Friday, February 12, 2010

Aargh! Homeschooling Vent

I know that I should be typing out my week in review, but...

I try not to talk to strangers about homeschooling. Stories like this are exactly why.

It does make me want to say something along the lines of-
Glad that worked out well for your family, because it doesn't for the vast majority of public school graduates.

Yeah, I know that there are slacker homeschoolers, but there are also brick-and-mortar schools that provide less than stellar educations.

In the state of TN realistically about 70% of the high school freshmen can be expected to graduate.

Of those that graduate about 60-65% of them go on directly to college. Let's just say about 45% of the kids who begin high school in TN go to college. (I would say that this is inaccurately high.)

However, this doesn't mean that 45 of 100 TN high school freshmen will be prepared for college.

To receive the basic TN Hope/Lottery scholarship a student needs have an ACT 21 composite (this is about the national average) and weighted minimum GPA of 3.0. However 50% of the students awarded lottery scholarships lose them their freshman year of college.

Of the students who enter the TN public colleges only 45% have graduated by the time they are 26. (Obviously, not all of the students are in-state high school graduates and certainly some of them are private school and homeschool graduates, but the statistic is still startling.)

Of course, statistics can be manipulated as stated in the first article. Also, some schools, some ethnic groups, and some economic groups will have better odds than others. Anyway- bottom line- it doesn’t seem to me that the public high schools in TN are doing a bang up job. It then follows that I have more faith in our ability as a family than I do in the government schools to do what is best for our children.

I know others have worked within the public school system and have been able to acquire the education they want for their kids. The thing is I want more for my children than the filling of a state-dictated bucket. While I don’t doubt my ability to build a bucket and find things to put in it, I want to have time to teach how to be part of a family and to share the things that I think are culturally important. I also want them to have the time to develop passionate interests of their own. Oh, and I want to be able to do all of this and still have time to stare at the clouds.

This fall my oldest will begin college at Berea. Berea College has a less than 20% acceptance rate and every freshman is given a 4-year full tuition scholarship. Based on what I’ve read, this means that, educationally speaking, he is already doing better than at least 55% of the students who began public high school in TN.


  1. Hooray! Great post.

    Yesterday was a terrible day. I wish I could have said all those things when that women was chomping on me, but some folks are like very thick dull brick walls.

  2. Daisy-
    I'm so sorry that crotchety, old gas bag tried to steal your joy. You did the right thing by walking away. No matter what you said she wouldn't have listened. That's why I am venting here instead of wasting my breath trying to explain my position to that kind of person.