Does homeschooling really work?
You’d think by this point in our nation’s history, given all the documented and measurable studies about test scores and academic competitions and college scholarships, this question would no longer be necessary. But obviously, it is. People still ask it, still challenge the very notion that parents can read books and teach their own children without delegating the task to professionals.
Recently, I’ve been pondering the perfectly ludicrous (and tinged with desperation and hysteria) assertion by the California Teachers Association that my children learning at home from someone not licensed by the state is “educational anarchy.”
Snicker snicker. I’m just warped enough to be amused by that prospect. It feels like a promotion. I’m not just a oddball…I’m an anarchist. As one of my homeschooling buddies puts it:
“Anarchy, huh? Come to think of it, I’m feeling rather rebellious today. I guess it figures, since history shows home schooled Americans start revolutions, civil wars and major scientific discoveries. We’re a dangerous lot you know..hee hee”
On closer examination of my life, I don’t really feel like an anarchist. I pay my taxes. I renew my drivers’ license and library books with regularity. This morning, my husband went to his job, my youngest went to play at a friend’s house (one of those dreaded government school kids, at that), and my older two kids went downtown to perform in the community theatre’s current production. When I pick them up, we plan to stop at the library because the teenage anarchist rebel wants to check out a sequel to the latest novel he’s read. Watch out, educators! Teenagers voluntarily spending summer vacation time in the library…definitely symptoms of educational anarchy.
Maybe we’re just too boring to be anarchists. I’ll stick to educational nonconformity. That’s really what the teachers union is frightened by…nonconformity. Kids not under their control. I happen to think nonconformity is a valuable ideal worth protecting. So did our Founding Fathers (please read First Amendment http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html). So does God (check out Romans 12:1-2 http://www.horizonsnet.org/sermons/rom37.html). No offense, guys, but I’ll take either of those credible sources over the California Teachers Association.
So here’s my absolute, all-time favorite piece of research that proves the benefits of homeschooling. It goes beyond acing ACT tests and winning national spelling bees (all of which are great things to strive for and measure). What it shows that homeschooled kids are growing up, moving into the “real world” and leading happy, well-educated, socially and emotionally healthy lives. They aren’t hiding in closets and cowering in miserable, misfit huddles. They’re voting and going to church and holding jobs and generally contributing positively to our country.
Hardly an anarchist among them. Guess we’ll have to try harder.
Check it out.