How do the home educated end up? Are they weird? Can you tell that they have been home educated? Do they have a target on their back that says “loser”? Are they productive members of society? Can they handle post-secondary level courses?
Actually, home educated students are generally the same as those who are school educated, with one notable difference.
Like every other group, there are winners and losers. There are some home educated who swear by home education and others who swear at home education! There are some incredibly good home education stories, but there are some very sad ones too.
I would love to manipulate your understanding and tell you things are all good with home education and the home educated, but that would require me to have bad motives. The truth is, I cannot guarantee that home education will eliminate the heartaches and grievances the rest of the world has to endure. We actually live in the same world.
Home education is not the panacea or antidote to all the evils of the world, but it is the best way to at least minimize the potential wrecks we see in this world. Let’s just say that since children are made “at home” by parents, they are likely best educated at home by those same parents.
I don’t believe that any caring person wants to see students become wrecks, but it happens. Indeed, the very reason that parents decided to home educate is to eliminate the risk of wrecks. Home educating parents will never eliminate wrecks, but they will greatly reduce the potential of students making the wrong decisions.
It would be unfair to say that school teachers want to direct students into making bad decisions.
It is, however, fair to say that a system designed and delivered by a disconnected government bureaucracy will want to have students serve government rather than God. That is one of the biggest differences between the schooled and the home educated.
A solid biblical foundation of what God has decreed to be right and wrong will go a long way towards building a solid life.
This is not to say that all home educated students are raised in a Christian environment, nor am I saying that secular home educators have a greater potential for failure. I am saying that children equipped with a knowledge of the truth will make more solid decisions respecting life.
A faith foundation aside, home educated students, whether instructed within a Christian or secular environment will, on average do better, as parents are better qualified to meet the individual needs of their children.
Even the very best teacher simply cannot be mom or dad. Again, this is not to say that teachers will not influence students, whether positively or negatively, but teachers may not share a common worldview and objective with parents. Regardless, there is no replacement for the unconditional love of a parent for a child.
Home educated students are generally more confident in themselves and more certain about what they want. They have usually taken personal responsibility for their own education at an early age and generally have a better work ethic.
Not only do the home educated usually surpass their school peers in academic abilities and confidence, but generally display a higher level of overall maturity, which is that one notable difference mentioned earlier.
I have advocated post-secondary admission of unaccredited home educated students at post-secondary institutions across Canada for many years.
This longstanding direct experience has brought me to the understanding that the home educated generally do better, on average, than their school counterparts. They may initially display a need to become acquainted with the “school” nature of post-secondary institutions, but they quickly learn, adapt and rocket to the top of the class.
In fact, the most common concern I get from admissions people is that the home educated tend to be overachievers. How that can be seen as an issue has remained a mystery to me to this day!
I could tell you dozens of stories about the incredible success of the home educated.
These stories would not just be about those who have gone on to institutions of higher learning, but also about those who went to work and were quickly promoted to management, those who started successful businesses, and those who chose to serve their fellow man in some way, not to mention those who chose to advance family over career.
After over forty years of real experience in pretty well every manner and method of education I can say, without reservation, that there is no better preparation for life than being home educated.
I can also unequivocally state that my faith in God and experience in home education has led me to have no doubts about the home educated’s potential for success and there are plenty of objective studies to back this up.
The home educated are still free to make bad decisions, which does occasionally happen. But even without the government’s accreditation and approval they end up doing just fine.