Friday, July 25, 2008

Homeschooling Seen as Threat

Some reflections. (Via Colleen Hammond.)
You are looking at some of the estimated 2 million children being home schooled in the U.S., and the number is growing. Their reputation for academic achievement has caused colleges to begin aggressively recruiting them. Savings to the taxpayers in instructional costs are conservatively estimated at $4 billion, and some place the figure as high as $9 billion. When you consider that these families pay taxes to support public schools, but demand nothing from them, it seems quite a deal for the public.

Home schooling parents are usually better educated than the norm, and are more likely to attend worship services. Their motives are many and varied. Some fear contagion from the anti-clericalism, coarse speech, suggestive behavior and hedonistic values that characterize secular schools. Others are concerned for their children’s safety. Some want their children to be challenged beyond the minimal competencies of the public schools. Concern for a theistic world view largely permeates the movement.

Indications are that home schooling is working well for the kids, and the parents are pleased with their choice, but the practice is coming under increasing suspicion, and even official attack, as in California.

Why do we hate (or at least distrust) these people so much?


Enbrethiliel said...


When I tell my friends I want to homeschool, they tell me that my children will grow up unsocialised and uncouth. =S

Apparently, homeschooling is synonymous with locking kids in a closet and never teaching them any manners. *rolls eyes*

Linda said...

Thank you for this post. The attack on homeschooling in California is a real threat against freedom in this country. It basically says that the state, not parents, have primary rights over children. Most of the homeschooled children I have seen or been acquainted with are very happy--I think they like all that parental attention.

Unknown said...

I think homeschooling is a threat to people because they are envious. Homeschoolers seem to achieve that which any parent wishes for his child but is not willing to sacrifice to achieve it. When they see successful homeschoolers they are jealous (perhaps not even realizing that they are) and then start looking for reasons to discredit homeschooling

Unknown said...

Most parents don't actively choose an education for their children. They buy a house in a neighborhood with "good schools" and send the kids to school. They think they are good parents because they make sure the kids have a good night's sleep and a good breakfast and because the homework has been done.

They are good parents.

Other parents take a good look at the educational system and say, "I want more for my child." They give up vacations and second cars and dinners out and designer jeans in favor of teaching their children at home.

They are good parents.

The first group feels threatened by the second group because they see other parents doing more than they are for the kids. Not only do the kids get a good night's sleep and a good breakfast, they get a one-on-one education. They get life in the real world. They get field trips and experience learning in a whole different way.

They put homeschoolers in a "religious fundamentalist" box to make themselves feel better. They talk about socialization to make themselves feel better. They picture homeschooled kids being locked in a closet all day long, to make themselves feel better about their own non-choice.

elena maria vidal said...

Enbrethiliel, I am chuckling, since I sadly am acquainted with some home schooled children who are uncouth, but that is because of their parents. If those poor little children were in school, their behavior would probably be even more uncouth. The home schoolers whom I count as among my friends are those whose children are charming, polite, and engaging. There are all kinds of people involved in homeschooling.

You are welcome, Linda. More of our rights are eroded everyday, it seems. Although right now, it is better than when I was a child, since homeschooling was not even a possibility back then.

Freechoice, thanks for the link.

Yes, Psam, good points! Sometimes it does depend what the priorities are for the family. And sometimes it just means that for a particular family, home schooling would not work out....

W. A. Mozart said...

Well, I for one was homeschooled by my father, who taught me not only music, but languages (including German, French, Italian and Latin), the natural sciences, mathematics, law and rhetoric, art, history, architecture and literature.

I do not think that I suffered from it one whit!

elena maria vidal said...

Indeed not! And what a charming fellow you always were, too!

Lucille said...

The Real Purpose of a Public School

Enbrethiliel said...


In that case, Elena, no wonder I take it so personally! It's as if my friends are saying that I am too uncouth to teach children manners! =P

elena maria vidal said...

Your children will be charming, Enbrethiliel!