Posted by: John Vandivier | February 9, 2013

A Short Recommendation and Defense of Homeschooling

The case for homeschooling is simple:
1 It produces superior results compared to public or even private schooling in virtually every statistically normalized study ever done. Here’s one comprehensive study.
2 It achieves those results for a tiny sliver of the cost.
3 Technology has advanced to the point that anyone can homeschool. Anyone.
4 It encourages personal responsibility and discourages powerful centralized government.

Two common objections are usually posed. Neither is valid:
1 It is said that homeschoolers are socially awkward. This is not borne out in the studies nor in theory. While homeschoolers are usually educated in small groups they also usually form local networks with other homeschoolers and a social community is created.
2 It is objected that parents are not suitable teachers. This objection is raised for a variety of sub-reasons, however, again, the statistics do not validate this accusation. As it turns out in reality, as opposed to the complex imagination of the critics, parents make pretty damn good teachers in most cases. In the cases where they don’t three points should be considered:
2.A – Home-schooling doesn’t necessarily a child’s own parents teaching their own child in their own home. While this is often the case, it is also exceedingly common for churches or other charitable organizations to set up pseudo-schools which are permitted as home schools or for parents to form networks of friends and let their child be homeschooled by a homeschooling cooperative of other adults. Finally, with modern technology, homeschooling materials of exceptional accuracy, quality and power are available widely and cheaply, often freely, via the internet. Course offering unavailable even in many large high schools are available through some of these programs!
2.B – Those kids with horrible parents which would presumably make horrible teachers don’t actually have much to lose – they are already failing out of school and not learning! The sad reality is that kids with a bad home life are horrible students even in the most optimal conditions – ask anyone who has done real research into comparative education systems. On the other hand it is much cheaper to have them fail at home than to fail going to a state sponsored school.
2.C – Actually the statistics indicate that home-schooling might be good even for those “horrible parents” and “horrible students” such as the poor and mentally ill. As previously mentioned, charitable and religious institutions often have outreach programs for these groups and they seem to work much better than the public school solution. Here is a video of a southern home-school cooperative for poor blacks, one which has had great success:

In conclusion I fully and honestly support a home-schooling mandate to replace k-12 school alongside elimination of the Dept. of Education. I also favor elimination of state sponsored higher education which will lead to better higher education and certification schemes.

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Responses

  1. […] responsibility, in a way that strengthens familial bonds, and in a morally superior way. See this article in which I go into further detail on homeschooling’s positive […]

  2. […] another example of alternative education. In the past I have written about game-based learning, homeschooling and other models of education. All of these technologies increase the quality per dollar of […]


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