HOMESCHOOL IS NOT “ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION”

Homeschooling today is looked upon as an “alternative educational” approach. Teachers, teachers unions, politicians and their buddies have worked very hard to try to convince us that homeschool is not “normal”, not “standard”. It is presented as “fringe” education. Who home schools? We are told by “authorities” that it’s largely religious fanatics and “problem children” that were considered too dangerous or slow for schooling.

Let’s debunk these lies.

Historically, schools are the “alternative”. They only flourished in a few places until the 20th century. They usually had a very low success rate with their students. Individual teachers occasionally shined through the grim morass, but schools were not generally held in high regard. This is one reason that teachers and their unions insist at the top of their voices that they deserve respect and sensational paychecks, that teachers are underpaid and overworked, and all that utter rot. Because they know that they are simply not necessary. History does not lie.

Consider the astounding list of people who did NOT receive a “school” based education, but who made a massive impression on the world. Interested in music? Bach and Mozart were homeschooled, that seemed to work out well for them.  You wanted songwriters? How about Irving Berlin, the first great songwriter of the 20th century? How about fine art?  Da Vinci and Monet homeschooled. Most of the founding fathers of the United States were homeschool products, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. Not a bad group to belong to. A few other Presidents along the way also homeschooled, such as Abraham Lincoln and Teddy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Was Abe Lincoln’s education really “alternative”?  That’s an alternative road I think most of us would happily walk. Is the military your thing? Such remarkable generals as George C. Patton and Robert E. Lee were homeschooled. How about writers? Hans Christian Anderson, C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, George Bernard Shaw and Mark Twain homeschooled. Will they do? There were a few poets, too, including Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, perhaps America’s most important. How about scientists? Those with almost no formal education before university included the greatest of all 20th century scientists, Albert Einstein. Inventors? The Wright Brothers homeschooled, ran a bicycle repair shop – and invented the airplane. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Imagine life without that homeschooler! Thomas Edison homeschooled and then invented electric light, audio and film recording, and a list of inventions that made the 20th century possible. Of course, Edison’s invention of film helped create the first movie star, Charlie Chaplin, another homeschooler whose work guaranteed that movies would become the 20th century art form.

There is no area of life where homeschoolers do not stand at the front. The two greatest nurses in history, Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton, were homeschooled. Great businessmen such as Joseph Pulitzer and Andrew Carnegie homeschooled. The great tennis champions, the Williams sisters, both were homeschooled. Folks, even such popular entertainers as Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera homeschooled.

This is obviously NOT a list of “alternative” historical figures, but rather a list of many of the central figures in the last 300 years. And since public “mass” schooling has only been the vogue for the past unfortunate 150 years or so, prior to that time, the vast majority of important historical figures had little or no “schooling”.

The numbers are overwhelmingly in favor of homeschooling. Those educated at home throughout history, needless to say, outnumber those schooled by at least a factor of many hundreds to one. Somehow, civilization survived! There are other interesting numbers today, such as “standardized tests” that show homeschoolers receive far better educations than schooled kids, on average.

And of course, children educated at home get sick less often, don’t get beat up by classmates, and as we saw in Colorado this week, they do not get pepper sprayed in school when they “act out”. (You can find out more about this tragic farce at Homeschool Under Siege, our other blog.)

Homeschool is not an alternative. Schooling was made “universal” in the U.S. in the 1860s, and was not welcomed then. It’s just too bad that the farmers who met teachers at the door, who had arrived to trot their children to school, didn’t stand their ground on their children’s behalf. But even then, the majority of Americans, not to mention the rest of the world, homeschooled their children. Considering the awful results of schooling as seen in a deteriorating civilization, I think we should all consider “school” a failed alternative, and junk it.

In education, homeschool has always been the main road. Can anyone claim that the wonderful and brilliant people listed above were not educated? Oh, I’m sure there are teachers and teacher unions who’d love it if you never knew the truth, but here it is… HOMESCHOOLING CAN EASILY PROVIDE A FAR BETTER EDUCATION FOR A CHILD THAN CAN ANY SCHOOL.

