USA Today has both a pro and anti homeschooling opinion column in today's paper. The pro article is surprisingly positive, and the anti is exceptionally snarky. Neither column however, really gets it.
Most of us started homeschooling for the usual reasons. Either we wanted a more challenging curriculum than what was available in the school system, or maybe you wanted a more faith based curriculum, or your child has special needs that are better addressed one on one.
However, for those of you that have been doing this for a couple of years now I ask, "Is it even about the academic achievement anymore"?
Would my daughter's obsession with all things equine have blossomed if she was institutionalized all day? Probably not. Would my son's parallel and very deep interests in baseball, video games, military history, and science fiction have developed in a school setting? There is no way. He never would have had time.
His passion for baseball renewed my passion for the game. His interest in the Civil War forced me to read up so I carry on a conversation with him. I still don't know squat about horses. I should probably work on that. I'm a better person, better father, and a better husband because we homeschool. The kids are better people because we homeschool. My wife, well she was already perfect :) Our family is closer, the kids are closer to each other, we spend a lot of time with our kids and we actually enjoy that time. These things make us "weird" by today's standards.
I'm quite happy to be weird.
If the kids academic standards dropped to state averages this year, would we then give up and put them into schools? Hell no. Even if the academic achievement was merely average, the kids are still much better off homeschooling. Our family is much better off homeschooling too.
The decision to homeschool is a lot bigger than academics. None of us really realized that on day 1. But it is the primary reason we continue.