Home School and Poverty


As I read a recent story about home schooling, I was reminded that the quality of home schooling may very well break along economic and religious lines. I read many stories about students of economically secure parents who are home schooled because of the parents desire to teach Christian or higher educational values but few stories about those parents wishing to teach racism, religious intolerance or very little of anything other than simply the need for another pair of hands at home. We read many glowing stories about home schooling successes and the freedom it gives students to do and learn other things but few stories about home schooling failures, because the failures come back into the public schools a year or two later and a year or two behind their classmates and disappear into the drop out pool of the general school population.
I know that when I taught in a high poverty middle school many of my students missed class not because they were skipping or ill but because they were needed to babysit their siblings or they were caring for parents/ grandparents who were ill because the economics of the cost of child care, nursing home care and mom or dad having to work every day to simply survive is a reality. And the lure of free needed care provided by a son or daughter just too strong. Home schooling for some families in this situation is the perfect solution for the family but not a good situation for the child. I am not much of a fan of bigger government but dropping even cursory supervision of home schooling while it may indeed aid some of our economically well off children, will ill serve some of our most needy children.
As always in education the most important factor for success is not race, ethnicity, the common core, curriculum or the teachers it is poverty, grinding debilitating poverty. Maslo’s hierarchy is alive and well and living in the United States educational system.

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About safrisri

I have been a teacher since 1971 and have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. My writings will reflect on my past mistakes and successes and what my students have taught me about education.
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