The reasons for this are very, very many. (If you really wish to know them, and to take advantage of them, please consider my book, Poor Cheated Little Johnny. It’s available at our site, www.connectthethoughts.com.) Bottom line, the best thing you can do for your child? Homeschool.

44 comments for “HOMESCHOOL IS NOT “ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION”

  1. Susanne
    April 8, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Not to be rude, but 100 years ago women in pants were weird and boxes didn’t make pictures.

    When you do something vastly different from the majority of your peers its outside of the norm. If you have a choice that is normally taken (normal, wherever your zoned for public school) and choose something different (homeschooling, private school, charter school, virtual school, etc) that is making an alternative plan.

    I think homeschooling is amazing and yes, has a fantastic history. But to be fair homeschooling today is not homeschooling Abe Lincoln Style. And I doubt they had curriculum fairs or all in ones back in the day.

    It is today an alternative to often a very bad choice for many children and families, but people who homeschool are TODAY in the minority. And there is nothing wrong with that. I think trying to force it into normative culture is doing a disservice to something that doesn’t NEED to be ‘normal’.

    • April 8, 2011 at 7:27 am

      Thanks for writing, Susanne. Of course it isn’t rude for you to state your opinion here! But it does not make your opinion “correct”, and you expect a response, I imagine.

      No, homeschooling is NOT what it was in Lincoln’s Day. Lincoln had NO resources, borrowed books from lawyers he worked and learned from, and famously read at night by candlelight. The potentials today for successful homeschooling are VASTLY greater than in Lincoln’s time. And as to what is “normal”, first, you vastly overrate the number of people worldwide in schools. In many parts of the world homeschooling is not only the norm, but the ONLY method available. Are those families “outside the norm”?

      The number of homeschoolers is in the tens of millions, and some argue, in the hundreds of millions worldwide. The results from homeschooling when compared to schooling through standardized testings, demonstrate its clear superiority. Is it really “outside the norm” for a parent to do whatever is necessary to make certain that their children receive an actual and effective education while placing them in a (relatively) safe environment? This seems to most people that I talk with to be a rational and utterly normal thing for a parent to do! The abnormal and “alternative” thing for a parent to do would be to intentionally place their child in a dangerous and degrading environment. That is simply not wise or even “normal” parenting – yet you are right, far too many people, convinced by “experts” that it’s “what’s done”, do exactly that when placing their children in the care of ruinous schools. What happened yesterday in Rio de Janero is yet another horrific, terrifying example of the result of what you are calling “normal”. Over a dozen murders in an Elementary School! Though the head of their government claimed this was “a first”, he can be certain it won’t be a last. It is NEVER “normal” for a parent to place a child in harms way, or to do things week by week which make less of that child and their chances in life. And there, we have school for nearly every school child.

      Your definition of “alternative” is “outside the normal”. I did not use that definition in the article. The one I’m using is “another option”. Homeschooling is NOT “ANOTHER” option – it is the ONLY option that can be considered rational at this time. Read the article again with this definition in mind, if you would, and see if that doesn’t color it differently for you.

      • Marsha Davidson
        May 15, 2011 at 7:54 am

        As some one who thought of people who home schooled as “fringe”, I must offer an apology. I now have two girls aged 5 and 6, and having spent the last 2 years struggling with my now first grader, I have come to accept homeschooling as the most viable option for my children. My daughters are currently in a Christian school that sends home great report cards, however my daughter is still struggling with basic math, but her teacher seems to think she is doing well. Parents must take back control, I believe that is the only way we will effect change in this country. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the resources you have provided.

        • May 15, 2011 at 8:23 am

          Hi Marsha,

          Homeschooling your own child is an enormous decision, and the responsibility assumed is tremendous. I commend you! Yes, I think you’re right about education in America. Thanks for the kind words!

  2. usethebrainsgodgiveyou
    May 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I have one word for you.

    Ritalin. This homeschoolers son does not have to take ritalin.

    Thomas Edison’s mom tried to send him to school. They sent him back and said he was “too scattered to learn”. At age 13 he was spending all his time in a laboratory he created at home.

