August 5, 2014 | By: Joaquin Fernandez
Eleven years ago, Dennis L. Evans, Ed.D., then the director of doctoral programs in education leadership at the University of California, Irvine, wrote these words:
The isolation implicit in home teaching is anathema to socialization and citizenship. It is a rejection of community and makes the homeschooler the captive of the orthodoxies of the parents.
Dr. Evans’ argument was built mostly on teacher competence and the need for diversity and group dynamics. His theory was that home education doesn’t work because it cannot produce a socially-adept citizen who can think for him or herself. After all, Dr. Evans, was a member of the Board of Institutional Reviewers for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
But what’s of special interest to me about this is the opening sentence of the USA Today article cited above. He writes, “The popularity of home schooling, while not significant in terms of the number of children involved, is attracting growing attention from the media, which create the impression that a ‘movement’ is underway.”
Well, homeschooling is not proving to be a flash in the pan, some sensational weird fringe thing to report on for the sake of ratings. There is indeed a movement underway. The National Home Education Research Institute has a wealth of research and resources that completely disprove Dr. Evans’ and the rest of the educational establishments’ rhetoric against parent-led education.
According to Brian Ray, Ph.D., director of NHERI, studies show quite the opposite of Dr, Evans’ predictions. He sites Professor Richard Medlin, writing in the Peabody Journal of Education, who reported the following:
This research paints a very favorable picture of homeschooled children. Compared to children attending conventional schools, they apparently have higher quality relationships both with close friends and with parents and other adults. They are happy, optimistic, satisfied with their lives, and have a positive attitude about themselves and about being homeschooled. As adolescents, they show a strong sense of social responsibility. They experience less stress and emotional turmoil and exhibit fewer problem behaviors than their peers.
Professor Medlin concludes:
Are homeschooled children acquiring the “skills, behavior patterns, values, and motivations” they need to function competently as members of society…? And the answer to that question, based on three decades of research on homeschooling, is clearly yes. Recent research, like that reviewed earlier…, gives every indication that the socialization experiences homeschooled children receive are more than adequate. In fact, some indicators-quality of friendships during childhood, infrequency of behavior problems during adolescence, openness to new experiences in college, civic involvement in adulthood-suggest that the kind of socialization experiences homeschooled children receive may be more advantageous than those of children who attend conventional schools.
Dr. Evans was wrong. The enemies of homeschooling are wrong. The enemies of God’s educational prescriptions will always be wrong. Parents are not only capable of educating their own children, they are divinely ordained and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do so.
Dr. Evans closed his article with these words: “Those contemplating home teaching might heed the words of the Roman educator, Quintilian (A.D. 95). In opposing home schooling, he wrote, “It is one thing to shun schools entirely, another to choose from them.” God-fearing Christians of the time did not heed Quintillian’s words, nor should we. We ought, rather, to heed the words of his contemporary and fellow Roman citizen, Paul the Apostle:
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
Now those are words worth ingesting.