Last month, the online periodical, MillionaireCorner.com released an article entitled “Homeschool Detractors State Their Case.” Seeing the article in this particular location was a but surprising to say the least. On a site, styled to represent investment advice and tools, millionaire lifestyles and more, I guess I just wasn’t expecting to see “homeschool.” I had to read it.
Subtitled “Missing out on social experiences, and concerns over the diversity of the education received, are reasons investors disapprove of homeschooling, ” the article turned out to be a relatively brief examination of the lack of support the wealthy have for homeschooling. According to an internal study, 56 percent of “affluent investors” disapprove of home education. In fact, the author stated quite bluntly that the wealthier the investor, the greater their disapproval. I was baffled. Knowing what I do about homeschool statistics his made no sense to me. so I read more.
Reasons for this disapproval:
- 78% cited the “social effects, claiming lack of a “proper amount of social interaction with other children the same age”
- 54% believe home education “is not diverse enough”
- 49% complain of “parental biases” being passed down to the children
- 68% claimed homeschooling prevents “learning how to deal with difficult situations school presents, either academically or socially”
I was heartbroken to read these stats. These are financial investors—people who are supposed to be experts on learning the facts before jumping to conclusions. If they didn’t understand how wrong these beliefs really are, how can we expect the general public to know better?
The main take away I have after reading these numbers is that we have to do more to spread awareness about home education.
You see, I had been happily floating along on the good news that homeschool numbers were growing. In fact, a 2012 report from EducationNews.org tells us that the number of children homeschooled in America rose by 75% from 1999 to 2012. That ‘s fantastic growth! While these children represent just under 4% of all school-age children in the US, the numbers are certainly promising, especially when you consider the fact that there are still states who don’t require registration of homeschool students so those numbers could be higher.
In any case, I believe the first step in combating the kind of logic that has led many top investors to distrust homeschooling is to to provide the opposing information so here goes:
Argument #1: Social effects.
Can we all just take a moment to recognize that we are not exactly producing a generation of well-adjusted students in the public school world? Novelguide.com cites some disturbing statistics from the last 50 years.
Teen pregnancies, teen sexual diseases, teen suicides, teen alcohol, drug abuse, pornography, and illiteracy rates increased somewhere from 200 to 300 percent since 1962. Violence is a huge problem in today’s schools with everything from physical fights to mass shootings occuring on public campuses. They also cite rape as an increasing problem with one out of every five that occur in the United States being committed by a juvenile. Cinching the argument with the fact that, among kids in public schools, over 80 percent drink alcohol and 45.7 percent have used marijuana, the argument for socialization seems to have been lost before it began. These numbers simply are not representative of socially well-adjusted students.
Parents of homeschool children will assure you, their children are not only learning appropriate social interaction by learning from adults instead of other children on a day-to-day basis, they are more likely to be willing to reach out and interact of their own volition because they aren’t used to having conversation handed to them by well-meaning adults in a forced classroom setting. Matt Walsh, a respected Christian blogger pointed out this very fact in this post from April of this year. Another argument I hear often from is that children of homeschool families also tend to form more stable friendships since they aren’t used to their peers changing with the seasons as often happens in public schools.
Argument #2: Diversity of Education
Let’s be real for a moment. Our children need diversity but are they really getting the most out of that in a public school? Are they actually learning a variety of information or are they simply getting through the test and mentally moving on, never to recall what they learned again? Even more importantly, are they learning skills that will turn them into productive members of society?
Never before has the phrase “quality over quantity” meant so much. CBS Sacramento’s article on Pros and cons of Homeschooling presents some excellent example of how homeschoolers often have experiences to learn that public school students never will. Rare is the child in public school who gets a hands-on education in money-handling by actually going to the store and counting change to the cashier. Rather than sitting, staring at a single, uncontested viewpoint in a text-book, these kids can go with Mom to the library on any given schoolday and spend hours looking up a variety of sources. Trips to “museums and pottery classes, or accompanying their parents to yoga or jazz ballet during weekday hours,,” all fall under the realm of experiences that are highly educational and completely lost to public school students in their jam-packed school days.
Argument #3: Parental Bias
Now this one is a real lulu… Honestly, if we don’t share our beliefs with our children, what are parents for? Financial aid? Of course parents teach their children what they believe. You choose your college for what they represent. You vote the way you do because you want your country to be led in a way you agree with. Why wouldn’t you want your children to learn your beliefs? The underlying message here is not that parents might influence their children but rather that children might learn their faith. This then, would not be an issue with education at all but a direct secular attack on Christianity.
Many focus in on Creationism specifically as their main argument against parents as educators claiming you can’t have innovation from a bunch of people who don’t believe in evolution. Let’s put that myth to rest once and for all. Some of the greatest scientific minds of all time believed not only that God created the earth but that he did it according to the biblical narrative. Most famous would probably be Isaac Newton but if you don’t believe me, check out this impressive list compiled by the team at Answers in Genesis if you really want to be amazed. Short story here: science and faith are not mutually exclusive.
Argument #4: Adapting to Difficult Situations
Nope. Nothing’s difficult at home. Ever. Maybe it’s something to do with the recently acknowledged (*cough* made *cough* up *cough*) disorder of afluenza but what would cause someone to believe there aren’t difficult situations to learn to work though at home? Students in homeschool still struggle to learn new material the same way public school students do. Difference: no one to copy off of when you don’t get it. Family crises occur and you don’t get to just quit trying for a while. You adapt and find ways to complete your schooling on time anyway. Dad gets transferred to a new military base: you have to play catch up the rest of the year after the move. Mom has a new baby brother or sister: the oldest learns to be a little more self-directed and help keep younger siblings on task too. The problems homeschool kids get to avoid really are nice though. Skip bullying, peer pressure, snow days, teacher strikes and school shootings just to name a few.
Perhaps the most compelling reason for home education: the simple truth. Year after year, the numbers don’t lie. Homeschool students are outperforming their publicly schooled counterparts in areas of academic testing and college preparedness. Even better though, as this article in the Washington Times points out, “In all areas of life, from gaining employment, to being satisfied with their home-schooling, to participating in community activities, to voting, home-schoolers were more active and involved than their public school counterparts.”
And so dear affluent investors, forgive me for the rant but the numbers don’t lie. Perhaps it’s time to treat public education with the same reverence as an investment account. Do the research. Learn the facts. If you don’t have time… Ask a homeschooler.
Created by: CollegeAtHome.com