Education, per the Constitution, should be left up to individuals and states. Americans should have options for how to educate their children. Thomas Jefferson once said: “It is better to tolerate the rare instance of parent[s] refusing to let their child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible transportation and education against [their] will.” Some of the most successful entrepreneurs (think Steve Jobs) never finished college; there is no perfect formula for how much formal education someone needs to achieve success. Children learn in different ways and at different rates—and parents will always make better educational choices for their children than the state.
However, former presidents like Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson ushered in an unconstitutional era of compulsory education—directed at the federal level.
Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano explains in his book, Theodore and Woodrow, that public schools were started as a way to turn children into obedient little statists—not to provide equal educational opportunity.
Napolitano writes: “Public schools were an ideal place to weed out students in order to create an elite class of people, while relegating the rest to their rightful position in life. …Many ideas advocated by Roosevelt and Wilson were not far off from those of some European dictators of the time.” Bottom line, compulsory education is an offense to individual liberty and the Constitution.
2.) Personalized Academics
Academics is a top motivator for parents, who believe that they can use one-on-one attention to develop their children’s intellectual gifts and overcome any weaknesses. USA Today reports: “…home-schoolers, on average, scored 37 percentile points above public school students on standardized achievement tests.”
3.) Culture and Morals
Increasingly, parents want to teach their own culture and morals to their children—not the “morals” of the state. Napolitano writes that U.S. public schools: “did not separate church and state. Instead, they hoped to emphasize Protestant teachings over other religions, specifically, Catholicism.”
Secular and religious parents alike increasingly find that public schools do not meet their expectations. According to USA Today: “Secular [homeschool] organizations across the country report their numbers are growing...”
4.) Developing Talents
Homeschooled children have the benefit of more time and parental focus to develop unique extracurricular talents. Some of my friends focused on developing skills that require intense time commitments—like figure skating. Many athletes, actresses and musicians opt for homeschooling or online school at some point in their careers (think Taylor Swift, Jason Taylor and Tim Tebow).
I like to think that I am cooler than my parents. But, honestly, at this point, they are cooler than me. Because without their brazen pioneering, I would not be nearly as unique.