  3. May 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m death on all psychiatric drugs, and really wish people would accept their children for the creative, wonderful people they are instead of buying into the “average child” concept that psychiatry has pushed down society’s throat. There is no “average” child, there are only extraordinary children with extraordinary strengths and interests and liabilities. As they grow older, they will confront the liabilities. Life will force that on them. Let’s celebrate who our children are, rather than drug them into being someone they are not.

    • Sarah Gogstetter
      December 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      I was homeschooled as a kid and I didn’t discover my ADHD until ADDulthood. I do believe being home schooled helped tremendously and got me through some rough times. I still went on as an ADDult to get treated for my ADHD and assortment of other diagnoses. I know kids the only way they can keep from being hospitalized for their bipolar disorder is to be on meds. We wouldn’t hesitate to put an adult on meds if they are violent or suicidal would we? Why would we hesitate to put a kid on meds for the same reason? And as far as ADHD is concerned, there are plenty of people who grow up undiagnosed and untreated. Many of these ADDults don’t get diagnosed and treated [whether that is medication and/or therapy and coaching] until their 30′s and 40′s. They’ve spent there whole life wondering why they can’t do things that others can and it’s only with diagnosis they understand. Even with homeschooling I still struggled with my ADD/ADHD, my mood related stuff and what not. My mom did a great job, but that doesn’t mean I still struggle. I am thankful that my mom has been supportive of my getting diagnosed, treated, and coached for my ADHD and mood related stuff. Yes I know the schools try to make people to conform too much and yes I know their are problems with the system and yes homeschooling is a powerful option for many families. I am considering homeschooling my kids when I have them so I can spread out their immunizations, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t get them diagnosed and treated if I thought it would help. I don’t agree with medicating a kid just to get them to sit still in class, but I do agree with doing so if the kid needs it. I will always include my children in the decision-making regarding their treatment. I decided on 4 of 5 hand surgeries I had as a kid, so I know first hand that kids can get involved in their medical needs.

      • Rebekka
        January 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm

        Sarah, I just wanted to mention in response to your post that an “alternative” to imunizations is available in homeopathic form. I have used this for my 4 children for the past 14 years with success. they did get some of the childhood diseases like chickenpox, but so do all immunized kids when they get exposed to it. I do not advocate that you not immunize, since I think that innoculations/immunizations do work, but i’m not keen on the toxins in the mix that gets into my children’s blood stream – dead virus or no. P.S. I have had chicken pox 5 times, and I was fully immunized in my childhood. Since my homeopath tested me and noticed that my immunity to chicken pox is virtually non existant – I take a homeopathic “booster” every few years, and I have not had it again since.

    • Ray
      February 5, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      ADHD is a label used for people who don’t want to do boring work inside at desks. These people are under-challenged, over-stimulated, or maybe they just want to go outside and do something physical, which is particularly normal and healthy for little kids, but also for adults. This is not a flaw.

      Further, anybody with kids who haven’t tried the Paleo diet should try it: All people have ADHD when eating massive amounts of refined carbohydrates (a “normal” american diet), compared to the comparatively calm, focused, even blood-glucose ranges of those who mostly eat vegetables, meat, fat, nuts, fruit, and other real foods that were not made or processed by people, and therefore more closely resemble what our bodies evolved to run on. Also, people on this diet tend not to get asthma, dermatitis, diabetes, depression, etc. Disagree? Do an experiment. Put somebody (anybody) on it for two weeks. Cut out alcohol and caffeine too. The results are pretty great, particularly if you go outside and play in the sun a bit.

      • February 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm

        Hi, Ray,

        Agreed, as to ADHD. Agreed as to healthy children and their healthy response to the garbage schools are passing off as “education.” And agreed on dietary concerns, and an approach to kids who are “struggling” that starts with exercise, diet, sleep – common sense things that can be altered and fixed, to help a child arrive at education in a condition to succeed. (Many adults suffer from these same issues, bu the way!)

        • May 24, 2013 at 6:22 am

          By the way, the man who “invented ADD and ADHD”, American psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, on his deathbed stated that “ADHD is a prime example of a FICTITIOUS DISEASE.” One he invented. And I could not agree more, it is a fictitious disease – one that has made the psychiatric industry and pharma BILLIONS of dollars. Good for business – utterly destructive of individuals and families. The disease is phony, but the prescribed drugs are sadly all too real.

