My children, now in their 30's, went to the local public school. It was fairly good at the time probably because our school system has always been on a tight budget and the school boards and superintendents have been conservative. We also did a lot of learning and enrichment at home. If I was raising them now we would be homeschooling. The indoctrination is wide and deep even in our conservative school district.

Over the years I have known several parents who home schooled. Their children were well behaved, got along well with other children, and were at least on grade level and often above it. The local school system let home schooled children participate in after school sports and activities. Several of the home school parents formed social groups so their children had playmates. They did group trips to the zoo, local museums and other educational venues.

We forget that well into the 19th century children were often educated at home. From the time of the Mayflower, people in this country have had a higher level of literacy because everyone was expected to be able to read the Bible. (Harvard and Yale were founded to produce ministers and lawyers). Many of our presidents were educated at home. It is quite interesting to see what an 8th grader in the earlier part of the last century was expected to know. I doubt many college graduates today could pass an 8th grade exam from 1930.

Public school, (and many private schools), have forgotten their role. Consequently they don't educate children to become full participants as citizens in their country. If anything, these schools are injecting poisonous indoctrination which will destroy the country. The schools are turning out ignorant, destructive monsters who see it as their duty and life's work to destroy all they see.

Home schooling may ultimately save us all.

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Hard to believe that most parents haven't realized by now that our schools are now more about indoctrination than about teaching facts to help their children succeed. Most parents should just admit that and find ways to get their children away from these indoctrination centers and either homeschool or find other parents to join with that have similar values and find teachers that share those values and will spend their time teaching facts and critical thinking skills. Many of the government schools today are trash and the teacher's unions are a huge part of the problem

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We had already decided to home school even before the pandemic. We wanted our kids to get an education, not indoctrinated by whatever the latest woke trend was.

Our oldest daughter is almost 7, and already learning multiplication. Plus reading books like "Charley and the Chocolate factory", or "Charlotte's web" on her own.

I think one of the big factors though that makes home school excel is that we have WAY more school days.

Right now, we are doing 5 days of regular instruction a week, then on Saturday a book report. We get Sundays off, or actual holidays (Christmas etc). That means she's probably getting about 300ish school days a year.

For those that can make home schooling work, I think you are going to be giving your kids a real leg up.

Side note, my wife and I both have our MBA's, and my wife used to teach as well. My wife is stay at home. We do have a small ranch as well, so will be spending plenty of time outside as well learning about regenerative farming etc.

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Many great developments but particularly exciting is the idea that this might trickle up to disrupt the college admissions process. The strongest force against social mobility in American society is probably elite credentialism. Imagine if employers cared about what young adults knew and could do, and could demonstrate they could do, instead. May this movement grow and grow.

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The article might have benefited from more discussion of the role growing leftwing activism in public schools plays in the decision to homeschool.

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We’ve been homeschooling since our oldest was kindergarten age. We are now starting our 5th year of homeschooling. I really appreciate that this article doesn’t feel deeply biased from the onset, like so many about homeschooling. Thank you.

A couple of thoughts:

I’m often told by others that they could never homeschool their own children because they don’t have time to find all the answers to things - to do top down teaching. We chose homeschooling because it is the best fit for our children and family, not because we have all the answers. It is an incredible ride. My 8 & 10 year children challenge the depths of our knowledge all the time. But that is an opportunity, is it not? My 10 year old wants to breed fish. Did you learn about that in public school? I didn’t. Do I need to be an expert for my child to learn about this? Of course not. Through this project he is learning about chemistry, personal finance as he earns and saves money to purchase supplies, animal husbandry, and how to search out good sources at the library and online. Together we are learning about genetics and I am learning that little fish display wonderful personalities when under the care of a loving 10 year old boy. The skills our son is learning through this project (e.g. discerning good information, accountability, budgeting, and not being afraid of what you don’t know) will help him tackle a lifetime of learning. He’s also learning to write about it, the natural habitats of his fish, history of these places and there is so much math…

Homeschooling doesn’t have limits like compulsory school. The instruction doesn’t have to be top down! And the learning can be incredibly rich.

Also, just to be aware:

The counting of homeschooling families is surprisingly difficult. This came up at the Harvard Homeschooling Summit this summer and is discussed by Blake Boles and Pat Farenga in the Off-Trail Learning podcast: “Pat Farenga on the Post-Pandemic Future of Homeschooling (Part 1).” My take away: there are most likely even more than you think.

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If I had school aged children, I’d homeschool. I noticed a huge difference between what I learned and what my children learned and what kids are learning today. The rigor has greatly diminished, the expectations seem to be nil and it doesn’t appear as if the powers that be give a hoot. Oregon doesn’t cRe if kids are educated. No big city certainly does either.

Unless we all want our children to end up as mindless stupid drones to bernies fantasies, it seems as if homeschooling is about the only choice.

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Fascinating article - 11% of Americans being home schooled! I had no idea. The teacher's union-led public school system is an abject failure, and nearly everyone knows it. A recent USA Today survey showed 89% of Democrat African American parents want more charter schools and school choice. Pew Research wrote that the U.S. ranks 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. The majority of inner city public school kids are not at grade level. Overall, our K-12 public education is a disaster. Yet many (especially African Americans) vote for Democrats, who take a lot of money from the teachers' unions, which actively suppress change, innovation and excellence in public education while their political patrons look the other way. Perhaps home schooling will create a tipping point that leads to an education system we can all be proud of. I don't think I'd be alone in welcoming that.

