A Harvard law professor wants to ban homeschooling because she maintains it gives parents authoritarian control over their children (“Harvard professor wants to ban homeschooling because it’s ‘authoritarian,’ “ New York Post, Apr. 23). She cites the possibility that parents can expose their children to such things as white supremacy and misogyny.
Of course that could happen. But with schools closed because of Covid-19, parents are already doing homeschooling. I see no evidence that they are abusing their position. Some four percent of children were educated at home before the coronavirus because parents were disaffected with public and private schools. I expect to see more parents opting for homeschooling as the lockdown continues.
There was a time when most parents who homeschooled their children were religious ideologues, but that is changing. Some want to avoid the bullying and violence that exist. Others are dissatisfied with the overall curriculum.
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2 Replies to “Homeschooling is viable option now more than ever”
I tend to agree with the HLS professor — that is, it’s potentially dangerous (for the kids and for society generally) to give parents such complete control over their kids’ lives/beliefs.
If the homeschooling parents were people that I knew/trusted, then not a problem. But, there are many parents out there whom I do not know/trust — people with ideas that I think are nutty/extreme/dangerous. Likewise, there are no doubt many parents out there who think my ideas are nutty/extreme/dangerous.
That’s the beauty of public education — it gives all the kids at least some counterweight to their parents ideas.
And, there’s always the tiny minority of parents who are really abusive (physically, mentally) or neglectful re their kids. Requiring the kids to attend a public school (or even a private school) serves as a check on these parents — some other adult will interact with the abused/neglected kid on a daily basis, thereby making it much more likely that the abuse/neglect will be noticed and addressed.
Labor Lawyer: There’s always the possibility that parents who home school their children can shortchange them. But I believe in parental choice, unless there is clear evidence that children are being abused or taught nonsense. Overall data seem to indicate that children who are home schooled are receiving a solid education. Until I see otherwise, I believe home schooling is a viable option.