Thursday, January 12, 2006

20/20 On Homeschooling

Here's a preview quote from John Stossel's email newsletter. His 20/20 "Stupid in America: How We Cheat Our Kids."special on education airs tomorrow night at 10PM.
We shot a segment on home schooling for my special, and I was amazed to watch the enthusiasm of the kids and the teachers. In my NYC community, it's assumed that home schoolers are all religious wackos whose children don't learn to socialize. In truth, home schooling is often the best option for parents who are fed up with the lousy education offered by the government schools. Why is there an assumption that school is the best place for kids to get "socialized" anyway? Isn't school a place where you're supposed to be paying attention to the teacher, not your peers? Home schooled kids socialize all the time at places like boy scouts, ballet lessons, soccer teams, and church choirs. Most home schoolers we talked to meet together several times a week with other home schoolers. They do fine in college. The U.S. Department of Education estimates that over one million kids are being home schooled in the country today, that's 2 percent of school kids in the United States, and that number is growing by 10 percent every year. Brian Ray, President of the National Home Education Research Institute, taught in both public and private schools before starting his work with "home-based education." He sees home schooled students blowing past their public school counterparts in terms of achievement. "In study after study, children who learn at home consistently score 15-30% above the national averages on standardized tests [like the Iowa Test of Basic Skills].
Religious wacko comment aside, I think his perspective is fairly up beat toward homeschooling. I wonder why he referred to "teacher" instead of parents though?

Thanks to Lonestar Mama for sending in my way.

Reminder: A Typical Homeschool has put up the Second Carnival of Unschooling. Be sure to check out the some of the wonderful entries that were shared.

1 comment:

Thomas Harrell R. Ph. said...

My mother was a teacher in the government system, my uncle was the county school system superintendent at the time I was in school so the government school was like a home school. But now the schools have gone to hell. Most of the home schooled kids do much better on achievement tests and in college. Some of the kids graduated from government schools can't read or write. I deal with them everyday.