A few weeks ago, as school started, I did a number of interviews with newspaper reporters and radio hosts about home schooling. That is not uncommon at the beginning of school, but most seemed to focus on the continuing growth of home schooling and why that is happening. It is strange to me that there is almost a reflexive question as to why anyone would want to homeschool when there is an ongoing debate about the problems with public schools. Even stranger is when people see problems with public schools and think the solutions include regulating home schools.
Last Friday a new documentary hit the theaters called Waiting for Superman, which has the education lobby in an uproar because it pretty clearly lays out many of the problems with the public education system and how that impacts real children. Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates, among many others, are touting the movie – and many parents are very upset, as the documentary seems to point to teachers unions as the culprit.
More than twenty years ago a Texas judicial candidate told me that his concern about so many great students withdrawing from the public schools to homeschool was the negative impact that might have on the public schools. I responded that I was more interested in educating my child than “saving” the public education system. If we can keep the government from doing to home schooling what it has done to public schools, home schooling will continue to expand.