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More Parents Homeschooling to Escape Common Core


Chiot's Run-CC

Kim Scharfenberger - published on 11/23/14

Families opting out of both public and private schools that have adopted the federal standards

Evidence shows that parents are choosing to homeschool their children in order to escape the Common Core State Standards, two leaders in the Catholic homeschooling field told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Recent findings in several states indicate that there has been a significant increase in parents who choose to homeschool their children in order to avoid the Common Core standards being implemented in public and private schools, according to reports by Heartlander Magazine and

“Common Core has become a major concern for some parents in North Carolina, a state where homeschooling grew by 14 percent during the last academic year,” Heartlander reported. “More and more private traditional schools are choosing to align to the Standards,” a North Carolina parent stated to Heartlander. As a result, parents are reportedly “escaping Common Core Standards via home education because the traditional system is failing their families.”

EAGnews reported that Virginia “has seen homeschooling rates nearly double over the last decade,” with the amount of the student-age population being home-schooled growing from 1.8 percent in 2002 to 2.7 percent in 2013.

Sylvia Diaz, coordinator of the Tri-State Homeschoolers Association, told EAGnews that the Common Core “has wreaked havoc with a lot of parents, and they say their children are confused and anxious.”

Laura Berquist, founder and director of the Catholic distance homeschooling program Mother of Divine Grace School based in Ojai, Calif., indicated that there is a strong link between increased homeschooling and Common Core implementation.

“Significant numbers of parents have told our office staff that they are enrolling to get away from the Common Core,” Berquist told the Newman Society. “In addition, a consideration of our enrollment statistics for the past two years shows a swift upswing in enrollments that matches up with the timeline of the increase in dialogue relating to institution of the Common Core standards.”

“Parents are concerned, rightly, that the quality and content of their children’s education will suffer as a result of Common Core,” Berquist noted, adding that she has seen “an admirable level of concern among parents relating to the federal government’s involvement in setting national standards.”

“This is not a role that should belong to the federal government,” Berquist stated. “Education has always been better handled at a more local level, and best handled by parents, who actually know and love their individual students.”

Berquist continued:

"These parents also know that Common Core advocates, by their own admission, want a utilitarian education that prepares children for a job, not an education that is about goodness, truth, and beauty. As believers, our parents know that an education centered solely on this life and getting a job is not going to prepare their children for the most important (and longest) part of their lives: eternity."

Dr. Mary Kay Clark, director of Seton Home Study School, reported similar findings to the Newman Society. “There is no question that the implementation of Common Core into the classrooms of America has been a strong reason for more parents to choose home schooling,” Clark explained. “More educated parents are realizing that Common Core is intended to limit parental influence and to separate students from parental values.”

“The public school system is dedicated to teaching certain social values,” Clark continued. “Over the past decades, we have seen these values change from the Judeo-Christian values, upon which our nation was founded, to something quite different.”

Clark noted that the key for parents to ensure the proper academic and spiritual formation of their children is to maintain their involvement. “One of the best ways to do this is to teach children at home,” Clark stated. “The natural consequence of this has been the strengthening of Catholic home schooling families.”

Kim Scharfenberger
is a contributor to Catholic Education Daily. Originally published by Catholic Education Daily, an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society.

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