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IELTS COURSES --> IELTS PRACTICE --> ACADEMIC READING
 Home-schooling
 
A Introduction
In developed countries, compulsory education is the norm for children aged from around 6 to 16. Even so, in most cases this does not mean that the child has to attend a school. Increasing numbers of parents are choosing to educate their children at home. In the UK it is estimated that up to 100,000 pupils are being taught in this way, which equates to about 1% of the UK school population. In the USA, home education, or home schooling as it is known, has reached unprecedented levels with approximately 2 million children, or 4% of the compulsory age group, now receiving tuition at home. Parents cite various reasons for keeping their children away from school, ranging from a lack of satisfaction with the school environment to a wish to provide their own religious instruction. Home-schooling is a controversial issue surrounded by misgivings, with supporters emphasizing its benefits and detractors pointing to its limitations and risks.
 
B The reasons why parents elect to educate their children at home are often linked to emotionally charged issues rather than rational arguments that reflect the pros and cons of home-schooling. Typically, a child is removed from a school following negative experiences, for example bullying, or exposure to bad influences such as drugs, discrimination, bad language, or falling in with the wrong crowd. Consequently, home-schooling is ardently defended by its proponents who are not necessarily best placed to consider its downsides dispassionately. Whilst the popularity of homeeducation is on the increase, it remains an oddity, associated more with problems at school rather than a positive decision to provide a real alternative.
 
C Whilst home-schooling of a child is unusual, learning from parents is not, so formalteaching at home can be regarded as an extension of the parents’ normal role. However, education in the home environment can have its limitations; for example, when there are gaps in the parents’ knowledge in key subject areas such as fractions or algebra. Moreover, teaching is not merely the dispensing of knowledge acquired, but rather a skill that has to be taught, practised and mastered. Parents are not professional teachers and if the outcomes are poor then the parents can only blame themselves. Home-schooling is both time-consuming and demanding. Parents can lose out financially and socially when they are obliged to spend the entire day at home.
 
D Lack of socialization is perhaps the main criticism of home-schooling. When children are taken out of school they cannot interact with other pupils or engage in school activities, including team sports. Later, a young person may find it difficult to integrate in ordinary social settings or lack the coping skills to deal with the demands of everyday life. Socialization outside of the home can negate some of these shortcomings, bearing in mind that the home-educated child is likely to have more free time to engage in recreational activities. Indeed, it might be argued that the socialization experienced in the natural setting of a community is preferable to that within the confines of a school.
 
E Whilst home-schooling has its shortcomings it also offers several advantages. Tuition is on a one-to-one basis so it can be personalized to meet an individual child’s needs. There is no strict curriculum so the teaching can be readily adapted for those with special educational needs or learning disabilities. Children are allowed to develop at their own rate, and attention can be focussed on subjects that a child enjoys or has a particular aptitude for. Parents can provide religious education and impart moral values consistent with their own beliefs, and they can also include subjects that may not be available in their local schools, for example Latin or
Archaeology. The timetable is entirely flexible with no time wasted travelling to and from school, no lack of educational continuity when moving home, and no restrictions on when to take family holidays. It should come as no surprise that with all these benefits, home-educated children usually outperform their schooled counterparts academically. However, this is not conclusive proof of the effectiveness of homeschooling. Parents who home-school their children tend to be well-educated and in a higher than average income bracket. Consequently, these parents are more likely to show an interest in their child’s education, encouraging compliance with homework and offering support, meaning that the child would probably have performed well had they remained within the school system.
 
F Parents who educate their children at home may choose to shun school completely. Despite this, local schools should offer parents and children support and guidance, extending access to school trips, library resources, recreational facilities, syllabus information, assessments and examinations. The future of home-schooling and its position in the education system are uncertain. Nevertheless, it is the duty of the state and the parents to ensure that home-educated children are given an education that affords them opportunities in life and equips them for the world of work.

The reading passage has six paragraphs, A to F. Choose the correct heading for the paragraphs B, C, D, E and F from the list of headings below.


1. Paragraph B
A. Introduction
B. Overcoming a weakness
C. Main advantage
D. Parents as teachers
E. Shared responsibility
F. Disadvantages
G. Problems at school
H. Range of benefits
I. No bad influences
Explain:


2. Paragraph C
A. Overcoming a weakness
B. Disadvantages
C. Shared responsibility
D. No bad influences
E. Problems at school
F. Introduction
G. Main advantage
H. Range of benefits
I. Parents as teachers
Explain:


3. Paragraph D
A. Overcoming a weakness
B. Problems at school
C. Main advantage
D. Introduction
E. No bad influences
F. Disadvantages
G. Range of benefits
H. Shared responsibility
I. Parents as teachers
Explain:


4. Paragraph E
A. Main advantage
B. Problems at school
C. No bad influences
D. Range of benefits
E. Shared responsibility
F. Introduction
G. Overcoming a weakness
H. Disadvantages
I. Parents as teachers
Explain:


5. Paragraph F
A. Introduction
B. Shared responsibility
C. Parents as teachers
D. Main advantage
E. Overcoming a weakness
F. Range of benefits
G. Problems at school
H. Disadvantages
I. No bad influences
Explain:

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage?
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this.

1. In the USA there are four times as many home-educated children as in the UK.
A. NOT GIVEN
B. FALSE
C. TRUE
Explain:


2. There is much disagreement about the merits of home-schooling.
A. NOT GIVEN
B. FALSE
C. TRUE
Explain:


3. School children with disabilities are the most discriminated against.
A. TRUE
B. FALSE
C. NOT GIVEN
Explain:


4. There is nothing unusual about children learning from their parents at home.
A. NOT GIVEN
B. FALSE
C. TRUE
Explain:


5. Only children who attend school can be favourably socialized.
A. NOT GIVEN
B. TRUE
C. FALSE
Explain:


6. Pupils in school achieve higher grades than home-school children.
A. NOT GIVEN
B. FALSE
C. TRUE
Explain:


7. Children from better-off homes are more likely to complete their homework.
A. TRUE
B. FALSE
C. NOT GIVEN
Explain:

Total: 65 page(s)
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