Home School Talk
July 7, 2008
Topic: How Does Homeschooling Benefit Society?
This show is available for download by following the above link. The following is an outline of what you will find there along with links to the stories referenced. This is how the show was planned to run, before I lost the Internet connection and was unsure of whether I would be able to get to my guest. The normal format of the show has the news stories first. Here, they are reversed because Terri had to leave at 1:30 (although in the actual broadcast, most of them were shared before my husband was able to get the Internet reconnected).
Introduction and Vision for Home School Talk
My vision for Home School Talk focuses on a quote I found on a bus stop on the way to drop of my homeschooling paperwork.
Upon the subject of education and not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.
Abraham Lincoln, 1832 To the people of Sangamo County
It is to this most important subject I dedicated my blog and to which I dedicate this show. Although I have strong convictions about education and the bringing up of children, my purpose is not to dictate any particular plan or system, but merely to explore ways of all parents to direct the education of their own children. My tagline for this show is “a voice for hoemschooling” but it could have as easily been “perspectives in homeschooling” because I plan to explore many perspectives, including those with which I personally disagree.
The definition I use in the show is from Noah Webster’s 1832 Dictionary of American English.
Guest: Theresa Willingham
I met Theresa through the Homeschoolers United Internet forum, a list dedicated to recognizing the common ground we have as homeschoolers. She is a home educator of 14 years, vice president of Learning is for Everyone, a freelance writer, and, along with her husband Steve, a home educator of 14 years.
The Topic: How Does Homeschooling Benefit Society?
Theresa does a wonderful job outlining how homeschooling benefits not only our families but also all of society. There were several main themes:
Homeschoolers pay the same taxes, yet do not use the services of the public schools. When multiplied by the approximately 2 million homeschoolers out there, this amount can be significant. There is also the so-called “homeschool market,” a billion dollar industry that has been called a “vapor market” because of the difficulty some companies have had in directing a portion of that market to their products. A lot of that billion dollars is going to small, independent, home-based businesses.
2. Civic Activity
Homeschoolers tend to be informed and active. One example she gave was our extensive use of library services. The books homeschoolers request, however, are frequently the same books which families of children in public schools find the most useful.
3. By Stimulating Public Discussion
The success of homeschooling challenges traditional models of education, and in turn pressures the public education system to become more adaptable.
4. An Educated Citizenry Benefits Us All
Homeschoolers tend to emphasize character traits such as frugality, industry, love of learning and self-reliance which are beneficial to society. (I quoted Sunniemom of A Woman on Purpose, and her original words may be found in this thread at Heart of the Matter.)
The situation I shared from the 1970s when President Nixon was worried about failing private schools summarizes all of the same benefits, but applied to the private school system. It is in an article by Martin R. West, The Future of Tax Credits.
Senator Vitter (R-LA) has introduced legislation to give a federal tax credit to homeschooling. I touched on this topic a little on my blog already, and will explore it in more depth on the 21st on Home School Talk. While it is not likely to pass this Congress, it isn’t the first time it has been brought up, and similar proposals have been made at the state level as well.
Virginia has new homeschool laws effective July first.
Trusting God as the Floodwaters Rise. World News has an nice human interest story about a homeschooling family forced out of their home by the flooding. Then out of the home of Natalie’s parents. Then out of another home before a teacher they had both had back in high school offered them refuge in a house she owned.
Omaha is a tough act to follow says ’84 gold medalist. She also says that she wouldn’t trade her life now, homeschooling her two daughters in Virgina, with anything.
Coming Up (Subject to change):
7/14/08 Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA, discussing Homeschool Coops
7/21/08 An exploration of issues surrounding tax credits for homeschoolers
7/28/08 Professor Gaither discussing his book Homeschool: An American History.
A number of people have helped me with launching Home School Talk through their encouragement, ideas and help with promotion. I know I am likely to forget someone, but each week I would like to recognize a few people who have helped me in getting this show together and available.
The entire team over at Heart of the Matter, who helped me considerably as I was still deciding if I really wanted to do this, Chad of Grizzly Groundswell who put the crazy idea into my head in the first place, Renae of Life Nurturing Education who has been bombarded with every pang of nervousness I have had since the planning stages, Tianny of The Home School Lounge for her encouragement and prayer, Susan of Life on the Planet (and her cat) for volunteering to be guinea pigs for my test show and Percival Blakeney Academy for the wonderful suggestions while I was still planning the first show. Maybe next week I can start working through all of the people who have linked to the show!
If you have a question, comment, or would like to be on the show, please contact me at homeschooltalkshowATgmailDOTcom. Or via the comment form here.