Homeschooling – friend, foe, or false dichotomy?

I posted this over at Skepchick for an afternoon inquisition and I thought I’d reprint it here as an article. Check it out (if you didn’t already see it there).

There’s no one right way to raise your kids and just because most people do it a certain way, doesn’t mean your kids are going to be better or worse if you do things differently.

There are several options for educating your children and I think homeschooling is an appropriate choice for those who feel it’s appropriate to their situation for whatever reason.

There are also several options for socializing, and other interpersonal skills, and I don’t see that missing out on public school necessarily means that it’s harder for kids to socialize. It just might require more community involvement and creativity on the part of the parents. Not a big deal, IMO. Definitely doable.

You’ll never hear me say a definite statement about either homeschooling or public school because I think it really depends on the situation. If we’re talking about an uneducated person with no teaching skills homeschooling ignorance into their kids despite an available decent public school, well I can see a problem with that. But if we’re talking about capable parents (or in a bind and need to do their best – with supports), I see no problem with it.

That being said I think part of the reason “public school is terrible” is a lack of parental or community involvement. That’s just my guess. I don’t know the numbers on this (like are there any differences in grades or anything between schools with and without involved community supports?), but maybe public schools would be better if we started treating them like we would when we carefully home school our own children.

There are usually exceptions that make any option have it’s caveats. It’s no reason to say something is good or bad in absolute terms.

I have been considering homechooling my future kids. What I care about is their education and them turning out to be good kids. I can’t understand when people lament that they’ll missed being bullied or something because it’s “good for them” or that being at school makes people “come out of their shell”. I call bullshit. I couldn’t possibly know how my kids would have turned out if I did things differently. All I can do it make a choice and hope it was a good one.


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