Homeschooling is definitely NOT an easy thing to do. First, parents still have to pay taxes for the failing schools they don’t want to use. Second, one parents has to give up a salary to stay home, although this is offset by not having to pay for daycare. But more parents are starting to choose homeschooling for a variety of reasons. This news article from Washington Times lays out one that I had never heard of before.
After a gunman opened fire on students in Parkland, Florida, the phones started ringing at the Texas Home School Coalition, and they haven’t stopped yet.
The Lubbock-based organization has been swamped with inquiries for months from parents seeking safer options for their kids in the aftermath of this year’s deadly school massacres, first in Parkland and then in Santa Fe, Texas.
“When the Parkland shooting happened, our phone calls and emails exploded,” said coalition president Tim Lambert. “In the last couple of months, our numbers have doubled. We’re dealing with probably between 1,200 and 1,400 calls and emails per month, and prior to that it was 600 to 700.”
[…]Brian D. Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute in Salem, Oregon, who has conducted homeschool research for 33 years, said school safety has increasingly become an issue for parents looking at teaching their kids at home.
It’s definitely true that homeschooling is a better choice for parents seeking to pass on their worldview to their children. And I think it’s a real question whether public school administrators are doing everything possible to make schools safe. Although metal detectors and armed guards are sure ways to prevent violence, public school teachers and administrators simply don’t want to do what works. And there’s no question about what works. I recently had to renew my plates in a new county and accidentally wandered into the City Hall building. The nice armed guard standing in front of the metal detector was nice enough to point me in the right direction. That was good security.
The trouble with the schools is that, under the Obama administration, schools lost a lot of their power to remove dangerous students from the schools. This article by David French at National Review explains.
Yesterday Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations published a comprehensive report that reached an explosive conclusion:
Despite committing a string of arrestable offenses on campus before the Florida school shooting, Nikolas Cruz was able to escape the attention of law enforcement, pass a background check and purchase the weapon he used to slaughter three staff members and 14 fellow students because of Obama administration efforts to make school discipline more lenient.
[…]In 2013, the Broward County school board entered into an agreement with multiple law-enforcement agencies — including the Broward County sheriff — designed to limit the number of on-campus arrests.
Obama education secretary Arne Duncan even highlighted Broward County’s efforts to reduce out-of-school suspensions and try alternative forms of discipline. Broward County was reportedly “one of 53 major school districts” to adopt Obama-administration guidelines designed in part to limit law-enforcement involvement in school discipline.
Sperry quoted Peter Kirsanow, a conservative member of the Commission on Civil Rights:
Broward County adopted a lenient disciplinary policy similar to those adopted by many other districts under pressure from the Obama administration to reduce racial “disparities” in suspensions and expulsions. . . . In many of these districts, the drive to “get our numbers right” has produced disastrous results, with startling increases in both the number and severity of disciplinary offenses, including assaults and beatings of teachers and students.
Sperry also wrote a comprehensive essay for the New York Post in December outlining how lax discipline policies where enabling a wave of violence against teachers and students. He detailed incidents across the country, including mass resignations of teachers after escalating assaults.
In local news reports at least one former Broward school-resource officer has spoken bluntly about the pressure not to arrest students and said that the number of resource officers was cut in half.
The point is that it’s not by accident that schools have suddenly become unsafe. It’s a result of Democrat policies which favor law-breakers over student’s safety. Sound familiar? That’s right, it’s the same leniency that Democrats show to illegal aliens who commit crimes. Remember how Nancy Pelosi defended the violent criminals in the MS-13 gang? This is normal Democrat behavior. They try to feel good about themselves and show everyone how “compassionate” they are by defending criminals while endangering the taxpayers who pay their salaries. Don’t ask me why, it makes no sense to me.
Anyway, I have a cute homeschooling story about an Alabama family to from the Christian Post, which shows how good homeschooling can work.
An impressive seven of 10 homeschooled children from a Christian family in Montgomery, Alabama, which now boasts a doctor and New York City architect among them, all started college by the time they were 12; and now their parents have written a book about how they managed to pull off such staggering academic success.
The parents of the 10 children, Mona Lisa and Kip Harding, are described as high school sweethearts on a website dedicated to The Brainy Bunch Book.
