A Homeschooler and College Controversy

In my last college blog post for CBSMoneyWatch.com, I wrote about a study that explored how homeschoolers do in college. Here is the link:

Can Homeschoolers Do Well in College?

I was surprised at the passionate responses that the homeschooler piece triggered.

The homeschool supporters seemed especially incensed that I brought up what I perceive as a common belief about homeschooled students: Homeschoolers don’t develop the sort of social skills that they could more easily pick up if they attended traditional schools. Now let me emphasize that I didn’t say that I personally believe that homeschool kids lack social skills. I was just the messenger.

I can understand the parents’ passion and who wouldn’t be impressed by their commitment to their children’s education.

I don’t think, however, that there is one right way to educate a child. The private high school that my daughter attended — it provided a brutally hard academic environment that required obscene amounts of efforts — would have been a terrible choice for my son. My son’s charter high school would have been a bad fit for my daughter, who would have taken advantage of the freedom. Ultimately, they both did quite well in two extremely different types of schools.

I think what’s terribly important in educating a child  — in whatever setting — is having involved and committed parents.  Obviously, many homeschool parents have shown that commitment.

For those wondering what it takes to raise successful children, I wrote a post for my CBSMoneyWatch college blog recently that I think might be relevant to this issue. Here it is: 6 Ways to Raise a Smart Kid.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and an eBook, Shrinking the Cost of College: 152 Ways to Cut the Price of a Bachelor’s Degree. She writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch and US News & World Report.

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