family. Usually, Mom does most of the homeschoolingnwhile Dad works at a full-time job. In those families (likenours) where the father and/or mother are self-employed, thenmain difference is that the children get to spend more timenwith their father as well as with their mother. Since thenaverage amount of time an American father spends withneach child supposedly amounts to 30 seconds a day(!),nhomeschooling dads would really throw off those statistics.nI am not only spending time with my children. We arenaccomplishing things together. All our children thus far havenlearned to read shortly after turning four. And when I saynread I mean read. Every one of them can read thenencyclopedia with ease. I am also free to offer my five-yearoldnan acrylic painting class normally reserved for adults (wendo this with art instruction videos). And our children cannlearn French or Latin or any other language we choose. Wenpick the resources; we are not hamstrung by what somencommittee somewhere thinks children can do.nWe are very pleased with their standardized test scoresn(99th percentile in a grade level one year more advancednthan the one normal for children their age). That, too, isnfairly typical. Numerous real studies have shownnhomeschoolers average about two years ahead of theirnpublic-schooled peers.nI am saving the taxpayers $4,000 a year for each of mynschool-age children (based on the average cost per child ofnpublic school). That already amounts to $8,000 a year andnsoon will be up around $24,000. We are also savingnourselves money. If we were to send our children to privatenschool, at an average cost of $2,000 per year per child, wenwould soon be spending $12,000 a year. Figuring that wenneed to make four dollars in order to come up with twonspendable dollars (thanks to taxes, tithes, and other expenses),nthat means my “salary” for homeschooling, e.g., thenmoney I save our family, will soon be around $24,000 anyear, minus the amount we spend on materials. Not badnwages!nN ow,nthe truth issue. Our homeschool is not censored. Incan explore with the children the real differencesnbetween communism, democracy, and republicanism, fornexample. I can discuss the Pilgrims and the Indians withoutnconsulting with the American Indian movement to makensure everything I say about the Indians is flattering. (Notnthat everything we learn about the white settlers is alwaysnflattering, either.) I am not forced to present feminism andncareerism as the One True Way, or to pretend thatnGorbachev’s Russia is morally equivalent to the USA. I amnalso not stuck with the hero-worshiping attitudes of somenChristian curricula. We can get into real history and realnculture studies, without the burden of propaganda from thenright or the left.nLast, there is the issue that counts the most for 90 percentnof homeschooling mothers — our children’s spiritual heritage.nOur kids are not going to be rootless nomads sucklednby a peer group if we can help it. We do not have to worrynabout things like drugs, AIDS, and suicide because we arenteaching them who they are and where God wants them tongo. Not only our experience, but the experience of thousandsnof other homeschooling families shows that whennparents get serious about training their children and protect­ning them from social evils they are not equipped to handle,nthe kids do turn out OK. It’s just a question of who is raisingnthem — Madison Avenue and the NEA (peer groups arennot really original thinkers) or their own parents.nOur society has made the mistake of placing a high valuenon people whose jobs depend on other people’s childrennhaving problems, but no value at all on parents who saventheir children from ever developing those problems in thenfirst place. Today we “need” trillion-dollar budgets fornprograms to deal with social problems that didn’t even existnwhen most mothers stayed home and took their jobnseriously. And many of our government leaders are screamingnfor more programs, while doing their best to liquidatenat-home motherhood altogether.nBill has a theory about the present trend toward governmentnbureaucracies taking over family tasks. He posits that,nsince all tasks done within the family are nontaxable, ournleaders have a financial interest in eliminating traditionalnmotherhood. A mother who gardens, or makes her ownnclothes, or teaches her own children, or takes care of hernaged relatives, or does charitable work, is doing all this fornfree. If the same work were done by professionals, every bitnof it could be taxed. And regulated, too. Lots of money fornthe nomenklatura in Washington and elsewhere.nTrustworthy estimates of the number ofnhomeschooled children now hover around anquarter of a milhon, meaning somewherenbetween one hundred thousand and twonhundred thousand women are nownemployed in homeschooling. In other words,nhomeschooling is a growth profession fornwomen today and deserves to be takennseriously.nStill, even in the face of unremitting propaganda andnstrong financial disincentives, the number of activenhomeschoolers is doubling every year. Trustworthy estimatesnof the number of homeschooled children now hover aroundna quarter of a million, meaning somewhere between onenhundred thousand and two hundred thousand women arennow employed in homeschooling. That’s more than thennumber of female cops, airline pilots, and engineers all putntogether (all of whom are featured heavily in public schoolntexts while at-home mothers are ignored). In other words,nhomeschooling is a growth profession for women today andndeserves to be taken seriously. As Bill says, “If it isnworthwhile work to take care of other people’s children in anday-care center or to teach them in a school, it certainly isnworthwhile work to do it on your own.”nEveryone agrees that children are tremendously importantnand that “we” need to “do something” to insure thatn”our” children grow up happy and productive. “We” tonmany people means the “government” and one-size-fits-allncentral planning. To homeschoolers, it means Mom. nnnOCTOBER 1989/15n