  4. Shawn Hall
    September 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    My problem with homeschooling is that the teachers don’t have to have teaching degrees. How can you teach science if you barely understand it yourself. How can you teach calculus if you only made it to algebra in school. How can you teach evolution and Biology if you think people were made out of dust by god?

    • Sarah Gogstetter
      December 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      Shawn,

      My mom does have a teaching degree and life time teaching credential. Her degree was in natural science and social science, she was/is well equipped to teach kids things. If you have kids with medical conditions homeschooling might be the only option that will keep the kids from getting behind. I know a guy who was homeschooled because he came down with leukemia. If you have kids with LD’s it maybe the best option to allow the kids to advance in other subjects even if they have areas in difficulty.

    • Home-educating mom
      July 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      Your comment is full of assumptions. The first being that a degree equates with competence. It does not. Teaching degrees or certificates are awarded to those who know how to play the game of school. They are products of the school system, now entering the profession to perpetuate more of the same on the next generation. Your second assumption is that we actually need to teach our children academic subjects. You’d be amazed at what people can teach themselves when they are not overburdened “learning” things that really don’t matter. As parents, we can help our children find resources to satisfy their desire to learn just about anything. And finally, if a person believes in Creation or Intelligent Design, chances are their children will know more about the idea of evolution than any publicly schooled child. They will understand that it is not a “fact” as so many people have been led to believe. It’s never been proven true, yet because our society is laden with references to it and allusions to the assumption that it is true, many falsely believe it must be true. Not only are children not taught critical thinking skills in school, the very structure of the school system demands that they supress whatever critical thinking skills might be developing; therefore those most important skills are left to atrophy.

      • July 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

        Agreed with Home-educating mom, every word!

        • September 18, 2012 at 12:44 am

          My favorite is #6. As if public school is anything like the real world . In public school, you’re ranked and promoted by age. In the real world, you’re ranked and promoted by effort. In public school, you spend more time on drills and less time on practical problems, in the real world it’s the exact opposite. In public school, kids can get away with stuff that would get an adult sued. I could go on and on.

      • September 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm

        I am currently sekeing God on this same decision. My son will only be three this October but I’ve decided to sort of test the waters this year with some preschool kind of stuff and to just pray pray pray about the decision. My husband and I are both in ministry and our church has a phenomenal children’s program and since I have a teaching degree I worry a lot about sending my children to public schools. I love reading about how God has led some mothers to do this.

        • September 18, 2012 at 7:01 am

          Hi Richard. People have all sorts of reasons to homeschool, and what you describe certainly is one for many people. Improved academic results, greater safety for the child, tailored studies to the child’s needs are all reasons. I wish you success in your search.

    • Ray
      February 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      My wife educates our children. She has an undergraduate degree in humanities from Yale, a masters degree in literature from U. Chicago, and a law degree from NYU. She crushed 99% of the country on the SAT. Her personal qualities leave most of those with “teaching degrees” behind. If you really think she needs a science degree to teach science at the pre-university level, you may have missed the real point of schooling, which was not to learn the material so much as to learn how to learn. She can teach them anything. If she doesn’t know it, she learns it, well, and quickly. My first grade son will cover 1st through 3rd grade math (per California standards, such as they are) this year. And when he’s exhausted what his mother can provide, when he’s in 8th grade and has finished differential equations and needs quantum physics and string theory, I’ll hire a graduate student. And he’ll continue learning fast and better than anybody could with a 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 to one ratio, and all the endless wasted time that comes with it. What do I feel? Jealous of my children who are being spared the biggest waste of time in my life—school. (And for context, I’m a Yale grad. I value education, just not school.)

      • February 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm

        Hi again, Ray,

        Well, I could not agree more. Agreed! Your wife sounds like an ace homeschooler! Well done! And right again – education and not schooling is what all of us should concern ourselves with. Schooling is, by its very essence, a bust.

      • Heather
        April 24, 2013 at 11:54 am

        you make such a good point. I’m homeschooling our kids, and yes, when they reach a level that I am not prepared to teach, then it is time to find someone competent who is. As for now, well my 5 1/2 year old is almost done with “first grade” and almost done with 2nd grade level math, and reading at above a 3rd grade level. She loves science and does experiments weekly. She loves art and most importantly she loves learning. Homeschooling gives me the freedom to shift the focus onto her interests. She loved learning about bug, so we spent a month on them instead of just a week. The freedom to explore learning is invaluable!

