June 5, 2002
My psychological batteries were just recharged by attending a
remarkable convention of Florida homeschoolers in Orlando. The 10,000
conventioneers who overflowed the Gaylord Palms Resort should have been
serenaded with "You've come a long way, baby."
The Florida Parent-Educators Association has grown from a handful
of parents 15 years ago to a three-day convention with 100 workshops,
131 booths selling curricula and software, high school graduation
ceremonies, and a college scholarship to Harvard. Homeschooling has
become big business.
The Florida Department of Education reports that the number of
Florida children registered in home-education programs has grown from
5,313 in 1990-91 to 41,128 in 2000-01. The number is probably even
higher because not everyone registers.
Parents who have been homeschooling since the early 1980s can
remember less happy times when they felt it advisable to conceal what
they were doing. In 1984, five Florida homeschooling families were
prosecuted for truancy and one family temporarily lost custody of its
Homeschooling parents often had to suffer the disdain of
neighbors, ignorant accusations of child abuse, and the hostility of
the teachers union. The Florida State Legislature got the message in
1985 and legalized homeschooling.
It takes uncommon commitment by parents to undertake a homeschool
regimen, but they soon discover they can do in a couple of hours what
takes all day at regular school. Homeschooling parents can save lots
of time since there are so many courses they don't have to teach.
They don't have to teach multiculturalism, the peculiar notion
that other cultures should be preferred to our own, or teach a course
in Islam, such as is now taught in California schools. Homeschooling
parents are free to teach that their religion and their country are the
Homeschooling parents do not have to teach political correctness,
such as the dogma that all academic subjects must be taught through the
prism of gender and race oppression. They are free to teach that
America is not a land of victims but a country of freedom and
opportunity for all.
Homeschooing parents do not have to teach the androgyny demanded
by radical feminism. They are free to teach boys and girls separately
and differently and let their boys enjoy plenty of recess to work off
their excess energy and avoid giving them Ritalin to make them behave
Homeschoolers do not have to take a course every year in
Diversity, the code word for gay rights, as is now mandated K-12 by the
California State Legislature. Parent educators are free to teach that
it is OK to be judgmental about illegal and immoral acts.
Homeschooling parents don't have to teach revisionist history that
deletes mention of Washington, Jefferson and Franklin, as the New
Jersey State Department of Education tried to do, but had to back down
after a parental uproar. Homeschoolers have academic freedom to study
the Founding Fathers and read the writings of the DWEMs (Dead White
European Males) who contributed so much to Western Civilization.
Homeschoolers do not have to study global education that is
designed to promote global interdependence and citizens of the world
instead of the U.S.A. Homeschooling parents do not have to teach
Environmental Education fantasies such as that humans exist to serve
the earth instead of vice versa.
Homeschoolers don't have to study fuzzy math, whole math, new
math, new new math, or rainforest math. They won't waste math time
discussing, coloring, playing games, or telling their parents how good
they feel about incorrect answers.
Homeschooled children will learn to read using authentic phonics
as their first order of business, so they won't have to take remedial
reading after three years of failure. They won't be inflicted with
Whole Language, which fraudulently teaches children to guess at words
from the pictures, skip over difficult words, and substitute any words
that seem to fit the context.
Homeschoolers will save lots of time because they don't have to
read typical middle school assignments of depressing modern fiction by
"nobody" authors writing about drugs, violence, sex, runaway teens,
witchcraft, and other depressing subjects. Homeschoolers can read
books about heroes and stories that build character, courage,
patriotism, and virtue.
Homeschoolers won't have to spend time filling out nosy
questionnaires about sex, drugs and suicide. The public schools are
obsessed with asking students impudent personal questions such as how
many times have you felt depressed and tried to commit suicide.
There are many more worthless courses taught in public schools on
which homeschoolers will not spend their precious time, such as courses
in murder (forensics is the latest fad), suicide, death and dying,
evolution, and self-esteem. Homeschooled students won't have any
problem with self-esteem because their self-esteem will be earned by
achievement in mastering the important truths of history, literature,
math and science.