May 27, 2009
Home-schooled children are smart, considerateIn Monday's Sentinel ("Home-schoolers, don't quit system"), Amy Platon argued that parents who home-school their children are creating citizens who will have less compassion for their community, avoid improving the lives of our fellow man and only look out for their own interests.As a professor in Orlando for the past 18 years and father of two home-schooled boys, I think I can respond to her concerns.The home-schooled students who come to my economics classes are, along with their counterparts from India, Russia and China, my best students. They earn the highest grades, have wonderful communication skills and are willing to help their fellow students. In fact, many of our nation's best universities seek out home-schooled students because of their unique life experiences and high SAT scores.In areas where my wife and I are not experts, the free market of ideas has provided experts. We use private-school clubs and programs, free-market educational resources and cooperatives with parents who are specialists in everything from electricity to pottery to provide our sons with an enriched learning experience. Moreover, through music and sports programs, we help our boys function in a society of non-home-schooled children.
Platon should be concerned that America's public schools rank at or near the bottom of international comparisons. If concerned parents want their kids to emerge from this epic recession as viable competitors with Chinese and Indian children, then looking into the home-school option would be a good place to start.Jack Chambless Oakland