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Author Topic: When homeschoolers grow up  (Read 524 times)
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« on: February 07, 2006, 11:06:14 AM »

When homeschoolers grow up
Posted: February 4, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Samuel Blumenfeld

Parents interested in homeschooling often want to know what will happen to their children when they grow up and have to work for a living. Will employers recognize their homespun high-school diplomas signed by Mom and Dad and the local homeschool association? Will corporate America welcome them as competent "human resources"? Will the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force accept them? All legitimate questions which deserve to be answered.

Well, the answers were recently given by Dr. Brian Ray, director of the National Home Education Research Institute of Salem, Ore. the authoritative source the media turn to when they want homeschool data. Dr. Ray, himself a homeschooling dad, studied 5,247 home-educated graduates and found that 49 percent were in college and the remaining 51 percent were earning their way in a wide variety of occupations. Over 10 percent were pursuing such prestigious professional careers as doctors, ministers, accountants, nurses, school and college teachers, and the like.

About 3 percent were owners of small businesses or contractors, and 6 percent were office workers. Nearly 10 percent were salesmen, computer programmers, draftsmen, service workers, hairstylists and in other such positions.

Two percent were wearing military uniforms or constabulary blue, and 4 percent were employed in such labor-intensive occupations as carpenters, mechanics, bakers and managers. About 7.5 percent were homemakers, and the rest were farmers and blue-collar workers.

Not bad for an education movement that is only 20 to 30 years old. I imagine that among the million or so homeschoolers, we'll see some getting into Internet high-tech businesses or going off to Hollywood to make wholesome, family-friendly movies and also becoming actors, novelists, dancers, stuntmen, singers, musicians, artists, journalists, photographers, talk-show hosts and free-lance magazine writers.

Another more limited study was done in 1993 by professor J. Gary Knowles of the University of Michigan. He surveyed 53 adults who had been home educated because of ideology or geographical isolation. He found that two-thirds were married. None was out-of-work or on welfare. Two-thirds were self-employed. This surprised him. He wrote:

    That so many of those surveyed were self-employed supports the contention that homeschooling tends to enhance a person's self-reliance and independence. Many mentioned a strong relationship engendered with their parents, while others talked about self-directed curriculum and individualized pace that a flexible program of homeschooling permitted.

Christopher J. Klicka, who presented all of this enlightening information to the readers of Practical Homeschooling magazine, is senior counsel of the Home School Legal Defense Association and knows all the ins and outs of home education. He commented:

    Homeschoolers are taught how to read well, write well, do math well and are self-disciplined. [They] have the discipline, honorable character and ingenuity to make it in the workplace. They have embraced the biblical work ethic "he who does not work does not eat."

Today's dumbed-down public education curriculum trains students to become cogs in the wheels of the economy. They can't read well, they can't write well if at all, and without supermarket checkout computers, they'd be lost in the unfathomable world of math. So they become victims in an economy that is changing too rapidly to accommodate them.

If well-trained engineers are having trouble adjusting to the changing economy, imagine what it is like to come out, or drop out, of an American high school with no employable skills, with no self-discipline and no idea what to do with one's life. So what do these poor victims of the system do? They get into drugs, graffiti art, rap music, hip-hop dancing and other expressions of their unhappy souls. Some of them can make a lot of money selling drugs or singing rap music.

It should also be noted that many homeschooling families have started their own businesses. One of the best examples is Mary Pride's success as a magazine publisher and author of how-to homeschooling books. Her entire family is involved in the business. Practical Homeschooling Magazine is lively, informative and also carries a column by yours truly.

Mary writes: "Homeschooling is now clearly more sophisticated than classroom education. We have more and better resources to draw upon. We can adapt the latest technology more quickly. We are far more committed to finding out what works, as opposed to what sounds impressive on someone's resume."

My book, "Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching Children," can get you started. It's available on Amazon.com. Chapters include: It All Starts with Parenting. Devising Your Own Philosophy of Education. How to Teach and What to Teach. Choosing a Curriculum. Homeschooling High Schoolers. What About Socialization? A New Family Lifestyle. Dating Versus Courtship. Special Needs and Homeschooling. African-American Homeschoolers. The book also has a comprehensive list of homeschool organizations and resources.

The best and fastest way to get a taste of homeschooling is to attend one of the homeschool conventions being held in virtually every state in the Union. You can get all of this information on the Internet. The convention season starts in March and generally goes into the summer. The great variety of curriculum materials, the many workshops, the inspirational keynote speakers will make attendance a great learning experience that may change your life and the lives of your children as well as the future of the nation.


Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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