Behold: the two absolutely worst arguments against homeschooling


Here’s the email I received last week. I was saving it for today, as I’ll be speaking at a homeschool conference tomorrow:

*The subject line of this email was: “Not all public school teachers are the devil.”* 

Hi Matt,

I’ve been a pretty decent fan of some of your writings, and while I don’t always agree I find that you sometimes have an entertaining way of presenting your opinion. Anyway, all due respect, I find myself having a hard time continuing to follow you now that I’ve gone back and read through your views on education.

It doesn’t so much bother me that you seem to be PROUD of your lack of a college education. You seem to be of the lucky few smart enough to get away with having no real education to speak of (congratulations). What I can’t reconcile myself with is your vitriol and hatred for public education and your insistence on peddling “homeschooling” like it’s somehow the answers to all of our problems.

I worked in public education for many years so it’s hard for me to stomach your ignorance. However I’ve enjoyed many of your posts so I don’t want to give up on you just yet. Hopefully you’ll consider this email and consider retracting many of your statements about public school. Public school might not be perfect (we can’t all be perfect like you, Matt) but it’s certainly far superior to “homeschool”. Any number of studies prove this. Studies aside, I’d like to see your response to these two point:

1. The flaws in our public school system have to do with PARENTS. Parents send their kids to school and think their job is done, instead of being involved in their child’s education. How can the system ever improve if the involved parents pull out and do their own thing? We have a responsibility not just to our own family but to our community. Homeschool parents hurt their communities when they isolate themselves and remove their children from our academic institutions. If we don’t help the system, the system will not work.

2. You mock the idea of socialization, but the fact is that kids need to learn how to socialize. That skill is not ingrained in them. How can they learn proper social skills if they aren’t around other children? You might as well try to teach your kid how to swim without ever putting him in a pool. It’s most important for kids to learn the academic fundamentals, but learning proper socialization is very important as well. Public school gives young people the chance to become well adjusted adults.

I look forward to your responses to these two points, and to your admission that “homeschool” does far more harm than good to our society. I don’t think I can read your site again until that has happened.

In Christ,



Hi Dan,

Thanks for reading.

I actually went back to check, and I can’t find the post where I refer to all public school teachers as ‘the devil.’ Now, I can tell you that I had a music teacher in elementary school who once ‘disciplined’ a kid by having him sit in front of the class while she went around the room and asked all of his classmates to insult him. True story. I’m not saying she was ‘the devil,’ but if the devil ever DID teach an elementary school music class, I’m sure he’d do something similar. Let’s just settle on calling her behavior ‘devilish,’ and leave it at that.

But, no, I don’t think all public school teachers are that bad. Some of them are, but not all, and probably not most. In my own experience, I’d say 10 to 15 percent of my public school instructors were so obnoxiously terrible at their jobs that I often wondered if their classes were elaborate practical jokes, or maybe some kind of strange performance art stunt. On the other side, a good 10 to 15 percent were wonderful, dedicated, tuned-in, engaged, and brilliant. The rest fell somewhere in between the two extremes, as is often the case in any profession. The only difference here is that, in most other (non union) occupations, the obnoxiously terrible ones can and will be fired.

I notice that you have no problem laying the blame on parents (or PARENTS, as you call them), but, apparently, leveling even the slightest criticism at the sainted teachers is akin to accusing them of Satan worship. This strikes me as an awfully unbalanced way of approaching the issue.

Also, I’m anxious to read any number of those any number of studies you mentioned. I’m not sure what subject you taught in public school, but I’m positive you’d have given your students a failing grade if their Works Cited page simply said: “-Any number of studies.”

That’s the thing about claiming to have read “studies” that validate your argument about public education being superior to home education — you really have to offer, like, maybe ONE example.

I’m not sure which studies you’ve researched, but I guess it isn’t the one confirming that homeschoolers outperform public schooled kids on standardized tests, or the one showing that homeschooled kids are more prepared for college, or the one showing homeschoolers achieving a higher 4th year GPA.

Really, though, we could go back and forth with studies all day (well, I could — still waiting to see you produce one on your end). What’s the point? This is part of the reason many people are thoroughly disgusted with the way we treat education in our country. We don’t need to be studying our kids like lab rats, running academic experiments on them, and then comparing and contrasting their performance with the other kids across town, and the kids across the world, and the kangaroos in the zoo. Education is not a competitive sport. I’m a little tired of this “quick — learn more stuff faster!” attitude. Education is a much deeper pursuit. It can’t always be quantified and qualified and whateverified. You can’t necessarily measure a person’s knowledge, anymore than you can measure their artistic talent or their sense of humor.

Maybe we should stop turning our kids into charts and bar graphs, and instead work on connecting with them as human beings.

Furthermore, if we treat education like a race (“Race to the Top!”), we only reinforce the notion that the whole endeavor is just a game to see who can absorb the most information, and carry it all across the finish line without having a nervous breakdown.

There is no finish line. Education is a lifelong journey, despite the fact that nowadays we tend to say: “Hey, you graduated college! You’re done! Now go watch Netflix until your eyes bleed!”

So let’s forget the studies and move to your two points:

1) You say we should keep our kids in public school in order to help ‘the system.’

Dan, listen, I have to be real with you: this isn’t just a bad argument — it’s disturbing.

‘Help the system.’

Is this really a priority for parents? When my wife and I make a decision for our family, should we stop first and ask, “wait, but will this help the system?”

Would you REALLY put the welfare of ‘the system’ over that of your own children?

I’d hope that you wouldn’t, and I’d hope that this line of logic is unique to you, but I know that it isn’t. I’ve heard it before. I’ve heard it so often, in fact, that I’m starting to think I’m the strange one for having absolutely no desire to make my children martyrs for some bureaucratic machine.

You know what my kids need me to be? A parent. Their dad. Not a cog in the system, not a member of the community, not a loyal townsperson in the village, not a ‘team player.’

Sure, I’ll tell them not to litter and I’ll make sure they play nice with the other kids in the neighborhood, but when it comes to making choices about something as serious as their education, I don’t frankly care how our decision effects the community. Does that make me callous? I don’t know. I think it just makes me a man with priorities.

Would the school system be helped if my family ‘participated’ in it? Maybe, and I’m sure the circus would be helped if you went on stage and stuck your head in a lion’s mouth. But you won’t sacrifice your scalp to the Ringling Brothers, and I won’t sacrifice my kids’ brains to public school. I guess we’re even.

2) You say that homeschooled kids aren’t properly socialized.

I give you this: with the exception of about 14 thousand other times, this is the first time I’ve ever heard this argument.

It’s an argument that seems to march on, even after its been disproven, discredited, deconstructed, and decapitated. I just promised to stop tossing around studies, so I won’t link to an article (here) that cites at least two different studies proving your assertion to be a myth.

I’ll only say that you chose a pretty strange analogy to prove your point. You can’t teach a child to swim without bringing him to a pool? I agree. But do you bring a child to the pool, drop him there with a thousand other kids, then come back 6 hours later, and repeat that process every day, five days a week, for the next 12 to 13 years? Or do you bring him to the pool, hang out with him, maybe even get in the water and play some Marco Polo, and then leave with him after a couple of hours?

I can tell you this: if you decide to just abandon your kid at the pool for hours and hours and hours on end, every day, for over a decade, he probably won’t do a lot of swimming. If he doesn’t drown (drowning is a very real possibility, especially if there’s only one lifeguard for every 40 kids), he’ll likely spend more time playing on his iPhone and smoking pot in the bathroom than learning the backstroke.

Indeed, when it comes to teaching your kid any other skill — whether its swimming, or driving, or riding a bike, or catching a baseball — all parents understand that their hands-on involvement is crucial. It’s only with the skill of ‘socializing’ where many of us suddenly decide that the matter should be outsourced to a factory in China (or a factory down the street, in this case).

Why do I even need to debunk the socialization claim? You’ve seen our society, haven’t you? You’ve interacted with people, right? Homeschooling might be increasingly popular, but the vast majority of the people you meet have been public schooled. And you’re telling me that the vast majority of the people you meet are ‘socially well adjusted’?


You and I both know that’s a lie. Sure, you can probably tell me about a homeschooled kid you met once who was totally weird and awkward and stuff, but I could see your anecdote and raise you school shooters, the bullying epidemic, youth suicide rates, a youth culture utterly dominated by cliques, fads, and trends, and then this:


Well adjusted adults?


Go to a college campus — any college campus — and tell me again how these public schooled ladies and gentlemen are such well adjusted adults.

For God’s sake, Dan, they literally cannot socialize without inhaling a barrel of urine-flavored light beer ahead of time.

Public schools teach our kids how to socialize? Then why is this such a common sight:

untitled (53)

I’m not claiming that homeschoolers don’t use smart phones or beer bongs, but I am saying that an overwhelming preponderance of our society has been exclusively public schooled, and if public school helped ‘socialize’ us, you’d think we’d see SOME positive results SOMEWHERE.

Expecting your kid to learn ‘social skills’ from public school, is like sending him to live with chimpanzees so that he’ll learn proper table manners.

‘Socialization’ — in the public school context — means that your child will simply absorb behavioral cues from her peers. She learns to socialize by aping her friends, who are themselves only copying other girls. She learns to repress the parts of her that don’t fit in, and put on an exterior designed to help her fade into the collective. I’m not theorizing here, this IS the social process in public school.

It’s also competitive; your social status depends on your ability to cut your peers down, until your can easily step on them and elevate yourself.