“After four kids, they decided to turn to homeschooling, and their success paved the way for their children to start college by the age of 12, and go on to great careers in medicine, engineering, architecture and more,” explaines the website.
Hannah, 26, is the oldest Harding child. She earned her bachelor of science in mathematics from Auburn University Montgomery and a master’s degree in mathematics by the time she was 19. She is now working on a PhD in material science.
Rosanna, 24, is now an architect in New York City and became the youngest member in the American Institute of Architects at age 23. Serena, 22, earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Huntingdon College at 17, and became one of America’s youngest female doctors at 22. She is now a resident at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda.
Their brother Heath, 17, has an master’s in computer science. He earned a BA in English at 15, and he is currently working at building his tutoring and online computer business. Keith, who is 15, is pursuing a bachelor’s in music at Faulkner University. Seth, just 13, is a history major at Huntingdon College, while Katrinnah, 10, is a student at Faulkner University. Their other siblings, Mariannah, 8; Lorennah, 5, and Thunder, 3, are still being homeschooled.
In an interview with KSL Kip and Mona Lisa noted that their children aren’t geniuses. They simply found a way to accelerate their learning by making it fun. One-on-one sessions with the mother who is working on her bachelor’s degree at home also helped immensely.
“One teacher has 30 students on average,” said Kip. “We can do better than that. Kids get left behind in a classroom. … This is where homeschooling really takes off because those kids are getting extra attention. And who’s more loving than a mom and dad teaching them things?”
I think you would certainly detect problems much faster in your children’s educations if you are the one teaching them.
28 thoughts on “Good news: more parents pulling their kids out of schools to homeschool them”
I just retired from almost 30 years of continuous homeschooling. When we began, physical safety was not one of our reasons for homeschooling. But I can assure you that if we were starting now, it would be. Leaving one’s children in a place which is boldly advertised as being defenseless is insane and frankly irresponsible in my mind.
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I homeschooled for purely secular reasons (as an atheist), because I did not want liberal indoctrination of my children. In my state, I needed a church covering, and gladly signed on that I would not interfere with the Christian principles of the homeschool covering.
I came to know, for the first time in my life, that there were actually Christians who lived counter-culturally. Without knowing it, and without explicitly sharing the Gospel with me, they removed my last stumbling block to Christ, and I surrendered to Him two years after beginning to homeschool. It was “easy,” because I agreed with this Tribe on every other issue. :-)
So, I am Eternally thankful to Christian homeschoolers. God knows how many secularists you have converted – without even knowing it!
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Like anything, homeschooling has its pros and cons. The pros, of course are being able to pass on your own views to your kids especially if they’re not the mainstream, and stop the pressure for your kids to conform to liberal brainwashing and politically correct madness! Also, your kids can learn at a more individualized pace, so they won’t fall through the cracks on lessons they haven’t fully mastered yet, or race ahead and not be held back by inferior peers academically and socially. Having bad influences around, miscreant kids, and unfortunately now, rabid liberal teachers, isn’t an issue in home school. I do feel that there are some drawbacks though that must be compensated for in other ways. Positive social connections, and experiencing life outside the domestic bubble have value which you will not get being education only at home. It’s an essential skill to learn how to deal with and get along with different personalities, from other students and teachers than just mom, dad and siblings. And, while brainwashing is not good, being exposed to other views outside your own ideological bubble at home is a must for a well rounded person. After all, the strongest arguments against radical liberal views start with understanding what they are trying to say and where they’re coming from. I guess some solutions would be field trips to places, and networking with other families, friends and professional connections. Or making friends through extra curricular clubs and fellow homeschoolers. Some schools are more conservative, you just have to look, and you could always create your own organization of home school families to teach together and pool resources and knowledge to make an unofficial “school” where you share your same values. I personally was in public school k-12 and saw it’s limitations and advantages. I sort of liked that there was a level of detachment and objectivity between other teachers and I, as opposed to “Mrs. Mom” or “Mr. Dad” as the teacher!
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“Positive social connections, and experiencing life outside the domestic bubble have value which you will not get being education only at home.
It’s an essential skill to learn how to deal with and get along with different personalities, from other students and teachers than just mom, dad and siblings. ”
Ah, another version of the “S” word. Socialization!
Why on earth to you believe homeschooled kids live in a “domestic bubble”?
