Monday, January 22, 2007

What will the future hold for homeschoolers?

I've been mulling over some ideas about what will the future bring for children who have been homeschooled. I don't have any conclusions, but thought others might find these ideas interesting.

Sir Francis Bacon once said "Scientia potentia est" or in English: "knowledge is power." Like many short maxims, this is a generalization, and not true in all situations or settings. For example there is a lot of trivia that may never provide any true benefit.

The point Sir Francis Bacon was making is that knowledge can make a person more effective and more influential. By knowing history a person can see patterns in a current situation. Other people without the knowledge of similar situations may be blind to what is really happening. Someone who has studied chemistry can avoid mixing dangerous chemicals. With any problem, legal, social, business, and so on, knowing about similar problems and having some guidelines gives a person a greater chance of solving the problem.

One of the main points of education is to help children to become capable adults. With knowledge, and hopefully wisdom, our children will be able to handle hard problems and not be overwhelmed when hit with a major crisis. They won't throw up their hands and give up, but buckle down and work on solving the problem.

As a group homeschoolers tend to be dramatically more educated. This is not a couple percentage points more, but closer to an order of magnitude more educated. Some of the studies I've read show that as a group homeschoolers are a full standard deviation better educated.

One does this mean for society? In the past homeschoolers were a very small fraction of the total population. Up until now the percentage of adults who had been homeschooled was much smaller than 1%, in the 1980s it was less than 0.1%. There was very little influence. But currently about 3% of children in American are homeschooled. That means in a couple decades many of the well educated adults will have been homeschooled.

And since knowledge provides power, I believe that as a group homeschoolers will be more influential than the average person.

Another maxim is "There are three types of people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wondered what happened."

I believe that a lot of what happens in twenty years will be prompted by homeschoolers.

I think the future will be very interesting.

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education


MonicaR said...

I happen to agree with you, Henry. The future of our Republic is at stake.

I know a couple of brilliant publicly schooled teenagers and they are few and far between. Most of the teenaged public school kids I know are woefully ignorant. It is not their fault.

Judy Aron said...

Well judging how HSLDA is working hard to get homeschoolers into government..hmm yeah it could be interesting.. LOL
But seriously, I think our kids will have a great impact - and with roughly 2 million homeschoolers up and coming into adulthood there could be some positive changes on the horizon. Let's hope some of these homeschoolers get onto local school boards.

Anonymous said...

My 7 year old son is already talking about how his 10 (!) kids will be homeschooled.
I think homeschooling will be a restorational force in our country.
~christy ( too lazy to sign in this am.

Dana said...

Considering how few we are in number now and the influence we already hold in our communities, I think this is already true. When 2-4 percent of the population can stop a bill dead in its tracks, you know there is some power.

Or a woeful lack of volition on the part of the opposition.

Homeschooled adults are more likely to vote, more likely to work for a campaign, more likely to write a letter to the editor, more likely to contact our representative and more likely to attend and speak at a public meeting of any kind.

I guess homeschoolers haven't been socialized well enough into the "sit quietly and wait to be called upon" mentality of the classroom.