildren spend the majority of the day in a closed organization in which abstract knowledge networks are conveyed, far removed from everyday working life.9 Children should learn within reality, as long as this is not the case, school is much more of a barrier to what the child really wants to learn (Behr, M. 1982). According to Behr (1982), a child's talent is lost if they are forced into a system in which they cannot live out themselves, their interests, their experiences and their abilities, but have to submit to external constraints, and in not infrequent cases suffers from fear, pressure to perform or bullying. The child's confrontation with the environment happens out of play “without externally determined performance norms, which does not mean without performance” (Behr, 1982, p.17). Like adults, children would learn exactly what they need and thus expand their specific knowledge network. Often, for example, mathematical skills are learned and applied against the background of a hobby such as playing soccer or handicraft (building a guitar). Homeschooling therefore also means not learning in a subject-centered way, but above all in an interdisciplinary manner. What is learned is often applied immediately. This personal example is confirmed in the PISA study, according to which work ethic in Germany has steadily declined. Works are handed in incompletely, teachers are overwhelmed with disrespectful comments, pupils are in the smoking area during their breaks. Who would want that for their child? Families who choose homeschooling believe that a child not only learns better because of internal motivation, but also becomes more self-confident and independent.10 By including the children in the selection of topics, according to Behr, (1982) they also take responsibility for their own knowledge and skills. “This is how you deform the curriculum more and more so that it fits the child. And you can tell that the closer you get to the student, the better the student learns. There is less resistance and the concentration is higher. […] One then [comes] to the insight that everyone learns much better if they only focus on their interests ”, say the parents of a homeschool family (compulsory schooling is not based on the rule of law - interview with an unschooler family , 2018):

“After taking children out of school […] they don't want to learn anything [,] […] they eat junk food for weeks and sit in front of the television. [….]. During this time, the students purge themselves of all external motivation or extrinic motivation. After this time only the intrinsic motivation is left. They then begin to learn with enthusiasm and pounce on all interests that previously seemed unimportant or secondary to them. [...]. Unschoolers are oriented towards Vygotsky's zone of the next development. The zone of the next development also makes it unnecessary to motivate students, because the motivation naturally comes from the student and his points of contact with the real world. "

A criticism that is often read about homeschooling is the lack of socialization and interaction with people of the same age. Festinger examined, among other things, the necessity of social comparisons and for this it requires contacts, groups and interactions. The range of public social meeting places is not limited, however, and there is also the possibility of participating in sports clubs, music schools, communities, etc. and friends of the family can also be visited. Children are not isolated, but in a certain way protected from aggressiveness and bullying in school classes. According to the Canadian psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld, the orientation towards peers is a fateful mistake, it is “[a] absolutely clear that [...] children should originally revolve around their parents and other adults responsible for them. Nevertheless, more and more children are now circling each other. ”(Neufeld & Maté, 2006, p. 21). Learning with peers should lead to a decline in values ​​and a sexualized youth. Instead, learning from adults and mature people should have an optimal effect on personal development and promote positive social behavior. The National Home Education Research Institute also came to the conclusion that, according to Larry Shyers (1992), home teachers have fewer behavioral problems than children in traditional school. Particular attention should be paid here to peer pressure, which homeschool children are not exposed to. As a result, knowledge and wisdom are lost over decades. In the media (including Instagram and Youtube) it is becoming apparent that interest in the superficial and attractive appearance is increasing. A change of perspective is taking place here, with homeschoolers criticizing or at least rethinking the socialization of the school. However, this does not speak against socialization and isolation, but in the best case in favor of protected socialization, socially active and integrated in the environment. Likewise, parents are often not concerned with a radical anti-school system demo, but with their own decision-making power to offer children the school system and try it out, without being directly subjected to external constraints. There are also often homeschoolers abroad who, for example, only attend school for half a week.

Finally, I refer to zs attachment theory (1975) according to which a child has an innate attachment system in order to search for protection and security. By fulfilling the closeness they are looking for, a child gains self-confidence in their own coping skills. In the event of non-fulfillment, doubts arise in oneself and the consequences are disturbed attachment and emotional behavior (e.g. excessively high sensitivity). A long-term study in Hawaii of over 20 years examined the development of children in poor and life-threatening situations. Those children who grew up in positive family relationships and were less often separated from their families were more resilient compared to the other children who had illnesses, addiction problems and aggression problems (Werner & Smith, 1982).