Expressing your ideas, showing vulnerability, communicating your deepest thoughts and feelings — these are all fervently discouraged. Kids are tasked with expressing not their own thoughts, but sufficiently imitating the thoughts and views of the peer collective. Children who can’t keep up, or who have no desire to keep up, will either have to be the most self-assured human beings on the planet (which is unlikely, since they haven’t been given the tools to develop that self-assurance), or they’ll become bitter, self-conscious, and depressed.

There is nothing positive about any of this. Nobody is better for it. Nobody benefits. The psychological damage can be lasting, maybe even permanent. Again, this is not my theory. This is just the way it works. How could you be so oblivious, Dan?

Now, homeschool socialization is different. Here, a child learns his social skills from his parents. He is oriented by adults, not other children. He matures, and grows, and is provided a safe environment to, as the phrase goes, be himself. Despite common perception, I don’t think most homeschool kids are locked in a tower like Rapunzel, and forbidden from human contact. They have friends, they play sports, they emerge into society and interact with people.

The only difference is how they learn to interact. The public school kid learns to interact based on how his peers carry on in the hallways and at the lunch table, whereas the homeschool kids learns to interact based on the guidance of his parents.

Who has a better foundation for becoming a well adjusted adult?

I’m not insinuating that homeschool is perfect, or that homeschool students are perfectly adjusted, but I am absolutely declaring that ‘socialization’ is the WORST part of public school.

Find a different selling point, Dan.

I appreciate the email.

In Christ (whose Word, incidentally, exhorts us to “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”),



Note: every Friday I’ll go through my inbox and respond to one (or maybe more than one) email from the previous week. If you want to send me an email on any topic at all, here’s the address:

Also, message me on Facebook.

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1,709 Responses to Behold: the two absolutely worst arguments against homeschooling

  1. mishqueen says:

    I was only ‘half’-homeschooled and it STILL gave me a huge advantage.

    Academically, I was 1.5 years ahead when I entered public school; by then I was a speedreader, and knew HOW to learn (invaluable). I was homeschooled only through 5th grade, and entered the public system in 6th so I could participate in athletics (there were no community alternatives in my town). Talk about bad timing, sheesh! I should have entered in 9th, but 20/20 hindsight can’t help me now. I doubt I learned a single new thing while in middle school (which ironically left me more time to deal with the social angst of young teen problems).

    Socially, I had great advantages also. While in homeschool I interacted with many people who were not my age, race, gender, religion or culture. I learned to get along with and tolerate those like me and not like me. I learned to have respectful, intelligent conversations with all ages and to think critically and with empathy. I learned to interact with adults and walk a mile in another’s shoes. We formed an ever-expanding community that opened its arms to everyone we came in contact with.

    Once I entered public school, I was ‘socialized’ all right…I learned what 100 6th graders think, want, and say. Only 6th graders, day in and day out. They were mostly the homogeneous in dress, behavior, and ideas. They had strong rejection tendencies and mentally divided themselves into smaller groups with hierarchies of importance based on arbitrary values that changed every few months. The predominant theme was division on the large scale. Unification was only encouraged on a small scale (a few best friends). No one was successful until they had divided and compared themselves to others, and won their imaginary competitions. I’ll be honest, I even knew it was ridiculous when I was only 12. I had significantly fewer friends than before, almost entirely because I didn’t look or act like the others.

    The older I got, the less people cared (a little homogeneity sticks around, but less). As I got into higher education (private university), minds opened and social rules relaxed. Of course, after schooling is a whole different ballgame, as you all well know already.

    To this day, I am intelligent and (feedback says) very socialized. I can think for myself (political independence is not ‘evidence’ but at least a hint of critical thinking skills), and have a compassionate, empathetic nature. I got top grades through high school and college, and am currently an entrepreneur (language tutor, professional organizer/stylist, executive recruiter). I am also a prepper/gardener hobbyist. I am involved in my community and church.

    So am I suggesting that all kids are better off homeschooled? Heck no. Some kids thrive in the public schooling environment, and not all public schools (and parent involvement) are equal. Am I saying that homeschooling is not necessary? Heck no. Not all homeschooling environments or parents are the same, either. Every child is unique, and every family situation is distinct. Only the parents are so uniquely positioned to understand what that child AND that family truly need concerning education.

    My answer is to stop fighting about it! Support public, private, AND home schooling in the way your conscience sees best, and give parents and kids a break. Whining doesn’t help anyone, nor convince anyone you are right. The goal is to have a healthy, functioning adult who is an integral part of a community. As long as you are getting that, who cares how you get there? If you can see a system that is NOT achieving that goal, give it a leg up and help it out in any way you can that is still good for your own family. It is only a disadvantage to the community to divide and tear each other’s educational system down.

    • businessofmom says:

      Well said! 🙂

    • Theresa V says:

      I Personally appreciate and have been encouraged throughout this post.
      My daughters would like nothing but encouragement to continue on with our homeschooling. They have always been unique to us.
      Honestly, at first thought of homeschooling, we were introduced to an interesting situation in Kindergarten. Where our oldest hadn’t learned the whole alphabet by October, of course, I was one of those moms that assumed that my very social little kindergarten had to have had the chance in 3 full months to be emmersed into the alphabet by then.
      Quickly, we became very concerned about the education and I started volunteering once a week, as well as enrolled her into a Montessori school,. It was about a month she was reading.
      I was not aware of how much involvement in educating my children that was actually needed to get them to this reading level. The Montessori teacher encouraged us to be more apart of their education. No guilt involved, complete encouragement. Second child was a breeze, started reading by age of three. Enquiring about furthering education for middle school/high school, we were encouraged to school at home. This was when I realized that this was our responsibility. Isn’t this all about responsibility? Our children are being raised by others with open values, spiritual views and morals that I would rather not have them learning. In my opinion, everything is built on a foundation, and we all need to have filters on during this growing time.
      I am grateful daily and in thanksgiving for the time to share in raising up my children in the way we think we should vs. how the public schools view. In addition, we are completely blessed to be able to homeschool them. The rewards of raising our daughters are evident in their character skills, their love for others and the unending respect they have for us.
      On a side note, I find it entertaining to hear my oldest daughter visiting with adults, many adults have respectful questions to ask while others have an automatic negative response and even share their judgement upon the homeschooling idea. Some conversations last for a duration, but with those adults that need to know what school they attend, my daughter experiences the coldness, and hate that they have for that idea of homeschooling. At times, this an unbearable moment but in confidence we learn that those close minded anti homeschooling type are continuing on their own ideas, as do we. We no longer sweat the small stuff.
      Blessed and thankful to see the support, the research and the characters that are developed.
      Theresa and girls going forward

    • Connie says:

      Love this response. Well thought out, open-minded, insightful, educated, and genuine.

    • Joseph Evans says:

      Thanks for your well explored point on homeschool and the fact that you didn’t just trade insults but replied with real information. I would like to add a few of my own points but will also not cite studies but just my own views based on my experience with pubilc education. I went to public school in a large city just like my four brothers and sister did and can tell you that some large public schools are nothing more than future criminal training camps. Of the six children in my family the only one who graduated was my sister the rest dropped out or in my case were kicked out in the first few years of high school. In my case I was suspended so many days for fighting in the eighth grade I had to repeat it the others had similar issues. After being removed from school two weeks into tenth grade I got tired of sitting at home and attended a community college for a year and received my diploma without ever taking the GED. I was not a dumb kid I was just the wrong color to attend the school I was assigned to attend during segregation so I could become socialized. I would have given anything in the world to have been sitting at a table with my mother who has two degrees learning from her even if my whole family was homeschooled our ratio would have been six to one verses 30 to one in public school. I mentioned that schools were criminal training camps which may seem a little extreme but the people we were exposed to in school taught us how to break into cars, shoplift, sell drugs and I could go on. As for kids who are homeschooled not being socialized search the internet for serial killers and see how many of them were homeschooled verses public schooled. While you are on the net look for stories of college athletes who are no the verge of graduation and cannot read and see how many of them attended public school. Take one hour out of your week and visit a county jail or prison asking the inmates if they were homeschooled ask them if they had parents waiting at home for them when they got home or if they even had both a mom and a dad. I could give more examples and probably offend a lot of people with them but I will stop for now. I also have not finished a degree but when I talk to young people who have finished high school and could not read a paragraph outloud or fill out a job application on their own I don’t think I missed much. With my GED I completed 22 years in the U. S. Army, have started my own business and have a son who is near genious level on IQ tests.

    • Rhiannon says:

      Maybe if you weren’t homeschooled, your writing skills & grammar wouldn’t be so terrible…
      (But, seriously. Very well written! Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences!)

    • Jenna says:

      Thank you for this… It’s nice to have an adult viewpoint from someone who has experienced both sides of the issue. I have to admit, the “socialization” argument is a consideration of mine when debating whether or not to homeschool, and you have given me much to consider.

  2. Our kids are in public school and that works for us and our friends homeschool and that works for them. We live in a place where the schools of any stripe are very good, for the most part. I think the availability of public education is a vital part of any democracy because private/religious institutions have the ability (rightly so) to refuse education to anyone they want. There needs to be a route for anyone to get an education.

    It bothers me when parents keep their kids home for what seems like primarily religious or moral reasons – as if they consider their child’s faith so fragile that it will be shattered if it comes into contact with those not in the family or church acquaintances.

    Libby Anne does a good job recounting her homeschool experience

    And then there’s always Homeschoolers Anonymous

    And if you need a chicken little-esqe, anti-public school viewpoint:

    • jjarjw says:

      It’s not a matter of feeling as though their religion is so fragile it will shatter.

      • Jenna says:

        Many times it is… look at the Duggars…their kids interact exclusively with other homeschooled children of the same faith, even for sports. Because God forbid someone has a conversation with them that includes a conflicting religious viewpoint. Many strict religions homeschool as a way to control the people their kids talk to and the ideas they’re exposed to.

