Big article on homeschooling in The Hook; great title, too.
Home for the Holidays, and Every Other Day Too...
...the U.S. Department of Education estimates that 1.7 percent of all students are now home-schooled. That means growing numbers of parents including atheists, agnostics, Jews, Muslims-- as well as the Christians who have long held the home-schooling spotlight-- are choosing this route...
"The number one reason people home-school is to give their children a good solid foundation," says local parent Kevin Cox, who adds, "I'm not Christian."
Cox and his wife, Sarah Pool, believe they had no choice but to home-school. A lab technician in UVA's biochemistry department, Cox blames a combination of bad teachers and his own uninvolved parents for limiting his opportunities. He didn't want this his kids to suffer the same fate.
"I went in to the blue collar working world because that was the direction I was pushed," says Cox. "I just barely made it out of high school, and I'm not a stupid person. I know plenty of people who are very intelligent who can barely read."
That's why he and Pool got nervous when their oldest child was in first grade in public school. Despite glowing report cards, she could not read. Cox, an intense man with definite notions about education, was fearful that his eldest child was heading "towards mediocrity." Unable to afford private tuition, the couple decided to instruct their daughter at home.
Emphasis mine. Other parents pay little mind to the insistence of those who say kids schooled at home just don't get enough "diversity":
Some critics of the home education movement worry about the social implications of keeping kids home. In a USA Today op-ed piece entitled, "Home Is No Place for School," educator Dennis L. Evans asks, "Can there be anything more important to each child and thus to our democratic society than to develop virtues and values such as respect for others, the ability to communicate and collaborate, and an openness to diversity and new ideas?"
Caryn Hamilton believes some schools could stand a little diversity training of their own. That's why she and her husband, Lance, an attorney at the Judge Advocate General school, had always planned to teach at home. They wanted to protect their children from the culturally and racially biased education they experienced as black students...
Countering the argument about home-schoolers being isolated is the Albemarle County Homeschoolers Network. Formed just last summer, the group already claims a membership of over 60. In fact, so linked are these home-schooling families that news of this article triggered a flurry of emails among its members.
One great piece of trivia - Jostens, the well-known class ring manufacturer, now has a line for homeschooled kids. When the school nostalgia corporations get involved, you know it's a trend that's here to stay.
I designed my own, assuming I was a homeschooler graduating in 2004. Take a look. Click on the binoculars in the order form to see the options I chose. Pretty nifty, eh?
(Ah, the link doesn't work now. You can click here, though, to build your own. Mine was cool; a music symbol on one side and the American flag on the other.)Posted by kswygert at December 18, 2003 11:11 AM