Many people who are unfamiliar with homeschooling picture it as a bunch of religious fanatics socially isolating their kids from culture and diversity in order to brainwash their kids. However, the facts bear witness to the fact that the opposite is true. Here are some facts culled from the excellent Homeschooling entry at wikipedia.
In general, people who are against home schooling are ignorant of it’s history in America, it’s proven benefits, it’s proven superiority over public schooling, and that the classic criticisms leveled against it, primarily those of social and religious extremism, omissions of critical subjects (like evolution), and poor socialization, have been shown by many studies to be nearly entirely false. In fact, as it turns out, homeschoolers are better educated, more emotionally stable and mature, more socially adjusted, and more academically balanced than students who emerge from our faithless, Darwinist, underperforming public schools.
The Downsides of Public Schooling
- Damaging emotional development: “where possible, children should be withheld from formal schooling until at least ages eight – ten.”. Their reason was that children, “are not mature enough for formal school programs until their senses, coordination, neurological development and cognition are ready.”
- Other negative emotional pressures of formal schooling: the outcome of forcing children into formal schooling is a sequence of “1) uncertainty as the child leaves the family nest early for a less secure environment, 2) puzzlement at the new pressures and restrictions of the classroom, 3) frustration because unready learning tools — senses, cognition, brain hemispheres, coordination — cannot handle the regimentation of formal lessons and the pressures they bring, 4) hyperactivity growing out of nerves and jitter, from frustration, 5) failure which quite naturally flows from the four experiences above, and 6) delinquency which is failure’s twin and apparently for the same reason.”
- Damaging social development: Aside from academic performance, early formal schooling also destroys “positive sociability”, encourages peer dependence, and discourages self worth, optimism, respect for parents, and trust in peers. This situation is particularly acute for boys because of their delay in maturity.
- How to develop genius: A Smithsonian Report on the development of genius, indicating a requirement for “1) much time spent with warm, responsive parents and other adults, 2) very little time spent with peers, and 3) a great deal of free exploration under parental guidance.
- Academic performance: the average homeschooled student outperforms their public school peers by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects. The study also indicates that public school performance gaps between minorities and genders are virtually non-existent among homeschooled students.
- What children need for learning and healthy mental/emotional development: Their analysis suggested that children need “more of home and less of formal school” “more free exploration with…parents, and fewer limits of classroom and books,” and “more old fashioned chores – children working with parents – and less attention to rivalry sports and amusements.”
- Healthier self concept: Dr. John Taylor later found, using the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale, “while half of the conventionally schooled children scored at or below the 50th percentile (in self-concept), only 10.3% of the home-schooling children did so.”
- Better socialization: Regarding socialization, it appears that very few home-schooling children are socially deprived. Critics who speak out against home schooling on the basis of social deprivation are actually addressing an area which favors home schoolers. Apparently, the research data indicates that it is the conventionally schooled child who is actually deprived.”
- Graduates are more socially involved than public school children: Homeschool graduates are active and involved in their communities. 71% participate in an ongoing community service activity, like coaching a sports team, volunteering at a school, or working with a church or neighborhood association, compared with 37% of U.S. adults of similar ages from a traditional education background.
- Graduates are more active in civics: Homeschool graduates are more involved in civic affairs and vote in much higher percentages than their peers. 76% of those surveyed between the ages of 18 and 24 voted within the last five years, compared with only 29% of the corresponding U.S. populace. The numbers are even greater in older age groups, with voting levels not falling below 95%, compared with a high of 53% for the corresponding U.S. populace.
Graduates report being happier and more excited about life: 58.9% report that they are “very happy” with life, compared with 27.6% for the general U.S. population. 73.2% find life “exciting”, compared with 47.3%
Now, imagine if I went out to the homeschooling sites and mined even more information. However, I understand that it takes time to change people’s minds, esp. when mired in years of brainwashing regarding the superiority of public education. But education is changing public opinion:
Gallup polls of American voters have shown a significant change in attitude in the last twenty years, from 73% opposed to home education in 1985 to 54% opposed in 2001. […]