{Homegrown Kids} Homeschool vs. Charter Schooling (Or, the Mainstream Media Has Found Us at Last)

I’m sort of loathe to pit educational alternatives against one another because I think variety and options are great.

That said, there’s a great article over at The Washington Post that merits a read:

Pop quiz! Cover the next paragraph, which has the answer. The question: What other fast-growing education alternative also now enrolls more than 2 million students? This alternative seems just as important as charter schools, but education experts rarely discuss it and researchers pass it by.

Give up? It’s home-schooling. The decision by so many parents to remove their children from local schools and teach them at home raises many issues, but we know little about it. Home-schoolers are beyond the reach of school district data collectors and federally required exams. They are scattered around the country, rather than clumped together in a big-city districts like charter school families.

In the District, Virginia and Maryland home-schoolers outnumber charter-schoolers about 90,000 to 46,000. [Read more]

The article goes on to talk about how homeschooling is operating off the radar of most researchers.
Funny, but I wrote that very phenomenon last week in a chapter of my forthcoming book. And I struggled to find recent data for my DailyYonder.com story last month.

Are we on the verge of homeschooling breaking into the mainstream media’s awareness?

Maybe.

We homeschoolers were represented in the October issue of The Atlantic, too.

Explore More:

Jobs for Homeschool Parents are Diverse, Eclectic – A little taste of my book that shows the diversity of the parents who homeschool.

• Be on the lookout for a guest post here SOON from Inga over at San Antonio Charter Moms.

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7 comments

  1. Thanks – looking forward to the guest post. Been seriously considering going the charter route and had been wondering about that vs homeschooling, but it seems that the jury is still out in the absence of a lot of empirical evidence (though that would seem to be highly subjective in the first place).

    • What works for education seems to be very much ruled by “it depends.” I think all parents should shop around, though, to find a good fit. Just because a school is convenient doesn’t mean that it’s right for your kid. Likewise, just because there’s a pricey tuition doesn’t guarantee quality either.

    • JSolomon, are you in Texas? The good news is that once a charter school organization gets a Texas charter, they can expand to any city in Texas with minimal red tape. (Other states have a city-by-city approach.)

  2. I’d actually kinda like mainstream media to never find me. In IL there is absolutely no oversight…which can be good and bad. For us it’s great. And I’d like it to stay that way. My fear is that too much focused attention on it shines the spotlight on us and would lead to regulation, which then completely eliminates the benefits of homeschooling for my son. :/

    • That’s an interesting perspective, Jen. Where we live, homeschooling is so commonplace as to be almost “normal.” And Texas has among the most lax rules in the nation. (We’re all real maverick-y down here, you know.) We’ve managed to get some stories out in the local media, too–things that shatter the main stereotypes about who homeschools and why.

      I think the comfort level of visibility may have a lot to do with where one lives and how homeschooling is regarded there. But that’s just a hunch. I’ve been wrong before. =)

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