by Amy Tjaden
Homeschool.com News Editor
I find this article from USA Today interesting. It throws around a lot of numbers and fancy statistics so I thought I should at least share it and let the readers decide what they think of it.
I am not a big fan of statistics. When people start throwing out percentages I usually put up a sort of mental block. Statistics are so easy to skew and I just do not trust the numbers. For example, let’s look at the 36% of parents who homeschool for “religious or moral instruction”. I am very aware that many families homeschool for religious reasons but the majority of the families I know or have talked to claim they homeschool because they are dissatisfied with the school system. Even families who greatly implement religion into their curriculum claim their main reason is dissatisfaction with the school system. So, does religion truly account for the majority? Couldn’t it be that some parents are dissatisfied with the school system because of its lack of moral instruction? Where does that group fall when it comes to crunching these numbers?
The other thing that caught my eye was the ratio of homeschooled boys vs. girls. According to the article, there has been a significant shift in the numbers. Now 58% of girls are homeschooled compared to 42% of boys. The article theorizes that maybe this is due to “mean girl” behavior in the schools. I do not mean to belittle anyone whose child has gone through that sort of experience. However, it seems to me that there are many other variables that could account for those numbers.
So, read the article and take what you want from it. For me the most profound thing I took from it was the very last statement made by homeschooling mom, Michelle Blimes when she says, “They should be able to enjoy playing and being kids before being thrown into the teen culture.” As a former elementary school educator who witnessed shocking behavior among elementary age students, I couldn’t agree more.
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