An emotional response to the “Harm of Homeschooling”

Ms. West,
I am disappointed in your “Harms of Homeschooling” article (found here, scroll down to page 7). From your wording and sources it seems that your main concern is Christian fundamentalism and how these Christians are not walking in lockstep with the state to make sure their children fall in line with secular humanist state beliefs. I did not learn anything new or factual about homeschooling. The article was more of the typical unfounded and undocumented fear mongering against those who have decided to take on the responsibility of their child’s education (of which they take seriously). Did you mean the article to be an opinion piece? Or were you asked by someone to provide “evidence” against homeschooling? People who already have negative ideas about homeschooling will gain no new ammunition from your article, and those who actually know the facts about homeschooling will only be persuaded that there are those in society who fear the homeschooling movement and will do anything, including baseless lying, to attempt to convince others against home education.

As respectfully as possible,

Homeschooler of four years to a well-adjusted, academically advanced and socially capable seven year old who is learning to think for herself.

Others who have refuted this article much more succinctly and thoughtfully with less emotion than myself:
West on the Harms of Homeschooling by Milton Gaither
The Harms of Homeschooling? Where are the Premises? by National Home Education Research Institute
The Harms of Homeschooling: A Retort by Razzed (read the comments on here too)

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5 thoughts on “An emotional response to the “Harm of Homeschooling”

  1. sclubmama says:

    Someday I hope to homeschool, but I’m not sure right now if it’ll happen. However, I am a firm believer in the homeschooling system. Yes, there are those who basically let their children teach themselves and don’t follow curriculum or guidelines BUT there are those same characters in public and/or private schools. My premise to homeschool is not solely due to my faith (although I would like for my kids to have a Christian education). Mine is based on my kids being male. I know that the school system (having been through the public school system all the way to my bachelor’s degree and being educated as a teacher) is made for girls, no doubt about it. And seeing as my kid has trouble sitting through a Kindermusik class for 40 minutes, I can’t imagine him in school (although he’s only 2). I want to make our school to adapt to him instead of the other way around. I want him to learn where he can move and talk and not get in trouble. That’s his personality, I don’t want to squash that.
    People who are uneducated about homeschooling (even educators themselves) need to do just that – educate themselves. I had a professor in college who was against homeschooling because the parents don’t have the education to do it. But if you have the desire, determination, and know-how, you can do it. successfully

  2. Suzanne says:

    Wow, I don’t even know what to say. She definitely came up with some far-fetched ideas for why it is harmful. I would love to write an article on the harms of public and private schools (since we have done both). I think she missed the boat on why most people homeschool, yes, some are completely for religious reasons, but a lot of us are because we are dissatisfied with the school systems in this country. Unfortunatly, there will be lots of people who believe this garbage.

  3. MB says:

    I just found your blog and I never read this article before. I come from a different angle…probably one that has been hurt alot by people who think this way. We were going to adopt last year but when our social worker found out we homeschooled, she nailed us to the cross. We ended up dropping the entire adoption due to how we were treated, feeling it just wasn’t going to be a good thing having them come in our home and interview our homeschooled kids. This is how children are taken away from people and we knew that if this lady entered our house, our kids would be cornered and possibly forced to answer questions incorrectly or in a way that would cause us to look bad. I just wasn’t willing to risk it. Later I found out that social workers immediately assume that if you homeschool, you are abusive. In fact, its one of the red flags that they train to look for. After I read that, I was really happy we didn’t go through with the adoption, even though it was a really painful thing. I wish I could describe to you what this lady looked at my husband and I like. She looked at us like we were the scum of the universe. I ended up emailing her and not being so nice either. After all, she pretty much ruined our adoption plans and then accused us, in not so many words, of being abusive too. This put such a horrible taste in my mouth toward the public school system as well. However, we have had to use the public schools to test my daughter for autism and they have been nothing but wonderful. I wish I didn’t think so lowly of them, I may have had her tested sooner. But this is due to my district. The man that runs our district is a Christian and loves homeschoolers. I think there are other districts out there that are also good. I don’t think that they are all bad or that public school is evil. I just limit the amount of exposure my children have to it. After reading this article though, I now know why homeschoolers dislike public schools. There are more people like her than there are like my district which makes any amount of them knowing anything about you even more scary. I think you have a right to be mad…I join you in it. She’s way off base. Most homeschoolers I know just want to do what is best for their kids…and yes, that means teaching from the Bible, God forbid or having full authority over their education “OH NO!”. What a horrible thing! Parents who want to actually know what their kids are learning and doing. I think the world should just come crashing down right now! Ha! What a weirdo.

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