The right to homeschool

The fight for the right to homeschool might be headed to the Supreme Court. The Romeike family fled Germany because they prohibit homeschooling — a policy imposed by the Nazis and still enforced today. Parents who don’t hand their children over to the government propaganda facilities face fines, jail time and even loss of custody. They sought asylum here in the States and were granted it a few years ago. But the Obama Administration, which behaves more and more every day like the villain in a James Bond movie, has been working diligently to have them deported back to their home country, where they face stiff penalties and possible prison sentences. The same administration fighting tooth and nail for the right of Hispanics to come here illegally and enjoy our generous welfare and food stamps programs, is now attempting to exile a family of law abiding, self sustaining, freedom loving German Christians. The Department of Justice argues that human beings don’t have a fundamental right to educate their own children and therefore shouldn’t be given asylum on those grounds. Homeschooling, in the eyes of our leader, is a conditional privilege facilitated by the government.

The plight of the Romeikie family has been largely met with silence. I think this is due to several factors, not the least of which being the unfounded mainstream bias against homeschooling. I’ve never understood this phenomenon. I understand why the government hates homeschooling — as it represents a clear and distinct threat to their powers of propaganda and thought-manipulation — and I understand why people would individually choose not to utilize this particular educational strategy. I just can’t comprehend why any private citizen would harbor deep animosity towards the very concept of homeschooling. Yet, many do.

OK, I’m being intentionally obtuse. I get it. We have become a class of subservient peasants and we therefore take great offense at anyone who defies the wishes of our Masters in Washington. How DARE someone think themselves capable of teaching their own kids?! The arrogance! Only a behemoth State run bureaucracy can be entrusted with the task of educating our children about the basic realities of human existence! I know the “brainwashed” label has become a rather tired trope, but I can think of no other explanation for the millions who actually think the government education system is ideal and preferable to parents reclaiming these responsibilities.

I wasn’t homeschooled. I went to public school for 12 years. I’ve seen the Propaganda Factory from the inside. I’ve been on the Statist Assembly Line. I’ve been in the classrooms with 30 kids, half of them playing on their phones, the rest either sleeping or carrying on among themselves with irrelevant conversations that are so vapid and gossipy that it causes severe physical pain to anyone forced to be within earshot of it. I’ve sat in the auditorium preparing to graduate with a bunch of teenagers who, despite being mostly college bound, likely couldn’t name the Allied and Axis Powers in WWII or list three Civil War generals. To someone who has also been to public school and yet would still try to paint it as ideal, I’ll say the same thing I would to someone who has been to a dialysis clinic and would attempt to describe the atmosphere as “fun” and “lighthearted”: You’re either drunk or lying. Or, again, brainwashed. Maybe all three, to some degree or another.

That’s not to say that homeschooling is some sort of magical paradise. It has its pitfalls, I suppose. Yet, the numbers and the results don’t lie: Homeschooled kids consistently outperform their peers by every measurable academic standard. Of course that fact will lead the government school apologist right to the old “but homeschool children aren’t socialized” canard. This predictable line is as tedious as it is absurd. It’s sort of like if someone tells you they’ve never been to McDonald’s and you respond indignantly, “THEN HOW DO YOU EAT?!” You can eat without the assistance of fast food corporations and you can socialize outside of the confines of government buildings. Homeschool students learn their social skills from their parents — i.e. other adults — rather than learning how to behave by by aping their peers. This generally equips them for life more effectively, even if it won’t lead to a bunch of “friends” on Facebook and followers on Twitter. Sure, you can tell me about the homeschooled loser you know who is really super awkward and anti-social. And for every one of those, I’ll give you 50 public school kids who are repressed, overly medicated, confused, psychologically stunted and emotionally desperate. If I really wanted to play hard ball, you could show me weirdo home schooled Steve down the street, and I could present you with Adam Lanza up in Connecticut. This is to say nothing of the millions of public school alumni who, ten or twenty or thirty years removed, are still dealing with the mental and emotional scars accrued over 12 or 13 years of alienation and abuse, which they dealt with during their most most vulnerable and formative stage.

