I write education news for a living. My job, every day, is to report on what’s happening in education. I have great respect for teachers in all settings but have been a homeschooling mother for more than 10 years now, and what I’ve researched and written on recently is horrifying.
The public school system is a mess. Hardly anyone wants to be a teacher anymore, and with good reason. Too many educators in the system have little to no respect for parental rights and believe they are above the law.
Most recently I reported on a gym teacher who allegedly sexually abused 7- and 8-year-old girls for three years. This occurred between 2015 and 2018, but he is just now finally being brought to justice. I wish this were a rarity, but unfortunately 1 in 10 schoolchildren will be subject to sexual misconduct at the hands of a teacher or school staff member.
Sexual Agendas in Government School Classrooms
As if that weren’t enough to drive parents to seek alternative options, the Biden administration is rewarding schools for pushing identity politics in the classroom. Government grants are now being offered to schools that push “equity” ideologies into classrooms.
Gone are the days when working hard made the grade. Now schools across the nation are grading students based on what they look like instead of the content of their work. In addition, some districts will offer harsher punishments for white students who break the rules than non-white students as part of “culturally responsive discipline” (one rebranded form of critical race theory), which teaches students and educators that minorities aren’t smart enough to follow the rules.
This rhetoric is not only destructive to white people, but all people. That includes Asian students, who are now being pushed out of top schools in order to admit a racially conscious student body. In addition, black students are being held down by the false idea that they cannot succeed in the current system.
This is, of course, hogwash. Black students have proved they are brilliant when given the opportunity to excel. In 2021, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was won by a black girl for the first time in its long history. She is homeschooled by her father and represents the importance of parental rights in education.
Parents know their kids’ needs. We budget and teach and offer love and wisdom, sometimes without even realizing it. While public schools spend thousands of dollars trying to educate children through an ongoing teacher shortage and culture war, homeschoolers spend hundreds and somehow produce better results.
Yes, You Can Teach Your Kids!
During the lockdowns, many were thrust into homeschooling without warning. It was wrong and jarring and detrimental to everyone involved because it was so abrupt. But many families realized just how easy it is to teach children at home, and teach them well.
This year, an Ohio high school student graduated college just weeks before she received her high school diploma. She joined a community college program that offered courses to qualifying students while remote learning. Children are smart — smarter than we give them credit for — but so are parents. If you graduated high school, you can teach it. There are more resources available for homeschoolers than there have ever been.
Instead of working around the Department of Education’s unnecessary red tape, parents can customize what their children learn and keep them engaged based on their interests. Instead of being shoved in a desk for seven or eight hours, students get up and move around and learn tangible, real-life lessons. Instead of being vilified for having energy or wishing to learn through hands-on activities, boys especially benefit from homeschooling.
Homeschooling Is Especially Accommodating for Energetic Boys
The public education system is currently designed for passive learners. Males are more likely to be diagnosed with behavioral issues than female students in the system. About 12 percent of boys are highly intelligent but do not start talking until well after girls do, and because milestones are over-emphasized, many of those boys are put in speech therapy even though they often catch up without intervention.
Instead of accepting that boys and girls are different and have different educational needs, the public school system punishes them. Many encourage parents to medicate young males even though most just need more physical activity and better education methods.
Nearly every parent I’ve talked to recently (who isn’t already homeschooling) tells me, “We’re thinking about homeschooling.” I know it’s a leap of faith. I was terrified when our school district lost accreditation and I had to homeschool, but once you start it’s so easy. Kids learn faster, and they have fun doing it.
Get Started Here
Many people just need a little help. I can say that three amazing resources gifted me enough confidence in my teaching skills that my children enjoyed learning and craved more.
First, the Starfall.com website is amazing. It’s packed with fun learning games and free features as well as an affordable membership that covers preschool through fifth grade.
Then, there are the ALEX Toys for craft-loving kids and Kidz Labs for kids learning about science. Each of these kits comes with all or most of the items needed to create art and science projects. What pieces they lack are household items which are incorporated (like a tin can for robotics). These are such wonderful hands-on learning options. They get kids involved and excited to see what they can do.
Lastly, although they might seem old-fashioned, the School Zone workbooks host hundreds of pages of fun worksheets that teach children lessons through sixth-grade material. My children love sitting down to fill out the pages, which are full of word games and math puzzles. Even my high-energy 4-year-old son will sit and work on them because he enjoys it.
You Are Your Child’s Best Resource
There will be hard days. Everyone has struggles sometimes, but parents are already teachers. We offer lessons all the time, and we learn as we go.
Some people think homeschooling is expensive. They think a good education has to have a massive budget — because that’s what the public education system does — but in truth, throwing money at materials doesn’t get the job done. Giving children individualized learning experiences and the ability to grow and ask questions is more important.
All you need is a reasonable budget and the will. If you’re not already homeschooling and you can’t afford private school, this really is your year. You will not regret it. If you’re too afraid to fully commit, test out a few lessons this summer. See how it goes. Purposeful teaching is a learning experience itself.