Tuesday, January 8, 2013


USA Today has an interesting editorial on homeschooling here.  The writer, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, argues that homeschooling has so many advantages that it is resulting in large numbers of families turning their backs on the public school system.  I was interested in his comments, as I taught a number of kids who had been homeschooled.  Here is my comment:

I taught for 35 years, in public, private, and parochial schools. Because I was teaching high school, I occasionally had students in class who had been earlier homeschooled.  Mostly they were very good students:  they loved to read, were good writers, and took part enthusiastically in class discussions.

But here’s the thing.  Realistically, homeschooling is not an option for the vast majority of parents—for all kinds of reasons.  But we can bring the best of homeschooling (kids’ ability to choose their own books, writing assignments, ways of investigating topics, etc.) into public schools.  It takes a rethinking of traditional curriculum, but I’m sure it can be done.

Sadly, I don’t think the new Common Core Standards are going to help.  Teachers are feeling more and more pressure to teach to the test, and to discourage the very kind of innovative teaching and learning that homeschooled children enjoy.  It’s very discouraging.  I think schools are going in exactly the wrong direction.

No comments:

Post a Comment