Regardless of your feelings about homeschooling, we should all agree that it is truly abhorrent for the government to claim dominion over our children. Send them to public school if you like, but no parent should be compelled through force to surrender their young to the State. No matter your ideological bent, you ought to be an advocate for homeschool rights. No self respecting libertarian could ever breathe a word of defense for compulsory government education, neither could an honest small government conservative. Even liberals, as Socialistic as they might be, should be quite adamant about the right of a parent to educate their child. I say that because they are certainly passionate about the right of a parent to kill their child, and it would seem rather odd to claim parents ought to posses that power but then have no jurisdiction over their child’s academic curriculum.

Anyway, here’s the important point: if you disagree with me about this, I can legitimately say you are taking Hitler’s side on this one.

So there’s that, too.

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50 Responses to The right to homeschool

  1. ktlady77 says:

    Sad how this hasn’t gotten hardly any attention. What ever happened in this case anyways?

  2. CB22 says:

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’m going to contact my rep and senator about this family and the need to defend homeschooling.

  3. Virgil Edwards says:

    Hank Williams Junior had it right in comparing Obama to Hitler. Anyone that cannot see this is just simply blinder than Helen Keller wearing a blind fold.

  4. Dianne Clay says:

    My granddaughters are homeschooled. Their ages are 11 and 8. They are the most respectful, well adjusted, and happy children! My daughter not only teaches them the basic curriculum (including cursive), but they go on nature hikes to learn about wildlife, they explore museums, engage in literature, music and art, and once a week, they get together with other homeschoolers for social activities. They have never been inside a McDonalds or other fast food, but study nutrition also, and love their veggies. They don’t watch television, but spend their free time out doors swimming, or kicking a ball with other kids in the neighborhood.

    Some people who don’t agree with homeschooling feel the kids are deprived. From what I see, my granddaughters are far from deprived. They are receiving and excellent well-rounded education.

    • Jenn S says:

      From a homeschooling mom, I say Thank You to this grandmom who loves and supports her daughter and grandchildren!

      • Dianne Clay says:

        Thank you Jen. One thing I must add, is the homeschooling isn’t just left up to my daughter. My son-in-law takes an active part, too. He is a participant in all their field trips, teaching them about nature. He teaches them about music, and plays his flute every night, putting them to bed, and they are excellent chess players for their age. My younger granddaughter was diagnosed with autism, and they decided to take control themselves instead of letting the State. She has exceeded everyone’s expectations.

  5. Mr. G says:

    From a homeschool family…thanks Matt. Just another upside down, backwards, Bizarro-World example of the world we live in today. What is right is now wrong, what is bad is now good. Another hastening of Jesus’ return? Thank you for your voice of truth in a world of lies.

  6. Sarah says:

    From a Canadian perspective, here, if your child is either slower than their peer group or more advanced, there are no curriculum adjustments for them…. Just push them through along with their age group. This makes home schooling a necessary alternative for kids who are not exactly like their peers.

    I have met many home schooled children, going all the back to my first job where one of my coworkers was home schooled, up to today where some of the girls in my Guide unit are home schooled. Watching the kids, you would be hard pressed to see the difference when they are interacting with each other. The difference I do see? The kids who are homeschooled seem to have studied penmanship (something they abandoned in our public schools a decade ago) and some of them seem to have more knowledge of current events than their public school counterparts.

    I also stuck on Matts comment about bullying …. Some kids just don’t “fit in” with rest of the pack. These kids are often excluded and marginalized. If we, as parents, are able to home school these kids, maybe the emotional damage from this exclusionary practice can be mitigated before the damage is too great.

  7. Elke Clark says:

    From a mother that home schooled 3 children from elementary through high school, I thank you. All 3 are responsible adults with a college degree who are socially adept and well rounded.

  8. jenny m says:

    You’re an excellent writer with truth to share. Please consider eliminating the sarcasm from your writing. Sarcasm builds walls that inhibit real communication. You have the potential to impact the world in positive ways when you speak truth in love.

