COVID-19 has changed American life. Studies suggest that many Americans will permanently alter the way they work. Commercial real estate, particularly office space, has taken a nosedive in the last year.
This is also happening to education at all levels. Parents are questioning if they want to send their kids back to school, some because they are worried about public health, but others because they see some advantages to homeschooling. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly as both traditional education and homeschooling have advantages and disadvantages.
I pointed out in my Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers that most members of the founding generation were “homeschooled.” This doesn’t mean they didn’t have a rigorous education. Most would be considered “well educated” today even if their mathematics and science background does not match current standards.
But most Americans can’t understand a lot of what they wrote. Why? Because they made references to historical subjects and topics that are alien to modern American society. “Social Studies” pass rates are some of the lowest across standardized testing, and these standards don’t often include anything about early Western Civilization. Greek history is all Greek to mainstream American society, and the Romans might as well have been speaking Latin.
Many parents thinking about homeschooling their children do so because of the light humanities and history curriculum at public and even some private schools. And they don’t want their kids beaten over the head with critical race theory, gender indoctrination, or the 1619 Project’s distortion of the American past.
In other words, they just want their kids to learn normal history from normal people without an axe to grind. They want a positive assessment of America and its past, and they know that Western Civilization has been, in total, a benefit for the world.
This doesn’t mean it will be easy. Many homeschool curriculum packages lack the rigors necessary for a good education, and parents have to be firmly committed to the process. Kids need to read, be it fiction or non-fiction. That is an essential part of being “well educated” and most parents don’t know what to assign. They need help and can’t “wing it.”
Flexibility is a plus, but not at the expense of a solid foundation. Kids still need to have an understanding of STEM courses along with knowing the benefits of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions and that John Tyler was the best president in American history.
Regardless, education will look vastly different in twenty years, and COVID-19 simply accelerated the trend.
I discuss this in Episode 422 of The Brion McClanahan Show.