Concerns about violence, drugs, bullying and sex are driving more parents to choose homeschooling for their children (“Educational decline: Homeschooling surges as parents see safer option for children,” The Washington Times, May 31). According to a 2017 Department of Education report, some 1.69 million students from ages 5 to 17 are now homeschooled. That compares with about 1.5 million five years earlier. However, the number may be higher because most states are not required to keep count.
Shootings stand out as being the No. 1 factor, as parents lose confidence in the ability of school officials to protect their children from harm. I understand their concern, but home schooling is a commitment that many parents do not fully appreciate. For example, although studies have shown that homeschooled students perform better on academic tests than their peers in public school, such studies depend on voluntary participation. Moreover, children risk being socially isolated.
If parents fully understand what is required to provide their children with a quality education, then I get the appeal. The problem is that many parents learn too late that they are over their head.
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