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Homeschooling meets a need

Lily Osgood, 7, corrects a math problem while studying at her family's home, in Fairfax, Vt., July 20, 2021. Lily and her brother, Noah, 12, have been homeschooled this school year. Having observed Lily’s progress with reading and arithmetic while at home during the pandemic, her mother was convinced homeschooling is the best option for her going forward.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Re “Do-it-yourself education is on the rise” (Ideas, Dec. 26): Homeschooling is rising because public education, working under a decades-old, obsolete funding system, frequently fails the children who need it most.

Parents know there is no “do-over” if their children’s schools don’t educate. The effects are lifelong. Hence the desperation and live-wire voltage parents feel when their children’s school underperforms or does not meet their children’s unique needs.

There’s a place for the current mix of traditional and charter public schools, parochial schools, private schools, homeschooling, vocational schools, and even, as the article suggests, new modes of learning arising from technology and pandemic-driven necessity. All should be held accountable for results (yes, the MCAS/equivalent).


The wealthy have always had school choice, but most families cannot afford to opt out of a failing school or system. It is unconscionable to condemn yet another generation of disadvantaged children to a substandard education that in turn condemns them to low-paying jobs, unemployment, dependency on social welfare programs, or the school-to-prison pipeline, effectively guaranteeing ongoing income and social inequality.

Mark Lohr

Jamaica Plain