QUESTION: Do you ever wonder if your education at home measures up to that of the public system? If you’ve found yourself asking this question, (or perhaps someone close to you may inquire) then what I am about to share may help you navigate the answer to this common inquiry with more clarity than ever before! Please keep reading…
To be fair, comparing the two is as apples are to oranges, right? Education in general is a heavy topic in almost any circle. But certainly, we have all wondered academically speaking, “how we’re doing.” And we absolutely should be asking this question and chasing down the facts, keeping the best in mind for our students. To help in discovering the answer, I share this post.
Personal Note: I would be deeply amiss if I said ALL parents should educate their children at home. Yikes! I do not hold that opinion, so I want to be clear on that right up front. I do, however, believe that if you feel strongly led to do so AND can approach home education with a fully devoted heart, a healthy balance of self-discipline along with an attitude of self-sacrifice, always being willing to evaluate what is best for each student, then I definitely believe you can and should pursue this worthwhile adventure of home education.
That being said, recently I had the opportunity to discuss the climate of the present-day public school system. On 3 separate occasions, I spoke with 3 separate individuals. Our brief conversations were shocking, eye-opening and worth passing on to you. Yes, 3 is a small number. With such a narrow group, I was driven to look deeper into other sources as you will see below. Here’s what I learned:
A public middle-school teacher shares…
- There are entire districts that have removed the common antibacterial hand gel from all classrooms due to the trend of 7th & 8th grade students sniffing and eating it for the alcohol. 🤢
- Foundational elementary skills in math are being taught so rapidly focusing on the standardized tests, that middle school teachers are forced to allow calculators because there is no time to go back and teach how to add, subtract, multiply & divide by hand. 🤯
- Some administrators now expect the teachers to pick up all their materials, laptops and planning materials to meet corporately several times weekly with other teachers in a general area (not their classrooms) to “make sure they are actually working.” 🙄
A public high-school senior shares…
- Students make phone calls AND “FaceTime” friends throughout their class time …while class is going on. (excuse me, what?) 😲
- Keeping headphones in this senior’s ears as often as she can at school is purposeful because she admits: “I want to hear as little as possible of what’s going on around me.”
- She also tells of a time last winter, when two kids were having sex on the side of the building at lunch and “a lot of us saw it.”
- Also during lunch, kids cannot even be seen through the glass in their car windows because of the smoke filling up the inside.
A public high-school freshman shares…
- “If your grades are important to you, you just have to ignore the distractions of others playing games, watching YouTube, and making calls on their phones and just pay attention to the teacher, but a lot of kids just don’t care.”
- “I try not to go to the bathroom because of all the smoke from marijuana, vapes & e-cigarettes in there.” 🚬
- This same straight A student tells a friend, “I wish I could do all my work at home. I hate school.”
Those conversations led me to dig deeper.
As I mentioned above, home education is not the right choice for everyone. I am both a past graduate and educator from the public school system. I will freely admit there are tremendous teachers and even top-notch programs within the public school system; however, I do believe in a broad sense, the system is in need of reform, and to that end, there is little argument.
That being said, I will state the obvious here: because three conversations is hardly a cross-section of the country, I began to dig for more. My findings all point to the success of homeschooling (done well, with intentionality) and gave me CLEAR answers in “how we’re doing” academically speaking compared to the public schools. And well . . . LOL, “how we’re doing” socially speaking too! 😂 Take a look . . .
Here are a few statistics from a study in January 2019 * alongside additional data:
- Homeschooling/ home education is now bordering on “mainstream” in the United States. It may be the fastest-growing form of education in the U.S. *
- The home-educated students typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests.*
- From April 2018 to April 2019, days teachers/staff spent on strike within the public schools.
- “These Kids are Out of Control”: Why we Must Reimagine “Classroom Management” for Equity, a 2018 publication points to addressing critical classroom challenges.
- An opinion article in the New York Post (2018) written by a former substitute teacher titled: “Failing public schools should be blamed on out-of-control kids” shedding light on the climate in the classroom.
ANSWER: YES, home education measures up! We have every potential to offer our kids #1 – a great academic education and #2 – a healthier climate than many other choices. Stay the course, friends . . .
- with a fully devoted heart
- with healthy self-discipline
- with an attitude of self-sacrifice
- and with the willingness to evaluate what is best for each child
Be encouraged, homeschool moms, WE DO MEASURE UP! 🎉🌟
Public educator 3 years ~ College instructor 12 years ~ Home educator 15 years+