An Argument Against Homeschooling

In The Article Homeschooling: The Bad and the Ugly, Greg Laden lays out what he believes are the problems with homeschooling. In fact, he feels homeschooling is so bad, in fact, that he says, “If I had to choose right now, I would prefer to eliminate home schooling completely rather than let it continue with these problems.” Although in his defense, he says that if these problems can be addressed openly and honestly, then maybe homeschooling can be saved. Here are the problems he presents:

Homeschooling cheats the system. In this case, he equates homeschooling to private school. When people who are able to pull their kids out of public school do, then the system fails. “Like the act of attending private schools, (homeschooling) contributes broadly to a lowering of quality of experience for everyone else.” How extremely selfish of us to not let our children continue have negative experiences for the sake of the group. While we are at it, while not sacrifice a virgin to the volcano God so that the majority of the group can live.

Homeschooling leaves children with resources of a lesser quality. He did not really back up this statement, but instead went on a tirade about some homeschooler being able to use public schools and draining the system. I guess his point was that the rest of the homeschoolers who do not use the public programs get lesser quality. But who says public is better. If my friends and I can hire an Olympics coach to teach our kids track for a season, how is that lesser quality? Oh, wait, that might be cheating.

Homeschooled children receive a lower quality of teaching. He states, “On average, a pool of teachers drawn from a job search will produce significantly better teachers than a pool of teachers drawn from a single household.” He does go on to backhandedly mention that homeschoolers do tend to draw from other resources to teach, but by doing so, admit that homeschooling itself is inadequate, and are also cheating by getting outside help.

“Homeschooling is ideologically driven”. In saying this, Mr. Laden argues, “A set of learning materials in biology may include a disclaimer regarding evolution, something that one could not do in a public school, by law.” My answer to that is” SO WHAT? He also claims that this is supported by tax dollars. I beg to differ.

Oversight and testing are a problem in homeschooling. He mentions testing and insinuates that homeschoolers cheat on standardized tests. (I will not dignify this accusation with an answer. He also talks about reporting of parental abuse. Then he says, “Some homeschoolers seem to be fond of pointing out cases where a teacher does something bad or stupid, presumably as evidence that home schooling is better than regular schooling. This is absurd. The cases where teachers screw up are in fact known about because it is a system with a certain degree of oversight.” Does this make it OK?

Well, as Mr. Laden suggests, I have discussed homeschooling, openly and honestly. Mr. Laden, can you leave us alone now?

*Have a question about homeschooling? Just ask.

*Want to know more about homeschooling? Start with the 2006 homeschool blog in review!