The reality that homeschooling is superior to public schooling has come as a very inconvenient truth to the public school advocates who attack homeschooling. They used to argue that those without college diplomas and teaching certifications could not do the job of the teacher. However, in EVERY academic study (controlled or not) I’ve ever seen, homeschoolers have done as well or better than those in public schools. They then argued that homeschoolers could not be properly socialized. However, in EVERY behavioral study (controlled or not) I’ve ever seen, homeschoolers have done as well or better than those in public schools. Pathetically, the most passionate argument against homeschooling these days is that homeschooling undermines the public school system. Of course this is an absurd charge, as the public school system needs no help in failing to educate our children even at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars per child per year.
While homeschooling clearly outperforms public schooling on every meaningful measure, it is not for everyone, as I indicated in my last post. There are legitimate reasons why some parents might not want to homeschool. In this post, I will cover just some of the reasons why homeschooling may be right for you.
You Didn’t Graduate College, or High School: Homeschool students outperform their peers in public schools across all socio-economic and demographic categories. They also outperform irrespective of the parents’ educational attainment, or lack of formal education. The children of uneducated parents do better in a homeschooling environment than they do through public schooling (or private schooling). In one study, it was found that students taught at home by mothers who never finished high school scored a full 55 percentile points higher in math and 49 percentile points higher in writing than public school students from families with comparable education levels. The argument against homeschooling for parents who didn’t graduate college or high school is baseless. While homeschooled children of parents with PhDs outperform their public schooled and private schooled peers from families with comparable education levels, the children of parents without degrees have the most to gain from homeschooling on a relative basis.
An added benefit of homeschooling for parents who don’t have college or high school degrees is that they finally get to learn what public schools failed to teach them. Parents tend to be far more motivated to learn something when they know that it will benefit their children than they were to learn it when it was being thrown at them in a public school environment. Homeschool blogs are filled with stories of parents learning material 20-30 years after the public school failed them.
You Value Time: Time is one of our most precious resources. It is always being depleted and we can never get it back. Society makes judgments based on how much people can accomplish in a given amount of time. Those who waste it aren’t given the responsibilities and don’t receive the benefits that society provides to those who are deemed to be good stewards of valuable resources. Like the DMV, public schools are largely a waste of time. The average school day in America runs about 6.5 hours a day, however, actual instruction at these schools can be as little as 2.0 to 2.5 hours a day after discounting administrative tasks, movement between classes, homerooms, study halls, lunch and discipline. In a homeschool environment, time is not wasted on class clowns or hallway fights. Homeschool parents can do more in three hours, and in a way that is tailored to the learning needs of their child, than the public school system can in a half day.
You Are a Minority: Nearly half of our nation’s African American students and nearly 40% of Latino students attend high schools where graduation is NOT the norm. If you live in a district populated with a plurality of any minority ethnic group, your school is likely to be well below average, and the average in America is already shockingly low. These terrible public schools help perpetuate the blight of the black and Latino communities in America, and homeschooling is the best way to avoid it.
At the other end of the spectrum, East and South Asian students face increased hurdles to academic success through the public school system. As high school counselors and college administrators dismiss the best students as being unsocial math types, and average students as being disappointing failures, there is an appropriate sense of injustice bubbling up in a community that already buys into the political rhetoric of “valuing education”. Homeschooling is the best way for these individuals to break free from the social constraints that are placed on them (other than changing their names and checking “other” under ethnicity on college applications).
You Live in a “Good” Public School District: Many parents believe they live in a “good” public school district because their school doesn’t get all the negative press that the 1700 dropout factories in the US receive. Many parents believe that because a school district might have higher SAT scores than the national average, or a majority of the students go to college, that it is a “good” public school. The fact of the matter is that there are maybe a few “good” public schools in the entire nation. One or two of them may cater to the individual needs of the student. A select few of them might build the independence and self-confidence that is essential to living a free existence, in addition to preserving the intellectual curiosity that is essential to lifelong development and growth. Even the “best” public district schools are failures. If your goal is to help your child become an independent thinker, one who can adjust to an ever changing market economy, one who will have the tools necessary to thrive in college and in the workforce, then sending your child to a “good” public district school is not an option. Homeschooling, however, is always an option.
Religious and Moral Beliefs: We live in a nation that protects (in theory) religious freedom and individuality. So long as your thoughts don’t translate into actions that harm others, you should be free to think and act as you choose. Unfortunately, your ability to share your beliefs and values with your children is under attack by the public school system. This is equally applicable to an evangelical Christian, a devout Muslim, an ardent atheist, an environmentally concerned progressive, or a free market anarchist. Many public school advocates actually use your ability to share your values with your children as an argument against homeschooling. They want to be able to dictate what values your children hold dear. This was a driving motive behind Prussian education, and it is being used to persecute parents from Germany to England to California!
I don’t particularly care what your religious, ethical, political or other beliefs are. I will defend your right to share those beliefs with your children, because no matter how much I may disagree with your beliefs, I am certain that I will disagree with the corporate, political and special interest driven beliefs that government schools will try to impose upon your children even more. When you hand your kids over to the state, you also hand over a large part of their moral development.
You Want to Protect Your Child from Bullying: Bullying is rampant in schools. 1/3 of all teens have been bullied, and the effects of bullying can be devastating to the social development of a child. Bullying can be violent, and in some cases it leads to suicide. Public school advocates often make the argument that dealing with bullies is a part of growing up – it is a stupid argument. There is no need to subject kids to needless bullying, and it doesn’t make them better able to handle the real world. In the adult world, bullying is a crime.
You Want Your Child to Be Loved: The world has become a more comfortable place to live through technological advances and economic development. We now have cars, cell phones, refrigerators, air conditioning, and heating systems. However, the world can still be a cruel and harsh place, even for the most privileged. Emotionally, almost everyone is hurt by others, whether it is through bullying as I have already spoken to, a friend who abandons someone in their time of need, a boyfriend who cheats on his girlfriend, or the 50% of marriages that are likely to end in divorce. Once your child leaves home, there are going to be plenty of opportunities for them to be alone and without love. You can try to prepare them for those moments, but it is unlikely that you will be able to prevent them.
However, while they are young, you can shower your children with love. Instead of sending your children off to a public school to be controlled by teachers who need to give their attention to 20-30 students, who have no personal connection with or vested interest in your child, you can share that time with your child through homeschooling. Aside from all of the academic, social and safety benefits of homeschooling, the act of homeschooling sends a loud and clear message to your child that they are truly loved, that you are not interested in handing them off to someone else.