It seems that the back-to-school season has inspired some recent media coverage of homeschooling. “Not everyone is going back to school” is the basic theme that VaHomeschoolers has noticed, accompanied by a human-interest angle that dispels stereotypes of homeschoolers as isolationists on society’s fringes and portrays us as a cross-section of the general American population that has chosen a different educational approach. Since VaHomeschoolers’ mission is to serve Virginia’s diverse homeschooling population, which includes families of all ethnic and national backgrounds, religious beliefs, and educational styles, we are pleased to see reporters for local and national media outlets portraying the diversity of the homeschooling community in their coverage.
Recent media coverage of homeschooling includes an entry on CNN.com’s “Belief Blog,” with the unfortunately grammatically-grating title, “Less Families Homeschooling for Primarily Religious Reasons,” and an accompanying video, “Communal Homeschooling on the Rise.” These pieces emphasize that homeschoolers are families like many others, and that homeschooling is a valid educational option that, contrary to some stereotypes, does not equate to isolation, but rather to the building of community.
MSNBC’s Today show website offers a feature on homeschooling, “As Home-Schooling Moves to Mainstream, Stigma Fades,” subtitled, “As Numbers Increase, Many Say Past Stereotypes Aren’t Accurate.” This article emphasizes that homeschoolers don’t fit the socially-awkward stereotype with which they are so often pegged, discusses various curriculum approaches, including homemade curriculum, and explains that homeschooling offers students a chance to develop independence and opportunities to get into — and succeed in — colleges and universities, just like their traditionally-schooled peers. Included are links to related videos and articles that feature a family that homeschools for religious reasons, a family that homeschools while traveling the world, a piece on black families choosing homeschooling, and much more.
Regionally, NBC News in Washington D.C. posted a pair of stories written by a homeschooling reporter on the “Local Beat” section of its website. The first, entitled, “At School, at Home: Homeschooling in D.C.,” describes the author’s own experience with homeschooling in the region. While this article could suggest to some readers that homeschooling may be out of reach for them, if they are not, like the author’s wife, “a former teacher with an advanced degree in education,” it does portray homeschooling as just one more valid educational option for families to consider. The second article, ”Who Homeschools in D.C. — and Why?” focuses on the many different reasons families choose homeschooling, raises and dispenses with “the socialization question,” and extols the virtues of the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan region as an environment for homeschooling.