By Paul Hastings
Recently, “Harvard Magazine” published an article espousing the belief of Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Bartholet that a “presumptive ban” should be placed on homeschooling. A national uproar ensued.
There’s a lot of great commentary and dialogue about her positions, but I thought I would share my own personal experience with homeschooling.
In case you didn’t know, my siblings and I were homeschooled our entire childhoods.
By many measures, I’m sure this same professor believes that we would have received subpar education and limited career prospects.
Our mother immigrated from Thailand to the United States when she was 17. She grew up with 11 siblings and knew very little English. She never finished high school. Our father grew up in Arkansas and dropped out of high school after completing 10th grade.
My siblings and I grew up in the American South our whole lives and didn’t have a bunch of money. We all worked in my mom’s janitorial business.
And we were homeschooled. All three of us. All the way. Kindergarten to 12th grade.
We lived in a state with virtually no homeschool regulations. We never reported to any government entity what we were learning or how we were learning it.
Yet my parents made sure that we received a quality education because they loved us. They took responsibility for raising their own children. Imagine that.
And somehow (despite Professor Bartholet’s assumptions), we excelled both academically and professionally.
My older brother Pat earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Today, he is a professor of sociology at Colorado State University and has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.
My younger sister Christina completed her associate degree in physics before she finished high school and eventually earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Thomas Edison State University. Today, she owns a successful wedding photography business.
I graduated from Thomas Edison State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a 4.0 GPA. Today, I consult for several multimillion-dollar businesses and host a podcast on the side (Compelled Podcast).
Are homeschool families perfect? No.
Was our homeschooling experience perfect? No.
But did homeschooling play a massively outsized role in our academic and professional outcomes? Absolutely.
Is Professor Bartholet entitled to her opinion? Sure. We live in America, a land of freedom and liberty.
I hope it stays that way.
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