Should Homeschooling be Illegal?

Written by Scott

Topics: archives, Uncategorized

Thanks to Dana at Principled Discovery for bringing this article to my attention in a great blog post. While I agree with her assessment, I have a slightly different take on the article. Plus it upset me a bit.

Original article
(opens in a new window or tab). What I find so…I don’t know…unbelievable/incredible/downright silly…is that a medical doctor who has “cared for” a whopping ten homeschooling families is deemed an expert. I thought WebMD had higher standards and credibility than that. But because his credentials to make judgment on the question posed by the article are intrinsically questionable, I won’t even justify his opinion with a response. I will, however, respond to what he claims are the arguments of the detractors:

  • Legal question of instruction by a licensed professional. On the face of it, a good argument. We want our children instructed well, ensure the instruction is as complete and accurate as possible, and we want it done professionally. The problem, though, is that the current system has, for the most part, failed in each of those areas. To hold homeschoolers to a higher standard than public schools is simply ludicrous.
  • The children are being denied important socialization experiences. How is placing children of the same age with little interaction into the same room important or social? Is it not more social interaction for kids to be involved in actual society with people of all ages in churches, museums, stores, and even at home? Moreover, since when is “social interaction” a facet of education, especially in the face of lower literacy rates, lower science scores…not to mention a climate where you even have to have a “zero tolerance” policy towards violence, drugs, and alcohol?
  • The academic quality is often incomplete, excluding important subjects. Homeschoolers consistently score higher than public school students in areas measured. So what’s left out?
  • The parents often advocate an extreme religious or social agenda. Implies that the NEA or other groups do not have similarly extreme views.
  • It diverts much-needed money from the public schools. Ah-ha! Of course this one would come up. Funny thing is, homeschoolers pay taxes, including levies for schools…and yet we, by and large, never see that money. The diversion of that money, if that even has any truth to it, is not due to homeschoolers, but those who control the money. A little misplaced.
  • The “parallel society” of the homeschool is incompatible with the state interest in social cohesion and harmony (as the judge in the California case wrote: . “A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare.”). The quote from the judge is ironic, yet reveals much of the agenda of the public school system. The truth is that the public school system is now so much less focused on the core of actual education (you remember–reading, writing, and arithemtic..that stuff?) than on the social engineering aspects. And they are no longer hiding that fact.

The bigger question is this: how is the public school system doing as a whole? The fact is, it is failing in many areas. Homeschoolers are not to blame for this…but they do provide a glaring contrast, and that is why the homeschooling movement is being attacked.