Homeschooling Notes

Ted Balaker:

It’s back to school time, and for some of us that means back to home school. 

In recent years homeschooling has enjoyed a fairly well-publicized upswing. But the surge in interest has also sparked some narrow-minded backlash. Like the other areas I cover, education suffers from plenty of groupthink. 

My family of three is a homeschool family. My wife and I have one child, an eight-year-old son, and having an “only” makes homeschooling sometimes harder and sometimes easier. We live in an area where homeschooling is quite common, and being part of a larger community has been very helpful. 

We experimented with four different types of more traditional schooling and exposed ourselves to an array of less conventional models. After some back-and-forth between schooling and homeschooling (courtesy of California’s lockdowns), we settled on homeschooling as the best fit for our son. As much as we tout it, we’re not dogmatic. If we come across something better, we’ll switch. 

We’ve been lucky that the vast majority of our friends and family support our decision to homeschool. In general, the better they know us, the more supportive they are. That’s because they see that it’s working for our son. 

But we’ve also experienced some rather bewildered reactions. Such reactions typically come from people who have experienced nothing but traditional schooling. One person asked if our son had any friends, but nobody who knows him well would ask that. Although many worry that homeschooling hampers socialization, our experience has been quite the opposite.