"[W]hen I began this article I was dead set against homeschooling, as are many certified teachers. But, after doing research, I’m not so sure."
It's not the most ringing of endorsements, but it represents a big step, and Susan Schaefer's Homeschooling Goes Mainstream and Here's Why is postive about homeschooling from beginning to end.
I learned that homeschooling is way more organized than I thought and very in vogue at the moment. In 1980, home schooling was illegal in 30 states. Now, it is legal in all 50 states with about 1.5-2 million children being homeschooled in the U.S., roughly 3 percent of school-age children nationwide.
This reminder of how far we've come gives me hope for the cantons of Switzerland where homeschooling is still illegal. I pray they'll make progress a bit faster than we did, however—Joseph gets nearer to compulsory school age with every passing hour.
[T]he stigma associated with homeschooling is gone as it becomes more and more mainstream.
I thought the stigma was ancient history, although maybe that's because I rarely pay much attention to such things. Our kids would know better.
The image of homeschooled children spending their days sitting at the kitchen table are long gone. Today’s homeschooled are out and about with many museums offering programs to homeschoolers as well as other hands-on activities, such as nature centers. There are endless websites dedicated to non-traditional learning opportunities in addition to websites offering support and resources for homeschooling families.
Hmmm. Our kitchen table was dedicated to eating, not schooling, though I can't deny that a lot of education happened during dinner. We certainly did our share of out-and-about! All those "endless websites" would have been nice, though. Hard as it is to believe, children, this was Before The Internet, though we did have the Education Round Table on GEnie.
According to the Homeschool Progress Report 2009: Academic Achievement and Demographics, homeschoolers, on average, scored 37 percentile points above their public school counterparts on standardized achievement tests.
Nothing new here, but it is nice to know that the advantage still holds as the homeschooling numbers have grown from "the few, the proud."
[H]omeschooled kids are far from isolated from peers, do well in social situations, and are more likely to be involved in their community. The education level of the parents had little effect on the success of their children, as did state regulations, gender of the student, or how much parents spent on education.
Again, nothing new. In fact, there is little new in the article, but it was still encouraging to read. If there's one thing I've learned in my more-than-half-century of life, it's that what's well known needs to be said again and again to each new generation, each new situation, each new demographic, or it is in danger of being lost.
What caught my eye about this article, above and beyond the homeschooling connection, was the paper in which it appeared: The Middletown (Connecticut) Patch. I thought the format and logo looked familiar, and indeed it was the obviously-related East Haddam-Killingworth Patch of a year ago April that mentioned my research on Phoebe's Quilt. So it must be an important journal, right?