I have given a lot of thought to the idea of homeschooling in the last year, and after much consideration and prayer, I am planning to bring my children home next year.
Several factors have gone into this decision, the main ones being the rising cost of a private education (especially when you happen to have more than the recommended 1.5 children) and the rapidly tanking quality of public education.Those reasons alone would most likely be enough, but the little things are starting to grate as well.
In my state (Illinois) there are school districts that no longer allow children to bring lunches from home. In the interest of curbing childhood obesity - a laudable goal, to be sure - the state government, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that school boards are better equipped than parents to provide healthy meals for their children.
Seemingly harmless social groups like the Girl Scouts of America (I was one, back in the day) are now teaming with NOW (the National Organization for Women) to encourage girls as young as ten to experiment with their own sexuality and to consider whether or not to disclose HIV status to any possible partners. And to add insult to injury, the GSA has now partnered with Media Matters for America. While it is good that they are encouraging young girls to be aware of media spin, they are suggesting only one resource for unraveling that spin - possibly the most biased resource possible. I'm going to miss their cookies.
No Child Left Behind is curbing my daughter's advancement. I have a seven-year-old who has been reading since she was four. She reads anything and everything, and she does her older brother's math homework faster than he can. Her class, even in a private school, cannot keep up with her. And because the focus is on getting everyone up to par, those who excel are left to do so on their own. Or stagnate.
This fall, when their friends are hurrying out the door, my kids will be heading downstairs to our basement "classroom." They will learn history without censorship, revision, or political correctness. They will learn math without word problems that discuss union protesters. They will learn science that teaches theories as theories rather than fact, and that encourages them to question even the most accepted of "theories." And they will learn Latin. Because they can.