Last spring, I surveyed parents in my area who had removed their kids from public school in order to homeschool them. And, even though I took Luke out because the academic pressure in the early grades made him sick, I still felt in my heart of hearts that he was unique in this respect, and that most other families homeschool for religious or family values reasons. These reasons are perfectly valid, but as it turns out, not the main reasons given by the parents who responded to my survey.
Anybody have a guess as to what the #1 reason, cited by every single parent, might be?
A few parents cited academics and religion, a few cited academics and social issues - but they all expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the curriculum and teaching methods their children received in the local public schools. They ran the gamut from gifted children who spent the bulk of their school days giving quizzes and correcting their peers' papers - I'm sure you can imagine how popular those lucky children were - to very bored, smart kids who became behavior issues in class, and on to children with special needs whose education plans were not honored and who were harmed emotionally because they were part of the 'dumb' class, and who didn't learn anything to boot.
With all this in mind, I'm excited to share an article of mine, published this month in both the online and print versions of Parents and Kids. You can find it here.
Update, 4/12/09: Unfortunately, Parents and Kids has no archive, so my article is not currently on the web. If you are interested in reading it, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a copy.
In it, I tell our story about why we homeschool, discuss last spring's survey, and answer commonly asked questions that we homeschoolers get. If you enjoy it, I hope you'll pass it on; the more dissatisfied parents learn that homeschooling is a great alternative, the more kids can get out of school and start learning.