OPINION: Maybe it’s time to think about home schooling

In the wake of the departure of DeKalb County’s school superintendent, the district’s current accreditation probation and possible loss of accreditation, the possible dismissal of the school board, and the poor graduation rates, home schooling is an option worth considering for some.

For their entire school years, my wife Deanna has homeschooled our four children—ages 26, 25, 22 and 11. The three oldest graduated high school and entered college with HOPE scholarships.

Home schooling allows parents to have 100 percent involvement in the education of their children, tailoring an individual program for each child.

Because public schools—and to some extent, private schools—are attempting to educate masses of students, there is limited freedom for students and teachers. Children must learn specific material during a specific time frame, and be able to regurgitate it in a specific manner.

In home schooling, students are free to learn at their own pace. As my wife says, “Failing a class is not an option in home schooling.” If a student does not understand fractions or photosynthesis, we are free to keep going over it until they get it. In mass education, students have to get it during a prescribed time, or fail.

Home-schooled students can also pursue interests more easily than those in public schools. My 11-year-old daughter Adrianna enjoys baking (she’d love to sell you a box of homemade cookies), dancing, and studying weather, all of which are part of her school curriculum.

There are other problems home-schooled students don’t face. I served four years as a middle and high school tutor at my church and I was dismayed at the weekly stories from the public school students: how they were cussed at by a teacher; sent to detention or suspended for what many of us parents would consider insignificant infractions; unable to take books home because there weren’t enough.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had to reteach a student after he had been poorly taught in school; some teachers didn’t seem to understand the material.

One question we hear a lot about homeschooling is, “What about their social skills?” There are a lot of social activities that occur in schools that I don’t want my children subjected to. Bullying is one.

Remember DeKalb County’s tragic bullying story from April 2009? A Dunaire Elementary School fifth-grade student hanged himself at home after repeatedly being bullied. The student’s mother told CNN that she “complained to the school about bullying seven or eight times, but it wasn’t enough to save him.”

How many times have there been stories in the media about a child being bullied in schools and no adult ever addressed it? I remember one story about a special needs child in Ohio being bullied. She told her father, who outfitted her with a hidden recorder. When he listened to the recording, to his dismay, he discovered that his daughter was being bullied by the teacher.

Home schooling is not for everyone. It is not for the faint of heart. It is not for those who would rather not be around their children most of the day. It is not for those who are uncomfortable teaching or facilitating the education of their children.

And by definition, it requires a parent to be home to school.

If you want to learn more about home schooling, I will be moderating an informational forum called “So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling,” March 23, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Grace Presbyterian Church, 650 Rowland Road, Stone Mountain. For more information, call (404) 292-5514.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Inept Electorate says:

    So how is that “Black Slate” that your Mega Church presents to you working out ?

    The Electorate in DeKalb County leaves much to be desired. One must wonder what mental process they use to determine where their vote goes ? Evidently common sense and good moral charactor are not in the equation !

  2. I was partially home schooled. Students who are home schooled usually finish faster.

  3. I agree. Our three oldest children all graduated early. And our last child is ahead.

  4. If parents need help homeschooling while they work, I can help. I am a certified teacher with a master’s degree in teaching and I have a small homeschooling group that I tutor. I work with the parents to determine appropriate curriculum, grade levels, etc.
    Low-cost, small group, relaxed, academically stimulating Christian environment.

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