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April 26, 2005

Is Homeschooling the Best Option?

Is homeschooling good for children? That’s a question being debated here.

I have friends and family who homeschool their children and I have great respect for the sacrifices these parents make for their children.

I’ve seen it work for most children, because parents, usually mothers, are pouring so much of themselves into their children. This is almost always tremendous for kids.

But I’ve also seen situations where parents expect some kind of homeschool magic—the benefit of doing the right thing—to work wonders in the children, without the skills or hard work by the parents. That doesn’t produce the desired results, of course.

It’s interesting that as homeschooling becomes more popular, it is becoming what may be more accurately titled “home-directed schooling,” with students often taking some joint classes in churches, or other arrangements. With online programs such as the Learning by Grace academies, parents can choose to have any level or participation by professional educators.

Posted by Jim at April 26, 2005 07:57 AM

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As a homeschooling family (and, yes, Jim's my blogger-in-law, so I'm implicitly mentioned in the post >grin<), I'll note that there is no "best" choice for everybody in this as in most things. Homeschooling requires parental involvement, and by both of them. (I'm the resident Math "expert" in our home. Recalling Algebra is my current duty.)

I think it's a great option that deserves more consideration from folks, especially given the problems the public schools seem to keep having despite increasing money funneled their way. Homeschooling support groups are all over the place, so you never have to do it alone, and the Internet has made information & materials closer than ever.

Posted by: Doug Payton at April 27, 2005 08:55 AM

Thanks for the link to my blog. As a homeschooling parent I can tell you that I can't think of a better choice for your child. It's very hard work and requires a committment from both parents to be successful. We've been blessed to have strong support groups around us and that has helped make the burden a little lighter.

Public schools are no longer a viable option for our kids. More and more money gets thrown at them and the problems seem to get worse. Parents who are serious about giving their children a good education should consider homeschooling.

Posted by: Daddypundit at April 27, 2005 10:19 AM

I suspect that the form education takes matters
little, whether public school, private school, or home school. I have seen all three types of education succeed and fail depending on the circumstances.

I have known homeschoolers from some families that
learned calculus at home and were more ready for
college than most of their classmates who went to
public school, while other homeschool graduates I know can barely do elementary school level math and received no science or history education at all. My own public school education was a mix, with some great teachers, many ok teachers, and a few who should had been fired for being terrible teachers and the school itself was not a very safe place.

If you have good teachers, parents, and students then the school will succeed, but when one of these is missing, then you have problems.

Posted by: pete the elder at April 27, 2005 11:33 AM