With the odd exception, homeschoolers our out in the real world. Education is not limited to home. In fact, a lot of homeschooling families prefer the term “home based education” rather than homeschooling, because they’re hardly ever at home, and they don’t do “school.” Education can, and does, happen anywhere.
Which is why study after study has found that the majority of homeschooled kids do better in different social situations, and learn how to interact with people of all kinds, confidently, while their schooled peers are found to be quite unprepared for life outside of school, and don’t know how to interact with people outside their “school” bubble.
Personally, I found homeschooling to me much “easier” than what I was seeing families who sent their kids to school where going through. Granted, a lot would depend on the laws of the individual state or province (some require the “school at home” approach, while others retain parental autonomy in how they educate their own children), but sending kids to school means your entire life revolves around the school routine. Plus, “free” public school is amazingly expensive, with so many costs and fees parents now have to pay. Unless one lives somewhere where they are legally required to buy curriculum, homeschooling can be much, much cheaper.
And the whole “what about socialization” thing is an objection I never quite understood. What is there about the socialization in schools that is at all reflective of the real world? It’s a completely artificial environment that separates children from their parents, and from society.
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I actually regard the socialization component as THE strongest reason to homeschool. Far from being sheltered in the home most of the time, HS kids are free to be anywhere, anytime, and often are–the home becomes the base and foundation, both practically and philosophically, to go out, branch out, and pursue the particular interests of each child. They are interacting with all types of people out in the “real world.” It’s the schooled kids who are sitting in the same place 7 hours a day with a static group of peers and an authority figure. You tell me which scenario is more unnatural.
Another point is that human beings were designed to be socialized by their families at first and then to gradually branch out as guided maturity develops. Rather than small children being plunked into contrived social settings and conditioned to accept socialization by peers.
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You have already been replied to on the “socialization” strawman, but I will just add that I can pick a homeschooler out of a crowd of 25 government schooled students in about 3 minutes: superior eye contact, superior articulation, and ability to relate to a wide variety of people of different backgrounds and ages.
My problem when I homeschooled my kids was NOT lack of socialization. It was keeping them home and away from their homeschool buds after finishing their day’s work by 11 am.
My homeschooled daughter was promoted to supervisor almost immediately upon finishing her Master’s degree at a very young age, and my son, who set the curve in Calculus at a local college at the ripe old age of 12, was promoted to group leader at a major aerospace company almost imediately after graduating early with his engineering degree. He said the “old” people in his group (in their 30’s, he was barely 21 at the time) were all going to homeschool, because they had never seen anyone so well-prepared for the job. And they didn’t mean technically, although he is not bad in that area too.
If you want your kids “socialized” by people their age only, send them to the government indoctrination centers (public schools).
I highly recommend homeschooling for purely secular reasons, but I think it is arguably spiritual child abuse for Christians to send their children to the government schools.
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Thank you for your comments. Regarding your concerns about an ideological bubble around homeschooled children and well-rounded socialization challenges, I would say that these are not problems for the majority of homeschooled children I know, including my own five who interact better and contribute more to the broader society than many of their peers, who have high-achieving career aspirations and accomplishments, and who succeed in the most important things of life, including starting their own families, businesses, and professional careers. Do you know any homeschooled children that actually have difficulties with socializing or socialization? The small minority of the ones I know who have difficulties would not have had an easier time of it in our local public schools. And yes, I do know about our local schools, very good schools as far as that goes, but we chose not to send our children to them until after grade 8. I cannot tell you how many times the local administration has asked how our children managed to excel in so many things—top 10 in their class (3 of the five), stand-out athletes (four-year starting QB, soccer, track, etc), Show Choir (4 of 5), Thespians (5 of 5), and all getting involved in many other community and church leadership activities for youth.
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I’m not saying your arguments about the social thing are wrong or trying to stir up a firestorm or offense. But, with everything in life, it comes with pros and cons. Nothing is a 100% perfect utopia and the absolute solution. I am NOT against families who choose homeschooling is their best choice for their family and believe they should have the freedom to do so. My only point was regular school does have things homeschooling does not, and vice versa. I too do not like the brainwashing and the cookie cutter rigidity I encountered at public school and wish I was treated more as an individual and was able to grow even more intellectually, but I also learned how to deal with different personalities, and see a bigger slice of society, good and bad whereas your parents pick and choose who you’re exposed to. Home school is as controlled in many ways as traditional school, just in different areas. That said, I repeat, I do NOT intend to invalidate or belittle the idea of homeschooling or those who decide it is right for them. Everyone’s different and can choose different paths.
