Vital Signs

The Greatest Error of the Homeschool

There is little question or doubt in the public mind about the value of the homeschool. Homeschooled kids better behaved than children from public schools. homeschooled youngsters seldom become involved in gangs, seldom use drugs to excess, and there are absolutely no reports of a homeschooled teenager committing suicide (contrasted with the several thousand public schooled teenagers who attempt or accomplish suicide annually). 

Estimates vary as to the number of children who arc educated at home, with numbers running between ten thousand and two hundred thousand individuals involved. The count is vague because not all government school districts "permit" homeschooling; in these areas parents must perform the illegal activity in private to avoid drawing attention to their charges. Nevertheless, kids who have spent their primary educational years learning at home have gone on to major colleges, including Harvard and Yale, and to continued success in their chosen careers. 

With this kind of track record, it seems inappropriate to level criticism at this learning institution. Yet, home schools unknowingly perpetuate some of the public schools' greatest failings. In so doing, they are in the process of creating what John Taylor Gatto, using the terms in another sense, calls a "permanent underclass." It is not for lack of knowledge or information that this happens; homeschools excel in...

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