  9. Julia says:

    From a mother who is embarking on her 20th (and final) year of home education, I can say it has been fantastic for my family. My parents, who were initially very AGAINST this strange concept of educating your children at home, are some of my biggest supporters today. They have often commented on how when my children were younger they could take them anywhere because they were so well behaved. Everybody always wants to point out the “strange” homeschool family and, yes!, they are out there; but, as you said that is not unique to those educated at home. My oldest is a phlebotomist, my son is entering college in the Fall on a full ride scholarship to study accounting, and my youngest will be a Senior in High School (when she graduates she will already have 24 college credit hours and enter as a sophomore). How is this a bad plan again?

  10. AnnaThesia says:

    I just sent the link to this blog post to my state senator, who is pushing for federal funding for early childhood education (from age 3)….which she will not doubt then try to make mandatory. Heavy sigh.

  11. Jenny Mortensen says:

    I have loved the concept of home education. I have friends, neighbors and family that have home schooled their children and they have been extremely successful. I raised four sons. If I had it to do all over again-I would have at least home schooled them to high school. They were all extremely bright, artistic, loved literature and thought “outside the box”. They were ridiculed in the public school system. When our youngest was in elementary school, one his teachers actually told me that he was having trouble socially because he was too intellectual and he was not a “jock”. I do not want the government taking away the right to home school. There is another side to this coin however. I am now seeing undereducated parents with questionable skills wanting to home school because they think it will be easier than fighting with the teachers. One person in particular did not graduate with a GED until they were 27 years old, is bi-polar and is a habitual pot smoker. Their children are not doing well in school..surprise! Their newest answer is to home school. I find this concerning and downright frightening. So while I would love to see homeschooling flourish-I have some concerns about regulation.

    • tim says:

      Don’t go down the path of regulating “uneducated” homeschoolers. You’ll soon wind up in the same situation as public schools. And it doesn’t take much to surpass the “education” level of many public school teachers (as witnessed by the results of their efforts).

    • With all the curriculum available that practically teaches a child for you, you can be an idiot and still turn out well educated children.

    • vicky says:

      How is this really any different than kids who have parents on drugs or just negligent in general and are nonsupportive of their public school kid. P.S. will not save these kids unfortunately. There are many more kids falling through the cracks in P.S. than homeschooled. They just like to make a bigger deal about it in the liberal biased media that’s all.

    • Kris says:

      If a child lives in a home such as you expressed, I don’t know that there would be much difference if the child was sent to public school or home schooled. I grew up in public school surrounded by friends such as these….and the education system did not save any that I know of. If anything, it provided a peer atmosphere to encourage what was already negative to flourish.

  12. Oh yes! Homeschoolers get a bad rap, but as someone who was homeschooled for all 12 years of my compulsory education, I can tell you that this is something more people need to care about. It’s part of our freedom.

    Of course you’ve got the stereotyped weirdos that homeschool, but in general, we beat the crap out of publicly educated youth. We excel academically, and have social skills many others lack. I’m about to start my sophomore year of college and received a large scholarship because of my academic success in high school. I’ve also published tons of articles, and so much other stuff. Such a failure, huh?

    It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to education, but neither is public school. It must scare those in government to have their control taken away. But really, kids don’t belong to the state. Parents have the ultimate say. Shame on Germany and other places that don’t respect that.

  13. I find it abhorrent to suggest that public school teachers are “propagandists” who “take the side of Hitler.” Lots of good comes out of public schools every single day–I know–I’m there. Contrary to what Mr. Walsh suggests, I’m not brainwashed, nor are the students I teach. I fail to see how the German family’s wish to homeschool is a legitimate need for political asylum. Seriously? They aren’t getting what they want and that constitutes a threat to their life and liberty? Tell that to the girl from Ghana who is struggling to escape female genital mutilation, or the North Korean student who faces jail time for for wanting to read his Bible.

    • Christina says:

      There are many great public school teachers, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are required to teach the governments agenda. This article is about freedom for a parent to choose how their children are educated, whether that parent chooses to homeschool or not. The Romeike family, if returned to Germany will have many consequences, the greatest of which will be most likely losing their children. All because they dare to question how and what their children are taught in school. Also, Mr. Walsh never said that public school teachers “take the side of Hitler”. He said that a person who believes that the government should control how all children are educated, regardless of the opinions of the child’s parents “takes the side of Hitler.”

