There are many reasons to homeschool. There are religious reasons. There are quality of education reasons. There are lifestyle reasons. Some people even homeschool because their child’s school is dangerous. However, in the last 24 hours or so since the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, I have seen many comments from other homeschoolers that say, “I’m glad we homeschool.” I have seen other people comment, that more people should or will begin homeschooling. I pray that is not the case. While the school shootings in Connecticut are tragic and devastating, homeschooling our of a knee-jerk reaction is very bad idea.
This was a very bad day in the 300 year history of the town. The chances of it happening again are low. On the other hand, mass shootings in general are up. Mother Jones website calls 2012, The Year of Mass Shootings. This year alone, including the 28 people that died yesterday in Connecticut, more than 80 people died in mass shootings alone. This means homeschoolers are not safe either. My kids still go to the mall, and they still go to the movies. In fact, my daughter was on a youth leadership trip in Colorado, not too far from the theater where the movie theater massacre took place. She could have just as easily been there. We also don’t live too far from another mass shooting that happened earlier this past year. Please don’t even get me started on the fact that my son now lives on a college campus, where anything could happen. So while homeschooling may make us feel superficially safe, there is nothing we can do to keep our kids completely safe.
I’m not saying homeschooling for safety is a bad idea. I am saying that it is a bad idea if homeschooling ranks suddenly swell due to this incident. It takes time, dedication, and purpose to homeschool, and just as suddenly as homeschooling numbers could swell due to this incident, it would be sure to shrink again in a year or two when the memory of this tragedy begins to fade.
Now if you were already considering homeschooling your children, and this incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, then by all means, pull your kids out of school and start homeschooling them. I can’t speak for all town and communities, but I know that here in Atlanta, we have more homeschooling resources than you can even imagine. The links below can help you get started, and if you don’t live here, it can give you some ideas.
Complying with new Georgia homeschool requirements
Learning Excursions: Field trip assistance for homeschoolers
Homeschooling 101: Giving homeschooling a summer test-run in the Atlanta Area
As for those poor traumatized people in Newtown Connecticut, I don’t blame you if you want to homeschool. It would certainly normalize your children’s lives for a while, especially if they are completely traumatized, but it may also reinforce the fear and anxiety they may be having about schools and the world as a whole.