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Do we homeschool only because the schools stink?

I read a post which got me thinking about the overall homeschool movement from a statistical point of view.

I’ve written before about a homeschool silent majority and that, despite the shrill tone of many websites, we’re mostly pragmatic people trying to do the best thing for our kids.  I’m going to solicit ideas on this topic.

Most homeschoolers seem to start in schools and decide to homeschool as a second choice when the schools don’t workout. They homeschool not out of principle but as a pragmatic problem solving move.  I’ve talked about them as accidental homeschoolers.

When i wrote on this, I cited the last in-depth report on homeschooling statistics that I’ve found, the National Center for Education Statistics Study of 2001. I organized their categories into principled vs pragmatic  and found the pragmatic group totals  61% of those surveyed. (There were 9% who had “other reasons” and 30% who were homeschooling for religious reasons.)

I’m now really curious about these questions.
1. Did most homeschoolers start in schools and then switch?
2. Would they have stayed in school if the experience had been better?

What do you think?

7 Responses to Do we homeschool only because the schools stink?

  1. Alasandra says:

    We started out with our children in public school. Due to the school districts decision to implement mandatory public school uniforms with no opt out over the objection of parents (who felt strongly enough about it to take them to court) and various other policies we choose to leave the public schools.

    Moving to another school district was not an option for us as we love our home and had no wish to move.

    Ironically two nearby school districts do not have mandatory uniforms. In fact if we lived about 5 miles South we would be in another county and our children would have been able to attend public school uniform free.

    The only nearby private schools in our area are Catholic. Not being Catholic we did not feel they were an option either. That left homeschooling. We have been very happy with our choice.

  2. ANDREA says:

    We did start in school and switched over… I don’t know if we would have stayed it schools had it been different. We were never truly satisfied even when it was “good”.

  3. J.C. says:

    We started homeschooling from the beginning. I think we started becasue we (hubby and I ) didn’t like the school system when we were in school and we knew it wasn’t getting any better. We are Christians but that wasn’t the main reason we decided to homeschool.

  4. Sharon says:

    My husband and I kind of did both, for Kindergarten I decided that homeschooling was the best approach as my husband and I wanted our son to have a strong foundation in reading, writing, and math. We enrolled him in public school and found that while we followed all of the state standards for kindergarten he already mastered first grade as well. Basically this year has been a complete waste of his time. Furthermore, I was extremely disappointed in how little parental involvement is valued in the public school system today. Basically they complain that parents aren’t involved yet they are very discouraging to parents once they do get involved. I’ve come to the conclusion that the system is not damaged it’s broken beyond repair. Until we the people stand up and demand for vouchers which would give each individual child the ability to move their money to systems that are working such as homeschooling; then the public school system has little to no incentive to ever really change their ways. So yes, we started out homeschooling, went to public schooling, and now we’re back to homeschooling again.

  5. Michelle says:

    I actually fall into both categories. Before my first child was in school, I read John Holt books and decided that homeschooling was the better choice. However, at the time when she was due to begin Kindergarten, I was undergoing much hostile opposition from my family regarding other issues like religion and breastfeeding. I was 23 years old and simply didn’t want more hassles. So I decided that my children would attend school but always with the knowledge that they were free to come home. That was 1991.

    In 1999, my son came home. He was my second child and had severe ADHD. The school system had simply been beating him up emotionally for years and he was beginning to hate learning. I was tired of fighting the school board. So we began homeschooling, he and I.

    The next few years were a big change for us. He tried to go back, come home again, go back. My 3rd child decided at the age of 12 that she wanted to come home although she didn’t have problems with school itself. My eldest child went all the way through public school. My 4th child went to K, 1st and 2nd grade but has homeschooled for 3rd and 4th. My 5th child will be attending a private school this fall for Kindergarten. We’ll see what she does over the years.

    I had a principle when I began. I have a principle now. But it is the children who, through their happiness or disatisfaction, decide where they will be.

  6. Julianne says:

    Our child started out in the Catholic School system, but was being bullied by one other student. After 2 years of pushing for some accountability from the school, they & the board did nothing about it.

    My previous experience as a teacher, had me toying with the idea of homeschooling, and when my kid’s school did nothing about the bullying, that was ‘the icing on the cake’ for me. Got tired of the crapola with the board and left to homeschool. Enjoying it and haven’t looked back. Our child used to complain of being bored at school and now it’s great to see the eyes light up at learning something new. 🙂

  7. Dorinda Clark says:

    Okay I am haveing problems with public schools we lived in branford for 5 years moved to lafayette county about 4 months ago my sun which is in kinderfgarden was Being Bullied by a high schooler that plays foot ball, And then my daughter that is in 10 grade was also being Bullied b7y 2 football players at the school. The school did nothing so i took them out and tryed to put them back in Branford and they refused to take them back because we are out of county.so before my daughter would go back to mayo she droped out just yesterday and my son has not been back in school since i am trying to find a homeschooling system that is free because we are very low income any body out there that can point me in the right Deriction to find a free homeschooling program so i do not have to send my 6 year old son back to that hell hole