The Good and Bad of North Carolina’s Homeschooling Growth

Multiple media sources are reporting that the number of homeschooled students in North Carolina now exceed the number of private school students, see here and here.

Here are some reasons why this is both good and bad:

Good:

1. More parents are seeing homeschooling as a viable option. The academic and social success of current and past homeschoolers has proven it works. Now more and more kids have a chance at a better education.

2. More families are now starting to experience the intangible benefits of homeschooling that come from spending more time together as a family, and less time in an institutional setting. Examples include family togetherness, trust between parents and children, sibling relationships, better (yes, better) socialization with people of all ages, and parents able to impart their beliefs without having to counteract negative peer or teacher influences.

Bad:

1. One homeschool leader suggests that the economy is still bad enough that parents simply can’t afford to pay private school tuition, so they’re resorting to homeschooling. A bad economy is bad for families, and families who don’t really want to be homeschooling may have a bad experience with it.

2. Our children’s peers are spending 13 years in overcrowded, dangerous, and academically poor classrooms that are not getting any better. Public school environments and policies are turning more and more parents away. Whether it’s bullying, Common Core, or poor academic achievement, these factors are getting worse, not better, and the majority of this country’s students are still in public school.

And lastly, one that can be both good and bad: the growing power of the homeschooling minority. As homeschooling numbers increase, more resources become available for homeschoolers and a larger political coalition can influence local, state, and federal legislation. Yet, the bigger the homeschooling movement grows, the more fierce the opposition. As more and more parents choose to school their children themselves, public schools lose funding for each student not in their classrooms. Make no mistake, homeschoolers are a threat to the educational establishment. And it’s wrath is nothing to balk at.

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