        Thank you for your post Steven.

        • April 24, 2013 at 11:58 am

          Really well done with your 5 1/2 year-old! Interesting how many homeschoolers are “ahead of the curve” established by public schools. Thanks for writing.

  5. September 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Hi Shawn,

    Nope, homeschool parents have no teaching degree. The degree that teachers get is a degree in EDUCATION, not in science, or mathematics, history, or any of the subjects they actually end up teaching. In many cases teachers in public and private schools know FAR less than many of their students about a subject they’ve been assigned to teach. A degree in education only prepares a “teacher” to use the standard “tools” of education – testing, grading, scheduling and the rest of that dire roll call that has emasculated education now for over 100 years. A degree in the hands of a teacher tells you one thing – they’re a part of the system that has failed, and will do their level best to perpetuate it. It does NOT in any way suggest that they have expertise in areas in which they are going to teach. They do not.

    You’re right, though – you can’t teach a subject that you don’t know much about. We see the results in truly awful test scores in schools across the nation, and in drop out rates that boggle the mind. Across the board, homeschoolers score better in math, science, and in all the related subjects than do school children! These are the numbers released by “them,”, educators. They use them to demand “more money” from a public that refuses to shell out any more – witness the failure of school bonds almost universally for the past 10 years.

    I agree, you cannot teach evolution if you have no belief in it at all, at least you can’t teach it well. Your prejudice will show through and infect the process and the result, just as the opposite would be true, one could not teach religion without some belief in it. I’ve worked very hard to provide ideas and curricula that never attack religious or scientific beliefs, but instead offers both to the student for their understanding and discriminating resolve. My curricula is (self-avowedly) secular, but “religion friendly”, meaning we do not attack religions or beliefs, and offer them to the student unadulterated for their own consideration, alongside other ideas from science and other disciplines. I obviously believe in this approach or I would not have spent the last 10 years of my life to develop it.

    Thanks for the interesting point of view!

  6. Chef Edmund-Gelfman
    October 28, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Mr. Horwich,

    I’m delighted to connect with you via twitter. We are a homeschooling family and I appreciate your supply of great content which gives me much to read, and also gain greater perspectives on some topics. Thank you for sharing.

    Brightest Blessings,
    Chef Edmund-Gelfman

  7. October 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    My pleasure, and thanks for writing.

  8. Audy
    November 2, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Could you tell me how you know the Wright Brothers were homeschooled? I have been trying to find that for my kids as we are studying them right now in our own homeschool. Thanks for your info. We just keep finding conflicting info.

  9. November 2, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Hi Audy,

    Wrote this a while ago, and don’t recall the exact sources, sorry to say. I know that there are conflicting accounts of their education, but they seem to tend to agree that they had little if any “schooling”, not of any duration. The fact that they were mechanical geniuses in not disputed, and they clearly did not learn those skills – non-existent skills at that time, as the Wrights were among the first to develop such sophisticated machinery – from schools which could not offer subjects they would have known nothing about! This would more than imply that the Wrights developed their skills and understandings through their well-documented experiments with flying machines, prior to finally successfully building one. Such “curricula” simply did not exist in their time in any sort of remotely common way. And they did not go to college, sources agree on that as well. They educated themselves in the area in which they excelled, outside of school. It scarcely does today outside of the college level! Hope that helps.

  10. Audy
    November 2, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Thanks, if you do come across that source that would be of great value. We talked about them today and learned that much of what they knew was self-taught. I did find that Wilbur had plans to attend Yale to become a clergyman, but did not attend due to his teeth being knocked out, thus lowering his confidence to speak in public.

    I appreciate finding your article and hope I can find time to read some other articles as well. But I try hard to focus on these 4 learners that I have been blessed with.