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I think it is amazing that this is happening. I was a product of the 80's HS generation. We were taught if you don't go to college you will end up working at McDonald's your whole life. With my older kids, we believed the same thing. We learned the hard way that is not the right path for everyone. Our oldest dropped out but thrives as an adventure junky who supports his habit through buying and selling cars and motorcycles. He's happy and we had to learn that it's not our job to define success for our kids but to help them find what that means to them. As the world has changed we are taking a different approach with our 2 younger kids. 1 is in a private Christian school and has been since she was in Kindergarten. She loves it and is very happy. The other is college age and wants to go to college but we encouraged him to go to a local junior college to avoid the high fees of a 4 year. We did not tell him he needed to go to college. In fact, we did the opposite and showed him all of the other options he had to choose from. Our oldest daughter, who has 2 children is home schooling both of them. The past 2 years has made apparent to us and many other American's not only the mediocrity of the public school system, but also the corrupt environment in which it operates and the overwhelming influence the teachers unions, who care nothing for our children, have on the entire process. The next step is finding a way for our tax dollars to be diverted into funds for homeschooling or for charter schools so we stop funding the failed public education system.

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As libertarian father of three home schooled kids now in their 30s, I can attest to the benefits to kids and the joys to parents of home schooling. The unintended (and ironic and blessed) consequences of the mindless all-out war against covid by the authoritarians in charge is the further erosion of the public school racket. The 'missionary work' of the great John Taylor Gatto -- a Western Pa. native and ex-NYC public school teacher who became a home-school crusader in the 1990s -- deserves mention here. https://clips.substack.com/p/john-taylor-gatto-subversive

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The irony is too rich. We had homeschooling accidentally foisted on us when we moved into a rural area in 2000 only to discover that it's schools were the worst in the state. With no alternatives, my wife started learning everything she could about homeschooling our then 6th and 4th graders. We had them take an Iowa standardized test for a baseline. By the end of the first year my son was reading at a college level and both my kids passed their GEDs and started at community College at ages 14 and 12 - totally bypassing high school. My son got a full ride academic scholarship to ASU when he was 16, graduated with a premeditated major and 3.85 GPA and got a full Army Dental School scholarship when he was 19. My daughter had similar success. It used to be the fear of "socialization shortcomings" that kept people from homeschooling but now the weird kids all wear mask at public schools...

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I was homeschooled by my parents K - 7th Grade. I’m 29 now and look back on it with fondness and gratitude.

My parents are indeed Evangelical Christians, and from what I understand, they wanted to give my brother (now 33) and I a Christianity-based education, but could not afford private school. We learned at home mainly under my mom with support from my dad. They outsourced what they didn’t have an affinity for themselves (I loved my painting classes in church basements with whacky art teachers). We played team sports with public school kids and they were always curious, never unkind, because we happily put ourselves out there to engage, learn, and play by their rules.

In middle school, we were given the option of going to what we jokingly called “real” school (a private Christian school). We both opted in, my brother in 9th grade and myself in 8th, and continued on to college from there. We knew at the time that we were different from the “typical” homeschoolers around us, who were much more conservative. My parents made a distinct point of making sure we weren’t socially inept—we even had family gags about it.

Together with my homeschooled best friend at the time, two years my senior, I watched “Mean Girls” to prepare for entry into “real school.” An excellent social framework for any homeschool parents looking for a social primer. Ha!

Those formative years of being homeschooled were freeing. I truly enjoyed it. And far from being indoctrinated, today, I’m a woman married to a woman in a senior creative position in a progressive field.

I appreciated this article for its thoughtful dissection of the many, many, MANY different styles and types of homeschooling.

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I know two kids whose parents homeschooled them. One is a highly gifted preteen girl whose grandmother homeschools her because there aren't any gifted programs in the child's regular school district. The other is a bright young teenage girl whose parents are very conservative. She was homeschooled through the eighth grade and then transferred to a local public high school. Both kids are thriving academically.

If I had young children today, I would, absolutely homeschool them, at least through the elementary school grades. But I don't think homeschooling is the answer for every family or even most families. But for the right parent and child, I believe homeschooling is by far the best alternative today.

For homeschooling to work in the elementary grades, the parent needs to be well educated, well motivated and at home during school hours. And that's because, a young child needs in person instruction and shouldn't be parked in front of a computer. I don't know what I would do after the elementary grades. I think it would depend on the child, their interests and abilities.

It's a shame that schools, both public and private, have turned into hardcore CRT/gender indoctrination factories. That wasn't the case when I was a child in NYC during the 50s and 60s. Both the public elementary school and private junior and senior high school I attended were fine.

So yes, I would homeschool my kids today. But it would be so much better for the US as a whole to get the propaganda out of the schools because the millions of kids whose parents can't homeschool them are now being cheated out of the solid education they deserve.

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Regarding: ", far from being asocial weirdos, homeschool kids are likelier to be involved in their communities" I interviewed college applicants for my alma mater (an elite university) and the smartest, most poised and well spoken student I met during 7 years of interviews was a 16 year old young woman who was home schooled.

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This is so well written, thorough and fair.

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A real blessing of this awful pandemic is a re-imagining/reevaluation of K-12 education. School choice would really help. Our public education system is a bloated, broken corrupt mess. It is outdated. The faster we all move out of this system the better.

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