        • Yes, some people are like that. They have a perfect right to be. It is the parents’ job to raise the children. We may or may not agree with what they do, but they do have the right to do it.

      • BarrySull says:

        Note Christ sent adults out to evangelize the world; He did not send out kids.

    • Tanya R. says:

      Kids are still learning what they believe. They are not to be expected to have a faith so strong that they can defend it in a public school setting. This is the argument that bothers me the most….”shouldn’t you let your child’s light shine?” No, we shouldn’t. We are still teaching and training them when they are children! We sure hope they grow up to do that, but not yet.

      My kids are exposed to people of different backgrounds and faiths in co-ops and sports. That is sufficient, and it’s monitored by me. I don’t need some other adult trying to dissuade my child!

      As an aside, I’m a teacher by trade and have worked in the public school systems that told me what I was allowed to teach and expose children to in my classroom. No thank you! That is my job with my children!

      • Adl Holden says:

        Ditto!! Kids hav to be given the time to build their foundation before it is tested! I was homeschooled till 9th grade (as was my sister) and went straight into public school. With no problems at all. We were well grounded, had a strong foundation, and a love for all kinds of people! So now I’m homeschooling my kids till highschool! They need time to build that foundation first!

      • Sophia says:

        I think it is fair to say that kids are still learning what they believe, but faith is something that has to be a personal decision. It’s not a decision for your children if you’re teaching it to them every day. Sure, they might come in contact with and be exposed to all kinds of different backgrounds and faiths but I don’t believe that one should shield their child from “some other adult” trying to dissuade them. Teach your child to be thoughtful, open minded and have strong decision making skills, present to them all the options and let them make up their mind. To be scared that public school is going to somehow dissuade them is unfairly forcing your own point of view and beliefs on your children. If they can be dissuaded, then maybe they shouldn’t be believing it.

        Schools in general should only be teaching science and facts, and if anything, they just educate about the different kinds of religions, so I don’t see what anyone would be afraid of.

        I know that I was raised free to choose my own religion or lack thereof and, through my life’s experiences, my education, and discussion with a wide variety of people with different beliefs, I’ve formed my own sense of spirituality that works for me–and withstands criticism.

        Just a thought.

        • Jenna says:

          If parents fought fairly in terms of religion and didn’t indoctrinate their kids with ideas and stories far beyond their comprehension from a very young age, there would be a massive breakdown in organized religion. Teaching kids something as ambiguous and subjective as religion (for which absolutely no one has indisputable proof that THEIR religion is the right one) has to begin at a very early age, otherwise they will learn to ask questions and form their own opinions about faith, which would likely disagree with their parents’ beliefs. And we can’t have that.

        • Nonsense. The vast majority of people in most churches were not raised in their religions. I am sorry that you do not believe in parental rights and raising children properly, but you are wrong. Make decisions about your own children. Leave others alone.

        • Eva says:

          I think in the end, no matter what their parents teach them, kids will make their own decisions when they’re older. My Gran is a Roman Catholic and she taught all of her children how to be Roman Catholic, that it was the true religion etc, but today, not a single one of them are still Roman Catholic. They don’t even go to church. My parents never took my sister and I to church, never christened us, or anything like that but when we were old enough and we started learning about religion they told us it was a choice and if we wanted to follow a religion we should pick one that was right for us and never feel like we were forced into it. As it is, neither of us particularly felt the need to pick a religion so we remain agnostic. I agree with you completely, it is a personal decision. But I can understand why parents would want to pass on their beliefs and teach it to their children. It’s very important to many people.

        • Enid says:

          As you have formed your own spirituality is it the true one? There is only one truth and that is God. Just like in science there is only one truth our job is to find it.; That is the same in spirituality we need to find the truths. You would not have your kids go out and do science experiments without first teaching them basics of science would you? And the more you learn and the better foundation of the truths of science then the easier it is for you to learn more and to discover more and create experiments. Same with religion the more you know about God and his truths then the easier it is for your to find them and build on them and to know, love and serve God. I am glad you are so filled with joy and happiness with your spirituality that is all we can ask for is joy and happiness and to be at rest in the idea that after this life we will be eternally happy in the presence of God and our loved ones. God be with you.

    • D says:

      Your name says it all…EXPRECHERSKID!

  3. Jonathan says:

    I’m all for Homeschooling. as over the years as a Youth outreach ministry worker i have seen that teens who go to public school are far more likely to suffer forms of Clinical depression due to bullying and stress then teens who are home schooled and taught proper forms of communication and scocialisation and to top that off… look at my poor spelling.. that is a product of Canada’s school system. my spelling sucks crap and it comes down to piss poor elementry teachers not helping me learn to spell. instead they dropped my spelling test load down to first 5 words then 2 words a test. it is only now in my late 20’s that i am learning to spell properly. and even that is difficult.

    • AmandaM says:

      Jonathan, that sounds like a personal problem, or perhaps spelling is just not where your natural talent lies. I am also a product of Canada’s public school system, which I always found to be good. My daughter, who is also going through the public school system and is currently in kindergarten can already spell and read simple words.
      Perhaps you should take more responsibility for your own lack of knowledge instead of trying to blame it on all of your former teachers.

  4. TheApostlePaul says:

    All I can say is…my son goes to school in the SF Bay Area, “The Belly Of The Liberal Beast,” and his public schooling has been top-notch. EVERYBODY involved in his care and schooling has been 100% qualified and dedicated (and as someone whose parents were both career public schoolteachers, who has two siblings who have taught in public schools, and who has taught myself, I am more than qualified to make this assessment).

    I’m intrigued by the people who claim they try to volunteer, help, or “take part” in their kid’s public education and their kid’s teacher turns them down (with the occasional eye-roll). I don’t get it-I’ve gone to my son’s classroom multiple times to do music instruction (at my son’s teacher’s request) and been welcomed with open arms. However, if you basically bug your kid’s teacher to hang around the classroom and stick your nose into their business and have nothing to offer in return (a specific lesson or skill you want to impart to the kids), YOU probably won’t be accepted with open arms. A master teacher (10+ years of experience and a master’s degree or higher) is trained to the same level (and worthy of the same consideration as) a doctor or lawyer: go to your doctor or lawyer’s office and offer to “help out” and see how far that gets you. Obviously, there ARE wonderful volunteers who visit with and entertain kids in pediatric wards in hospitals, but they’re usually there for a specific purpose and a finite time period-not there to spy on the doctor or interfere in their business.

    I’m also fascinated with people who claim teachers or school administrators have tried to “force them to drug their children.” I’d bought into a lot of “conservative” hysteria about The Evil Public Schools, and during our son’s first IEP, I informed his team that the only thing I didn’t want them to do was drug him. The psychologist was genuinely taken aback: “He eats well and sleeps well. There’s no reason to drug him.” I repeat: I live in the San Francisco Bay Area: if you believe the neo-con hysteria about public schooling, you’d think he’d have had a Ritalin implant in his arm at age 2, but no. We’ve had to fill out a ton of paperwork for his schooling, and most of the forms are acknowledgments of our rights as parents. In California, the parent is the final authority on their child’s schooling, and if that’s the case, I’m pretty sure this goes for Texas or South Carolina as well.

    I DO believe that there are school districts that, in a desperate attempt to maintain control of kids, there are classrooms and schools that push medication on kids. This is probably more likely to happen in states that defund and devalue education, or states that have crippled teachers’ unions (Texas is the example that comes to mind). It’s a self-fulfulling prophecy: we get out of our school what we put into them.

    Sorry that so many of you seem to deal with teachers with ‘attitude problems.’ Here’s a secret (not really) about teachers: they don’t appreciate being snapped at, condescended to or dictated at. Again, an accredited teacher with years of classroom experience is worthy of the same respect and consideration as a doctor or lawyer; the next time you’re talking to your kid’s teacher, ask yourself “Would I speak to any other professional person this way?” If the answer is ‘no,’ YOUR attitude might be the one that requires adjusting.

    A lot of current and former teachers are bemoaning the discipline issues that make it hard, if not impossible to teach. In a perfect world, kids would all sit, fresh and scrubbed like in a Norman Rockwell painting and be all eyes and ears while you stand in front of them and simply ‘talk’ for an hour. There’s much, MUCH more to “classroom discipline” than yelling at kids or threatening to send them to the principal (which doesn’t work anyway). The ugly truth is, in the days of one-parent households (or households with two working parents) and numerous social-media and videogame distractions, teachers have to modify their approach. You basically have to plan your lessons out to the minute (documentarian Morgan Spurlock visited a charter school-most likely one of many-where teachers are compelled to do just this-and the results show). Teaching is not a 9-to-5 job (there’s that doctor/lawyer comparison again) and it’s not a side job: if you don’t have time to plan your lessons, you probably shouldn’t be teaching.

    • Joyce says:

      Man, I want some of whatever you’re smoking.

      • TheApostlePaul says:

        Nice fact-based rebuttal you got there. What’s next, “I know you are, but what am I?”

        • Desi Erasmus says:

          If I were also a connoisseur of recreational substances, I might ask the same question, whether in hearty agreement or severe opposition to your testimony. Interpreting this ambiguous exclamation as a rebuttal has a suspicious resemblance to projection on your part. If you want to butt heads with a serious response to your testimony, give John Taylor Gatto a try. He has an abundance of facts to bring to the discussion, and your response might even add something to all of our insights into the issue at hand: facilitating the education of our offspring, and their offspring over the next few decades.

