Harvard law school calls for ban on homeschooling; homeschooled Harvard graduate on why this is wrong: Melba Pearson

Posted on:April 21, 2020

I graduated from Harvard with honors. In fact, Harvard was the very first school I ever set foot in. The first 12 years of my education, I was homeschooled, from kindergarten to 12th grade. I was proud of my school, until last night, when I read Harvard Magazine’s article on the so-called “risks” of homeschooling. In essence, this article is not an attack on a form of education some might view as lesser quality. In essence, this article is an attack on the fundamental rights and freedoms that make our country (and until recently, institutions such as Harvard) what they are.

As a homeschooled applicant, I had to work harder than most students when applying to college. I knew my application was going to be viewed differently than other applications, despite what admissions advisors might say. I knew I had to prove myself. I worked harder than I ever had in my life, and when I was accepted to Harvard, I was ecstatic — it was truly a dream come true. In the next four years, the work I did to succeed and do well at Harvard surpassed anything I had done to get into college, and graduating from Harvard was the proudest and most exciting day of my young life. It was the pinnacle of my life up to that point; all my work (academic and otherwise) was reflected in that achievement. The skills and values I had been taught at home, by my parents and online teachers, enabled me to reach that goal. Homeschooling, and the lessons and characteristics I learned and honed during the first 18 years of my life, prepared me to succeed — no, excel — at one of the most difficult and prestigious universities in the world.

Thus, it is disappointing that Harvard Magazine’s Erin O’Donnell, quoting Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Bartholet, argues it is the government’s responsibility to educate the children of this nation. She is not arguing everyone has a right to education — they absolutely do. Rather, she argues the government has more of a right to educate, care for, and control your children than you, their parents, do; and furthermore, they can do it better. The idea that a government, already so inefficient and inadequate in so many areas, can care for and educate every child better than its parent is wrong.

To read the rest of this column at the Medium, please click here.

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