“If parents want to, they can simply keep their kids home, not educate them, or educate them in whatever way they choose, and there is no limit.” This quote is from Dr. Elizabeth Bartholet.
To Dr. Bartholet, this is a problem, but to homeschool families, this is a feature. She bemoans the fact that students can learn wherever, whenever, and however they and their parents choose, and there is no limit.
Exactly! There is no limit on what a child learns when homeschooling. There is no limit on how fast or how slow a child learns. Children can learn during active times or down times. Children are able to learn in the morning or in the evening, and children can follow their passions.
The lack of limits is a feature, not a bug.
Whose Children Are They?
The mindset of Dr. Bartholet and others like her come down to the question of “Whose children are they?”.
US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona thinks that teachers know what is best for kids because they are with them every day.
Economist, author, and libertarian Murray Rothbard disagrees.
“No one is as qualified as the parent to know how much or at what pace he should teach the child.”
I agree with Rothbard. My experience teaching my own children has helped them to thrive far more than they were in the public schools.
Homeschooling Is the Ultimate Individualized Education
Homeschoolers are the ultimate example when it comes to individualizing education. Whereas some take a classical Christian approach, others will choose to unschool and let their own children learn in as natural a way as possible.
Many homeschool families will reevaluate their child’s education regularly. My wife and I just did this with our children. We sat down with our three older children and decided to drastically change the education format for one child. These three older children had an active role in the decision-making process.
Children don’t have that kind of role in public schools.
Bureaucrats at the federal, state, and local levels make those decisions all the way through high school. Is it any wonder that many question if students graduating from public schools are prepared for the real world? Most public high school students have not had any meaningful experience in making decisions for themselves.
My oldest daughter was in public high school two years ago. She dreaded getting up every morning and sitting through classes that didn’t matter to her. So, we started homeschooling halfway through that year.
This year we just registered her at the local technical school for cosmetology. My daughter was beaming while the advisor was discussing what she would be learning during the course. It is a good fit for her, but not one that was possible in the public high school.
Yes, some are concerned that parents are choosing to homeschool at a rate far larger than just a few years ago. But their concerns are irrelevant. Adults who are focused on a student-centered, individualized education care far more about the benefits for students.