      • TheApostlePaul says:

        None of this is “news,” and has also been covered in works like “The Homework Myth” by Alfie Kohn and “The Outliers” and “David And Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell. However, people who think the ONLY answer is homeschooling are throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and somehow teachers get blamed for standardized-testing schemes that are created by politicians and special-interest groups. This is America, and nobody is “forcing” you to submit your child for a “compulsory” education. However, if the goal of public education is abandoned, a quality education is only going to be available for the people who can afford it. On that day, you can drop to your knees, and kiss America goodbye (but…I know ANYONE can teach…).

        If you want to raise ignorant children (i.e. a child who is ONLY exposed to concepts and ideals YOU AGREE WITH), then fine…GO FOR IT. But, if your goal is “anti-oligarchy,” you’re headed in the wrong direction.

    • desierasmus says:

      In response to this defense of the public school orthodoxy, here is another teacher testimony (for a more extended treatment, see “Weapons of Mass Instruction”, his free online book)::

      Click to access john-taylor-gatto-weapons-of-mass-instruction.pdf

    • Aaron says:

      Hey Paul, good post. Usually you post snarky troll-crap, but this was really reasonable, balanced, personable, and insightful. I’d love to see more of the same.

    • It’s wonderful that you have good schools. Not everyone does. The schools in my adopted town would give you nightmares. We have some great teachers– don’t get me wrong– but the system is so bad that it just doesn’t matter. Each school district is different and each state is different. I grew up with some excellent schools in California. I stand here shocked and dismayed at what I see in this small town in Missouri, and I mourn for the kids who are forced to endure it. The point is that you can’t judge what others are saying based upon your own experiences.

    • Terry says:

      at what point did you prove public education is superior to homeschooling?

      • TheApostlePaul says:

        I didn’t. Matt also didn’t ‘prove’ that homeschooling is superior to public or private schooling. You have to do what is best for YOUR CHILDREN. The problem is that I’ve never seen a discussion about homeschooling that was about the actual merits of homeschooling…it’s always paranoia about ‘Government Schools’ that ‘want your children.’ (why? why does ‘the government’ want your children?) I’ve also never met anyone who homeschooled for purely academic reasons…always social or religious reasons.

        If your local public schools are a toxic environment for your children (and, you have to KNOW this, not ‘feel’ this-a pastor told some friends of mine who pulled their kids out of a religious private school, “You know they give condoms to kindergartners, right?”-a flat-out LIE) then, by all means, homeschool. This is America, and nobody’s stopping you.

        • The Homeschooled Kid says:

          Paul did give reasons for why homeschooling has merit on its own. For one, homeschooling allows children to solidify their opinions and personality in a safe, low pressure environment. Their models are independent matured adults. This creates an exceptional level of self confidence and independent thinking that becomes very apparent once they face the “real world”. Also, home schooled kids are academic high achievers (see his links above), generally because they can focus on the academics and have a great deal of personal tutoring available. As to the ‘government’ wanting children, see the first point in the original email. Really homeschoolers are just responding to the assertion that they are hurting everyone else by keeping their smart, well adjusted children out of the system. The government wants these kids to improve their funding (more kids enrolled = more budget), improve their test scores, and keep the public school system from being discredited.

          My parents public schooled my oldest 3 siblings. They were very active in the PTA, but eventually became completely disillusioned with the system. They chose to homeschool me and my other brother primarily to keep us out of a toxic social environment. But you know what, we also outstripped our other siblings academically. I graduated summa cum laude and student of the year in a large engineering program, and my brother has two masters degrees. Now I realize this is anecdotal evidence, but for my own part I’m glad I was homeschooled, and not leastwise for academic reasons…

    • Gabrielle says:

      >I’m also fascinated with people who claim teachers or school administrators have tried to “force them to drug their children.”<

      Sorry, but believe it! Back when we lived in Florida we had this exact problem. I know people make things up for their own personal agendas, but this is 100% true.

      In early 2008 we were just getting ready to leave the state and move to Kentucky. At the time I had thought about homeschooling but didn't have the time. You may have been lucky enough to get a solid education, but I certainly wasn't. I was one of the gifted kids shunted off to play puzzles all day so the other kids didn't feel bad because I already knew what they were learning. Which wound up backfiring by high school when I was so far behind because of this that I got my GED just so I could get out.

      Anyway, my son isn't gifted. He's about average, but on the brighter side of average to be fair. He was also 6 years old at the time, with a lot of energy as all boys his age have. Because of this I was relieved and didn't think he'd have to deal with the same issues I had growing up. He was normal, social, and understood most of his work without major problems at the time.

      Three weeks before we moved, the school sent a letter to me for a mandatory meeting to discuss his behavior. Very curious. I made the time off of work and went into a conference room that had the vice principal, the school guidance counselor, and a state social worker. To date before this, they had insisted on running 'tests' on my son of which they refused to disclose the purpose.

      His teacher was mysteriously absent.

      I can only, very honestly, describe the air of the meeting as an inquisition. At that time I didn't have any notions in my head that would be considered 'radical' aside from packing his lunch every day because I wanted him to eat heathily. I worked 40-50 hours a week at the time and so did my husband. We had a new baby. Volunteering was the last thing on my mind, but I still kept up with what was happening at school.

      The purpose of this meeting was to tell me that my son had severe behavior problems in class, they had determined that he had ADHD, and they were giving me the name of a doctor I would be taking him to (not could, would) in order to get him properly medicated.

      This really shocked me because it was his second year at the same school. During the one meeting I had with his previous teacher she always said he was a great kid and thanked me for teaching him good manners!

      So I asked to speak to his current teacher and I was told I wasn't allowed! That parent-teacher conferences were only twice a year and I had missed the fall deadline AND the spring deadline to request one.

      I asked what their basis for ADHD was and why I had never been notified of behavior problems before. They said they 'knew the signs' and had had his intelligence tested to determine if the problem was a high or low IQ, finding that his intelligence was in the middle so that couldn't be the problem. I know kids of either extreme tend toward behavior problems, but this seemed kind of flimsy to me. At this point, only the vice principal was talking. She gave me the paper where they had written down the name of the doctor and even the TYPE of medication he 'needed'.

      I told them bluntly that I didn't believe in medicating children for no purpose, and I wasn't convinced that they were of sufficient knowledge to test him for ADHD. I asked again to speak to his teacher, but I was denied. I told them that I had never had indications from him at home that he was anything other than a normal boy with normal, healthy energy, but I wasn't ruling out a 'problem'. I wanted to pacify them at this point so I could leave. I let them know that if I found a problem after taking him to our own doctor, that I would then use diet, exercise, and behavior modification first before turning to other methods. Then the state social worker told me that if I didn't take my son to the doctor they listed within 3 weeks that they would start looking into having him taken away!

      I left shortly after this, after several more arguments back and forth with the vice-principal and social worker. Until we left the state (hey, 3 weeks later!) I was a nervous wreck that he would be taken away.

      When we got to Kentucky, I was so so shocked at the big difference in public schools. People up here beat the public schools up and think they're terrible, but they really don't know what terrible is unless they've lived in Florida. Third worst in the nation, I believe?

      Anyway, after a few weeks in his new school in Lexington, I asked his teacher (here you can just call and say you're free and ask when would be a good time to swing by? Or even email them directly. Wow, what a concept!) if she thought he had ADHD and/or any other problems. She was really taken aback and told me that my son was one of her best behaved students! Polite, respectful, a little naive but overall great. She said the kids who did have ADHD and were medicated were like little zombies and the ones who weren't you could DEFINITELY tell! I told her what happened in Florida and her mouth literally dropped open. She couldn't believe it.

      We later decided to homeschool when we moved from the apartment to a proper house a year later we found the political opinions of our new school to be very vociferous. I don't personally think teachers have the right to push kids in one direction or another politically or even religiously. They can state what they believe, but not actively push. Besides that, we realized that our son was wasting his entire life doing something we could do at home more quickly. Why have him spend 9-11 hours a day at public school (that's bus back and forth, plus homework time) when he could spend MAYBE five hours a day doing all of that at home? It didn't make any sense. It also didn't make sense for us to send our children off to other people who were essentially raising them all day. If he was a more dedicated student (he's not) he could be done with high school by 14 and be in dual enrollment at that time, having earned college credits and graduate college by 18-19. But he's fine with the pace he's taking now. As for socialization, he sees kids at co-op, in the neighborhood, etc. But more importantly he can make friends with kids and adults of any age.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Thank you for sharing! I am happy to see a post by a parent who isn’t trying to force their child to be a homeschooled genius with a college degree before they are 15. While I think it’s great that kids (public and homeschooled) have the option to take college classes while finishing high school I think some parents force it on their kids and it’s just as bad if not worce then the constent testing in public school.
        Sorry you had to go through a horrible 3 weeks.

    • AmandaM says:

      “I DO believe that there are school districts that, in a desperate attempt to maintain control of kids, there are classrooms and schools that push medication on kids. This is probably more likely to happen in states that defund and devalue education, or states that have crippled teachers’ unions (Texas is the example that comes to mind). It’s a self-fulfulling prophecy: we get out of our school what we put into them. ”

      This is spot on. So many people want to blame teachers, and the schools because it takes the responsibility off of us as parents to actually be interested, and engaged in our kids schooling. I frequently check-in with my daughter’s teacher, and am always impressed at how dedicated and knowledgeable her teacher is. I feel like my job, as a parent, is to encourage a love of learning at home, and send my kid to school well-rested, well-fed and prepared to learn.

