School safety has increasingly become an issue for parents looking at teaching their kids at home.
After any school shooting, Texas Home School Coalition’s Jeremy Newman said they always see an influx of calls.
“Safety is listed as the fourth most common reason for parents to give us an answer as why they chose to homeschool,” said Newman. “We have roughly 65,000 on our mailing list and we take probably 1,300 calls and e-mails combined every month.”
Newman said they have about 150,000 homeschool families in Texas, which is more than the number of traditional private school families here.
Home School Legal Defense Association staff attorney Mike Donnelly said violence is nothing new. Homeschooling is a viable option.
“There’s no question that many people are looking at home education much more closely now in light of some of the recent events we’ve had regarding some of the public school shootings,” said Donnelly.
He said it’s false about homeschoolers lacking social skills.
“People think homeschoolers are like goldfish in the bowl and they never get outside of the glass. But the reality is more like homeschoolers are like fish swimming in the sea. And, their parents are nearby to help guide them and encourage them and be there for them,” said Donnelly.
He said parents are very capable of educating their children.
Both cite that homeschoolers watch less TV, vote more often, perform better on standardized tests of achievement and do better in college, along with being well socialized from participation in extracurricular activities like sports.
Top reasons for homeschooling:
1. desire to provide religious instruction or different values than those offered in public schools
2. dissatisfaction with the academic curriculum,
3. worries about the school environment (pressure to get into drugs, pressure to get into sexual activity)
4. school safety