A couple of California-based articles came out in the last few days covering home education. The first article included some college options. The second article was a lovely piece offering several parents’ reflections on the home education journey.
One long-time home educator, Sarah Hamilton, wrote a Letter to the Editor correcting some university admittance information in the Long Beach Press-Telegram‘s first article. The original article was posted in several California newspapers. Here is a piece of Ms. Hamilton’s follow-up letter.
Home-school students chart their own course
Many do not wish to attend these schools, but it is not because they cannot. High test scores are naturally helpful, but that is the case for students from any educational option who expect admission to a top school. UCLA encouraged our out-of-the-norm application and could not have been more accepting of my son’s home-school record.
Additionally, many students I know are successful entrepreneurs, accomplished musicians, Olympic-level athletes and inventors. The love of learning and the ability to maximize every minute of every day is the hallmark of homes schooling. It removes, rather than creates, barriers for students who embrace the flexibility of charting their own course.
Rob Kuznia’s second article posted on September 30. Pam Sorooshian – unschooler and founder of an 18-year-old homeschool group - describes the changes in public school education trending from No Child Left Behind and the current federal administration’s Race to the Top and Common Core State Standards.
Parents take a different approach to home schooling Long Beach Press Telegram
Sorooshian herself subscribes to a form of home schooling known as “un-schooling,” which rejects the highly structured approach taken by public schools and many private ones. She argues that the public school system has actually become more cookie-cutter than ever, which in turn is driving record numbers of people to educate their children at home.
“Back in the ’80s, you had whole language, constructive math, multiple intelligences,” she said. “With the advent of things like (the federal) No Child Left Behind, that all went out the window. Now it’s all about being ready for standardized tests.”
One parent echoed the idea of following one’s passion into a work choice might not always mean university classes, along with the huge, incurred expenses.
Laura Jane, a yoga therapist from Long Beach, said traditional schools can have a way of squeezing the passion out of learning.
“I love the idea of my kids just loving learning,” she said. “To come out of it loving writing, loving reading, loving math. It’s a really exciting idea. Perhaps that can happen more easily if it wasn’t something that was forced or structured or judged or evaluated.”
Jane herself has a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State and a master’s in psychology from Pepperdine University. Although she all but disavows it.
“Now I can see how that system got me off track,” she said. “I spent another 10 years trying to figure out what really was my way.”
Many homeschooling parents can understand Laura Jane’s enlightenment. As our children have grown and learned, the adults also realize a thing or two in reflection.