      Since you mention Morgan Spurlock, I saw another documentary of his where he went into a school that had completely revamped their cafeteria to serve only freshly made, healthy food instead of the fried, defrost and serve variety that is so often served. This school was full of students that had been expelled from other schools due to disciplinary problems, and once the food options were overhauled, they experienced a HUGE improvement in behaviour and test scores of all the students in the school. I think a lot of people dismiss the impact our shitty diets has on how our kids are behaving and learning now.

    • familyat50 says:

      Paul, I find the video interesting and not in a good way. The data was presented in a very biased way, I would not be surprised if they were paid to say what they did and would not be surprised if they have direct ties to the union.
      It appears that the answer to decades of failure of a system is to keep that failed system.
      I hope you do not believe what was being spewed in that video. Sure, there may be some good general points but overall, that video was “fail”.

      • TheApostlePaul says:

        The video was produced as a rebuttal to “Waiting For Superman”…I’ve tried to watch “Superman,” but there’s nowhere I can view it online for free (I guess the game is sold, not told, hmmm?)

        “Dune” novelist Frank Herbert made a prescient comment when he was discussing David Lynch’s film version of his masterwork: the problem with the film industry (or really any industry based on an art form) is when creative decisions are made by non-creative people. I think you can basically apply that to ANYTHING: how would the Affordable Care Act be different if it had actually been CREATED by doctors (instead of the Heritage Foundation)? How different would Common Core be if had actually been CREATED by teachers (or would either exist at all?)

        In short: the whole “charter school” movement wasn’t created by teachers with an honest desire to rescue a “failing” public school system (and where and how it’s “failing” is a matter of opinion), but by hedge-fund billionaires hell-bent on privatizing every single aspect of American life. Believe me, if you think you don’t have a say NOW in how your tax dollars are spent (you DO…you have your vote and your voice), just wait until schools are completely privatized. You won’t pay a DIME less in taxes (in fact, you’ll most likely pay MORE)-and will have ZERO voice in how that money is spent.

        Honestly, the problem with “public education reform” is that politicians are trying to reform the “education” part when they SHOULD be focusing on the “public” part. The greatest asset to “public education reform” would be either to raise wages or slash the cost of living to the point where families don’t need two incomes anymore, along with universal preschool, community daycare centers and single-payer healthcare…but that’s a discussion for another day.

  5. Bill says:

    Because of my age I have no opinion on the benefits or detrimental effects of home schooling vs. public schools. I must admit though the using public schooling as a method of “socialization” is a flawed concept. Peer pressure is the worst yet must prevalent method of socialization known to children. What a child learns in school academically is about 95% up to the child and how his or her priorities were instilled in him or her by the family and home environment. A child can even learn from a lousy teacher if he or she wants to. I can see the benefits in home schooling if the home environment is conducive to studying but not all are. If a child is raised correctly he or she will learn anywhere. Peer pressure in public schools, as corrosive as it is, is just one more hurtle a child will have to deal with in a public setting. A strong home life breeds strong children. A well rounded child can and will deal with whatever school setting he or she is placed in.

    • TheKnowerseeker says:

      Yeah… but bullying is the worst problem kids have to deal with in a schoolhouse (and schoolyard) setting. Sometimes, it’s the teachers themselves that do the bullying, even.

      • I was homeschooled and I was horribly bullied by the neighborhood kids. Mostly because I was homeschooled! Homeschooling does not prevent nor stop bullying.

        • TheKnowerseeker says:

          If your parents allowed you to be bullied by the neighborhood kids, then that is entirely on their heads (or on yours if you didn’t tell your parents about it). In public school, however, teachers and administrators actively try to disempower those parents that care and want to put a stop to bullying.

        • Gene says:

          Dear TheKnowerseeker,
          The accusation that in the public school system teachers and administrators actively try to disempower those parents that care and want to put a stop to bullying is so contrary to my personal experience that I have to say that your statement is at best only a partial truth and certainly not a universal one. I’ve not only seen public school teachers and administrators work to deal with bullying, but to do so very effectively. They have done so both working with parents and, when necessary, inspite of the lack of cooperation from parents who were living in denial.

  6. Belinda Hammond says:

    Absolutely love this! Having had one public school teacher who admitted to my parents he turned off his hearing aid because the kids bothered him (just love tenure), and having a child with a physical disability who was told he didn’t belong in public school because he didn’t walk or climb like other kids, I have huge issues with being forced to believe public school is an ideal. Most of my teachers were good….and lucky for them I was a quick learner. My son doesn’t share that quality in large groups….but 1:1 he thrives. And he is the most social 4th grader I know…..even though he does his school work with me. Public school and maintaining an impossible pace for a child with his strengths and abilities didn’t work…..and I certainly don’t owe a public school funds for a seat he was filling when he wasn learning much there….not because the teachers couldn’t teach, but because they had too many needs they had to address for too many students, so focusing all attention on my one student wasn’t possible (but it’s MY priority for this one child!). Way to go Matt!!!!

  7. Pingback: Behold: the two absolutely worst arguments against homeschooling | I teach my kids

  8. Kelley Stoll says:

    In short, a public school parent of four boys. Becoming a home school parent next year for good. We will not go back!!! It’s sad what public schools have become. Thankfully, our family has the option for me to stay home and teach our boys. I am blessed and thankful. Matt, you are 100% correct. Dan, I have to say you’ve been drinking the Kool-aid for far too long. I’ve tried the PTA, volunteering at the school on a regular basis, being involved, being outspoken, rallying other parents for positive change and we continually are met with disagreement, argument, brick walls, stalling tactics and just plain ignoring. We will not sacrifice the “education” of our children so that you can have more time to “fix the system”. You are not interested in fixing the system but just maintaining your status quo. The kids are the only one suffering. Matt keep up the good work!

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  10. TheKnowerseeker says:

    Excellent blog entry, Matt; I agree entirely.

  11. Vanessa says:

    One point missed: teachers do NOT want parent involvement. Because parent involvement means that parents would want to be able to group together and decide on curriculum, policy, nutritional choices, schedule, etc. Parent involvement is NOT bake sales and fund raisers for sports and PTA meetings that discuss inconsequential and trivial activities like a school dance. Those are decisions and activities for children, not involved parents. Teachers want the COMPLIANCE of parents; i.e., make sure homework is done, punishments and decision of the teacher are supported, drugs are administered, and policies of the school are backed without discussion or argument. Really, do teachers want a bunch of highly educated parents with experience in the *real world* work force (let alone more experience with their child) running the show in a dedicated committee. No, no, no they don’t!

    • urlybrds says:

      As a teacher in a Title 1 school, I’d welcome ANY type of parent involvement. It’s sad to me to see how many public school parents are NOT involved in their child’s education. They don’t come to conferences, answer telephone calls, read with their child, support their child’s education, or even know the name of their child’s teacher (!). A lot of them DON’T CARE. It’s so sad to me when I have students who are struggling, and I’m working my tail off to teach them. But when they aren’t getting any support at home, well… I’m not a miracle worker. Forbid these parents should have to stop using social media to talk to their kid, to ask how they’re doing in school. Conference night is really lonely when I’ve scheduled and prepared for 17 conferences, and only 4 parents show up.
      I know not all parents who send their kids to public school are like that. Trust me, I have a few supportive parents in my classroom. But look at the vast majority of Title 1 schools, and that’s what you’ll find.
      Please, please, please volunteer. Come in and read to the kids. Pull a group of struggling readers. Quiz them on math facts. Help out when we do science investigations.
      And for lands sake, don’t assume teachers don’t care! I spend MY time away from MY family to prepare lessons to teach these sweet little babies! Why? Because I love them, and I care. I want the best for them. I want them to succeed. I want them to overcome some of the struggles they’ve faced in their short little lives.
      But I can’t do it alone.

      • TxMom says:

        I agree 100%. I could only get parents to show up if there were major problems. Most parents are looking for a 6hr baby sitter. I commend homeschool parents. But I agree with the email. You can’t show up when there are problems or your mad and think quitting the system is the answer. There is no way to make changes over night. I have quit teaching in public schools to expand my family and often questioned going back. But I know my children NEED the social interaction with kids their own age/maturity levels. The need to be tempted by peer pressure and picked on. If not they will never get tough. I am not saying don’t homeschool but don’t quit the public school either. You grandchildren may not have the option to be homeschooled. Keep voting and monitering the public schools. Go to school board meetings. There is a lot that you can do to help you community and the children who’s parents aren’t as involved as you. We teach our kids quitting isn’t an option.

      • MG says:

        urlybrds~ My husband comes from a line of ministers and teachers so I know how awesome they are. I was hurt a little when you said that parents don’t care. I know you didn’t mean all parents. What I remember when my two boys went to preschool and then to after school care was getting home around 6pm, making dinner, bathing, spend some loving time together and then bed time to start the cycle over again. Today all three of my sons have chosen to take a few classes at what might be called a charter school program for home educators. With two high school age boys and a elementary student I have to struggle with the home work from the school, home school subjects, and a full time job because of our current life circumstances. They also socialize in professional theatre, Boy Scouts, home school baseball and field trips.

        My friend who has her kids in public school was running her kids to ballet and soccer, working full time and battling cancer. How can you say parents don’t care. Maybe you need to think about what might be going on in that families home life. What about those kids that have to be with one parent one weekend and switch to the other parent next weekend. Are the families that have a parent working two jobs.

        By the time family members gets home, eat, and do home chores it’s time to go to bed. You are a working parent, you know.

        For the record, I help out in all the classes my kids have. I am sorry that teachers are not getting the support they need to be more successful. You sound like your a good teacher so THANK YOU for being a teacher.

