Some people believe homeschooling is a parental effort to remove children from the public eye and prevent them from choosing their own values during early-adulthood. Even a Harvard professor, Elizabeth Bartholet, holds such a view. In her article, Bartholet claims homeschool parents use conservative Christian beliefs as a reason to remove their children from mainstream culture. She accuses such parents of questioning science, promoting female obedience and white supremacy. Readers world-wide criticized this article for being more opinion-based than a substantiated claim. Some researchers need to examine homeschooling more.
Reasons for Homeschooling
In direct response to this article, David Sikkink, a professor at the University of Notre Dame, took a more factual assessment of homeschooling. Sikkink “analyzed surveys of homeschooling families— including a 2016 government survey — and found that these families are not overwhelmingly Christian nor religious, and are not as universally closed-off to the outside world…The number one reason homeschooling parents cited was a concern about school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure.” These concerns about school environment are valid and up to the families to decide for themselves.
Just 16% of those families studied said their decision to homeschool was religion-based. This is a clear indication homeschooling is more than just one aspect of someone’s life and their personal beliefs. There’s more to the decision to homeschool than purely one’s faith.
Covid-19 forced many families into a temporary school-at-home situation; some parents may prefer to embrace homeschooling with a more long-term approach. Many more parents are starting to question why their children go to public school.
Resources for Homeschooling
So what resources are there to help with homeschooling? There are many online learning platforms, but these usually fill the school closure void as a virtual copy of classroom curriculum. What about real-world experiences? Real, human, messy experiences where learning is ingrained into your memory instead of as answers to a test quickly forgotten. What about community? Co-learning with friends where the lesson at the end of the day is how to be a good person to your neighbor, not merely achieving benchmarks on your way to standardized testing.
Kids can learn this way, whether they are going the short-term route of schooling-at-home or committing to the homeschool option for the long term. For either choice, parents need resources for their children’s education. Homeschool Cache aims to help meet that need by including parents as much as it does their kids. Learning is a familial endeavor in our opinion. We each learn from the other and the rest of our community.
Community and Marketplace
Homeschool Cache combines these ideas to present a marketplace and community that allow parents to share their educational means with other parents. In-home, tactile lessons and learning devices need to be available for families to experience learning as it should be. Connecting with others needs to be at the forefront of learning. The sudden turn towards homeschooling has made that combination of learning plus socialization a hurdle for the time being. A homeschooling community through Homeschool Cache can help provide that space.