Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Great Flip-Flop

Nicholas Byron Hall while all too eager to criticize homeschooling in his post What are the disadvantages of homeschooling? can't seem to get around all the MANY advantages homeschooling offers.

While homeschooling may come with advantages, it's questionable as to whether it's worthwhile in the majority of cases.

This of course is nothing more then his uninformed opinion.

What's known as "opportunity cost" is a type of cost that occurs when someone could be using their time more beneficially. In other words, parents homeschooling their children are costing themselves an income. This income could be used in a variety of ways, including funding a private school education for the child. In many ways, it's rather suspect why parents choose homeschooling when they could work.  

There are more important things in life then money, apparently this Philosophy and Political Science major has yet to learn that. He also assumes that a private school would be available for the child to attend if the parents only had the money for tuition. In my area the only private schools are Catholic, not being Catholic I had no wish for my children to receive a Catholic education. In other areas private schools have long waiting list.

Parents are rarely qualified to teach their children; sorry, it's true. 

Nonetheless, some evidence suggests homeschooling provides a better education - with students learning at home scoring higher on standardized tests. In fact, some studies even report higher happiness in life amongst. This is arguably because the public school system fails students, but the private school system is not scoring above homeschooling either. This makes it appear that perhaps homeschooling is the best option.
Looks like he is trying to have it both ways first we aren't qualified to teach our own children, but he then fails to explain how us unqualified parents provide our children with a better education then either public or private schools.

He then goes on to blame homeschoolers for the problems in the public schools.

The problem is that people don't put the effort into their public school system. When the system fails them, they give up and take their children out of it. It's hard to blame them, but some would argue that citizens have an obligation to work together against corruption and irresponsible behavior.

For some reason these same do gooders that think homeschoolers should keep their children in public schools and waste their time and energy trying to fix them have no problem with parents sending their children to private schools. And for someone who was so concerned about the opportunity cost of homeschooling he fails to mention the "opportunity cost" to parents of spending their time trying to fix "public schools". We tried to fix our public schools and discovered there was no way to fix them for our children.  The decisions are made by our school board and not only do they serve long terms, we were only eligible to vote for one of the board members. The one board member who agreed with our position. Leaving our children in a mediocre academic environment helps no one. On the other hand giving our children the best education possible so they will be productive members of society helps everyone.

Hall also doesn't seem to realize that today many minorities and low income families choose to homeschool.

Lastly, some objections are made on the basis of religious ideology. Other arguments can be made with respect to morals, political values, etc. Parents are teaching children false things about science within the context of homeschooling, and parents have only one perspective.

First off parents are TWO separate people with their own unique views, secondly homeschoolers interact with more people then their parents. Hall also fails to realize that many homeschooling parents believe in evolution and teach it to their children.

Tiresomely Hall seems to believe all the old homeschool stereotypes.


  1. Have to stop at the first quote.

    I don't care about the majority of cases, all I care about is if homeschooling is successful and good for my two children.

    And it is, so far. They've never been to school or daycare and are in grade 8 and 5 this fall.

    Regarding fixing the public schools why do people like this guy think the laypeople parents should be able to fix the issues when the "qualified" administrators and "certified" union teachers cannot?

    If he thinks a parent cannot homeschool their child due to not knowing academic content or lacking teaching ability why does he think the same parent can somehow impose their will upon a school and perform education reform in a government-run school? Does a layperson parent even have a clue what the problems in public education are and then how to go about fixing them? This makes absolutely no logical sense.

    One thing the laypeople parents have no clue about is the state and federal laws and union rules concerning how public schools must be run. So many things that go on in school are mandated and dictated or restricted by government, and one thing the school administrators seem to be good at is navigating that roadmap. How would a parent do this?

    I had a hard enough time trying to get a grasp on this as a citizen-elected official on town council who was on the education committee.

    My homeschool mom former school teachers claim their degree and classroom teaching time did not help them know how to homeschool. I'd like him to know that and to ponder on it. Maybe he needs to hear from some of those people.

  2. Articles on Helium and other such sites (associated content, hubpages, ehow) exist for one reason and one reason only: to generate traffic and thereby ad clicks. People write those "articles" because they get paid to write traffic-generating copy. They are best not taken seriously -- in fact, if you ask me, they are best ignored, not linked to.


  3. As a former public school I find homeschooling a much more productive use of my time than the critic's opinion that I should teach stranger's rotten little children for pay so I can afford to send my rotten little children to a private school for some stranger can teach them.

    It is much more efficient that I should feed them, get them dressed and make sure they brush their teeth and hair and open the books and teach them myself than the alternative: yelling and run ragged every morning to get out the door, wasting time driving on the overcrowded roads, spending hours on homework with each child, calling/emailing back and forth to teachers to gauge their progress...

    As for private schools, I looked into one last year and the Catholic school wasn't nearly Catholic enough for us!


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