        • urlybrds says:

          MG- I definitely don’t mean all parents. Just a vast majority of what I’ve experienced. As I said, there are supportive parents & parents who try. Life happens – I totally understand! My response was more to the person who said teachers don’t want parent involvement. It’s hard being teachers who are being blamed by the public & the government for lack of amazing gains, even though we work so hard.
          Thank you for being a supportive & involved parent. I applaud you for that. The world needs more parents like YOU!

      • D says:

        AMEN!!!! I also have worked in a very low income school and we are forced to have 35 kids in our classrooms! Parent volunteers are saints!!!

    • rowdydwor says:

      Not true at all! They just dont want complaining from someone who has no solutions or time to offer. Any half descent PTA discusses curriculum chanhes and has question answer sessions with parents and teachers. Our school just held 3 nights of classes for parents to seen what and how their kids are being taught and to make
      suggestions. They also had sign up sheets practically begging parents to come in and help with classes or sit in for class observation.

    • Jack Hamilton says:

      You are way off in what you are saying, Vanessa. Teachers want to feel that the parent supports them in doing their job. If a parent makes the child feel that this is a two sided boxing match, the teacher gets nowhere in teaching your child. Teachers don’t get to pick he curriculum, policies, nutritional choices, schedule, or anything else for that matter at the school level. Those things are decided at the BOE (Board of Education, State Leel and Principal. We have no say over anything that goes on except that our children better be learning at the level the standards say for their age/grade or we are out the door. The system has changed so drastically (at least in Tennessee). Teachers have no word, and no union. All we have his the shirt off our backs and the love of teaching and it both are slowly being torn away by common core and government regulations since it was adopted. Next time you want to down the teachers in the system, remember to step back and take a good look at the whole pictures. Teachers are up to their necks in politic crap right now and they are close to drowning. Many have retired and many more will leave the system because the passion they had for teacher and the love of the children are slowly being diminished by the loss of every right and respect we deserve. So when you start downing teachers, try to be glad they are there for you and want you to help teacher your own children since we all know you really are your child’s first teacher. And remember, you may thinking you don’t have any say over anything, try being a teacher and you will find out we have even less say over anything.

  12. triciacudjoe says:

    I’m sorry, if you’re present as a parent then whether homeschooling or public/private schooling your children will learn social skills from you first and then weigh everything else against that. Guess who’s gonna win. Not the mean girls.

    • EB says:

      I wish this were so easily true. I had a wonderful childhood and very, very supportive parents, yet when I got to jr. high, I was lambasted regularly for being smart by certain peers. I felt like a million bucks at home, but I didn’t want to live with often near-constant criticism at school, so I put my head down, shut up, and bit my tongue when I knew the answer to a teacher’s question and no one else knew. I cringed when the teacher chose to read my writing aloud because he or she was so pleased with it, because I knew what was coming. I wish I had been stronger, but I was sensitive; it was just my personality, and at 12 years old, I didn’t have the life experience I have now to shed some perspective on the situation.

      In hindsight, it nearly causes me pain when I think about the fact that I hid my intelligence (and I was by no means brilliant, just a smart kid with good study habits and a love of learning), but at that already awkward, sometimes painful phase of life, I had to choose between feeling criticized at every turn or faking my knowledge and having an easier daily school life, and I chose the latter (as many kids do). And I know I was not alone.

      • carnationcat says:

        EB, I had similar experiences, and so did my mom in the 50’s. When it’s impossible to keep your personal academic performance private in a school environment, problems may range from pride to jealousy to purposeful under-achievement to try to gain acceptance from your peers. Somehow, your parents’ attitudes fade away when you’re surrounded by a classroom of kids. If I could pass without studying, I never studied to do my best, because it would have felt like trying to make others feel inferior…and my natural sympathy wouldn’t allow that. So I got lazy…and have paid the price ever since!

    • Most of the parents who homeschool went to public school. So, the social skills that Matt talks about actually came from public school.

      • Heide Lain says:

        Actually, most of us have had to purposefully, deliberately unlearn those hurtful social “skills.”
        I would be downright ashamed to act the way I learned to in public school.

        • Gabrielle says:

          Heide, good Lord, amen to that! You know what I learned in public school, Stacey? How to be a total cow to people. How to pick on people because they’re smarter than you. I learned how to torment other people because they’re different from you or poorer than you. I learned that the clothing you wear is the most important thing in life. Thankfully I never passed those lessons on to others, but I wish I had never had the experience of public school. When I left high school I was so afraid of being smart that I deliberately pretended to be stupid. I started wearing makeup, short skirts, etc. I tried to pretend that I was dumb as a rock, shallow as a puddle, and had no ambitions in life. The only person I hurt was me and despite all of that, people STILL didn’t like me!

          Stacey, I’m sorry that you had a crummy experience being bullied by neighborhood kids, but that’s going to happen no matter what. You can’t stop it. What you can do is make sure your kids go to co-ops and sports and get exposed without having to go the whole hog and deal with public school nonsense every day. Those kids? Public schooled, right? Having taught in co-ops myself, I’ve seen how homeschooled kids generally respond to each other. Big difference.

  13. rowdydwor says:

    …and refereance your sources.

  14. TheApostlePaul says:

    *Behold: the two absolutely worst arguments against homeschooling*

    Although, the grammar in this sentence is a pretty compelling one.

    • HaMalYa says:

      It’s kind of like starting a sentence with a conjunction like “although” followed by a comma rather than letting the conjunction immediately proceed the sentence, allowing the sentence to explain the conjunction.

      Sadly, like the non-word “irregardless”, your faux pas is acceptable as slang because we don’t try to correct idiots anymore. Now we just pat them on the head and say, “Although it violates the laws of grammar, you may continue to misuse that word/phrase/sentence structure because we don’t want to tell you how dumb you are.” (For the correct usage of “although” to begin a sentence, see my last sentence!)

  15. orthodoxmom3 says:

    Reblogged this on orthodoxmom3 and commented:
    I just don’t think I could answer this any better…. I’m grateful a friend of mine posted this on Facebook. I’d like to share it all with you. 🙂

  16. Stevie Ciske says:

    I recently sat under Jen Hatmaker and she mentioned that when asking nonChristians what their perception of Christians were, their responses were always the same. NonChristians (or believers) saw Christians as judgemental, hypocritical, critical, mean-hearted, rude. It really hit home with me as to HOW we address hot topics, and behaviors of those around us. As much as I agree with a majority of your posts, and it gives my husband and I great conversation pieces at the table. I am saddened by the “meanness” factor that comes along with it. I’m curious how many people could possibly be won over if all the great points could be made in a loving manner, not a demeaning (talked down to) way.
    Happy to be a homeschooler. But I want to be sure I’m a nice one. 😉

    • businessofmom says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Some Christians are really good at showing their behind when arguing a point. It really doesn’t do much to help “win people over to Christ”. I agree that public school works for some families and homeschooling works for some families. I just wish we all could just get along. I have family that are public school teachers. They even hate what the government is changing within the schools. There isn’t much they can do about it without losing their job. They are wishing for early retirement because the system wasn’t like this when they started. They can’t effectively teach our children because their hands are tied by our government.

    • kuliejellogg says:

      Thanks, Stevie.

  17. Pingback: Agree or Disagree-If you could, you would homeschool your children. | Kevin Olenick

  18. Mollie says:

    We pulled our son out of the public school system in 1983. Homeschooling wasn’t legal then so we went “underground”. Our reason for this drastic decision? We had come to the end of our rope. Our son was a normal 51/2 year old when he started school. When he entered the system his behavior went off the charts and not in a good way. They blamed it on us – saying he wasn’t disciplined at home. Hmmmm – his behavior was only bad at school, but it COULDN’T be the school – they were “professionals”. At home our son was respectful, helpful, obedient, had regular sleeping and eating habits. We were engaged with our child and connected. However the school had him bouncing from one placement to the other because he wasn’t meeting the so called standard. One day I went to visit his second grade class. The teacher had over 20 “emotionally” disturbed kids in her class with one helper. The room was chaotic to say the least, the teacher was yelling her instructions, in this cinder block structure, which vibrated off the walls. I was not impressed. The final straw for me was when she went up to a child and said “oh you FINALLY got it right” in a very demeaning tone. This was near the beginning of the school year and we fought to get him out of that placement until May when we finally threatened a law suit. Amazingly the placement was changed in 15 minutes. During the Summer our sons behavior was, guess what, normal. Then came the third grade – same as before but with a better teacher. We got involved with family counceling and every thing we were asked to do. Even a battery of testing by various doctors etc etc. in the end my husband and I met with this entire group of about twelve “professionals”. Among them doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, nurses, educators, various other PhD types. Each one in turn gave their evaluation. As politely as they possibly could they all said he wasn’t disciplined at home to which my soft spoken husband replied “that is just not the case”!
    We left in total bewilderment. In the parking lot we decided to remove our son from school not having any idea what was to come next or what we were going to do. When we got home to tell our son he began to cry and thanked us and was beyond grateful. It was like we saved him from the pit of hell. In the following weeks we got involved with The Stillagomish Learning Exchange – a legal umbrella, if you will, for brave souls like ourselves and others who were fed up with public schools.
    You say these kids need to stay in school and parents need to work with the school and figure out the problems to make changes. By the time we took our son out any zest he had in him for learning was completely gone. If we had tried to continue working within the system we would have totally lost him. Still things have not changed at all and in fact have gotten so much worse. Good teachers have their hands tied. Kids have to meet ridiculous standards with teachers forced to use cirriculum they can barely understand themselves. I have to say we went on to have two more children who never saw the inside of a classroom until they got to college. We live in a robust neighborhood where on any given day there could be as many as 15 kids on their bikes, skateboards, playing basketball or playing on the swings and slides. Our kids were were in and out of neighbors houses and vice versa. They learned to get along with kids of all ages, not just 20+ kids their exact age – which is actually more like REAL life. They were never bullied nor would they put up with it. They are all employed and have amazing leadership skills and fantastic work ethics. Not one of them feels he/she is a victim. I can count on one hand the days all three combined have called in sick. I’m proud of all three of them and would homeschool again in a minute. The only thing I regret is not taking our oldest boy out sooner.

