Homeschooling has advantages

It interested me to read the article by Andrew Flavahan about how homeschooling hurts kids. I realize that his article appeared in the Opinion section, and rightly so since most of what was written was just that – opinion, which does not necessarily equal fact.

I would like to point out just a couple of things from his article. While it is true that children may be sheltered from certain areas of “life in public school,” this is true for many private schools as well.

Are students in high-dollar private schools (or even suburban public schools) subjected to the same things that children in the public schools of Detroit are subjected to? Is it necessary to function in life, to subject every member of society to daily shootings and other gang activities to make a well-rounded human being?

Are students at Maumee Valley Country Day school at a disadvantage because they don’t have the same experiences as those who are “fortunate” enough to live in inner city Detroit?

Andrew noted that there are several curriculums available to parents, but that the parents must utilize the materials for it to be beneficial.

In my experience, in both public and private schools, there was not a wide buffet of curriculums available to each student, yet each student learns differently.

Does this mean that the text books that are chosen by the teachers are a good fit for all of the 18-32 students in that classroom? Probably not.

The advantage of home- schooling is that the teacher, typically a parent, which is extremely involved and has a very vested interest in the pupil, can search around for what is best for the child so that the child can learn to the best of their individual abilities.

It’s a system tailored to each pupil, something no school system could afford to do.

Andrew also noted that in some states a bachelor’s degree is required, but not even one in education. If you research, you will note that even private schools do not require a bachelor’s degree in education for many of their teaching positions.

Yet people pay high dollars to send their kids to these schools, noting the benefits of doing so, both academically and socially.

Andrew noted a show he saw on TLC about a family that in his opinion was extreme and cult-like.

My opinion is that if you have ever lived and worked on a 20-acre farm, and had to deal with 17 other people, with chores and requirements, your work ethic is no doubt something much greater than a kid who does nothing, sitting around watching TV or playing video games all day.

That, of course, is my opinion. But I beg to disagree that these children are not being taught independence, to meet expectations or how to be self-sufficient.

As for the comment about dressing alike, maybe things have changed in the 15 years since I’ve graduated, but I remember lots of pressure to dress a certain way, wear a certain brand, and fit into a certain mold – in the public school system.

Again, there are even public schools systems with dress codes/uniforms, so in comparing this to the public schools, there really is not a difference.

Now, the issue of college. As a student of BGSU, I would recommend that Andrew do a little extra homework this weekend. Were you aware that there are people hired, even on your campus, to specifically recruit homeschooled students? Home-schooled students have not been spoon-fed their whole lives.

They are taught to think and work independently. If anything, this is an advantage, not a disadvantage, of homeschooling.

Finally, if you really are concerned about the socialization issues of homeschooled children, please come to a homeschool function.

There are many to choose from – including the metroparks programs, art museum, opera, clay classes or even the gym class at Tam-O-Shanter in Sylvania which at this time has over100 homeschooled kids enrolled. Frankly, I do not think the kids are at a disadvantage here, either.