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Wednesday May 15th 2024

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We Are Close, I Think, to a Tipping Point

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It’s the first time I’ve run across “‘Od’s Blog,” written by college instructor (the blog does not state where) Steve Roney. How did I land there? Why, because today’s post is about homeschooling, of course. 🙂 I am lovin’ the attention being given to homeschooling as the nation grapples with failing schools. But I’m going to sound like the old fogey I am when I add, “It’s about $#*( time!”


Know, in the end, it's the children who ultimately become the best "commercial" for the blessings of life lived in educational freedom.

Of course I’ll suggest that you should go read the post in its entirety (and it is open for comments), but I’d like to share a bit of it here for your perusal. It begins:

There are very few signposts in the education game—very few assertions that can be backed up by hard statistical data. It is striking, therefore, that the superiority of homeschooling over the public schools can. In study after study, American students who have been homeschooled for a good portion of their primary and secondary education score about 30% higher on standard tests than do the kids in the public schools. Put another way, if the average score on such tests is 50%, the average homeschooled kid scores 70-80%. If the average score is a D, the homeschooler is scoring a B. This is true in every subject, though the public schools do seem to do slightly better on math than on reading.

And then it gets really interesting:

But what does this tell us about the state of the teaching profession today? Imagine if, for comparison, your changes of getting well were vastly greater if you stayed home and chose your own treatment than if you went to a doctor or a hospital? How long would the medical profession survive? Imagine if your chances of getting convicted were vastly less if you represented yourself in court rather than hiring a lawyer. How long would the profession of barrister survive?

The teaching “profession” nevertheless survives, primarily due to the political power of the teachers’ unions and their PACs.

And it ends:

…Chris Christie in New Jersey is rapidly building himself into a political legend, and a possible president, on the premise of going toe-to-toe against the teachers’ unions in that state. His success has been signalling other politicians that this is fertile ground; watch soon for many others to follow. We are close, I think, to a tipping point.

Perhaps a more interesting question is: how on earth can a professional group consistently manage to do less well at their chosen work than a person pulled randomly off the street?

Interesting times? Interesting, indeed. I’d tell you how long I’ve been waiting for an “education tipping point,” but then you’d have a good idea about how old I am. Suffice it to say, I encourage all homeschoolers to speak up and advocate whenever the opportunity presents itself and know, in the end, it’s the children who ultimately become the best “commercial” for the blessings of life lived in educational freedom.

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3 Responses to “We Are Close, I Think, to a Tipping Point”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sunny Mama, Parent at the Helm. Parent at the Helm said: Yes, VERY interesting times in the homeschooling community… […]

  2. Bob Collier says:

    "how on earth can a professional group consistently manage to do less well at their chosen work than a person pulled randomly off the street?"

    LOL. A lot of those professionals are not going to like that!

    I wrote this in an article in 2004, my son's second year out of school:

    "Does anyone really have to go to teacher training college to learn how to load a CD-ROM into a computer and press the 'play' button? Or run a streaming video at an educational website? Or download educational software? Or buy an e-book? Or sign up for an email tutorial? Or print out a free worksheet? Or formulate a lesson plan from a website template? Or use a search engine to gather information for a project? Or ask a question at an online forum?

    Of course not. We can do all that for ourselves."

    And in the six years since I wrote that, everything I can do for myself has become increasingly easier to do. I wrote that before social networking, before YouTube, before the iPhone. Now, if I do need a teacher, I can pick and choose from amongst some of the best in the world wherever they live and wherever I happen to be. That's how much things have changed. Perhaps school teachers don't notice because they spend too much time in the classroom and not enough time on the school roof having a good look around at how people educate themselves in the world at large.

  3. Hi, Bob,

    You were right in 2004 and, as you mentioned, it's gotten nothing but easier AND less expensive. Heck, even *I* have figured out to blog!

    Don't know if you recall that in *The Art of Education,* I described a teachers' workshop I attended where I was playing with popsicle sticks and, when I called home to check on my "teacherless" children, at the very same time they were out in the woods building a REAL fort? I was so glad that happened as it *really* made an impression about what is truly important about education vs. schooling.

    Thanks so much for sharing!


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