Homeschoolers miss out on school's amenities, social activities.
by Julian Cavazos
Source: Victoria Advocate
September 28, 2009
Homeschooled students miss out on high school activities such as prom, football games, and constant social interaction, some parents say.
Mario Torres, 45, grew up attending public schools. It has been fine for his children.
"My mom was a teacher for 33 years, so I believe in the school system," Torres of Victoria said. "It works. It's proven to work since day one."
Miguel Torres, who has children enrolled in the Victoria school district, said he respects parents who homeschool their kids, but wouldn't choose that for his own.
"They don't get to wear school jackets," Torres said. "You can't go to your science teacher and say, 'Hey, look, I'm a nurse. Thank you for your science help.' I'm not saying parents can't do that, but that's not the same. Teachers have a big influence."
Parents who choose to be their child's teacher means having to sacrifice their own jobs, said Diane Boyett, Victoria school district communications specialist.
"This means the parent forgoes an outside career, if they wish to have one, while they are schooling the child," Boyett said. "For many parents, this dedication works well. For other families, economics drives parents to the workplace. Public schools offer parents the opportunity to be in the workforce."
Laboratories and other technological equipment are also available to help students learn in public schools, Boyett said.
"Students have the opportunities to do hands-on learning in courses like chemistry, physics, computer networking, electronics and other career and technology programs," Boyett said. "Some of these opportunities would be difficult for small groups of parents to put together in a homeschool environment."
At school, there are all kinds of children, which teaches students to cooperate and understand those from different walks of life, Mario Torres said.
"Their social skills, I don't think they're going to be as strong," Torres said of homeschool students. "You're not going to have the different backgrounds of people to deal with, people from different ethnic groups, different economic groups."
Then there's the high school memories, like football games everyone goes to Friday nights.
Those can live on forever, Miguel Torres said.
"Even now, all of us are older, and we still brag," Torres said. "We were beating 2A or 3A schools, and they just can't do that."