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I saw this on Wikipedia recently:

Most homeschooling advocates are wary of the established educational institutions for various reasons. Some are religious conservatives who see nonreligious education as contrary to their moral or religious systems. Others feel that they can more effectively tailor a curriculum to suit an individual student's academic strengths and weaknesses, especially those with learning disabilities. Still others feel that the negative social pressures of schools (such as bullying, drugs, crime, and other school-related problems) are detrimental to a child's proper development.

How about "all of the above, and more"? (OK, I am not against nonreligious instruction for my children for religious reasons: I am against it for intellectual reasons. But still.)

Then there's this gem:

Opponents' stated concerns fall into several broad categories, including fears of poor academic quality, loss of income for the schools, and religious or social extremism. (For example, a creationist parent could remove a child from public school because the school's biology curriculum teaches evolution by natural selection.) Furthermore, some believe that removing children from the school environment could hamper their ability to socialize with peers their own age.

I love how people think any of those objections are reasonable. But Wikipedia is correct, they are common.

First, academic quality is relative and subjective. I might not teach much about gender issues that an "educator" might find important. Who gets to say what's important? (Hint: me.) Further, even the most poorly educated homeschooled children I've ever seen are more well-educated than the average public school child I've known. Sorry, but it's true.

Loss of income is the worst reason possible for being against homeschooling. The school gets that money for one reason only: to educate the particular child in question. If you don't have the child, you don't need the money. Duh. Why is this the worst reason, though? Because the other reasons at least are borne of some concern for the public good. This one is not. It's just nonsense.

"Extremism" is another terrible reason. I think the public school curriculum is often quite extreme. Who gets to decide what is best for the child? (Another hint: me. OK, it's not so much of a hint as a statement of fact, but if you really need a hint, a hint probably wouldn't help you.)

Socialization is another ridiculous concern. That's the exact same thing as saying, "I don't think the parents will teach their children how to read." It's called teaching and learning. Teaching socialization is no different, in the broad discussion of homeschooling, as anything else that is to be taught. Yes, it's true that many homeschoolers don't do socialization well, but -- and here's the funniest part -- neither do most public schools.

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on November 21, 2005 2:43 PM.

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