Posted by: laughs4dads | August 6, 2010

No Place Like Home School

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, home schooling has become so prevalent that the term is included in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Depending on who you believe, home schooling is growing by 5-12% a year, mostly among the clinically insane. I actually added that last part but, honestly, who in their right mind would want to keep their kids home–with them–every day?

According to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), an organization that clearly didn’t put enough thought into coming up with a name that would make a catchy acronym, homeschooling “may be the fastest-growing form of education in the United States.” That sounds good until you try to come up with other forms of education. I mean, how many are there? Are they including dog training?

Anyway, I figure there are a number of good reasons to home school your child:

  • You belong to a religious cult and don’t like the teaching methods used at the local school. Like the use of electricity.
  • You belong to a religious cult and don’t agree with some of the subjects taught at the local school. Like science. Or history.
  • Your entire family is the result of inbreeding and is horribly disfigured and prone to violence, and you figure that, if you don’t send your kids to school, your shack in the woods will eventually be visited by a delicious local official.
  • You are the monarch of a country that has since been renamed, and you prefer to hire a tutor to sing to your 89 children and possibly fall in love with you because, really, you can never have enough wives.
  • The public schools in your area suck big time, and you can’t afford a private school, primarily because you stay at home teaching your kids instead of earning a living.
  • You live as a hermit, a day’s drive away from the nearest educational facility, and yet have managed to have children, probably someone else’s, who you have abducted and are hiding from the authorities.
  • Hell has frozen over.

Okay, I admit it. I’m being harsh. But when you think about it, parents who home school their children are selfish, delusional and egotistical.

They’re selfish because a careful examination of the circumstances is bound to reveal a self-serving reason for home schooling. Maybe it’s easier. Maybe you just can’t let go of your child. Maybe you have a belief that will not hold up to the influences of the outside world.

They’re delusional if they think keeping the child isolated from his peers somehow benefits the child.

And, most of all, they are egotistical because they think they can do the job better than actual teachers. Look, not all public school teachers are great, and some are horribly bad. But chances are, if your kid gets one of those it will be exactly that–one of many teachers your child will have. Just by law of averages, some of the teachers your child will have will be very good. A few will be inspiring. And one or two will even be remembered fondly for your child’s entire lifetime.

But a home schooled child will never benefit from those terrific teachers. They will not have the experience of encountering the influences–good and bad–that will shape their lives.

They will have only you. And you cannot possibly be as knowledgeable–in all subjects–as the teachers who are trained to teach each of those subjects. What’s more, if you’re a lousy teacher, there will be no good teachers to balance things out.

Yes, I know. Most studies show home schooled kids performing better than their public school counterparts in most measures of educational effectiveness. Well, of course they do. They have what amounts to a full-time, one-on-one tutor. But they are not learning how to be a normal kid, because they are not doing normal kid things and having normal kid experiences, and getting the hell away from mom or dad for a few hours every day.

You want to teach your kid? Fine. Sit with him at night. Do homework with him. Tell him what you know or think in addition to what he gets in school.

Having said all that, I can think of one legitimate reason to home school your child: you live in one of those areas where they burn books, or think that evolution is an option. You know, like Texas.

But even in that case, there’s a much better solution than home schooling.





  1. …Or maybe parents home-school because they don’t want their kids falling asleep in class when they’re supposed to be learning something.

    • Who’s to say they won’t fall asleep at home?

  2. The parent who’s competent enough to teach their own child.

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