    • carnationcat says:

      Very interesting story, Mollie! I didn’t know there were options back then, even when homeschooling wasn’t strictly legal. I graduated in 1983 from a private school, but if homeschooling had been an option in my growing-up years, I think life would have been much easier and I would have turned out better. =)

      • Elizabeth says:

        There’s this Public vs Home schooling perspective in this argument, I personally would like knowing more about private and charter schools.
        I know of a few “Christian” privates (both really small and large) that are horrible and only one Christian private school that (at least at the time I lived in that area) had a fantastic reputation and I enjoyed meeting the high schoolers when at the store or in the community. I don’t know much about the charter schools.

  19. Donna says:

    Philippians 2:3-4
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

  20. William Betzelberger says:

    I am a sophomore who has been homeschooled my entire life. The main reason my parents decided to homeschool me was because they knew that the public education system is not the one who is to bring me up, but they are to bring me up in all righteousness, faith, love, and godliness. My cousins go to “real school”(I hate that saying) and they are not being taught in the way of God, now I am not saying everyone should be homeschooled, it is just what my parents thought was best for me and my three siblings. It works for some and it does not work for others. The one thing I will say though is that being homeschooled has allowed me to be myself without being afraid of what others may think about me, this helps a lot with religion and politics. Basically I a trying to say it is the parents job, not the government’s to raise their children.

    • As a former homeschooled kid, I can tell you that you are not being yourself. You’re simply parroting everything that your parents taught you to say concerning religion and politics. If you go to college, which you probably won’t (but if you do then it will be one that shares your parent’s views), then you will be exposed to all kinds of other ideas and ways of thinking. Since you been immersed in your parent’s beliefs for so long, they have probably taken root deep in your psyche. But maybe, just maybe, you will learn to think for yourself and not what your parents tell you to think.

      • Gabrielle says:

        Stacey, you obviously have issues with both your parents and your homeschooling experience. You shouldn’t take it out on everyone else. Parents have a duty to give their children a foundation before letting them loose to do things on their own. Having seen up close first hand the dysfunction of our society in both home life and school life growing up, I picked a better path for my kids. If your parents were nutters or whatever then I understand you being bitter. But don’t pick homeschooling apart just because of how YOU were raised. There are some decent public schools out there, but overall the system itself is flawed beyond repair. There are good teachers out there . . . who can’t do their jobs. My kids aren’t lab rats or cogs in a machine. They’re humans. That’s the #1 problem I have with public school that doesn’t generally exist in the home.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Bull! I was home schooled K-12 for a veraity of reasons, including religion. My parents wanted me to go to Community College and at least get a certificate if not an Associates there since any Christian College would have been too far away from home and too expencive for them to help me with the cost. I worked a fast food job my last year of high school and I prefered working and having money to going to school. I didn’t go to college until I was 26 years old, not because my parents tried to prevent it, but because I simply didn’t want to.
        I have friends that were homeschooled all their lives for religous reasons that went streight to community college or State University, depending on their family finances and the programs they wanted to persue.
        Your reply was a blanket statement just as wrong as saying all home schoolers are spelling Bee champions or all homeschoolers are socially ackward. There is always going to be a veriety of motives and results no matter what education system is used.

  21. Pingback: Behold: the two absolutely worst arguments against homeschooling - Rick Green

  22. Rachel says:

    I’m just going to throw this out here:

    Not every school is the same.

    Not every family is the same.

    Homeschooling is not always the best choice.

    Public schooling is not always the best choice.

    It is actually possible to never as an adult be exposed to some of the difficulties you find in public school. For instance, in my high school, I hear So. Much. Bad. Language. Now my parents taught me to actually have self respect and a good vocabulary, so I am
    No in the habit of swearing every other word on a sentance. I have learned to tune it out, but as when I am an adult, It won’t be as big of a problem. Therefore it’s not really necessary in the long run.

    Now I am a gifted student ( ok seriously not bragging here, it’s just the truth.) I learn at a much faster pace then most of my classmates, so I probably would have benefitted from being homeschooled, especially in elementary school. ( from which I really only learned long division and basic American history. )

    But I am happy and well adjusted on public school. I have great friends who have the same high standards that I do, have never been bullied, and somehow have managed to actually, you know, think for myself, and have not become a peer-pressure succumbing machine. We have to remember that children are actually people, not just sponges who without question will exhibit every behavior they encounter. We must teach them what is right and wrong, but we must also teach them how to not let their peers or their society decide for them.

  23. Randy Shawn says:

    Matt, very well put. My wife and I home schooled my older daughter until the 8th grade and she got straight A’s and was very well adjusted around adults and other kids. Everything was great until my daughter fought us every day to let her go back to public school. We finally caved then everything went into the toilet. She started experimenting with cigarettes, drugs and alcohol and continued down a terrible path where she eventually quit school when she was 16. This is the “socialization” that Dan wants. That is the mindset of Unions and Socialists to create mindless drones. Public schools are not good and should be scrapped.

    • AmandaM says:

      Right. And the only possible reason she started doing these things is public school, right? Couldn’t possibly have been due to anything else.

  24. Matt, go read everything Sippican Cottage has to say about “socialization” in public school. It’s brilliant.

  25. Pingback: So How’s That Homeschool Thing Working Out?? | Our Adventures in Homeschooling

  26. Here, here! Loud cheers from two Homeschooling parents in Australia, we could not have said it better! That is the BEST response to the two biggest myths surrounding Homeschooled children. Well done, shout it from the rooftops, we heartily agree!

  27. Pingback: Behold: the two absolutely worst arguments against homeschooling »

  28. Reblogged this on Our Global Unschool Adventure and commented:
    The BEST response to the socialisation myth that we’ve ever read. Simon and I were literally cheering out loud after reading this post by Matt Walsh.

  29. HaMalYa says:

    I went to public school.

    I had a history teacher who would come into the classroom, hungover, and describe some older woman he had hooked up with over the weekend. Once, he actually spent the entire period defending his position that there is nothing wrong with being an alcoholic…to a class of 17 year-olds. About once a week he would comment on the size of one of my classmate’s breasts.

    I am not suggesting that this is the norm, but it happened. And you might wonder why none of us reported this. Would you? What better way to spend an hour of my public education than to watch a grown man make an imbecile of himself?

    Thank you Mr. Wilson!

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  31. I was educated in a private all girls school from age 5 to 18. I loved my school years and I thrived. My children started off in school. My son did well all through primary, only to start being off sick, dropping grades, being bullied by classmates and a teacher, in his first year of high school. So, I took him out and started home school. His health improved, home life improved, he got involved in loads of community groups. Based on that success I started home ed with my special needs daughter, who was 3 years behind her peer group. Same results with her, in spite of being told by the various psychs and other professionals, that I was making a grave mistake.
    If public school is working for your family, that’s fabulous! It didn’t for us. That doesn’t mean I’m totally against public school and find it very hard to stomach when people bring down home school as an inferior substitute.

  32. Linda Weber says:

    Right on, right on! :]

  33. MAMA2MOP says:

    I didn’t read all the comments so someone may have already stated this, but regarding Dan’s socialization argument, I’m wondering if he knows that in the early 20th century in PUBLIC SCHOOLS they taught children to swim without a pool. Suspended on ropes. A little irrelevant to the discussion, but found it humorous. 🙂

    • WarmSocks says:

      I had to chuckle at that one, too. I WWII, my grandfather was tasked with teaching swimming to the non-swimming soldiers. In the middle of the desert. With no pool.

      He set up benches on the parade grounds, taught them the basics, and two weeks later when they were transferred to where there was a pool, every one of them was able to swim 🙂

  34. Laurie says:

    Best article I’ve read about these homeschool myths!

  35. Pingback: Homeschooling Reinforcements to Keep You Going! | Seton Magazine

  36. ReneeK says:

    Great article Matt! We’ve been homeschooling for 16 years and love it.

  37. TheApostlePaul says:

    “We’ve all been to elementary school, so aren’t we all kind of experts on it?”

    Umm, no. You’ve been sick before-does that make you a doctor?

  38. Okay, Matt, you say that homeschooled children learn everything from their parents, such as social skills. Where, pray tell, did the homeschooling parents become socialized? One would have to assume that it was in public schools as homeschooling is generally a recent phenomenon.
    Here is my personal homeschool story: My parents (neither of whom went to college) homeschooled me and my three brothers back when it was illegal. We had to hide in our house until the public schools let out so that the police wouldn’t arrest our parents. We lived in terror. And everyone knew exactly what was happening- the neighborhood kids tormented us to the point that I tried to stab one with a pocket knife when I was 12. All four of us suffer from severe depression and anxiety that has required hospitalization. I’m 31 and to this day people still know almost immediately that I was homeschooled due to my social awkwardness. I truly struggle with normal interactions and that is true of my brothers as well. I have overcome a lot of my social anxiety through medication and intense therapy. I have been very successful academically and am now a physician. However, I believe I would have thrived in any academic environment because that is who I am. My brothers, however, are not so inclined. One is 28 and only recently moved out from my parents’ home (into a camper on their property). He never went to college and is a truck driver. My other two brothers still live at home. One is employed on a dairy farm barely making above minimum wage and the other, because he lacks even a GED, cannot find a job. As far as I know, most of the other homeschooled children that were in my fundamental Baptist church growing up have similar stories to my brothers. Uneducated, unemployed and living at home, or uneducated, and married with eight kids that they are now homeschooling. The only reason that I did not share the same fate is because I renounced my parent’s faith at 18, moved out and paid my own way through college. I think homeschooling can be done correctly, but when the parents are uneducated themselves, like yourself, then the only thing that can be taught is ignorance.

