To the Editor:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of homeschooling families has doubled since the start of the pandemic. With a new school year about to begin and the delta variant at large, you may have considered homeschooling your own children.
Concerns about health and safety are common and understandable, but they should not determine your choice to withdraw from the public school system. You should make that choice for the sake of your child’s education.
Our public education system is a relic of the industrial age. Like shock therapy or asbestos, it is outdated and ultimately harmful. It was designed for a homogenous and uniform population, making it particularly ill-suited for a nation so wonderfully diverse and innovative.
The late author and schoolteacher John Taylor Gatto believed that genius is as “common as dirt,” but it has been suppressed in the classroom. The individual becomes a statistic – or, to quote Pink Floyd, “another brick in the wall.” Homeschooling, on the other hand, offers your child an opportunity to develop their inborn gifts and exercise their natural curiosity.
When a child isn’t bound by the walls of a classroom, they are free to experience the world as a limitless learning environment.
When a child isn’t taught to think in terms of right answers and wrong answers, they can learn how to be open-minded and talk through problems critically.
When a child is no longer segregated by age group, they can interact with a variety of people and understand what it means to be an adult - thus, avoiding the prolonged adolescence suffered by so many Americans.
These are the true benefits of homeschooling, and an increasing number of parents have realized this.
Homeschooling is no longer a curiosity or unknown quantity like it was when I was growing up. Today, there are homeschoolers of every race, religion, and income level. Homeschoolers are also accepted into Ivy League colleges at the same rate as public school students, and they consistently score higher on standardized tests (often by 30 or more percentile points).
Not everyone has the time or resources to homeschool, and that’s okay, but it is an endlessly rewarding endeavor for both the child and the parent – as long as you treat the decision like an opportunity rather than a necessity.
So, if you are a parent and wondering whether you should homeschool, I hope you won’t make that choice out of fear or desperation. Someday, this pandemic will end, but an education lasts a lifetime.