Stanley Greenspan (2003) and Eleanor Maccoby (2003, quoted from Maté, 2006) also point out that shy children in particular come under too much stress when they are separated from their parents.

4.2 Study situation

Homeschooling is an extremely critical topic in Germany and is even prosecuted for violating compulsory schooling. This can go so far that the parents are deprived of the authority to bring up their own children. The German authorities are of the opinion that education and social skills would be lost without school. The available studies, most of which were carried out in the USA or Canada, show the opposite and even speak out in favor of homschooling and its positive affects.

First study:

In the present study, the effectiveness of homeschooling is measured using standardized performance tests compared to students in public schools. Ray (2010, quoted from Chang, Gould, Meuse, 2011) and Rudner (1999, quoted from Chang, Gould, Meuse, 2011) had previously carried out studies on the question, but these were subject to the restriction that they were only homeschool families that were used by academic testing companies. In contrast to the following work, the present study was carried out by an independent research institution that has no connection to homeschool organizations. A total of 74 children (37 homeschool children, 37 school children) between the ages of 5-10 took part (mean age difference is two months). Families who combined both forms of education (half-week school attendance) were excluded from the study. Of the 37 homeschool children, a third group was formed, namely those who did their lessons at home in an unstructured manner, i.e. without any curriculum or books (12 children). All of the participating parents, with the exception of one mother, were married or in committed long-term relationships. 65% of homeschool mothers had a university degree, on the other hand only 54% of mothers of schoolchildren, who, however, more often completed a Masters course. The median value of income for the public school group was $ 40,000-60,000, for the homeschool group $ 20,000-40,000, of which the structured homeschool group was $ 40,000-60,000 and the unstructured group was $ 20,000-40,000. 11

The subtests of the present study were taken from the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement A revised and include the letter word identification test (naming of elements), comprehension test (gap test), word attack test (reading out 30 non-words according to conventional rules) , Science test (biology, physics, chemistry), social science test (geography, history, politics) and humanities test (literature, music, art).

In order to interpret the test data correctly, the raw values ​​were converted into difference values ​​so that at the end a positive value indicates how many years a child has been above its current school level. The same applies to negative values. In all seven sub-tests, the structured homeschool children scored higher than the public school children. These values ​​were further evaluated by the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and follow-up t-test and confirmed that the general level of standardized performance between the two groups deviated significantly in favor of homeschooling. The effect sizes are shown in Table 2 in the appendix. Even when the groups were equated by income, the structured homeschooling group had higher scores overall. Children in the unstructured group showed values ​​below their expected average.12 The family's income or the mother's level of education did not represent a significant covariate as an influencing factor.

In a study from England, home-educated children from lower socio-economic classes were examined and their results were significantly better than those with academically educated parents (Rose & O'Reilly, 1998). One possible reason for better performance could be that children feel more comfortable at home with their peers, free of the stigma of being poor, and not devaluing themselves. According to Barwegen et al. (2004, cited from Chang, Gold, Meuse, 2011) students with high perceived parental involvement have an overall educational superiority. This also applies to traditionally trained students.

Second study:

In the second study, carried out in 2003 by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute surveyed adults (18-24 years old) who were homeschooled compared to the U.S. average. To this end, I would like to provide some data to learn about a better understanding of the opportunities and benefits of homeschool students.

In countries where homeschooling is legal, it is also possible for those who teach at home to graduate from school and university. 74% of participating homeschoolers in the United States attend universities compared to 46% of the U.S. average.

However, the high level of education and career choice is not the only positive factor. It also found that homeschoolers spend more time reading books and magazines, with 71% volunteering (U.S. average: 37%). I would like to pay special attention to the very high level of political commitment from home-schooled teachers: Homeschoolers see politics as not too complicated (4.2%, compared to the US average 35%) and have worked for MPs or a political party much more often. This investigation is intended to show again that homeschoolers, who are often accused of being isolated from the outside world and from the world, cannot be confirmed here. Homeschooling thus shows a strong confrontation with the world, with public educational institutions and other people, in contrast to this, according to Behr (1982), school is a closed world.