    • Julia says:

      I did choose to educate my own children; however, I know several teachers in the public and private school arenas that are fine teachers. I am grateful that there are teachers of character in other venues of education besides in the home.

    • tim says:

      The comment was that those who oppose homeschooling “take the side of Hitler” since that was Hitler’s position. Any yes, being at risk for imprisionment and loss of custody for homeschooling one’s child is a legitimate need for asylum. Seems to me that you believe the only suitable educator is the government, which I would say is a form of brainwashing.

      • Angie says:

        I am a homeschooling mother, I absolutely believe this family should be able to homeschool BUT I agree that they do not have a need for political asylum in our country. I have read up on this pretty considerably from some more neutral sources. From what I seem to continue to read this family coud have easily chosen several nearby European countries where homeschooling is not only legal but encouraged, they old have stayed there pretty problem free. Why they chose the US seems rather fuzzy actually.

      • Two points and I’ll let it go. 1. First of all, I think there are a lot of people who homeschool their children for reasons they feel are valid. Most do so because they truly believe that it is in the best interest of their children. I know that most home school students do well on standardized testing and go on to do well in college. But, I’ll also be totally honest. I don’t understand homeschooling or agree with it. One of the reasons that we go to school is to learn to get along with those who are different than us. Those who think differently and have different values. Public schools and legitimate private schools can help provide that. I think overlooking the social aspects of sending children to school to interact with the world around them cannot be ignored, and to do so is sticking one’s head in the proverbial sand. But what I think really isn’t the point. I think that the American government does have a valid stake in maintaining an educated populous. I don’t think that’s government control or brainwashing, or whatever Mr. Walsh wants to call it. It is vital for the health and future of our nation. I wish that our government would pass more stringent laws regarding homeschooling. If I had my way I would outlaw it all together (sorry you guys in the foil hats think that makes me a Nazi). Right now anyone–and I mean anyone-can waltz into Central office, tell the board they want to teach their kids at home–and walk back out and do absolutely nothing to better the education of their children. I’m not saying those of you here do, but I have seen, I know there exists a facet of the population that wants to homeschool simply because they don’t want to roll out of bed at 7am every morning, just as much as I know that their are sincere families out there who want to do right by their children. The government exists to protect its citizens (especially our most vulnerable–our children) and sometimes protection comes from not being allowed to do what one wants to do. I’ve heard that the argument for any government regulation of homeschooling is a “slippery slope,” therefore, even the toothless, less-than-65-IQ meth-head mama ought to be able to pull her child out of school because she can’t be bothered to wake up in time for the school bus. But by not regulating homeschooling at all, we are climbing up an even steeper and more treacherous mountain. I wonder when someone is going to make the argument for enforcing current truancy laws for anyone is valid, because anybody can choose to willy nilly fail to send his/her child to school or not., 2. The German family is not American. They are in our county because some bleeding heart judge felt sorry for them. I’m sorry they don’t like the laws in their home country. But honestly, that really shouldn’t be our concern. These people are not religiously persecuted. I’m sure they feel like they were wronged, but persecuted they are not. The North Korean student who faces jail time for having the audacity to want to read his Bible or the little girl in Ghana who has to live in fear of having her genitals removed in the name of ritual and sexual purity–those are the persecuted–not these folks. If he religious persecution argument were to any hold water, I suppose that the Rastafarian next door ought to be able to smoke all the pot he wants to in the name of “religious freedom”, and that the Satanist down the block ought to be able to ritually slaughter your house cat because “the devil told him to.” Something tells me that you aren’t on board with that. And as for the whole “Hitler” set of comments. I really find that interesting. Hilter was a Fascist. I did pay attention in my AP History class (in public school I might add), but for anyone–perhaps Mr. Walsh– who didn’t, the definition of a Fascist is: an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
        • (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice. Hitler hated, persecuted, and murdered those who thought differently than him. He targeted Jews, homosexuals, and other marginalized groups. Many people pull their children out of school to teach them at home because they are afraid that their children may be exposed, God forbid, to those who have different ideas about religion or family identity. Plurality is one of the most fantastic things about being an American. If we are going to compare views, I find it ironic that Mr. Walsh, who wishes to insulated children from a diverse society, chose an ultra right winger such as Hitler as one with which to compare anyone who fails to share his views.

