School safety: Not just concerns about things like Columbine and Jonesboro, AR - Here in Greenville County, a middle school boy was raped by some high school boys who rode his school bus about a year ago. The bus driver was oblivious. My own child, when a first grader, quit wearing pants with elastic in the waist very suddenly after years of demanding that he have elastic waist pants. When I asked why, he said that some older girls were running around pulling the younger boys pants down. When I spoke to the teacher about the problem, she didnt understand why I was so upset about the incident. Studies show that sexual harassment and bullying are rampant in the public schools. Some of us would rather not have our children be victimized.
Geography & rural life: Many who live in very rural and remote places homeschool because of the difficulties of transporting a child to public school and of participating meaningfully in the life of a public school when they do not live close to that school. Homeschooling is the dominant mode of education in Alaska. The home my family has lived in the last six years is so far from our zoned public school, that my children would have had to get on a public school bus at 6:15 a.m. and would have gotten off that bus at 4:45 p.m. each day. I dont want my children spending three hours a day on a public school bus. Further, when you live outside the neighborhood of a school system, it is difficult to participate in afterschool activities and to get your children and neighborhood children together. Our homeschool schedule is so much more flexible which permits us to see other children and get our children to things like dance lessons and tae kwon do much more easily. When we started homeschooling, I found that my kids level of interaction with other kids went up, not down.
Special interests: Some people homeschool their children because their children have strong, special interests. One family I know, for example, has a daughter who is very gifted in ballet. When the daughter wanted to increase the amount of time she was taking dance lessons, she begged to be homeschooled so that she could complete her school instruction more quickly than she would in the typical 7-8 hour school day so that she would have more time to pursue dance instruction.
Socialization: Yes - some of us believe our children receive a better and different type of socialization through homeschooling than through the public school system and were proud of it! Some of us want our children to interact regularly with people of all ages, not just their peers. Some of us want our children to think for themselves - even if that means that we/they may end up making decisions to dress a little differently or act a little differently. Some of us dont want our children indoctrinated into the greedy, materialistic, superficial values of their peer groups where things like the differences that Quinn Cotton highlights (such as dress and hair style) matter. If our children end up having different values than their public school peers, some of us will rejoice!
This list is not exhaustive. Talk to homeschoolers. Each one has a story. Each one homeschools for a unique set of reasons.
As Cotton points out, teachers are required to have a college degree, but far too many of them have eeked out their degrees with low-scoring GPAs from universities that ought not be accredited. Read on...