Have you ever had to defend your choice to homeschool? Or at least felt like folks were questioning the wisdom of a decision to home educate your children? Most of us have had that experience. Recently I heard a statistic regarding high school graduation rates that set me to searching the internet. It may be an exercise you would find interesting as well. In a nutshell, graduation rate reports changed last year for public schools. In theory, states across the nation now report the same data—alternative diplomas, drop-outs and transfers are consistently accounted for in the reports. Most states saw their graduation rates drop by double-digit figures with the more stringent reporting. While I had always assumed the question in American high schools was “Who will go to college?” I see now that the more appropriate question is “Who will graduate.”
I was appalled to learn that the best rates never reached 90% and some states have a 50% graduation rate. How can it be that an institution as well-respected as public education can have such a dismal success rate? I encourage you to dig and learn about your public school’s 2012 record —not to disparage the public schools but to encourage yourself in your own efforts. I am a ‘positive’ person and prefer to explain my decision to home educate with the emphasis on the amazing opportunity it is for a family to grow and learn together. But I admit, the poor performance of the public option is an added affirmation to our decision. It is also motivation for me to encourage more homeschooling families—and to work toward enhancing public education options in my own community. A love of learning is a great thing to pass on…true education is completed when that happens.