Public Schools “Dumping” on Homeschoolers?

In an online publication of the Houston Chronicle, a recent article on homeschooling should have stirred up the frustration of all of those who try to homeschool with integrity and purpose. Homeschooling has been increasing in number over the last years, annually in Texas at about 7 percent per year according to this same article, and yet in this article, homeschoolers were given one more hurdle to overcome in attempts to gain public acceptance and validation of their educational methods. According to this report, it would now seem that homeschoolers must also combat the “dumping” of students into this educational path who may, or may not, have the same motivations or passions with regard to homeschooling.

What this does to homeschooling, if true, is to create a portion of the homeschooling population whose final outcome, graduation rates, college acceptance rates, etc., may prove to tear down the validity of the methods. It cannot be understated that homeschooling requires a great commitment and energy level to be done effectively. Homeschooling is a constant process and those who wish to undertake homeschooling need to be intentional about choices in curricula, schedules, graduation standards, and overall accountability to a vision and goal. Without these personal convictions, it is far too difficult to stay on track and become distracted, leaving the student without the skills or opportunities for their future that they’ll need.

If, as Tim Lambert, President of the Texas Home School Coalition says, this “dumping” of students is a result of public schools trying to rid themselves of problem students, and an underlying cause to the shifting numbers away from public education, then it becomes increasingly more important for homeschoolers to take their roles seriously. It is incumbent on those who are homeschooling because of their passion for this method of instruction and training to do it well.

If you are homeschooling because you love the process of directly affecting the academic and personal growth of your children, then be sure that you are using a bona fide curriculum. Take steps to organize and maintain your diploma awarding plan of action – courses needed to meet state standards, civic responsibilities, personal growth expectations, etc. – and get the counsel that you need to effectively get it all done.

If you are homeschooling because the public school could not deal with your child – get help! Homeschooling can afford many unique and personalized options for your child, but it requires diligence. It requires constant attention. It requires accountability. Done well, the rewards are immeasurable, but done poorly, we all suffer.

I encourage you to read the article yourself, entitled “Home-school Is So Popular Some Getting Suspicious.” (Radcliffe, Jennifer. “Home-school Is So Popular Some Getting Suspicious.” Chron.com 10 May 2010: n. pag. Web. 11 May 2010. ( http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6999109.html. ) When you have, take action. Do your job well, and do your job with the future of homeschooling in mind!