by F.R. Duplantier
Homeschoolers have come a long way in the last 10 years. Once greeted with surprise, suspicion, or outright indignation when they revealed their guilty secret, to-day they may encounter a friendly curiosity, a certain nonchalance even. Instead of “Is that legal?” or “Can you do that?” they’re now at least as likely to hear, “Oh, I have a neighbor who homeschools. Her children are so smart, and so well-mannered!” The pariahs have become para-gons. That’s because everyone in America now knows at least one family that homeschools, and has seen the results.
In her recent book The Homeschooling Revolution, homeschooling advocate Isabel Lyman asserts that “the modern homeschooling story is fundamentally one of a grassroots movement of maverick parent-educators . . . who are teaching their children how to read and write at kitchen tables. . . . Dedicated parents have succeeded in making a countercultural idea acceptable, and they have achieved their goals without much applause and without a dime of government funding,” she remarks. “They have also advanced the role of parental rights in education, as well as offered an exciting model of reform for future generations.”
Lyman reports that homeschooled students have graduated from prestigious colleges, served in the armed forces, managed small businesses, run for public office, written books, played competitive sports, and sold millions of CDs.” She sees no “shortage of homeschoolers whose quality of life far exceeds that of conventionally-schooled students.”
Lyman argues that homeschooling parents are “using their liberties well and wisely by teaching what they want, when they want, and they are not harming other families’ children in the process. The American can-do spirit is evident in the homeschools and households which parents manage simultaneously,” she declares. “Homeschoolers have offered many Americans hope – hope that a good education can still be obtained. . . .”
Bob Duplantier, is a professional writer and homeschooling father of six.
Visit Isabel Lyman’s Blog: The Homeschool Revolution