    • WarmSocks says:

      What a sad story. That said, I don’t think you can blame those problems on being educated at home, but on the fear and isolation imposed on you. I do not know any homeschoolers who isolate their kids — just the opposite. Kids are provided chances to explore their world and meet all sorts of interesting people. My kids have been in scouting, gym class at the YMCA, swimming lessons, private & group music lessons, volunteered at a local food bank, played on sports teams, and a multitude of other things they would not have had time to do if they’d been in a classroom until mid-afternoon every day.

      My homeschooled children go to family functions and can carry on conversations with every person in attendance. My publicly schooled nephews go to family functions and hide in a corner, apparently having no concept of how to talk to adults.

      In general, homeschoolers have superior social skills to kids who were herd-managed in the classroom setting. The fact that your parents neglected vital aspects of what they should have taught you is a reflection on them, not on homeschooling.

  39. I was one of the featured speakers at the Cincinnati homeschool convention this past week, but unfortunately I lost my voice. My homeschooled daughters VOLUNTEERED to help me present my workshops, since I literally had no voice. Not knowing what else to do, I agreed. They got up and presented parts of my workshop – cold (not having practiced, nor seen my notes) – five times over the weekend. Neither has ever done any significant public speaking other than in the local co-op. One is only 14, the other 17. One of my workshops (on homeschooling boys) had around 400 people attend. My point is that homeschooling plays a large part in their confidence. You see, they have never been subjected to peer pressure or bullying. All they have ever known and experienced is love and acceptance. They don’t only know how to socialize with their own peers, but are completely comfortable with people older than them and younger than them. They can get up and talk in front of large crowds BECAUSE they have been truly socialized. Here’s a photo of my daughter confidently explaining how to teach a distractible child how to read:

  40. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2014/04/30 | Free Northerner

  41. Hi! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone!

    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the outstanding work!

  42. missy says:

    can I just say WOOT! WOOT! Thank you Matt!

  43. John Faurau says:

    I heard the socialization “thing” when we homeschooled all three of our young men. I must admit they were affected by homeschooling. All three are extremely resistant to peer pressure. They received a strong foundation in right and wrong and lack the need to “join in” with the group. They exude compassionate individualism, are very well liked as adults and are leaders the groups they now socialize in.

    Fix the system by remaining in a “hog wallow” that, by all indications and edicts I see from the NEA, says parents are subservient tools for the teacher? Remain in a system that “tolerates” different ideas with ridicule? Stay in a system that elevates a teacher to some a false deity that is a paragon of morality and correct thought? No thank you.

    My mom was a teacher for 30 years and did not like our decision to homeschool. Now she understands why we homeschooled, sees the social and educational benefit of homeschooling and is relieved by the “product” we turned out with our children.

    To expound on the not going to college remarks, first I know excellent and very intelligent teachers that are wonderful people and who surely perform superbly as teachers. However, being a college graduate with a Masters in Engineering I can tell you that my exposure to teachers in college and in later life is disappointing. They are mostly a pool of individuals that have limited abilities far from the “deity” they desire society to recognize them as. I meet smarter and more motivated individuals in business that are “only high school graduates” far more frequently than I have ever encountered an outstanding teacher.

  44. As a former educator, I can and do attest that everything written in the above response regarding homeschooling and its better results compared to public school is absolutely correct. The only real counter to these truths that I have personally ever seen have been the bogus claims by school boards, school officials, and judges claiming falsely that parents homeschooling their kids are breaking the law. These false claims have been used repeatedly, sometimes involving CPS, to harass parents and to try to force their kids into public schools. The truth is, the attempts to muscle and harass parents by these misguided officials is not only wrong, but it is also highly immoral and criminal and these people should be stopped at all costs. The harm they do to these families and especially to the homeschooled children by criminally forcing these kids into public school is extensive, destructive and highly irreparable. If you are ever faced by such tactics, it is important to bring homeschool attorneys and groups into the issues involved and push extensively and determinedly for a full investigation (public or by private investigators) into any possible history those pushing public school might have in similarly meddling into homeschool families and criminal behaviors involved in the same. This includes judges and politicians who get involved. Then prosecute fully.

  45. Home ad other “alternative” schooling should be something that everyone supports, as the variables in teaching methods can ripple out into education in general, therefore benefitting even public-schooled students in the long run.

  46. glitzy says:

    I was brought up in a Christian home.
    I went to public school.
    I went to a private Christian school.
    I was incessantly bullied at the PRIVATE TUITION BASED CHRISTIAN SCHOOL.
    Went back to public school and thrived.
    Did not drink. Did not smoke. Never tried drugs. Graduated a virgin.
    Went on to college where I didn’t drink, smoke, use drugs, have sex.
    Does that mean everyone else in my peer group was equally innocent? Of course not.
    But we all live our own lives and make our own choices.
    So to argue that your child’s faith is too fragile to be compromised while attending public school, is a cop-out.
    People sin. Kids sin. Adults and kids make poor choices sometimes.
    Homeschooling does not prevent children from having or exercising their free-will and therefore falling into sin down the road.
    You are public school ignorant to think that any teacher willing to pour their heart and soul into their career for mere shillings, isn’t proof that they have dedicated their life to the betterment of kids.
    My guess is that most homeschooling parents haven’t even stepped foot into a public school institution in decades, but are happy to continue their perceived “rogue” education/life anyway.
    Do you want your kids to eat the same meal every day, or be able to enjoy the buffet known as life experiences and diversity?

  47. jwh1986 says:

    LOL I’m just going to teach my boy how to be awesome and take this world by the balls like I do. This world is your playground and all it’s wonders are for you to enjoy. I have been all around the world, lived in Europe and all over the USA, if you give respect, you get respect. I make almost 90K a year, plus another 15K from my house i rent, and i have no college degree and I am only 28. The smart, charming, and smell good people make it far in this world, and like my dad told me “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know.”. My only job is to teach my boy right from wrong, and how to be his naturally awesome, proud self, and to do quality/fullfilling work, the rest of these worldly assets (friends, money, traveling) just come with it as a prize… Everybody is arguing about education, it’s about parenting, the biggest teacher influance is Dad and Mom.. not Mrs. Whomever during 4th period.

  48. AMBrewster says:

    Reblogged this on Taking Back the Bible.

  49. Ah, now we can leave the government discussion and I can agree with you again. I went to college, by the way. And, although a degree in BIble Exposition and Bible Language (double major) is not a “wasted” pursuit, the piece of paper that cost $100,000–add choking noise in background–didn’t make me godlier, it really didn’t make me smarter, and, frankly, I’m really not using my degree per se. But, I am in debt. It does hurt. And, if I could do it again, I probably wouldn’t do college, or I’d do it cheaply. It’s kind of like trying to convince a credit card salesman that his work is a sham. This Dan fellow is clearly sold to his public schooling ways. Forget the thousands of students coming out of school with worldly worldviews and life inhibiting debt. Like you said, it’s all for the sake of the system. Let me just be clear: if anyone out there is encouraging students to get in debt simply for the sake of a degree, without a plan, do us a favor and, kindly… shut up.

    He used the anti-social line? Seriously? People still do that. That’s like when peeple saye home-Schoolers cant spale; wutta joke. That kind of idiocy really warrants no response, but, I’d say you did a fair job anyway.

    And, let’s just be honest, his first point requires no response either. It’s self defeating. The PARENTS are to blame because they aren’t involved in their kids lives. Therefore, they should send them for eight hours every day to a government institution where they will have no part, no impact, and no say in the godless, secular, worldly upbringing of their precious children in a secular institution. That makes about as much sense as getting into debt for a degree that bears little meaning (yes, I have one).

    By the way, I was in public school half the time, and then I switched to being homeschooled. I believe in homeschooling because of what you said at the end there, Matt. We are commanded, not “encouraged”, but commanded, to raise up our children in the way they should go, so that they won’t depart from it. My public schooling years were not the highlight of my life, and they didn’t give me a foundation. I won’t pull the pop psychology card and blame that for later sinful habits that the Lord is just now, at 28 years of age, slowly bringing me out of, but I don’t doubt for a minute that public school contributed to that worldly infestation of sin that was already simmering in my heart when I was born.

    As Pastor Voddie Baucham has said, when you send your children to Caesar, don’t be surprised when they come home as Romans.

  50. Christine says:

    I love it! Very nice reply. I was home schooled from 4th grade until high school. I regret going to public high school, but it is what it is. I learned that socializing can bring grades down, and basically the public school interactions distracted me from focusing on learning in general. I finally saw the light and left the high school around my junior year. I then proceeded to College! Which I loved, but sadly had to meet many hallway Pot Smokers, lame and blind Professors, and phoney art teachers along the way to my Art Degree. I AM SO GLAD to be home schooling my four children now!!! I also NEVER worry about “socializing” them, seeing as how my children are VERY social 😉 Since I have experience with both public and home schooling I can vouch for the benefits of both, as well as the down sides. I will never forget the Teachers who really cared for me and my studies! Of course my own Mother was one of those teachers! She struggled harder than anyone to help me, guide me, and be supportive. YAY FOR HOME SCHOOLING!!!

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