      • Carl says:

        I would like to address a concern expressed by @delilahdudley (shared with many others) that public schools are places where children interact with children different from themselves; who think differently; and who have different values. Reality is quite the opposite! Public schoolrooms are where same-age children from the same geographic area gather all day long every school day every year for twelve or thirteen years. They do not as a rule interact with other children in other classes or other schools.

        As a homeschool dad for 8 years, it’s been my experience that homeschool kids are much more likely to play and interact with children both older and younger than themselves. The homeschool families with which we gather are from different neighborhoods and represent a spectrum of income levels, values, and opinions. Children in play start out being guided by older children, then advance to guide younger children as they grow older. This interaction I believe is much more diverse and enriching than limiting interaction to same-age same-neighborhood children.

      • In reply to Delilah Dudley, Walsh doesn’t compare anyone who disagrees with him to Hitler. He only compares those who want to outlaw homeschooling to Hitler. That is because Hitler outlawed homeschooling. The German family in question is suffering under the very law that Hitler passed.

        Homeschooled children have a very diverse social group. For one they have better familial social skills. This is important considering our high divorce rates and that the family is the basic unit of society. Homeschooled kids are actually out in the world, rather than stuck in a school all day with kids their own age and from their own demographic. They have more opportunity to socialize with the poor, the elderly, the disabled, small children, adults, the wealthy, etc. because they are not stuck in a school house all day. Of course parents must specifically utilize these opportunities. But homeschooling parents are more aware of this responsibility, where public school parents seem to think the public school will completely supply their children’s social needs without parental effort.

        In my own experience with 100’s of homeschooled and public schooled children, the homeschooled children tend to surpass the public schooled children socially. My guess would be that the social contrast is even greater than the academic contrast. One of my biggest reasons for homeschooling is the horrid social behavior that I see come out of public schools. I think we have come to see the public school social behavior as normal adolescent social behavior, so we think nothing of it. But if more people had the opportunity to spend time with a large number of homeschooled children, I think this perception would change. The difference is so stark that I can actually tell when children, I’ve never previously met, are homeschoolers. I casually, ask the parents about their kids’ schooling, and my guess has never been wrong, yet.

        I think it is sad that you would take the right to homeschool from parents if you could. So many are ready to use the force of government in other peoples’ lives based on quickly-made, unresearched opinions. Can we at least take freedom seriously? Can we use it as a strong consideration in making decisions. Notice that 5 out of 10 amendments in the bill of rights protect the rights of the accused. Even if we have 100 witnesses to a murder and a video of the whole thing, the murderer still has those rights. We don’t take away their freedom without still following those amendments. I think the founders thought freedom was pretty important. They didn’t toss it out if any reasonable doubt existed. I hope you’ll reconsider your ideas on this matter, carefully.

        One last thing, Americans need to stop foolishly thinking that government’s job is to stop anything bad from ever happening. Yes, a parent who is supposed to be homeschooling, might neglect the duty. As in all matters, there are risks to freedom. But if we look at history, we will realize that giving a government enough power to save us from all risk is the most risky thing we can do. Any wrong that any member of society can do is nothing compared to the wrongs that have been committed by powerful governments. (Eg. We call Adam Lanza a mass murderer–so the government should take away guns, right? Let us first ask how Adam Lanza’s killing spree compares to the killing sprees of governments who have disarmed their people and exercised similar powers for “the safety and good” of the people.)

      • Lisa Reynoso says:

        This is a reply to Angie, since I can’t reply to her directly.

        She said, speaking of the Romkie’s, “From what I seem to continue to read this family coud have easily chosen several nearby European countries where homeschooling is not only legal but encouraged, they old have stayed there pretty problem free. Why they chose the US seems rather fuzzy actually.” In response, I would say, there is another family in Germany who tried the other countries in Europe thing. It didn’t work out, so they ended back up in Germany. Remember, it’s not just homeschooling that is an issue when choosing where to live; income is also a factor. Guess the Romkie’s found an income here.

