When children are failing in American schools, excuses of why are readily given; poverty, family hardships, inadequate teachers and insufficient school funding are just some of the main reasons parents, educators, and the public use. Though these are all valid explanations that can hinder a child’s academic progress in school, an important one is often overlooked; a child’s parents.
Hwang’s (1995) article refuted some of these most frequently used claims, by examining Asian Americans’ academic progress in the same schools and with the same educators where large groups of children are failing academically. What Hwang (1995) found is not surprising at all. One of the main reasons Asian Americans thrive in poverty-stricken, low socioeconomic schools is due to their parents. Asian American parents value education, are highly supportive of their children’s learning and educational progress and emphasize the importance of learning and accomplishments to their children (Hwang, 1995). Conversely, American children, and their parents, highly emphasize socialization. Which is a rather sore subject for me- socialization and homeschool. Most, if not all anti-homeschoolers, argue that public education is needed for socialization and that homeschool is an insufficient environment for diverse socialization. Can’t the focus be more on academic behavior and progress than on social development? Hwang (1995) also reported that while the American public, parents, government, media and educators continue to shift blame from one end of the spectrum to the other, parents are giving up more and more of their parental educational responsibilities to the schools. Parents have become so disengaged from their children’s educational progress to focus on their own careers, relational interests, desires and goals, and even their own vices for that matter, that American children are falling academically compared to immigrant-born children and the like (Hwang, 1995). This is disconcerting for all of us. Hwang (1995) goes on to point out that American culture focuses on victimization more than accountability, a flaw that needs to be corrected to help build up our children’s self-esteem to ensure they become responsible adults.
Simply put, education begins at home. And whether a parent decides to homeschool or not, a parent needs to be more active in their child’s learning, making their child’s educational journey a priority rather than an afterthought.
Hwang, Y. (1995). Student Apathy, Lack of Self-Responsibility and False Self-Esteem are Failing American Schools. Education, 115(4), 484-489.