Interestingly, the happiness quotient is given identically by homeschoolers and public school students. 63% are very happy, 28% are quite happy and 9% are not very happy in each case. However, 73% of homeschoolers generally find their life exciting (U.S. average 47%) and 60% are later very satisfied with their job (U.S. average 40%). In addition, 82% of the homeschoolers surveyed would also teach their children from home. 74% already teach their children at home.

Studies that followed children aged 0-5 found that the longer children were placed in day care centers, the more aggression, cheeky answers and contradictions showed (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Network , 2003).

4.3 Legal position:

According to Article 26.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1995), the right to education has the same status as a human right, as under Article 26.3: “Parents have a primary right to choose the type of education that their children receive should be. ”Nevertheless, children in Germany are obliged to belong to a state-recognized school. If the parents consent to the rejection of compulsory schooling, they face the threat of deprivation of custody of their children. Article 2 of the Additional Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe of March 20, 1952 states:

“Nobody should be denied the right to education. In exercising the tasks it has taken on in the field of education and instruction, the state must respect the right of parents to ensure education and instruction in accordance with their own religious and ideological convictions. "

According to KinderRÄchTsZÄnker (abk .: K.R.Ä.T.Z.A, 1998), school is a violation of the freedom of law in that the child is exposed to the rules and promises of the school without contradiction. The right to move freely within the state and the right to freedom of thought and to have one's own worldview was denied by the given knowledge to be learned within a certain period of time, as well as its enforcement in the form of sanctions due to bad grades . The mental self-determination does not take place due to the school constraints.

The externally motivated thought work of a student takes place on the basis of assessment and sanctioning, and is formulated by KRÄ.TZA (1998) as forced labor, which gives the right to free choice of occupation - in view of the fact that an occupation as well how school requires work- restricts. “Nobody may be forced to belong to an association” (Article 20 (2) of the General Declaration of Human Rights (1948; here cited in 1999 from Klemm, 2001, p. 60) is also not complied with by the obligation to attend school.

The school is a closed organization in which the right to freedom of movement is denied due to the corresponding compulsory attendance.

Homeschooling is officially permitted in Russia, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland and Italy, etc. (Fischer & Ladenthin, 2006). The exact legal situation also changes depending on the country. In some countries a written document should be sent to the municipality without a precise justification of the decision to go to home schooling, in other countries no communication is needed. Parents do not need any formal pedagogical knowledge, but in some countries children are tested annually for their competencies. The state guarantees the parents that it is the parental responsibility to take care of the child's development, while the state serves as the guardian of the common good.

5 Discussion and Conclusion

In my work I have now been able to list a number of studies that show astonishing results from homeschool children, but only under the condition that at least one parent is committed and also requests disciplined, structured learning. The parents are an important key component for the child, who are supposed to show the child ways and means to get the knowledge and information that interests them. This also means, among other things, the use of specialist literature, school books, libraries, media, museums and interaction with other people who have the relevant knowledge. The parents do not have to be primarily capable of everything a teacher can do, but they have to see themselves as a key or mediation component of knowledge and be aware of this responsibility. In practice, they don't have to, because they can, and at the moment German families have to take their children to school. Nevertheless, according to Barwegen et al. (2004) the perceived support of parents for a child in every situation is a positive influencing factor that significantly increases a child's performance. This factor is likely to be particularly lived out in homeschool families and leads to corresponding results. A central problem for families in Germany who want to teach at home, or at least want to have free decision-making power in the education of their children, is the obligation to attend a state or private school. Parents feel patronized, depressed, or just not understood. From the point of view of the state, however, Germany has a large number of different educational schools on offer. The large number of offers makes the denial of the school system even less credible, but the popularity of home teaching is increasing, as is the anger of German families who feel that their freedom is restricted. There are numerous countries that serve as ways out of satisfying the need and interest. Due to the political background, however, Germany is losing numerous families, some of whom are highly educated, and at the same time Germany offers refugees protection and accommodation. Even if the number of immigrants is considerably higher, there is a redistribution in Germany.

One aspect that is particularly important to me, which I believe will be lost with compulsory schooling, is the child's participation in the decision-making process. A child who longs to go to school should also be allowed to do so, a child who feels uncomfortable and suffers from stomach ache every day because it does not feel comfortable with the new situation should not be forced either. For some, the school system is a good decision and the right way to go. From a pedagogical point of view, however, every person is individual in their own way and also in their learning behavior, and so it should be obvious that the same pedagogy is not correct for every child. So school is not good or bad per se, but it is also not a great experience for every child or adolescent to grow with. Education should be done with interest and fun, but it has to be done.

