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Harvard & Homeschooling

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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

The latest issue of Harvard University’s magazine has an article by the faculty director of the Child Advocacy Program blasting homeschool as “dangerous.” She documents what she sees as the “risks of homeschooling” and is disturbed that parents can exercise “authoritarian control over their kids.”

It might be tempting to merely write this off as just another radical professor expressing an opinion that isn’t necessarily shared by others on the faculty. But consider that the Harvard Magazine cover features this article and that the university is hosting a conference in June of “experts” who will be raising the alarm of the dangers of homeschooling.

One guest to my radio program talked about how this would progress. State legislators would introduce bills to control homeschooling. Then they would point to the Harvard conference and academic articles warning about homeschooling in order to win over fellow legislators and governors.

The article in Harvard Magazine argues that parents want to homeschool their kids in order to isolate them “from ideas and values central to our democracy.” Actually, surveys done of homeschool parents find that “a concern about school environment, such as safety, drugs or negative peer pressure” was the number one reason. The number two reason was “dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools.” And a “desire to provide religious instruction” was the number three reason.

Over the last few weeks I have argued on air that the current lockdown that requires students to stay home has shown parents two things. First, how hard their kids’ teachers have to work to educate their kids. Second, how much better their kids’ behavior is when at home and away from some of the negative influences in public school.

Some of those parents might conclude that homeschooling is better for their kids, which is why some educational elites are starting to warn about the dangers of homeschooling.

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