Homeschooling: A Fond Look Back at School at Home

The author credits his homeschooled upbringing for creating a close family, an excellent education and a happy childhood.

| August/September 1993

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    Homeschooling is a fantastic option for providing a customized education to your child.

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It's almost September, and 46,000,000 kids across the country will be grabbing their milk money, bagged lunches, and blank notebooks and heading back to school. But according to Chris Klicka, Senior Council for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), approximately one million children in the United States won't be going anywhere—they'll be schooled right at home.  

Many of us have mulled over the pros and cons of home schooling and perhaps considered doing it ourselves...but there are still basic questions many of us share: How effective is this type of schooling? How do parents discipline their children during class time? How do kids learn to socialize with others their own age? How do colleges and universities rate this type of education come admissions time?  

While there are two sides to every story, we thought it'd be interesting to hear from someone who has been through the homeschooling process and looks back on it with enthusiasm. We asked D. S. Smith, who was taught at home by his mother and father, to share his individual experience.  

The Editors

Before I reached school age, everyone assumed I'd head off to school like all the other kids. Who would expect anything else from a supervising principal's son in suburban Toronto, Ontario? After all, he was in charge of an entire school district of seven schools. But Dad had other plans. His job within the administration had left him dissatisfied and disillusioned with the system. He wanted a change; he wanted out. As a result, he abandoned his teaching career, packed our worldly goods into a rented three-ton truck, and hauled us 1,000 miles east to rural New Brunswick. There he installed us in an old colonial farmhouse with a cavernous living room and massive fireplaces.

The decision to teach me at home was not an easy one Mother and Dad discussed the options for more than a year before finally reaching it. You have to realize that, at the time, this was uncharted territory. In those days before home schooling was a cause célébre complete with its newsletters and national associations—nobody taught their children at home. The only exceptions were those kids whose parents were stationed overseas, lived far in the backwoods, or were born to millionaires who hired personal tutors for them.

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