Monday, August 18, 2008

Home schooling: Old school alternative

Augusta County schools begin their new year tomorrow and, while most are gearing up for that first day of school, home schooling parents are prepared for another year of education at home.

Today's Waynesboro News Virginian explores local home schoolers and the options that are available to them as they "shed stigma and gain popularity." Reporter Alicia Rimel talked with Augusta County families who are part of the local home schooling community.

Home schooling nationwide is growing at a rate of 5-12% a year, and local statistics agree with that. Home education, it would seem, is the fastest-growing form of education in the United States.

Ms. Rimel talked with some folks from the Parent Educators of Augusta County Homes (PEACH) and with Del. Chris Saxman who is a big proponent of school choice -- parents' freedom to choose the educational path for their children. She also talked with some alumni home school parents including me.

The facts speak for themselves. Home schooling works.

- PERFORMANCE: Home school students score 5-30 percentile points higher than public school students on standardized tests.

- ADULTHOOD: In a survey of adults taught at home, 94% of respondents said home schooling prepared them to be independent adults and 79% said their education helped them interact with a variety of people and backgrounds.

Two children and 16 years later, I would not trade it. My kids are healthy, happy, productive, and have a work ethic instilled in them by their parents. One has graduated from college; the other is currently attending college.

Home school families have a strong sense of community and form life-long bonds and friendships that continue even after students have graduated from lower education. That is true of my children who continue to stay in touch with their childhood home school friends even while making new friends at college and work, and with parents who remain friends beyond the home school years.

Back to school ... sometimes it's just "back to the dining room." Whichever it is ... it's "back to education" and it all works.

1 comment:

Joe Friday said...

With all the resources available to learn and teach today, why would anyone want to send their child to these people: