Apparently, there is a conception out in the universe that if a student is home schooled, it’s because they couldn’t handle the course of study available in public school.
Why would anyone home school when there are public schools freely available? In our case, the public school environment was detrimental to DD2, even though we’re in a pretty good district. It was too loud and busy. Her sensory processing disorder was assaulted constantly and she often panicked. She was teased and gossiped about. Once, she was even spat upon. We tried several strategies before it became crystal clear that it was not the place for her.
For other children, it’s a desire for a more challenging atmosphere. (Yes, I’m saying it.) With home school, the student can explore limitless topics of elective interests. With public school, you are limited to what is on the menu. My daughter has been able to explore oceanography, astronomy (minus the physics, as she was a freshman), and medical terminology. These were in addition to the core requirements, not in place of.
Some families want a more wholesome atmosphere. On one day in our junior high school, four couples were caught fornicating within the school building. The clothes that many girls wear, despite a dress code, are pretty close to indecent. Some of the books they read are not appropriate. Ever read the Grapes of Wrath? It’s full of foul language, and a preacher boasts about fornicating with teenagers in the grass after preaching to them (can you say sexual predator?). I opted my 15 year old out of the book. If she wants to read it later on, that’s her choice and she’ll be older.
When registering my home schooled child for standardized testing the other day, we were listing out the classes she has taken and is currently taking. The counselor made a comment that it seemed to be a rigorous course of study. My mother has been surprised to learn (on repeated occasions) that I keep a grade book and grade my daughter’s assignments. Even my husband was listing off to me the required high school classes for admittance to DD2’s university of choice as if we might be deficient. I told him I’ve been following the state requirements all along. He ought to know this – he’s been in the conversations.
There are so many good resources out there today. Companies make home school packages for their text books with teaching CD’s and answer keys. The internet is loaded with information if you’re careful about the sources. Also, the internet means easy access to state websites which list class requirements by grade. Our state even lists the topics which are to be covered in each subject for K-8.
I earned a teaching degree and people who know that still treat me with surprise at what my daughter’s program includes and how I keep records.
Perceptions are a difficult thing to battle.