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#419: The Rise of Homeschooling
Plus: Listen to Melinda and me introduce “The Fog,“ November’s article of the month
Welcome, new subscribers, and welcome back, loyal readers! I’m happy you’re here.
This week, let’s read and talk about homeschooling. I’ve been in education for 25-plus years, so I’ve seen trends come and go. But homeschooling is definitely here to stay, whether we like it or not. (I don’t think I like it, but I’ll keep my views out of this.)
In typical Article Club fashion, I’ve chosen pieces that explore the topic of homeschooling from several vantage points. Here they are:
What does homeschooling tell us about what school is really for?
Interested? Read this week’s lead article, “Tune In, Drop Out, Homeschool.”
How big of a deal is the recent trend of homeschooling?
Interested? Read “The Rise of Homeschooling.”
Why are so many Black families opting for homeschooling?
Interested? Read “Resisting White-Washed History In Schools.”
Why are so many white liberal families also choosing homeschooling?
Interested? Read “Why Liberal Parents Are Opting for Homeschooling“
I hope that this week’s articles resonate with you. If they do, I encourage you to share your thoughts and feelings in the comments. Don’t worry: We don’t need to have a hot debate about the pros and cons of homeschooling. Remember the point of Article Club is to learn, take on ideas, connect, and expand our empathy.
⭐️ Join us for this month’s discussion of ““The Fog: Living in Adoption’s Emotional Aftermath,” Sunday, December 3. We’ll meet from 2:00 to 3:30 pm on Zoom. It’d be great to have you.
Originally published in The New Yorker in April, the piece profiles three adoptees who have come out of “the fog,” or the denial of the trauma of being adopted. Not all adoptees have mixed or negative emotions, but many do.
It’s a deep, important piece, especially if you’re an adoptee or an adoptive parent. I also recommend this article if you’re unfamiliar with issues relating to adoption and if you’re interested in building your empathy.
On the fence? Listen to fellow Article Clubber Melinda and I chat about the piece in this podcast episode. Don’t worry, there aren’t major spoilers, plus Melinda is great. Besides, listening might spur you to sign up for the discussion.
All right, have we convinced you? If so, it’s time to sign up! I’m looking forward to seeing you there. (Also, feel free to ask me questions about how it works.)
You simply can’t go wrong reading an article by Lauren Markham. She’s one of my favorite Article Club writers of all time. Her writing is funny and incisive. She understands education through and through. She’s able to capture people’s silliness and seriousness at the same time. And always, she asks the big questions — like, What is school really for? — as she does in this brilliant piece.
Why is homeschooling booming right now? Let me count the ways, she writes:
Because, like Pauline, they are guided by Christ and want to integrate the gospel into their lessons. Because, like Trisha believes, children shouldn’t be at desks all day, and they learn best when their interests guide the curriculum rather than the other way around. Because schools are racist. Because schools require vaccinations. Because they are afraid their children will get COVID. Because schools are increasingly banning books. Because schools are teaching books that parents find inappropriate or offensive. Because of school shootings. Because schools teach stuff that is wildly irrelevant for the future in a world that is vastly remaking itself before our eyes. Because schools are failing, as evidenced by crap test scores and national teacher shortages. Because schools aren’t challenging students enough. Because of bullying. Because schools have a “trans agenda.” Because schools are pawns of the educational-industrial complex. Because schools are pawns of the woke agenda. Because schools are hostile to trans children. Because schools don’t serve neurodiverse children well. Because of the school-to-prison pipeline. Because school is about more than memorization. Because childhood is something to be honored and preserved. Because there’s only a short period of time to spend with our children, and why send them away all day? Because, because, because.
I hope you read this article. And if you do, I’d love to hear what you think. Feel free to leave a comment or email me directly.
By Lauren Markham • The Believer • 37 min
Do you ever find yourself in a conversation about an important topic and nobody seems to know any of the basic facts? I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of this dynamic. That’s why I’m including this informative explainer about homeschooling, which clearly makes the case that homeschooling’s rise is robust even after the pandemic. For example: Since the 2017-18 school year, homeschooling is up 78 percent in California and 103 percent in New York. Florida leads the charge, of course, but I was surprised: Homeschooling is everywhere. Want to know how things are looking in your own school district? Check out the article’s interactive feature and find out.
By Peter Jamison and team • The Washington Post • 10 mins
Once seen as the domain of white, conservative families, homeschooling has become a more popular option for Black parents and their children. They’re fed up with white teachers not believing in their kids. They’re tired of schools that don’t have basic resources. They’re frustrated about the whitewashing of their history classes. More and more Black parents are saying, “Enough is enough.”
Journalist Katie Reilly writes:
For Shari Rohan, it was a social-studies lesson that described enslaved people receiving “on-the-job training.” For Zanetta Lamar, it was the fact that her son was the only Black student in his grade. For Andrea Thomas, it was realizing just how little she had learned about Black history while attending both public and private schools. “I did not want my children to have that same experience.”
By Katie Reilly • Time Magazine • 13 mins
They never thought they’d take their kids out of school. That’s for white conservative evangelical anti-vaxxers, they assumed. But then Florida passed the Parental Rights in Education Act, often described as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Then they found out their kids’ teachers could no longer teach about slavery, or else their children would feel uncomfortable. The final straw was learning that their trans son could not longer use the boys’ bathroom. For these liberal white parents, they know that homeschooling is seen as giving up or selling out — so much so, they don’t want to tell their friends, out of shame. But they just can’t stomach school anymore.
By Charley Locke • Businessweek • 11 mins
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