Contrasts between Homeschooling and Traditional Education

Recall the educational history of our great nation. It was not that long ago that all education, from preschool through high school age, was done in the home and sometimes at private institutions. Parents and tutors where the main purveyors of education. Public schools were the answer to the overlooked, poverty-stricken children and was a modern phenomena in the industrialized era. Now fast forward to present day and you see that public school is the first thought for most parents. Over time, these government controlled institutions have become a controlling force in the educational lives of most children in the United States. So what is wrong with public schools?

Millions of parents choose government indoctrination for the instruction of their children. How many things does the government manage well and how much is done poorly? Yet parents assume that because public schools have become the accepted standard, there is no need to question the choice. Government education in this country is more expensive and produces fewer results than in virtually any other government in the Western world.
“In a 2003 study conducted by UNICEF that took the averages from five different international education studies, the researchers ranked the United States No. 18 out of 24 nations in terms of the relative effectiveness of its educational system. Another prominent 2003 study, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, shows a steady decline in the performance of American students from grades 4 to 12 in comparison to their peers in other countries.” Now think about that for a minute. We are the only remaining “Super Power” in the world. We are the wealthiest nation in the world, yet our system of education ranks 18th among industrialized nations!

Parents must question the standards and practices of government institutions. Just because it has become the status quo to send children to government institutions for their education does not mean that they are superior. Also, there are many great teachers out there and some who are awful. Having a degree in education does not a good teacher make nor does it make them superior to private school teachers or homeschooling parents. I say, who better than a devoted and loving parent to tailor their child’s educational needs in such a way to garner the greatest success!

So why do I call them indoctrination centers? This is a term which has become commonly accepted and used among many political pundits and advocates of private schools and homeschooling. It speaks to what one should expect from a government school. If you are homeschooling, you are indoctrinating your child into the beliefs, values, and practices of your family. If your child attends a Catholic, Christian, or Muslim school, you are allowing an indoctrination of those principles. Ergo, if you send your child to a government school, you are allowing the government to indoctrinate your child into the ideas currently held by that institution. But what makes that even worse is that you don’t have any say or choice in what is taught or how it is taught! It is a very insidious process that, perhaps, even the teachers are oblivious to.

Now, you mentioned that home schooling parents are arrogant and even adjusted to consider their confidence. I want to evaluate this. I have linked you above to the poor numbers the government system garners. Now let us look at statistics regarding home school. I will set aside private school for now, although I think it is a viable alternative.

“A 1997 study by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) found that home educated students excelled on nationally-normed standardized achievement exams. On average, home schoolers outperformed their public school peers by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects (Figure 1.0).”

Footnote: (Ray, 1997) Data collected for standardized academic
achievement tests for the 199495 academic year.

This same study shows that parents, regardless of education level attained or parent’s gender, still provided superior education that that provided by government schools (see page 2 of the same study). “Home schooling’s one-on-one tutorial method seemed to equalize the influence of parents’ educational background on their children’s academic performance. Home educated students’ test scores remained between the 80th and 90th percentiles, whether their mothers had a
college degree or did not complete high school (Figure 2.1). In contrast, a parent’s education level did appear to affect the performance of children in traditional school settings (Figures 2.2, 2.3).”

“The first question the general public asks whenever home schooling is mentioned is, “What about socialization?” Data on home school students’ activities and community involvement reveal that, on average, these children are engaged in 5.2 activities outside the home (Figure 8.0).”

Homeschooled children consistently out perform their government school counterparts on standardized tests. They are involved in more extracurricular activities, which provides for a practical source for socialization. I say the drawbacks and abuses of home school are quite minimal comparatively. This leads me to believe home schooling parents have good reason for their confidence, and maybe even arrogance.

Let me leave you with this little story speaking to the heart of government indoctrination in schools from

First of all, let’s get this out of the way in the first paragraph. They are NOT “public schools.” They are government schools. They are owned and operated by government. Every employee, from the Superintendent to the dishwasher in the cafeteria, is a government employee. So, let’s call them what they are. Government schools.
Being government employees, you would expect those who work in government schools to have the same behavioral characteristics as other government employees. You would be right. They react to the threat of privatization with the ferocity of a cornered bobcat and to the threat of accountability with the evasiveness of cockroaches.
The truth, though, is that these are not so much schools as they are indoctrination centers. If your child is attending a Catholic school you should expect that your child would be taught that the Catholics pretty well have this religion thing down cold. Ditto for a Jewish school, or one operated by a Christian fundamentalist church. Question: Will a government school to be any different? Why would you expect a government employee in a government institution to tell your children that government is not necessarily the answer to every problem or critter that goes bump in the night?
The new school year has been underway for quite a few weeks now. Maybe it’s time to give you a hint of what your child has been through.
Do you remember those weeks before school started for your first grader? There you were, you and your proud new student walking the aisles of the local Costco with your list of school supplies in hand. You check off the pencils, a ruler, a compass, paste, construction paper, a pencil holder, notebooks and erasers. At home your first grader takes the supplies into his room and spreads everything out on the bed. Arrange them this way then that way. Pencils next to the erasers, glue and construction paper lined up over here, compass and ruler lined up over there. These are his supplies. His! Do you hear? And tomorrow he is going to take them to school. He couldn’t be more proud.
Finally, the first day of school arrives. The night before all of the school supplies are packed, repacked, unpacked and repacked again. Then, that morning, just one more unpacking and repacking to make sure everything’s still there and undamaged. OK! It’s off we go to school! Apprehension mixed with pride. Your young man or woman is taking another grand step toward adulthood! What could go wrong?
Plenty. Remember, it’s a government operation.
The students are seated, the bill rings. As fast as you can say the Pledge of Allegiance without the “under God” part, the indoctrination begins. The government teacher steps in front of her virtual hostages and promptly delivers the first raw lesson in the power of government. The students are instructed to bring all of their precious school supplies their property – to the front of the classroom and put them into a huge box. They are told that the supplies belong to all of the class now, and the teacher will assume the responsibility of distributing the supplies as they are needed.
“Whoaa! Hold on a minute here! These are MY supplies. My daddy bought them for me. You can’t have them! They’re mine!”
Nope. Sorry! They were yours. Now all those supplies belong to guess who? The government!
There’s a method to this madness. Your child is being taught that there are some severe limits to the concept of private property. It is perfectly OK, for instance, if the government just steps up and seizes your property if there are other people who might need some of your stuff. After all, it’s just not right for you to have something that other people don’t have or can’t share in, is it?
This whole “dump your supplies into this box” is not an innocent exercise. Your child’s teacher might not even be aware of it, but this lesson in government power is a time-honored method of introducing your child to the concept that there is something basically wrong with owning private property, but everything will be OK of you just let your superiors even things out a bit by taking some stuff from you and giving it to someone else.
How did Marx present this concept? I think it was something like “From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.”
Day number one – Lesson number one. Your rights to your property exist only so long as government will allow, and it’s just not fair to have more stuff than someone else.
And this is just the first week! More surprises in store! Wait until you get that call from your child’s teacher with vague, dark hints of a better world for your child if only he was on Ritalin.”