The factor that especially weak educated families can achieve opportunities for high motivation in homeschooling seems to me to be ambivalent. On the one hand, it may make sense that children from poorer classes can learn better without external constraints and prejudices, on the other hand, I would personally be concerned that the spread of homeschooling in the weak classes would also lead to a loss of discipline and work. Maybe not! We cannot decide on the basis of the level of education which mother puts all her heart and soul into the upbringing and education of her children, and which one does not or does not want to. Not wanting should be accepted as well as wanting. And with that a decisive conflict arises, at least in Germany, which protests after changes.

With an example of a high jump, Wübbel (2002, quoted from Mietzel, 2014) wanted to make it clear that, even with initial resistance, changing teaching methods is sometimes unavoidable. For a long time, the high jump sport was the style of jumping forward over the bar. The new idea of ​​turning in flight and jumping with your back to the bar was considered incomprehensible for many athletes. Some athletes were on the verge of a breakthrough and therefore did not want to acquire a new technique, others tried the new technique, but failed and returned to their familiar technique. Athletes who tried to implement this new idea for a longer period of time had greater success in the long run (Mietzel, 2014). In order to make the success of different styles measurable, all styles to be measured must be carried out over the long term.

An attempt to reduce skepticism towards homeschooling could be a link to the Pisa study. It tests students' ability to solve problems through the flexible application of previously learned solution strategies. The original Pisa tasks could also be carried out in the context of home-schooled children and young people. If this were also implemented across the country, as in traditional schools, a comparison would not only be possible between homeschoolers and traditional students, but also between homeschoolers. Especially under the aspect that previous studies were mostly collected from Canada or America, the desire for results in Europe leaves open.

But it's not always just about performance, the attitude towards life of homeschoolers and the voluntary willingness to help have proven to be higher than the average. Performance and satisfaction act as an interaction and reinforce each other. More progressive measurement methods could also represent imaging processes by recording the neural functions in the brain of those who have been taught at home. The measurement of encoding, storage and retrieval of information, as well as the emotional state and expression of feelings would be interesting.

The skepticism about homeschooling could also be linked to the fear that at some point everyone will just do what they think is right. The data of the unstructured homeschool families showed the worst values ​​compared to the traditional school and the structured homeschooler. So homeschooling is not always homeschooling. In the context of a state that is aware of its duty of supervision and tests the children annually, for example, as is customary in some countries, such behavior could be dispensed with. However, a block could also be put in place so that, for example, only parents with a corresponding qualification (e.g. a completed degree) are allowed to do homeschooling.


In view of the legal legal situation, which disputes compulsory schooling, as well as the results that those teaching at home have shown in previous studies, I am of the opinion that teaching at home can represent an alternative to the school system under certain framework conditions. According to my own surveys, which I did privately as part of the housework, I was able to determine that most of the students tried harder for their own hobbies or interests than for their schoolwork. Likewise, there is also the opposite side, which puts desire and interest in school. That is why I advocate the approach of individual pedagogy and education, which should be subject to a supervisory state.


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Figure not included in this excerpt

Table 2: Highest maternal graduation and family income among public school children and home-schooled children. (Chang, Gould, Meuse, 2011, p.197)

Figure not included in this excerpt

Table 2: The value 1 indicates that the child is one year above their current school level. (Chang, Gould, Meuse, 2011, p.199)

Figure not included in this excerpt

Table 3: Overview of the results of structured, unstructured homeschoolers and public school children. The unstructured house students did the worst. (Chang, Gould, Meuse, 2011, p.200)


1 For the sake of simplicity, the gender notation is not used in this work. Only the masculine form is used, whereby the feminine form is always included.

2 Compare: structural home schooling

3 See: unstructured home lessons (e.g. mathematics can only be learned through natural use of money.

4 See Schell A., 2018, see "Postulat 12", p.21f.

5 see Schell, A., 2018, see “Postulate 8”, p.17

6 See Chapter 3 Criticism of the School System

7 Schools like Montessori or free alternative schools are not discussed in my work.

8 According to PISA, 500 points result in the average value that can be expected from schools in general

9 See: criticism of the school system

10 See Rammsayer & Weber, 2016, p. 61f.

11 See table 2

12 See table 4