There’s a question that we all are asked throughout our lives. Many of us have different answers but nothing too surprising. That is, except for a select group of individuals.
“Where did you go to school?”
My response always creates the same confusing, and sometimes concerned, response. In case you didn’t know, my siblings and I were homeschooled.
Whenever I tell someone, there’s always a short pause followed with an, “Oh… well I would have never thought you were homeschooled.”
I’m still figuring out what exactly that means. Should I take offense to it? Is it a compliment?
They often explain themselves, referring to my public speaking or sociability. Almost everyone I’ve had this encounter with assumes that homeschoolers are socially awkward human beings who lack the ability to converse well with others.
That is the first stigma I’d like to address.
From someone who has been homeschooled since second grade and has been surrounded by homeschoolers, I have to say a majority of the time, homeschoolers are just like everyone else.
For starters, while it’s assumed that homeschoolers never leave the house, that certainly wasn’t the case for my family.
I was often on the road most weekends playing for my basketball and football team. We often played other homeschool teams, along with private and public schools.
When I wasn’t playing sports or attending to my academics, I was busy with our local homeschool co-op. The best way I can describe the organization is a couple hundred homeschoolers in the community coming together once a week.
Some classes were extracurricular; others were academic. Activities included theatre productions, prom and graduation among others.
This is extremely common throughout the nation, especially in Texas.
Unless their parents are hiding them from the world, which happens but is rare, they are receiving an abundant amount of social interaction.
The other stigma is a strong argument amongst those against homeschooling. They make a case that the parents don’t have an adequate education to teach their children.
Both my parents graduated high school but never completed college. They didn’t hold a teaching certificate and never planned on homeschooling.
Despite all that, my parents made sure I had a quality education, and they continue to do so with my two younger siblings who are still being homeschooled. Along with many homeschooled families, including my own, we outsourced to seek alternative education opportunities. Those included dual-credit courses at local community colleges and other accredited institutions.
And somehow, despite all the arguments made against homeschooling, I have excelled in my time at ACU. In fact, I’ll graduate a year early from the university.
To the contrary, there is compelling evidence that suggests homeschooled students consistently test 30% higher than the national public school average in all subjects tested.
They also consistently demonstrate higher high school GPA’s, SAT/ACT scores and higher first year college GPA’s.
Recently, “Harvard Magazine” published an article espousing the belief of Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Bartholet that a “presumptive ban” should be placed on homeschooling.
The idea that a government, already so inefficient in many areas, can better care and educate every child than its parents, is lacking support.
This isn’t an attack on the public school system. It has proven successful in educating millions of Americans. But it’s not the only means to a solid education, and parents should have the right to decide.
It’s also ironic that a university focused on “inclusion”, “diversity” and “acceptance” would attack someone else’s perspective of how they want to educate their child.
Does homeschooling work for everyone? No.
Did everything go perfect in my experience? Of course not.
Homeschooling has received a bad perception, and while this teaching method isn’t for everyone, it is for my family and countless others.