New York Magazine notices a trend: check out their new section on urban homeschooling.

Urban homeschoolers frequently cite the homogenization of public education as the reason they chose to take over their kids’ schooling. With federal and state education policy placing ever-greater emphasis on core standards and standardized tests, many parents want to give their kids something more creative, flexible, and engaging than a school day they see as factory-made. The one-size-fits-all model is especially unappealing to parents of children who are “special” in some way: unevenly intelligent, intensely shy, immature, or in need of a flexible schedule to accommodate their professional acting or dancing or musical careers. In New York, even parents in the best districts complain about overcrowding and about teachers, who, however motivated and skilled, have their hands full managing the unruly few who can reign in some classrooms. Then there are the problems that come with all traditional schools: the bullying, the playground politics, and the escalating gadget and fashion arms races. According to the DOE, nearly 88 percent of U.S. homeschool parents express concern about the school environment, citing drugs, negative peer pressure, and general safety.

You can read the rest here.

Showing 4 comments
  • Kate

    It is so fun to see how the form and function of homeschooling changes to fit each family’s personality, philosophy, aptitudes, and even, it seems, environment. Now that it’s becoming fashionable even in New York, homeschooling is surely coming of age, and I am afraid also coming to be seen as a threat to the Educational Establishment. So although these homeschooling articles are fascinating, no more please New Yorker . . . . you’re blowing our cover.

  • Aima

    Very interesting and encouraging! After browsing through the guide, though, I am so very thankful that I live in a more homeschool-friendly state.

  • Penelope Gelwicks

    I am a home school alum (A Well Trained Mind alum, really!) living in NYC and working at the New-York Historical Society- the home school class is one of my favorite projects, and the student work we get back from the kids is super impressive! If you live in the NYC tri-state area, you should sign up!

  • Sahamamama

    While it’s somewhat interesting to take a peek into what urban homeschoolers do to fill up a day (Imagine the dilemma! What to do in New York City?), this article adheres to the typical pattern—(1) a catchy opening vignette, (2) a brief history (in which homeschooling moves away from its early days, when it was illegally pioneered by goat-raising Christian conservatives in the backwoods of the South, or by goat-raising secular liberals in the West), (3) USDOE statistics, and (4) some introductory how-to-do-it content. By page three, we’ve finally arrived at (5) the mandatory anti-homeschooling NEA quote (“The NEA believes that homeschooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience”), followed by (6) that old socialization argument from “homeschooling critics,” whomever they may be. What would an article on homeschooling be without mention of socialization? And this exhausted cliché is supported by (7) one non-random testimony of a homeschool graduate who, at some point in her transition to young adult life, experienced social awkwardness. Poor thing. Awkward Homeschooler says, “I always struggled socially… I don’t think I have ever met a homeschooler who doesn’t have social awkwardness.” The article goes on to point out that when Awkward Homeschooler has kids, she will homeschool them, “just not all the way through. A good educational experience should include learning how to have relationships.” Predictable.

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