Letters to the Editor
Readers write about home schooling and public schooling.
Should states regulate home schooling?Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
In response to the March 10 article, "Home-schoolers reel from a court blow": A more constructive report might have focused on the overwhelmingly positive track record of home schooling success stories as an alternative to a public school system in crisis. Instead, the article chose to highlight the extremely rare incidences of abuse in home schooling by referring to the negative New York Times coverage, and then chose to give readers the impression that charter schools that serve home-schoolers are simply profiteering efforts.
I am a former California public school teacher who decided to leave the California school system and home-school my children because I saw firsthand how the public schools here fail to meet the academic, emotional, and social needs of children, and also how the funding for public schools is mismanaged on all levels of the institution.
I also serve as a vendor for several charter schools and I can verify from this experience that charter schools are conservative about allocating funds properly and, if anything, are underfunded in comparison with the full-time public schools. Above all, I commend the commitment of the many home school families I know who are so dedicated and conscientious about giving their children the best education and upbringing they can offer.
Regarding the recent article on home schooling: I strongly disagree with support for home schooling. This is an arena in which reactionary and obscurantist forces find an opportunity to operate behind a shield of libertarianism. It affords an opening to inflame generational tension over school taxes. Restriction of home schooling must be principled and fair, but the goal of public schools, locally supported and directed, must be maintained.
In response to the recent article on home schooling: As a parent of a 13-year-old eighth-grader who has been home-schooling for two years, I can say that we did not make the decision lightly. My son's state and national testing results in his last two years at public school declined from advanced in most subjects to proficient and even below. After the first year of his online charter school (which also requires state and national testing) he was almost back to previous levels, not to mention his manners and self-esteem have greatly increased.
Until the public schools are prepared to teach all types of children and keep them safe, we as parents have the duty to ensure that they get a quality education. I am not a credentialed teacher, but I am a self-employed single mother of two children (my 9-year-old daughter is in public school) who will do whatever it takes to see that they are intelligent, articulate, and prepared for their future. I feel that as a parent I have more interest in their education than anyone else. Universities are accepting home-schoolers with open arms due to their independent work ethic and quality of education.
Morro Bay, Calif.
Regarding your March 12 editorial, "Protection for home schooling": I can think of instances where "children (as well as adults) are mere creatures of the state." But public schools exemplify democracy and civil society. They are community institutions overseen by elected school boards or committees. Home schooling is a retreat from the kind of engagement in public life that is necessary if our society is to flourish.