    • Becca says:

      Yes, some good can come from public schools, but this family’s issue is moreso with the German government not allowing freedom…I would be scared to know that I ultimately didn’t have a choice with how I educated my children. The closer the government is to making your personal choices for you, the scarier it gets. These people are just trying to protect their kids from something they may not agree with.

    • Lisa Reynoso says:

      He wasn’t attacking public school teachers. He was talking about government bureaucracy and people who are opposed to home schooling and think that public school is a great thing. A lot of public school teachers are great people and would home school their own kids if they could. So your assumptions are a bit misplaced.

    • Invisible says:

      How is getting sent to prison for home educating NOT a threat to their liberty?
      Only because other have it worse?

  14. When opponents bring up examples of socially-awkward homeschooled kids, what they’re missing is that these kids are, in all likelihood, not awkward because they’re homeschooled. They’re probably being homeschooled because their off-the-beaten-path personalities and behavior would guarantee bullying and utter misery in public or private school. It’s a cause, not an effect, that the critics are yammering about. I’m speaking from experience, here; I spent 12 hellish years in public schools, being bullied relentlessly by students AND teachers.

  15. mm0f2kds says:

    I am going to reblog this post on my blog…Homeschoolingadventuresinthebigwoods.wordpress.com. Thanks for sharing this!

  16. hellenmasido says:

    I have never really considered homeschooling but of late, I have been coming in contact with many writers on this subject. I was also kinda off about home schooled kids being antisocial but you just set me straight! Public schooling sucks big time in Kenya. I wouldn’t let my kid go through that . Its has wasted a lot of my time and life doing things I had no interest in and would never have interest in! I did it all to get to campus (a public university) where again, even though i chose the degree of my choice, I am forced to take and pay for additional units that I have no interest in! Imagine paying a whole semester’s fees to be taught how to get books in a library or how to reference! Its a twisted system!

  17. Tina H. says:

    From yet another homeschooling mother – who was a public school teacher before my kids were born and from that experience alone (not counting all the other valid reasons) would never subject my children to that environment – I thank you, Matt. For anyone wondering if public schools really are assembly lines for indoctrination, check out the movie called “IndoctriNation.” It’ll blow your mind.

    • Invisible says:

      I am another public school teacher turned homeschooling mom. There are a lot of us. That says a lot about the system.

  18. Having gone to school in Sweden (one-size-attempts-to-fit-everyone with a load of political indoctrination) I truly enjoyed the above piece.

    That someone speaks up on issues like sozialisation and the like is particularly positive, because very few ever dare criticize that aspect. Now, I cannot rule out that spending the day surrounded by other children has advantages; however, it has always seemed to me that there is more to be gained from being surrounded by adults, who set better examples, show more mature ways of dealing with the world, and can (at least to some degree) instruct and mentor the children. Certainly, in my specific case (gifted, extremely introverted, likely with Asperger) the other children where a horror that set back my social skills and confidence severely. What social skills I have, I have developed almost entirely as an adult.

  19. Thanks for talking about it! The part that bothers me the most is the fact that they would go to the trouble of reversing a decision that had already been made. They ALREADY had asylum. It’s really very sinister how they are laying they foundation to push for even more control over our families. I’m a homeschooling mom and have no desire to see my kids put on a conveyor belt for their education nor their socialization.

  20. yarnmama10 says:

    Wow! Excellent post! I am a homeschool mom myself and I could not have said this all better myself. Thank you for your though provoking commentary. 🙂

  21. AdensMom says:

    I am a product of 12 years of public education, yet here I am, unbrainwashed and a happy, conservative Christian. Why? Because my parents taught me the important things. They weren’t able to homeschool me, but they were able to teach me that I have the freedom to have my own thoughts, and that I don’t have to conform to the liberal agenda. Sending your kids out into the world is like sending them into a battlefield. If they aren’t prepared for the attack, they will be another casualty. So don’t feel guilt if you send your kids to public school. Just give them the tools they need to be free thinking individuals who can stand up for themselves.

