• Nechemyah Levi

No, Homeschooling is Not a Risky Idea

During the Coronavirus pandemic, All public and private schools have been shut down and students sent home. this arrangement forces parents to make the choice between an entire academic year without formal public education or the bold and in some cases permanent step of homeschooling.

Many parents are daunted by the seemingly impossible task of homeschooling and the feeling of insurmountable pressure that comes with instilling the same level of knowledge that is provided at public educational institutions.

This worldwide pandemic has cast spotlights on many previously dormant subjects like homeschooling. Most people think that homeschooling is an ineffective way to educate. Many think it is an unregulated tool used by mullet-wearing, child-abusing parents who eat grass all day, bail hay and recite the bill of rights word for word. In simple terms, only uncultured farm freaks attempt to homeschool their kids and the result is more uncultured farm freaks.

This false and hilarious stereotype has turned off American parents to a once-respected form of peak education. Public Schools and the modern corporate lives of Americans have snuffed out the need for this "archaic form of stone-age child development." On top of all that Experts like Elizabeth Bartholet, Wasserstein public interest professor of law and faculty director of the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program have suggested that Homeschooling should be banned as parents aren't regulated enough by the state. Furthermore she makes the assumption that parents are incapable and lack any kind of expertise in the education of their child stating that Children should,

“grow up exposed to...democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people's viewpoints.”

(source: Harvard Magazine)

So, the government is the only capable source of teaching children to be tolerant of other cultures - not the parents. But alas, here we are, cooped up at home in our pajamas barely even paying attention to that crowd of people on the zoom call with equally as much disinterest in whatever is being taught. Let's look at the other perspective.

Why is homeschooling the best decision you could ever make?

You the parent, not the state, have total and absolute insight into your child's mental, emotional and physical development.

You the parent, not the state, have control of your own schedule. You can show your kids the world through their own eyes instead of an old projector in a classroom full of bored and sleeping classmates. You are in control of spontaneous field trips anywhere.

You the parent, not the state, are responsible for your kid's influences and character development.

Your child won't be in a glorified segregation cell clinging to the last memory of their last interaction with their best friends; quite the contrary actually, with innovative online schooling platforms offered by k-12 programs and universities, if you are not comfortable teaching your child personally with a book then they can learn online. It only takes a few hours a day to learn what takes most public schools 8 hours, so this gives them plenty of time to build lasting friendships outside of the brick walls of an institutionalized system. And all that without the distraction of drama, pain, and bullying that has historically had a negative impact on our children.

Homeschooling works. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) commissioned a study drawing data for the 2007-2008 school year from multiple standardized testing services. The national average percentile scores were higher than publicly educated children in all subject areas by at least 34 percentile points, and as high as 39 percentile points. Factors such as parental college degrees, how much parents spent on education, level of state regulation, and sex of the students made little difference in the range of scores in all areas among the home-schooled children.

Not convinced? Here's more statistics.

Analysis from a 2015 study conducted by Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute reveals that home educated students usually score 15 to 30 percentile points higher than public school students on standardized tests. This study further concludes that these results were achieved regardless of income level within the students' families or the educational status of the students' parents.

According to the most up-to-date statistics from the National Home Education Research Institute, home-schooled children's scores of social, emotional, and psychological well-being are above average.

According to a 2016 article from NBC News, although the number of home-educated students applying to traditional colleges is still small, the numbers are growing and acceptance rates are improving. The report suggests that college admissions officers and deans find the home-schooled students' portfolios to be more extensive and more "innovative" as compared to their peers.

To further this point, a 2015 article on businessinsider.com highlights the Harvard acceptance story of one home educated student. The author praises the positive aspects of home-schooling such as the opportunities for students to attend high-level classes at colleges while in high school, study subjects of their choice in-depth, and involve the community in their educational journey. This, the article explains, is what makes home educated students stand out from their peers and become appealing to admissions officers.

Homeschoolsuccess.com reports college acceptance statistics for the 2015/2016 year for home educated students at these top ranked schools as being between 4% (Stanford) and 17% (Williams). Although this seems low, the 2016 statistics for acceptance across the board at these two colleges is 4.69% (Stanford) and 17.3% (Williams) suggesting that home-schooled students have the same chance as their peers to attend an Ivy League college of their choice.

The National Home Education Research Institute suggests that home-schooled students become successful adults, indicating that they are frequent participants in community and public service projects.

The time has come through this terrible turn of global events to reach back into the history books and drag out this gem of an education system. There is no better time to homeschool your child than the 21st century. With advanced technology in the home and internet at everyone's fingertips, the road to securing your child's future is easier than ever.

Research your state's laws on homeschooling: https://hslda.org/content/laws

Research online homeschooling recourses like this: www.powerhomeschool.org/

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