Home School

simpsons schoolThis is very interesting to me. I just heard a story (by Nancy Mullane) on NPR’s Weekend Edition about home schooling. (The link is here, and audio will be available at that page shortly). It focuses on the issue that African Americans are the fastest growing group of adopters among minorities in the US. I was also not aware that homeschooling is on a rapid rise.

This raises all sorts of questions for me. Very basic ones. How well does homeschooling work? Does the “product” – an educated person – perform well afterwards, once they’ve rejoined educational settings with the more traditional social environments (colleges and universities). Does the reduced level of social interaction during those homeschooling years have an adverse effect, or is it compensated for by social interaction that presumably takes place after school? Perhaps there are arguments that the reduction in social interaction even helps in some ways? I really don’t know much about this. Do you? I presume there’s all sorts of statistics on this, but I’d be curious to hear a bit of anecdotal discussion in the comments. Perhaps you were homeschooled? Have friends who were? Are homeschooling someone now? Are being homeschooled now? Tell us what you think!

I wonder about this since I’m curious as to whether this results in a different (better, one hopes) range of career choices (and successful ones, hopefully) for the homeschooled population. Given the powerful influences of peer pressure, stereotyping and the like which skew a child’s perception of what sort of careers they can aspire to pursue (I’m – of course – thinking of black kids and science, girls and science, but also a broader spectrum as well), might homeschooling reduce some of that? (I say “reduce” but not eliminate, given the same stereotype problems that exist in the images in entertainment and the media at large) Do the numbers bear that out? Are there numbers on that at all?

Thoughts welcome.

-cvj

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