I study economics and school systems, most of the people in my class are pretty left-wingish and would not agree with the homeschooling idea (or any idea at all concerning private initiatives in the education sector), but for me freedom of choice is one of the most important pillars for modern education and it is extremely important that we actually debate things like how to challenge state monopoly on education and how to use our resources well thought-out. The left sees education as a tool for 1. a way to smash the sc. class system and make everyone more or less alike, through (trying to) create us alike in mind. 2. spreading of their own agenda. This they have together with social conservatives – they just have a different agenda. 3. an institution where they construct workers – small cogs for the big wheel.
I definitely believe that homeschooling have a function to fill in the future – everywhere. But the example of Australia is a good example on how the State actually do NOT wish for competition on this field. They want to have control of what kids are being taught and they are not going to let that go, unless there will come a real change – a change for more freedom for families, parents, and individuals to actually have a real choice.
It would be really interesting to know more about this, maybe Mrs. Bluestockings have some Internet sources to share with us when it comes to material (curricula etc.) aimed for home school situations?
Have there been any research on the subject, like how homeschooled kids stand in comparision with the other kids in State schools? How about exams and national tests – do they have to do that?
Another obstacle that I see is that it is much easier maybe to stand up against your own mother or father is s/he is teaching them. A “real” teacher would have much more an authoritarian role in the eyes of his/her students, am I right? Isn’t it easy for the kids just to cut class?
As I understand it, you aim more for the earlier stages, am I right? More like grammar school level? As you say there are probably a lot of resources to be found for high school level as well, but to me it just seems that this is such a high standard of teaching that it demands too much background knowledge on the field.
My worries are mostly about assessment and evaluation – how can we know that the kids actually get a good education delievered to them? How do we know some hicks are just teaching them that the world is a flat pancake and the moon is made of cheese? Some control or assessment seem to be needed, and homeschooling seem to obstruct that? The best way would probably be national tests and for the funding every family should get a backpack of money (not real money like that but money that should directly go to education and that they only can use for that) for every child and that they then can use it for whatever system of education they would like. It seems to be the fairest way to handle it. I don’t think a tax refund is exactly the same thing, I’m talking about school vouchers – that you then can use on whatever product within the education sector you like – formal or non-formal alike.