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If it’s true that HS parents “pick and choose” the social influences for their children…well isn’ that how parenting is supposed to work? Maybe dismissal of that responsibility to guide and shape their children’s training and discipling is precisely why we’re having a lot of the societal issues we see now. Let’s not buy into the tripe that familial guidance is somehow suspect. A parent’s primary responsibility is to shape his or her child’s character abd direction. Somehow we’ve been convinced that that is best done by randomn chance and crossing the fingers, and that to be more involved is creepy. God designed little people to be socialized and disciples by their parents and families, and I’ve never seen anyone more in need of direct guidance than a young person about to enter into adulthood.
Parents need to give their children their messages and point out what is wrong, mine certainly did. But exposure to those you DON’T want to be like also has value with familial guidance. When your kids are adults, they will be exposed to undesirable characters and must know how to handle it. Being only exposed to those with your identical values does not prepare an adult who can deal with bad influences. Some people are a prefect lesson in who NOT to be!
Because HS kids are in the actual world, yet with parental guidance where needed, they learn to discern and to think and evaluate. My kids learned how to understand the world and how to handle it because they were in it, with the benefit of the advice and perspective of people who cared about them more than their own lives. We cared very much, it mattered very much to us what our kids would make of the word they would be in, whether they understood the world they would be in, as adults very soon. Schooled kids do not have the benefit of that level of care or that wisdom during the many hours they are in the institutional setting.
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“When your kids are adults, they will be exposed to undesirable characters and must know how to handle it.”
That’s why I admire the homeschool families who bring their children out to the sidewalks. It’s hard to find more undesirable characters in our culture today than baby killers.
Like I said – my kids were IN the culture while others’ were cooped up in a building. I’m pretty sure that is why the engineering group that my son leads all felt he was the MOST prepared for the job – he was much more exposed to the world as it is than public schooled kids.
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Just to address one thing you said:
“and see a bigger slice of society, good and bad whereas your parents pick and choose who you’re exposed to”
That reminds me of this scene in National Lampoon’s Vacation:
But, seriously, you are NOT getting to see a “bigger slice of society,” you are in a prison-like system with people your own age for 7 hours a day, while homeschoolers are engaging with people of all ages outside of those prison walls. We are going on “field trips,” homeless ministries, heck, some homeschoolers come to our sidewalk to save babies and their Moms from abortion and to be cussed at by deathscorts and even have the police called on us! Now, THAT is a side of society that public school students rarely see.
And your parents are NOT picking and choosing who you are exposed to, because you are out in the world. It’s just the opposite. In fact, a lot of times, my kids would finish their work before noon, and we would go to Chik-fil-a for lunch and find their fellow homeschoolers working – in the REAL world. 🙂 In the public schools, it is the same old folks day in and day out, and a very SMALL slice of society.
I don’t mean to be too picky, but I remember thinking a lot of the things you do about homeschooling. I remember how stunned I was to see that my impressions were so far off. As the son of a public school teacher, I had bought into a lot of propaganda and it took me awhile to work through it. It is definitely counter-cultural, however, and there are cases of child abuse with it, sadly. (But, that is also true in public schools.)
Here is a link on some socialization studies:
BTW, I like your website – thanks for being a voice for secular reason! I will try to get over there more often.
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Thanks for keeping the debate civil and courteous. I definitely see your points, and like I said, I too have personally experienced the drawbacks and frustrations of being a student in the public school system. Thanks for reading my blog! I’m glad there are more secular minded conservatives out there!
I think they are being a bit mean to you, and I’m keeping an eye on them!
Oh well. We all have subjects we’re strongly passionate about…
I wanted to add that we also want to promote homeschooling in minority communities, since there is no statistically significant scholastic performance difference between whites and minorities, notably Black students, in homeschooling, whereas in the public school system, Black students are left behind in a crushing manner.
