I live in a community with several schools, but feel that my daughter can benefit from a year away from the social pressures and stress and would like to try this. In the experience of the distinguished mechanchim, is there a reason not to?
Home-schooling is the "in" thing in today's day and age, a fad bordering on epidemic. [An epidemic? Do I detect some fear of the idea even being out in the marketplace of free ideas? Being a home-camping parent/early childhood "homeschooling" parent, I'm fairly certain it is safe to say homeschooling is NOT reaching epidemic proportions, nor will it anytime soon. I don't think we need to worry about homeschooling becoming an epidemic when it is near impossible to find close in age children that are home for the 8-10 weeks of summer].
My question is: Does your daughter want/need to be home-schooled or is this your idea? There is an interesting phenomenon. Serious baalei teshuvah are able to make up in 2-3 years what our children have studies for 15. Why, then, do our children spend so many years in yeshiva? [Just ignore this stunning inditement for a second because we won't be returning to this programming.]
There are two major components besides for ongoing learning.
One is the yedios one absorbs on a daily basis from one's rebbi/morah/menahel/gedolim, etc. There are so many nuances that make up a typical day in yeshiva/Bais Yaakov. Let's call this the osmosis part of education. There is no way in the work that your daughter will pick all this up in a home-schooling environment.
Second, there is a social aspect to being in a classroom. Learning how to play with friends, interact in after-school activities, and joining in the group are most important as well. We receive hundreds of calls over the summer asking to place children with certain rabbeim. While I seriously believe that it is narishkeitin, because all the rabbeim are wonderful [Evvvvvveeeeerrrrrryyyyyy single one? If only every employer could be so lucky!], there is nothing more important than good friends in the classroom [and does the girl have good friends?]. You are sending your daughter to a Bais Yaakov not only to learn, but, even more importantly, to make and retain friends. If your daughter has the common, everyday pressures of stress, teach her how to work with it. Don't run away from it. [First it might be helpful to explore where the stress is coming from. . . . bullying? a learning issue? A school day that is too long?]
Home-schooling should be left only for those who cannot function in a classroom- a handicapped or learning-disabled child who does not want to be placed in a public school, or a child who is cracking under pressure of stress. There is no sensible reason to take a healthy, normal girl out of her milieu. We have all seen too many karbanos [from where? There isn't a statistically significant enough yeshivish population to begin to analyze. I imagine there are no failures from the "system."]. Don't gamble with your children.
I am not even discussing the silliness of trying to avoid paying tuition. This should not be a discussion or consideration. [This is a hum zinger. . . "silliness"? Are there not families in the author's school suffering financially in this environment? Are there not families and marriages not slowly dying under growing debts and financials stresses (This is regularly spoken about by Orthodox organizations when they meet to discuss tuition)? Are there not children that might be living with extra stress from their homes because of the rat race to find that $$$$ and make ends meet? . oh, I forgot, "money ain't a thing" and should not factor into such decisions. Private school parents, a published statement like this from a very well respected Rosh Yeshiva has to make you wonder, right?]
Rebbi, Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim, Baltimore
I can't ever see a reason to homeschool a child. Aside from academics, there is so much to be gained from school. In fact, an argument can be made that the social aspects of school are even more important than the academics.
It sounds to me like your daughter needs a strong boost of self-confidence. Speak to her teachers for the upcoming year and explain her concerns. Homeschooling is not the answer. [Emphasis mine. Ever, ever? Can you bottle this confidence because it would eliminate a lot of sleepless nights for concerned parents?]
General Editor, Artscroll/Mesorah Publications
Unless there are compelling reasons, I would be opposed to homeschooling. The writer implies that there may be such "compelling reasons," but as a general rule it is a bad idea and, in most cases, a disservice to the child.
Academically, it is not likely that homeschooling will cover the normal school curriculum, simply because the drive to learn and teach will dwindle as the weeks go by, and there is little stimulus to maintain the program. [And this is not true of some classrooms too? Silly to even argue an unsupported point] Sooner or later, the child will go back to school and then she will be at a disadvantage, thus even increasing the pressures that the parent is trying to remove. Socially, the child will be without friends. Not at first, because she'll still be friendly with her old schoolmates, but that will wear off, since she will not be part of the school environment anymore. [If this is not the stupidest statement of the entire round table, I'm not sure what is. Seems the the socialization problem might be endemic to the very system being promoted. . . and pray tell, how do military brats even have friends?]
The parents shold consult the school on how to ameliorate the "social pressure and stress," but running away from the problem will not solve it. If, indeed, the problem is as significant as the writer implies, a professional should be consulted. [We don't even know where the problem is stemming from, but I guess the possibility that it might be coming from within the walls of the school is not something we should consider!]