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The beauty of homeschooling

Wayne Walker here with a note that will appear in the Jan., 2006, issue of my free monthly e-mail homeschooling newsletter.  I thought that you might like a sneak preview.


      The beauty of homeschooling: Opponents of homeschooling have tried many tactics to destroy it. They said that parents just could not provide an adequate education for their own children. Standardized test scores and homeschool college scholarships have proven this view wrong. Then they asked, “What about socialization?”, implying that homeschooled children would be unprepared for life in society, as if their parents locked them in closets. Studies by Brian Ray of National Home Education Research Institute, have shown that homeschoolers are actually better “socialized” (in the good sense of the word) than public school students. More recent claims have been that children have some kind of “right” to receive input in their lives different from that of their parents so they need to be in schools, and that taking children out of the public schools to educate them at home will destroy the public school system. I say, let it be destroyed. This nation had the highest literacy rate on earth in days before mandatory public schools existed. However, given our government's claim to support “education” (which actually means supporting public schools, and there is a big difference between education and schools), I doubt that the public education system will go down the tubes, although it is quite plain that we are throwing good money after bad down a never-ending rat hole.

     Having said all that, the point I want to make is that another criticism of homeschooling is that even if the kids are well educated and socialized, there is just so much that they will miss out on by not being in public schools. Yeah, drugs, sex, situation ethics, evolution taught as fact, promotion of homosexuality. But that is not what people usually mean. They mean music, sports, and other “extra curricular” activities. Well, homeschool parents have been notoriously famous for providing such needs. My sons have played roller hockey, volleyball, bowling, and baseball on homeschool teams. Mark is taking private drum lessons (from a homeschooled student, no less)–and I just spent nearly $700 to buy a drum set for him! Jeremy may start taking homeschool recorder lessons. Which brings me to my main point. On Dec. 14, 2005, we attended a recorder recital for homeschooled students who were taught by our good friend, homeschooling mother, and music teacher Trisch Breed. Some fourteen homeschooled young people of various ages and degrees of ability performed together and as soloists. They are learning music and how to perform in public. The recital was delightful, and we had a wonderful time.

     In most states, there are homeschooling parents who are fighting for the right to participate in public school programs such as music, sports, drama, etc. Here in Missouri, the state law has been amended to require that schools allow such “dual enrollment.” In other states, it is a mixed bag–some authorities have said yes, others have said no, and courts have ruled on both sides of the issue. I cannot say that this is necessarily wrong and for some families in certain situations this may be the best that they can do, but I believe that a word of warning is in order. Yes, I know, we pay taxes. However, the more homeschoolers appeal to the government school bureaucracy for “goodies,” the more such homeschoolers will be drawn under its control. And the more it is seen that homeschoolers need to appeal for these “goodies,” the more attempts will be made to exercise public school control over homeschoolers in general, even the ones who do not want the “goodies.” As for me and my house, we shall remain independent homeschoolers and make our own arrangements to provide for all the needs of our children.

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