As many longtime readers know, we homeschooled our two daughters, now both graduated. We live on a rural 20-acre homestead on which we are endeavoring to become food self-sufficient. With a home business, the kids grew up with both parents constantly present and involved. With the blessings of God, we were able to give our girls what has become increasingly rare in modern society: an old-fashioned, home-oriented, wholesome childhood.
When I first started writing this column in April 2008, our daughters were 12 and (almost) 10 years old, smack in the middle of their formative educational years. Currently they are 21 and (almost) 19. Seems hard to believe they’re both young adults now. How has homeschooling worked for them?
Most homeschooling parents, over the years, receive the usual litany of ignorant censure and snarks from self-appointed critics. “What about socialization!” “Won’t your kids grow up stunted and ignorant?” “Why can’t you just be normal?”
Back when homeschooling was still something of a novelty, no one knew what the long-term effects of parental teaching would be like. (Historical examples of successful home education were, of course, dismissed.) Would our children grow up to be unsocial, stunted, ignorant, abnormal and unable to function in modern society?
Of course not. But it wasn’t until Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute started quantifying and statistically analyzing the long-term “legacy effect” of homeschooling that it was numerically justified in the eyes of the wider world. Society began realizing what parents and defenders have known for decades: Homeschooling works. It works beautifully. It doesn’t just work academically; it works emotionally, intellectually, morally, psychologically, sexually and just about any other factor that can be made into an adverb.
At a time when general lunacy is the norm in public schools, at a time when teachers blatantly admit their goal is to brainwash students, my husband and I knew the only option was to teach the children ourselves (private schools aren’t available in our remote rural area). Interestingly, because our local public school district is so bad, many of the rural children around us are homeschooled as well, so we found ourselves surrounded by a vibrant community of families with similar goals. Our girls never lacked for friends.
So where are our daughters now? How did homeschooling work for them?
Besides volunteer work at county animal shelter, the first paid job both girls held was working as housekeepers for an upscale motel owned by friends. (Oddly, this provoked sneers of contempt from a certain unnamed critic who claimed maid work was demeaning. He never explained why.) In this job, our daughters honed their time management and efficiency skills, and earned glowing letters of recommendation.
Our older daughter had no interest in attending college, but because of her love of children, we paid for her to attend a nanny school in the summer of 2015. She graduated top of her class and found immediate employment with a family in New Jersey. Her salary is generous, her expenses are low (she’s a live-in), and she banks at least 75 percent of her paycheck. At an age where many college students are graduating with dubious degrees and crippling debt, she’s sailing along with a job she enjoys, a solid circle of friends and a bank account that staggers even her bankers.
Our younger daughter is attending college part-time (4.0 GPA so far), working part-time (retail), is an accomplished artist and writer, and has a small business. Her business is turning a profit, her professor asked her to tutor other students, and her boss considers her the best employee she’s ever had.
As a minor example: Last week, our daughter was asked to perform a task at work. Her boss estimated it would take four hours. It took her two, and she had her boss examine the result to make sure it was satisfactory (it was). Her boss couldn’t believe she’d completed the task so rapidly. Later, in relating this incident to us, our daughter cheerfully said, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from you guys, it’s efficiency.”
I can tell you without hesitation: Any older adult who meets our daughters comes away impressed by their maturity, social ease, work ethic, sense of responsibility, honesty, sharp wit and self-control. And that, my friends, will bring them farther in life than any useless college degree in Entitlement and Victimology.
I don’t mean to spend this column bragging about our daughters, though I hope my pride is evident. But our girls are not unique among homeschoolers. One time I was asked during an interview whether homeschoolers were more intelligent than other kids their age. Surprised, I replied, “No! Homeschooled kids are on a bell curve just like any other kid. But homeschooling allows them to reach their full potential.”
Yes, potential. Without the distraction of peer pressure, without the need for emotional and physical defenses in a school full of often-violent peers, without politically correct malarkey shoved down their throats for 12 years, without interference from an educational system designed to nurture vice and encourage depravity … well, it’s no wonder homeschooled children can concentrate their energies on cultivating their talents and interests instead of constantly being in survival and/or defense mode, which warps personalities, reduces self-control and deadens creative energy.
Rather than strengthening what should be the strongest bond of childhood – the parental bond – schools do everything in their power to weaken ties within families. By reinforcing the notion that parents are at best bumbling doofuses and at worst evil adversaries, schools can affect familial relations for generations to come. By steeping children in a highly sexualized atmosphere where every perversion is celebrated and encouraged, graduating teens often have sexual histories (including multiple partners, diseases, one or more abortions and other horrors) that will haunt them the rest of their lives.
Yet homeschoolers are “stunted” because of their “lack of socialization”? Bwahahahaha.
This, my friends, is what I call the “legacy” effect of homeschooling. Education should not focus purely on academics. Homeschooling educates the whole child, including many critical qualities that will serve young people throughout their adult lives: faith, high morals, personal responsibility, a work ethic, self-control, and honesty.
What legacy do your children have?
Media wishing to interview Patrice Lewis, please contact [email protected].