Thursday, September 29, 2005

Homers and the Eight Myths of Homeschooling

Blogger Dan Edelen--who studied educational theory and plans to homeschool his own kids--recently did a provocative series on The Myths of Homeschooling (four parts: 1, 2, 3, 4). Here's a key quote to express one of his burdens:

Homeschooling is being increasingly used as a ruler by which to measure people and judge their fitness as parents. If you don't see that, then count yourself lucky that you live in a place where people don't do that. I don't live in that place. Despite living all over the Midwest and California, I've never lived in a place where homeschooling wasn't used to judge people.

If you homeschool or know people who do, you'll also want to make sure to read Douglas Wilson's superb piece on Homers. He makes a crucial distinction between humble homeschoolars and radical home-centered "Homers" that look down on anyone who sees things differently.

But back to Dan Edelen. What follows are his eight myths. I think he makes a number of helpful points, though I don't agree with everything (especially his downplaying of the value of a classical education and his emphasis on agrarian education!).

Myth #1: If you don't homeschool your kids, you're not a good parent

Myth #2: Homeschooling more actively involves parents in their children's educations

Myth #3: The educational methodology behind most homeschooling curriculum is superior to the methodology used in public schools

Myth #4: The ________________ method is by far the best way to homeschool kids

Myth #5: A parent is a child's best teacher

Myth #6: It is "more Christian" to homeschool

Myth #7: Homeschooling protects our children

Myth #8: Homeschooled children are smarter than their peers

(HT: Challies)