If Public Schools Fail Try Home-Schooling
To the Editor:
In the past several weeks, the News has followed the progress
of the parents who are unhappy with the K-8 program being implemented in
Bridgeton schools. The parents have taken their concerns and grievances
to the school board, and as of yet, have not prevailed.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where parental preferences are
no longer considered to be the deciding factor in how our children are
educated. It is the humanistic agenda and the power of "cooperative"
school boards that decide the environment as well as the tools of education.
If you doubt me, consider the outcome of the
"Chocolate War" in a local school district earlier this year - Educators:
1; Concerned, responsible parents: 0. That was a prime example of
just how much power the school board has, and how little the taxpaying
parent has to say about their child's publicly funded education.
There are other options and many parents in the area have chosen
one that produces fine academic results, a safe environment, and does not
present a conflict with the morals and values these parents want to instill
in their children. I am talking about homeschooling.
Homeschooling is not an option for everyone, but then neither
is private school or subjecting children to the inadequacies of the public
education system. It does require that a responsible adult be available
and home with their children. Admittedly, in many families, this is either
considered impossible due to financial obligations or single
parent homes. But before you dismiss the idea, consider what
our current system of education is already costing us: children who cannot
read, write or solve math problems at their achieved grade level, teachers
that are reduced to being disciplinarians because many parents do not do
their part in training their children properly, and yes, the
issue of safety.
Let's face it, before April of 1999, no one thought Columbine
was a school "at risk" because of the affluence of the community.
In our community there are going to be risks with students as young as
5 being in the same building with teenagers. Drugs, molestation and
bullying are just a few that come to mind. If schools do not listen
to parents regarding a book, what assurance do we have that more serious
issues will be addressed in a timely and comprehensive manner?
Homeschooling provides the child with a safe environment, conducive
to learning, and a committed mother (in most cases) doing what is best
for their child(ren). The education can be tailored to that child's
strengths, pinpointing and improving areas of weakness, as well as creating
a stronger relationship with siblings and parents. Often
people, unfamiliar with homeschooling, question the value of the "education"
and "socialization issues." Any homeschooling family will read that
and chuckle. It has been shown repeatedly that homeschooled children
(in general) succeed academically in both home and college arenas, are
capable of being independent learners and do not lack any social skills.
It is a sacrifice because it often means operating a household on one income,
although many homeschooling moms find creative ways to supplement the family
coffers. But for many of us, the sacrifice of time, careers, a bigger
house, a newer car or big vacations is well worth the results we see in
I certainly hope the parents prevail, the school board listens and
is prepared to address the genuine concerns of the parents. But if
they do not, perhaps homeschooling will be one family's option. Or
at least one in which the parents actually have some say in their child's
JOYCE A. MEYERS