Home-schooling should be emulated, not eliminated

To the editor:

Monday's editorial on home schooling in California brought memories of strong concerns and ultimate pride. Having lived in the Los Angeles area for 15 years, I have seen where they have good schools and bad schools.

In the 1980s, my oldest daughter decided to home-school her children -- ultimately five daughters. I was concerned about how this would affect them socially -- as well as wheher my daughter could provide the learning and structure they would get in the public schools. A few years later, my second daughter started home-schooling her two daughters.

Both my daughters are college graduates. They lived in very good school districts back East (New York and Massachusetts) -- not the reason they made their decisions.

Over the years, I saw the girls develop and learn. Although the structure is somewhat different than the public schools, it was excellent. There are very good books and guidelines available to use. There is more flexibility in their day, but not in overall coverage. Doing assigned homework was closely monitored -- more so than most students.

As my granddaughters grew up, I saw them mature in very satisfying ways. Four of them have graduated from college (the oldest has a master's degree). Two are currently in college and the last is still at the high school level.

They have also developed good social traits and, most importantly, stronger personal values than what our society appears to have developed in recent years.

While I know there is controversy on this subject, I can't believe that California has imposed rules against home-schooling, requiring interested parents to first get a teaching "credential" from the state.

I now believe my granddaughters were better off being home-schooled, from an educational standpoint. When I compare them with what I see going on in our society, I'm also convinced they are well above average in "good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and nation" -- the reasons a California court gave for ruling that public schools are better than home-schooling.

For a judge to imply that home-schooling is deficient is not based on facts. That is inconsistent with our country's history and how our legal system is expected to operate.

In fact, I believe the success of home-schooling should demand that our school systems look carefully at the methods and results for ways to improve their systems.

John Van de Houten