My Dad sent me a homeschooling article he found in the Quadrant magazine in Australia. It is an excellent article by Suzanne Rowntree (who has a neat blog), explaining why people homeschool. Australia only has a few registered homeschoolers (10,000), but these homeschoolers are excelling academically and otherwise. She explains that the biggest surprise is why more parents are not choosing to do it.
She explains that Australia was one of the first countries that jumped onto the Prussian model of education in order to educate the "convict children". The idea was to keep the children away from their delinquent parents as much as possible and to produce cooperative citizens that support the authority of the government. Academic excellence was not the goal. She states that political loyalty and social conformity were the new curriculum and offers this telling remark from Henry Parkes, who is considered Australia's parent of public education, that "it is much cheaper to provide schools than to build jails."
When I was growing up in Australia I had no idea that there was any alternative to the public school in our suburb. Every kid went. End of story. We are a society of individuals. Everyone is doing their own thing. It is hard to imagine women of my generation in Australia who would sacrifice their careers to homeschool, especially when decent (?) education is free. Maybe.... if your child had a learning disability. We don't have the historical role models and history of home education that we have in the U.S. There isn't the cohesiveness I have found in American families. It is not surprising to me that parents haven't caught on yet in Australia. It is so far off the radar. It is still the best kept secret.
But not here in America. Homeschooling is hitting the mainstream.
Anyway, the reasons I homeschool are contained in this email we received today from my daughter who is at camp.
So there you have it. Close family ties. Child can stand up for herself around peers. Working hard in her area of passion. Keeping herself in balance. Grateful.
I am grateful to be able to homeschool.
And here is our new little cousin. I am a proud cousin! So cute! 12 day old!