Tag: mixed experience

W. S. Hunter: “Parents are flawed people, like all of us”

“Now that I am a parent myself, I recognize the pride and naivety of any parent—no matter how loving and well-meaning—who thinks they can be the sole adult and authority in their kids’ lives

Katrina B.: “My parents sincerely tried their best”

“I believe oversight of homeschooling is a necessary starting point. I also encourage parents who are homeschooling to actively distinguish their roles as teacher and parent. I encourage them to learn about the effects of social contact on children’s brain development, and follow the recommendations of mental health professionals for each age group.”

Eleanor Skelton: “I saw no balance”

“My homeschooling put me on the dean’s list in college. But I didn’t know anything about life beyond academics. … My parents focused so much on academics, shunning extracurricular activities, that I had no idea how to do anything else.”

Jane Smith: “I am haunted by the question of what might have been different”

“Homeschooling students who, like me, are privileged to have the skills necessary to fill in the gaps in our education can often bounce back from sub-standard educations. But others, like my brothers, who lack these skills will forever pay the price. The costs of the lack of oversight are borne by the most vulnerable.”

Jane Morgan: “I was the homeschooled kid who grew up to become a homeschool mom”

“If there had been more regulations on homeschooling in the states in which I lived I would have been more aware of my success or failure as my children’s primary educator. We are taught as homeschoolers to protect our privacy at all costs. But so much stress would have been alleviated with more oversight.”

Jennifer P.: “My parents broke the state’s homeschooling laws knowingly”

“Upon settling in Pennsylvania, which has regulations that are generally seen as “stringent,” my parents refused to report, having not reported previously. I met other homeschooling families who followed the laws and their children usually participated in a co-op or other activities with other homeschoolers. . . . I was not aware of any educational shortcoming in my friends—even the large families used evaluators and spent a lot of time DOING school.”

Caitlin T.: “In New Jersey, things fell apart”

“In New Jersey, things fell apart. Without oversight, there was no need to think about compiling a portfolio. Without state standards, there was no benchmark for my progress. We still tried to follow the Pennsylvania guidelines for high school (3 years of math, 3 of science, 4 of English, etc.), but no one was there to check up on us or offer help as I entered harder subjects.”

Jerusha Lofland: “Ignorance leaves people vulnerable”

“I support oversight of homeschooling because every child deserves a good education in all subjects. I received a great education in English grammar, and I could recite entire chapters from the Bible. But my parents gave up teaching me basic algebra, my textbooks viewed history through a primarily anti-Catholic lens, I was warned against studying the humanities, and I have spent a decade unlearning much of the “science” I was taught.”