Sunday, June 26, 2005

Homeschooling in the News

Homeschoolers are showing up in the mainstream more and more these days and as a huge homeschooling advocate, I think that this is a very good thing. I am excited that many more parents, especially Christian parents, may come to view homeschooling as a viable and desirable alternative to "traditional" education. Of course, homeschooling is as traditional as education gets but somehow that fact has gotten lost over the course of the last century.



I hope that most in the homeschooling community will welcome the new generation of homeschoolers (myself included) with open arms. We may not have to fight for the right to homeschool the way the pioneer homeschoolers of the Eighties did and we have many more resources available to us but we still share the same basic desire to educate our children at home.



Check out the article here from the Boston Globe that emphasizes the point that homeschoolers are very well-socialized and well-rounded. Examples are given of the activities of real-life area homeschooling families. I like to read about what homeschoolers around the country are doing (I guess that is why I spend so much time on this site!)



The next article is from the St. Petersburg Times in Florida and it paints a very interesting picture of how homeschooling there grew from being illegal about 20 years ago to capturing more students than voucher schools today to the tune of at least 51,000 homeschoolers. The reporter makes the point that homeschooling has been an antidote to the disconnected dual-career family hustle and bustle for growing numbers of families.



Check out the funny anecdote about the mom who used to avoid the homeschooling "freaks" at the playground but who ended up homeschooling 4 years later!



Interesting trends noted from the article:

Over the past decade, the number of children parented by stay-at-home moms increased 13 percent - more than three times the overall increase in the child population.



While Baby Boomers sought to "have it all" through work, family and possessions, Generation Xers are increasingly likely to forgo a second income, it said. "Instead of trying to fit family into their work life," the study concluded, "Generation X parents are more likely to try to fit work into their family life." Homeschooling is a way to do just that.

While Baby Boomers sought to "have it all" through work, family and possessions, Generation Xers are increasingly likely to forgo a second income, it said. "Instead of trying to fit family into their work life," the study concluded, "Generation X parents are more likely to try to fit work into their family life." Homeschooling is a way to do just that.



One slightly odd comment from an otherwise sensible quote from a sociologist regarding homeschooling as a way to bring families closer together:



"Homeschooling," said New York University sociologist Mitchell Stevens, "is a really creative way through a problem" in an American society "that hasn't figured out how to have women work and create a reasonable system of parenting." Homeschool parents, he said, "give up income and suspend a career aspiration for a while. But you get this kind of unstructured, unscheduled time with your kid, which is something that otherwise only really affluent people can do."



"...otherwise only really affluent people can do." Huh? So either you can be independently wealthy to allow you to homeschool your children or you can sacrifice, scrape and pinch pennies to do so? Okay, so what is his point exactly?



By the way, I do not know of any wealthy families who homeschool. Do you?
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