Is Homeschooling Just the Latest Parenting Fad?

Education is always a hot button topic in parenting circles. In this week's Moms Talk, we're discussing home schooling.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question relates to homeschooling:

The topic of home schooling has garnered major headlines these days. A recent Newsweek cover story with the title “Are Homeschoolers Out of Their Minds?” has generated a good deal of online chatter among both those who homeschool and those who don’t. The Newsweek article itself is a bit more balanced than the cover headline might indicate, detailing the reasons “Why Urban, Educated Parents Are Turning to DIY Education.” Now we want to know what you think:

Is homeschooling just the latest parenting fad?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.
  • Jennifer Willenbrock of Nazareth is mom to two beautiful daughters, ages 5 and 6 weeks. She was previously employed by Catholic Charities, where she worked in a girl’s group home in Philipsburg, N.J.  

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Chris Miller February 13, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Jennifer Name the benefits
Chris Miller February 13, 2012 at 02:17 PM
The parents are responsible for the education of their children. That said given what is going on in schools today and haveing taught istory for 32 years I would recommend that if you can home school your children do it. There are support groups throughout the area that will be only to happy to assit you. Our public schools where we are paying around $12 thousand per year per child are a mess. Last week it was announced that 10 states were going to be given waives on the No Child Left Behind program. It is time to eliminate that program and the schools should be setting their own program. For generations we sent children to local schools grades 1-6 and we had individuals who were both business men and professionals. We went from that to the consolidation of school districts that for all intent are miserable failures. Thankfully thiere appears to be some changes on the horizon. There is talk of gettting rid of this concept to improve the self-estem of the kids and return to kids having to learn by correcting their mistakes. You can do that at home from the beginning.
Laurel Wenson February 15, 2012 at 01:03 AM
I've been homeschooling for 8 years, with one daughter now in college and another finishing up 8th grade. As assistant director at a weekly community coop for homeschoolers -- now with 118 kids attending each wee -- I can say with certainty that homeschooling is not for everyone. However, the reasons that people choose to homeschool today vary greatly, and with the resources and curriculum now available I highly encourage those "thinking about it" to give it a try. When I began the journey, my concerns were about things like socialization, missing out on activities such as prom and musicals, and whether or not I had the commitment and organization to actually teach my kids. As they got older, and I realized that they needed more than I could give in certain subjects, the idea of the coop was born....so while I might teach high school english and fine arts, I let someone else who is degreed or highly qualified in other subjects to teach those areas. Overall, I think homeschoolers are BETTER socialized in most cases, as they learn to communicate with people of all ages and walks of life. That being said, not all SHOULD homeschool; it takes a huge commitment and a selfless way of life, and not all parents are able to do so (for a variety of reasons). I am so grateful for my own choice to jump into the world of homeschooling, and have never regretted my decision.
StGabes June 30, 2012 at 03:23 PM
There are programs, like gym class, art ex. for home schoolers and the Indoctrination of teachers in public school is ridiculous.....
StGabes June 30, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Isn't teacher indoctrination a good reason?


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