Friday, August 13, 2010

Homeschool Q & A

Catholic Online is running an article written by Sonja Corbitt titled “Frequently Asked Questions on Homeschool Education Practicum.” The article, and yesterday’s companion piece”Homeschool Education Levels Well Above National Averages,” is a question-and-answer style look at education in the home. There wasn’t much new in the article except for the general pro-homeschooling theme, so I was not surprised to read that the very first question the author answered was (and you can all say it out loud with me) “What about socialization?” Her answer surprised me.

“Since it is always the first question "inquiring minds" want to know this is surely the most important function of institutional school,” Ms. Corbitt wrote.

The most important function of institutional school is socialization? Now there’s an admission I never expected to see in print. Homeschoolers across the country have long believed that this must be the sole function of attending a brick-and-mortar school since it is the primary concern of homeschool critics. It is also the easiest criticism to defeat. A cursory glance at the behavior of school aged children reveals actions that at one time would earn an “X” rating in movies. Now it’s considered “G” material by too many people.

One other comment that jumped off the page came in a paragraph answering the question, “Doesn't removing homeschool kids damage government schools?” Ms. Corbitt observed that “legalized abortion removes more children from institutional education” than enrolling children in either home or parochial education. Of course, enrolling children of illegal aliens will make up for part of this shortfall (tongue firmly in cheek), but losing 46 million students from the educational roles is hard to overcome when public school funding is based upon student attendance. It’s a point worth considering, although I hope that there are better reasons for preserving human life than the student population of public schools.

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