Stop bashing home-schooling


Why does The Daily Targum's editorial board feel it necessary to call out home-schooled children when discussing social interaction? If the premise behind the article "Interaction vital for home-schooled students" on Oct. 8 was to state that students in general need to interact with other students, why publish the misleading headline? It seems as if there is constant cynicism when discussing those children and parents who choose to practice home education and that contempt is unwarranted.

While I was not personally home-schooled, many of my close friends and former colleagues have been, some of which are the most intelligent and socially capable people I know. In reality, a primary focus of home-school educators is to make sure that students who choose to study at home have as much if not more social interaction than those students who attend the conventional public or private school. They are able to perform in local high school plays, play on local sports teams and take part in a plethora of after school activities.

While I do not think it is fair to call a home-schooled education more adequate than the traditional form of American education, it is in some cases more productive. In the United States, if parents are not overtly wealthy they are left with few options in how their children should be educated. The lack of choice in our education system has left hundreds of thousands of students stranded. Luckily home learning has left a viable option on the table for parents who do not wish to put their children through the state run public school system.

Many home-schooled children produce better standardize test scores, broader knowledge of material that in many cases is not taught until college and a moral consciousness that is not always exposed to students in public school. Home-schooled children do not have to deal with petty bullies, insufficient school funding and the redundant beauty and style contests that take place in your conventional school.

Home schooling has also produced many prominent politicians, athletes, writers and academics. From Winston Churchill to Thomas Edison and Woodrow Wilson to Tim Tebow, home-schooled children have perpetually broken common misconceptions about the effects of home-schooling.

In more recent news, Hannah Giles, a native of Miami, the young lady who with University graduate James O'Keefe went undercover and videotaped Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now employees offering advice on how to open up underage brothels, smuggle foreign girls across the border to work as prostitutes and of course evade taxes, was in fact home-schooled. The group, which has received more than $50 million in federal funding, is now under multiple federal investigations, has been cut off from conducting the IRS tax aid program, and the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut-off all current and future federal funding to the disgraced organization.

Did Gile's lack of proper "social interaction" lessen her investigative techniques? Is she any less capable because she was home-schooled?

As a friend hers, I can argue that her home-schooled education has had a resounding affect on how she interacts with people, such as her fearlessness to approach anyone at any point and time. If Hannah were a victim of a failed Miami public school, would she have developed her valiant and bold investigative journalism skills? Remember, this is a girl who is not yet a college graduate, is only 20 years old and was able to acquire information from ACORN that the most seasoned "properly" educated reporter could not uncover. Gile's alternative education equipped her with the proper tools necessary to conduct one of the greatest investigative journalism operations since the Watergate scandal.

The faulty title of your editorial, singling out the need for home-schooled children and not just children in general to participate in proper social interaction is misleading and unjustified. Classifications are wrong, and generalizing about an entire group of students is even worse. Remember, "Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing," said Abraham Lincoln, another famous home-schooled graduate.

Aaron I. Marcus is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student majoring in political science and history. He is also the co-founder of the New Jersey political blog www.livingjersey.wordpress.com.

 


Aaron I. Marcus

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