Also, there is no major scholastic performance difference for homeschooled children based on the education level of the teaching parent either – that was a surprise to me, but it makes sense. Love conquers all parental deficiencies. 🙂
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Your remarks are good. But I’d like to point out the fallacy re: a connection between abuse and homeschoolers. These are kids who are neglected; deprived of many basic things including education, They are not schooled at all, thereby lacking any connection to homeschooling. If there are abused kids in the school system, why doesn’t public school get the blame?
Yes, I agree. I was not trying to make a connection between homeschooled kids and abuse, just admitting that it DOES occur, and for the reasons you cited. I think that abuse is far more likely in public schools.
I would add, and this does not make me popular, that given the insanity of the worldviews that are increasingly promoted in public schools, it is tantamount to spiritual child abuse for Christians to send their children into that den of propaganda.
But, I also felt that way as a secular conservative – that turning my children over to liberal insanity was extremely immoral – on a secular view alone.
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I would only go so far as to say it is to hand over your responsibility to be the disciples of your child to an unqualified party who has not been charged with that responsibility. A parent cannot delegate some callings to anyone.
Yes, but remember that the Supreme Court has ruled that once your child hits the front door of that public school, she is theirs (in the educational sense). So, while we can protest the curriculum, we are at the mercy of the schools. They “know better” than we do what is “best” for our children (according to SCOTUS).
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And this was really our number one reason for deciding to homeschool 30 years ago. We knew those kids were ours to steward and disciple and love, and that no institution could, or would, pour itself into that calling. There was no hesitation and we never looked back because there was no other option for us once we understood that.
If you knew kids in any secular school could write a paper on why abortion is wrong. Then I would say they get many views exposed to them. But they are becoming more narrow minded all the time.
Where I live in Canada you likely still could write an anti abortion paper and not get in trouble. 20 years ago when I was in high school I was allowed by to write a small paper in biology class a comparing small parts of the evolution vs genesis account. An allowable topic by our teacher that strongly taught evolution, though I do suspect he was a theist.
If current schools would let a biology student discuss pure evolution vs intelligent design then it would be an open format to see what other believe
I was homeschooled K-12, then went on to get a college education in technology.
Overall, homeschooling was a net positive. It produced in me a love of study and learning. I came to love the Bible and its values, a trait that has stuck with me today. It helped me grow into an upstanding man, avoiding problems affecting many kids in secular state schools. I feel closer to my siblings and my family, having spent so much time with them.
There were some downsides. Socialization is a big one. To date, I feel uncomfortable in social situations. (Maybe this is not exclusive to homeschooled kids, granted, but it’s likely more common.) Another difficulty is that some of the homeschooling material is too easy, not particularly challenging.
My advice to folks interested in homeschooling their kids is, get them in homeschooling co-ops, sports, and other socialization opportunities regularly.
The good news for potential homeschoolers is that thanks to the internet, there are a wealth of self-learning materials available like never before. For example, DuoLingo, a language learning app and website, is free and a fantastic way to learn a language; I’m learning Hebrew through the app and the leader of our group is a young homeschooled kid. More examples: CodeAcademy for learning technology and software development. Hundreds of universities offer their courses online for free or cheap, including prestigious organizations like MIT. A wealth of information and learning is available to anyone with the desire, more than any other time in history. Services like Udemy will teach you most anything on any subject for a tiny monthly fee.
These resources, combined with a solid curriculum, can produce sharp kids who love learning, love life, love God.
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This post is right on. A few months ago my supervisor got a text from her daughter about a security threat at her high school. One of my supervisor’s early comments was “now I understand why people homeschool”. (I wanted to share that there are a ton of positive reasons beyond that!)
Thanks for another good argument to add to my tool belt for future conversations about reasons to homeschool & benefits of homeschooling. I’m always eager to read articles you post on this topic WK!
I also like that many of them let you self pace. Even a small Christian school in a church that exist in some places here will have the books and material for you to work though and smarter students can work faster rather than being slowed down to the regular class speed.
In my case that is what I find interesting is the idea that yes I could have graduated school a few years earlier under that option and been bored less in school
Not only do most homeschoolers self-pace, but most homeschool children self-learn, once they get of a certain age. And many teach their younger siblings.
There is no question that you can fly much faster through the learning process. Not only because of the smaller “class size” and self-pacing, but because the logistics are MUCH easier at home – no changing classes, going to lockers, waiting for others to pipe down, etc.