It is never certain if an article headlined as homeschooling really is about homeschooling. All to frequently they are about mis-labeled public or private school programs, is more about an editor’s bias than homeschooling, or the reporter never breaks free from a schoolish headset.
This piece is about homeschooling. The reporter starts out well by capturing the flavor of homeschooling:
When 7-year-old Annabelle Kirkpatrick studies fractions and converting pints to quarts, she and her mom go into their kitchen and start cooking.
For a lesson on caterpillars, they browse around their backyard flower garden for a look at the little critters firsthand. After all, Annabelle is homeschooled, which means her parents’ two-story house in Eustis is her classroom.
The article reports a 21% growth in the numbers in local Lake County alone. When asked for the reason a district official says, “There’s not any one single thing that I would identify.”
No one has studied the recent trend, which has hit school districts nationwide. Education leaders have said the trend is likely fueled by economics. In these tight financial times, a lot of parents can’t afford private schools anymore. But they don’t want their kids in public schools, so they’re homeschooling them.
For years, one of the main reasons parents chose to homeschool was a dissatisfaction with public schools – and that has not changed, said an official with the Florida Parent-Educators Association.
It is good to see this reason to homeschool make it into print. The writers next line puts that into perspective, “But also, homeschooling doesn’t seem so odd anymore.”
Then the writer highlights the parent-child bond which is often overlooked.
Homeschooling seemed like the perfect arrangement for the youngest Kirkpatrick, who sometimes seemed to get lost in all the activity.
“I never really felt like I got to know her, spend time with her,” explained Angela Kirkpatrick. “You can mold a homeschool program to fit your family.”
History does repeat. When we started working on our first issue of HEM in 1983 the unemployment rate was similar to todays numbers. In the mid to late 80’s we received report after report from communities across the nation where a private Christian schools closed its doors and the numbers of homeschoolers doubled overnight. It appears the same dynamic is at work in this recession:
Two of Florida’s biggest private-schools [Christian Home and Bible School and Liberty Christian Academy] associations have said enrollment has dropped an estimated 7 percent to 12 percent statewide.
This is a good article to start the week with.