Homeschooling In The News

I want to share a couple of stories about homeschooling that appeared in major media this week.

First is this article from Forbes: "Want to Tell the State To Stick It? Homeschool Your Kids." It presents the conservative critique of too much government being in our lives, which I agree with to a point, but I don't like how it triumphantly paints homeschoolers:

The God-fearing, flag-waiving [sic], gun-toting homeschool crowd embodies the American spirit of mutual self-reliance. You won’t encounter a more neighborly bunch. Their children thrive without government “help.” Their support networks blossom sans the state’s sanction. Meanwhile, taxpayers waste a fortune securing abysmal academic results. In 2012, SAT scores fell to their lowest level since tracking began. As spending soars, assessment scores plummet. The modern homeschool movement comes largely by Christians aghast over an academic establishment overrun by progressives.

The writer is pandering to a particular audience, I feel, and in doing so he neglects not only the many homeschoolers and unschoolers who do not fit his description and who nonetheless love and support homeschooling, he also ignores some inconvenient truths about homeschooling. For instance, many Christian homeschooling groups help only those who sign their statement of faith (neighborly?) and many homeschooling families use government "help" through free PBS educational shows and documentaries, public libraries, parks, ice skating rinks, and so on. The issues aren't as black and white as this article presents.

Second is this profile of Mary Pride in the New York Times. Pride is the author of many books about homeschooling and publisher of Practical Homeschooling magazine. I think she makes some good points about educational software in this piece.