The World's Worst Argument Against Homeschooling
By Bryan Caplan
I’ve heard many arguments against homeschooling. Here’s the worst:
“Bryan, you’ve got to send your kids back to public high school.”
“Well, you’ve got to understand that high school is miserable.”
“I remember it well. How is that an argument for high school?”
“Because it prepares you for the misery of life. Having a job is just like being in high school. Without that preparation, you’ll never make it in the real world.”
The obvious objection: Suppose your kid is incredibly happy in high school. Everyone‘s nice and encouraging. He’s learning piles of material. Day after day, he comes home and says, “High school is a dream come true.” What kind of a parent would react not with elation, but alarm? As in: “Eek! My kid’s may be excelling academically, but he’s totally not being prepared for the harshness of adult life. I’d got to immediately move him to a school where he’s unhappy… for his own good!” None I’ve ever encountered.
Sure, parents occasionally sentence their kids to military school, but they do so because the kid is behaving badly now, not because they fear their studious, well-mannered kids will grow up to be snowflakes.
So what’s the best argument against homeschooling? Conformity signaling, of course.