  22. Mentor says:

    Pretty bad researched article…. The “Schulplficht” (the requirement to go to school) in Germany goes back all the way to the Reformation under Luther, and was first put into law 1592 and in the coming decades in all parts in Germany. I guess it is always good to put Nazi and Germany into a sentence, if you think you can hammer a supposedly negative point home.

    • Glen says:

      Yes indeed, the requirement for children to attend public school in Germany is Christian in origin not Nazi.

      But I wouldn’t want facts to interrupt the inaccurate rants of a right wing conservative Christian.

      Heaven forbid.

  23. I think that the important point in this post is that parents should have the right to home school their children. Home school is a great option for many families and children, often depending on family dynamics, geographical location, the ability and culture of local public high schools, and the ability and dedication of the home schooling parents. I went to public school, and now attend a private Christian university. I’m thankful for both experiences. I’m also a youth pastor with several home schooled students in my youth group. Some of them are well adjusted, informed, logical thinkers with bright futures whether academic or work related. Others are “home schooled” in illegitimate and negligent environments, that border on abuse (in my opinion) because of the severe stunting and neglect to any structured learning that they provide. One of my home schooled students is the most compassionate, creative, and hard working student I have met. Another is thirteen years old and cannot read a children’s book. Home schooling is not innately good or bad. Done the right way, it can be incredibly beneficial to the child, and to young adult culture as a whole.

    • Patricia says:

      So of course if he is 13 and cannot read a children’s book, it must be negligent parents, not homeschooling properly, not a learning disability. Because my husband graduated from grade 12 public school and is an adult that can not read a children’s book to his own children. He was pushed through school with an undiagnosed learning disability. You cannot tell me he passed grade 12 English!

      • You’re completely correct. My best friend is on the autism scale, and I understand your point. I didn’t take the time in my comment to elaborate, but from our close monitoring of the situation, we have realized that the parents are not educating their children. In this specific case, it’s an issue of negligence. I’m not saying that in all, or even most, cases it is. I am only trying to say that homeschooling is not innately good or bad, but it is the parents or guardians who make it wildly successful, or abusive negligence, or anywhere in between.

  24. lucidmystery says:

    Love this!! Thank you!! I was homeschooled K-12 and went on to:
    1.) Graduate from college with honors (and won outstanding honors thesis in the process)
    2.) Win multiple awards and grants for my graduate research, including an outstanding graduate student award from my school and acknowledgement from the US Forest Service
    3.) Change of verb tense, I’m procrastinating writing my dissertation on wildlife population genetics as I speak (erm…type).

    What’s better, though, is throughout all the academic hoopla I’ve had solid groups of friends from both school and church who love me and my occasional quirk. As a bonus, for the most part they never guessed I was homeschooled until I volunteered the information. There is so much nonsense and anecdotal (ie, not empirical or supportable) “data” out there about how awkward and academically screwed up we all are. Blah. My mom was an ESL immigrant armed with only a GED, and I think she did pretty well!

  25. Thank you so much for standing up for homeschoolers, Matt. I’m a high school senior and have been homeschooled since I was in the fourth grade. One of the most irritating things about being homeschooled is people insisting that you’re not socialized. This is seriously wrong. The thing about homeschoolers is they have to actually go out and find friends. We don’t just have a whole school of adolescents to pick from. Admittedly, I’m not the most social person, but that’s just because I am naturally introverted. I would much rather talk to someone that is older than me than younger. My sister, on the other hand, is way more friendly and better at making friends her own age. We are two very good illustrations of homeschoolers.

  26. Lindsay says:

    I was interested in homeschooling, until I started to research it and found a serious lack of math and science. Of course, I don’t have a systematic survey I can hold up as proof, but I found enough of the books and blogs I browsed through treated these two subjects as “extracurriculars” something to be addressed only if the child expressed an interest. It turned me off, and convinced me that anyone who denies that homeschooling has problems must be a paranoid zealot. Kudos to the parents who do the hard work to make sure their kids are well instructed in all subjects, but from what I have seen, there is a portion of homeschoolers who are just lazy and are really robbing their kids of a complete education.

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