  11. Ivy San Diego-Guerrero
    July 3, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Dear Mr. Horwich,

    Thank you for all helpful links you tweet that led me to so many amazing articles about homeschooling. I’m a young mom and my son is a year and a half years old. My husband and I have decided to homeschool our son. We’re from the Philippines and homeschool is slowly getting big here although public and private schools are still the primary option for most parents.

    Many thanks!
    Ivy

  12. July 3, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Hi Ivy,

    Thanks for the kind words. Very happy to hear that homeschooling is growing in the Philippines. There are countries where homeschooling is unfortunately not an option, such as Germany and Sweden. It is a very good thing that you can homeschool, and I commend your decision. That said, at your son’s age, he should “learn” to have fun! You can make a game out of counting, maybe, as I’m sure you already know. You can (and should) read to him often. I believe that the only real “skill” a child younger than say six should be introduced to and develop is reading. All future learning is dependent upon it. But this can be developed very gradually, no pressure (the best way). And it is a skill that will continue to improve as a child reads more, and gets involved with his education. The only other “activities” should work around things the child clearly loves to do. For instance, if you have a “violin prodigy” and he truly does love to play, I’d sure let him, and create opportunities. But at a year and a half, just the fun stuff! And lots of being read to, unless he wants to try to read, then let him. Thanks for writing!

    • September 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      I think my favorite is the socialization one. Why do people assume they are locked away in a closet, picking their noses. Only to grow up to be weird, psychopaths. Public school can be just as damaging to a child’s psyche as a child who is unsocialized. We chose to homeschool because I absolutely enjoy teaching my children. That is what I tell people, or mind your own business if they really get on my nerves.

      • September 19, 2012 at 6:15 am

        Hi, Radja, In fact, many colleges now prefer homeschoolers over public schoolers BECAUSE they are “better adjusted” than the poor kids who are terrorized daily in public schools – and because homeschoolers are academically superior as a group, as all the national tests reveal. I like your answer to people who bug you about this, too!

  13. Kevin Brownlee
    July 18, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    And homeschooling is growing by double digit percentage each year. Now, in the US, there are over 2,000,000 homeschool students!

    • September 18, 2012 at 6:59 am

      Nope, there are between 2.5 – 6 million, depending on who you read! When you homeschool now, you are far from alone. Thanks!

  14. July 18, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Hi Kevin,

    Actually, according to even the most conservative, anti-homeschooling sources, the number is higher than 2 million. I’ve heard everywhere from 2.5 – 6 million. And yes, it’s growing very fast indeed. What choice do people who love their kids have?

  15. Allen
    May 4, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Much of what the article referred to as “home schooling” was really highly educated (for the time) tutors hired by the parents to live and teach in the home. Most home schooling was limited to reading the Bible and very simple arithmetic. The percentage of people who were able to overcome the lack of what we now consider a basic education and go on to achieve spectacular lives were the few that were so smart they would have succeeded no matter how much education. Pretending that the smartest 10%, or whatever percent you might pick, are representative of the results that most could achieve is disingenuous bordering on criminal. More people are living fuller lives because of general education than ever before.

    • May 4, 2013 at 9:01 am

      Wow, well, okay, Allen. You’re clearly a shill for public ed – but let’s talk about “criminal.”

      How about the 2004 Department of Ed report that stated that 6-10% of all public school students will be SEXUALLY ABUSED by either teachers or public school staff during the student’s time in school. How’s that for criminal-that’s some 4-7 MILLION CHILDREN SEXUALLY ABUSED BY TEACHERS AND STAFF. Think those kids are living “fuller lives,” Allen? And the fact that teacher unions will pay $500,000 and more to keep a sexually abusive (or abusive in some other way) teacher on the job, where they can remain real close to children. That strike you as “criminal,” Allen?

      Hey, Allen, those 170 Atlanta teachers who falsified their student’s test results last year so they could get PAID MORE MONEY- was that “criminal,” do you think? Most of them finally admitted doing it. The courts thought they were criminal. And that sort of thing is happening all over the country. Why, teachers are caught doing it every month, now! Pretty “criminal,” huh, Allen?

