Just recently I was speaking to a lady who is in charge of enrolments at a highly sought after private high school. She was relating how she often has to turn away homeschoolers who academically can not compete with their peers. Her concern was that their mothers seemed shocked to discover it.
The research states that homeschoolers academically outperform their schooled peers, why then, I wonder, are schools not seeing the evidence that numerous studies have found? Perhaps some of the applicants were from families who had struggled with homeschooling and were putting their children back into school. But these families wouldn’t be shocked that their children had fallen behind. That’s probably one of the reasons they were returning to school. My concern is that perhaps homeschoolers are relying on the homeschool research and believing that the very act of keeping their children at home will ensure academic success.
Are we really giving our children a good education if we homeschool for an hour or two in the morning out of a workbook or two?? Are two or three school days a week enough? Should we even be asking how many hours a day it will take? Don’t these just scream – I only want to put in the minimum amount of effort – or – I have more interesting things drawing my attention away.
Home is definitely better than school. Our children are happier, they are safer and our family bonds are stronger. But homeschooling doesn’t guarantee academic success. Our children are not immune to a poor education. The promise of a great education is dependent on the effort we put into it. It requires a huge commitment and it’s definitely not the easy option. Yes, home is the best place to receive a great education. But I think we need to remember that it won’t just happen by avoiding school.
People will probably point out that homeschooling isn’t just about academics. It’s true that academics is very important to those who one day hope to enter tertiary education. But I’d suggest that every child is worthy of a great education, and not merely one that is ‘good enough’ for a non-academic career path.
My hope is for homeschooled children to receive a great education, so I’m putting my heart onto the page to urge homeschoolers to take their responsibility seriously. It may seem obvious, but I think the reminder is good, “Homeschoolers have to homeschool”. Please embrace the opportunity that homeschooling presents. Your children are worth it.