      How about the remarkable drop-out rate -the rate that school districts are willing to admit to. 33%-0ver 50% in every nearly large city in the country, Allen. That’s tens of millions of drop-outs. How are they doing in life, Allen? Did they benefit from the remarkable boondoggle that is public ed? Probably not, huh, Allen? After $550 BILLION PLUS a year is spent to support this system that totally lets down millions of children every year! (That6′s just the figure the Dept. of Ed admits to.) And by the way, the announced drop-out number does not cover those who left school years earlier. It’s actually much higher than school districts will admit to. Wow, pretty criminal waste of the very limited resources we seem to have, today.

      I won’t even get into how wrong you are in your description of homeschooling historically or today, you’re clearly and completely ignorant regarding the subject. Read Tooley’s great book, “The Beautiful Tree,” to discover what the poorest of the poor worldwide are doing to see to it that their children are not destroyed by public schools, and that they actually receive an education.

      As to “the few that are so smart they would have succeeded no matter how much education,” why, Allen! That’s EXACTLY what I say about kids who survive public schooling and move on to do well in life! Because the kid who isn’t incredibly self-motivated and bright is most likely to be ground into the “average” that our public schools so seem to worship.

      Homeschooling can and usually does target the ACTUAL needs strengths of the student, rather than institutionalizing and “unitizing” all kids into a “one size must fit all” approach to education. Public school simply destroys individual incentive, excluding the brightest and best who learn what they learn generally OUTSIDE OF AND DESPITE THEIR SCHOOLING, exactly as I did.

      Really, Allen, if you’re going to shill for schools (and you MUST be employed by public ed, or be married to someone who is), don’t throw around words like “criminal.” Do yourself a favor. It opens the door to so much that is vile regarding public ed.

      Don’t bother to write back, I won’t publish you again.

  16. Karla Akins
    May 24, 2013 at 2:41 am

    Well said. I never thought about the public schools being the alternative schools before. It’s very true.

    • May 24, 2013 at 6:25 am

      Thanks, Karla. That is why I write – to try to share some truth and some new ideas that folks will find useful in support of homeschooling.

  17. Joseph Alessio
    June 13, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Hi Steven, thanks for the fascinating read! I love how you state clearly that it’s not only fanatics and problem kids that are educated at home. To put it succinctly, homeschooling works. The curricula available today makes it unnecessary for the parents to have a degree, as it has become increasingly effective, and as you mentioned above a degree is by no means an indicator of actual knowledge.

    I’m no Einstein, nor are my parents Yale grads, but they are both University of Michigan alumni, my mother holds an education degree and my father a practicing M.D.. I’m 21 years old, am a graphic designer and lettering artist, write for the largest online design magazine on typography and lettering, and was recently invited to Germany to teach a lettering workshop there. A friend of mine, also my age, travels the world doing videography and is the creative director at an alternative medicine and lifestyle center. You learn to think differently as a homeschooler. It absolutely has potential to go horribly wrong—I’ve known families in which neither the parents nor the kids were motivated, and that resulted in the kids learning practically nothing, which is exactly what they would have done in a public school—but it has so much potential to have amazing results. I’m not a poster child for success, but I’ve experienced home education and have studied education, and the only possible conclusion is that the grade-based, mass education system we have going today in public (and even most private) schools is not an option. It leaves no room for creativity or individuality—and indeed, why should it? John Dewey himself, one of the fathers of modern education (they speak of it as if it were an honor), says that “children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.”

    • June 13, 2013 at 9:30 am

      Hi Joseph,

      Thanks for writing, and for sharing your own family experience! I could not agree more with what you wrote, of course. And it was reading Dewey that was one of the key moments in my own evolving views on education – he is so clearly wrong and generally destructive, and so clearly a foundation for modern education as it is practiced in schools. America’s greatest historian, Will Durant, clearly states that those countries best survive who encourage individual thought and accomplishment. I agree. And individuals don’t always see eye to eye with a government, or a culture. I wish you great success in life!

  18. Margreet Thomassen
    August 9, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Dear Mr. Horwich,
    May I please put this article on my blog (with the link to the article on this blog being the source)?

    • August 9, 2013 at 11:35 am

      Yes, of course.

      • Margreet Thomassen
        August 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm

        Thanks! It’s on. http://1637.punt.nl/content/2013/08/HOMESCHOOL-IS-NOT-ALTERNATIVE-EDUCATION

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