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Politicization and classroom bias were the top reasons one Texas parent chose to homeschool their children this school year, the mother-of-four told Fox News.
“I definitely chose to home school my kids because I feel like I have the ability to control what they learn, the speed at which they learn so they learn a lot faster, and outer Influences like peer pressure, bullying, political agendas,” said Tara Carter. “I think that’s a lot of people’s reasons for home schooling.”
According to recently released data from the Texas Education Agency, the number of Lone Star State students who were diverted from public schools in favor of homeschooling increased 40% in the spring of 2021 from a year earlier. Many families switched to homeschooling when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but Carter believes many parents are continuing to self-teach their children due to disagreements with curriculum.
Parents want control over “who they learn from and the content of what they learn,” she told Fox News.
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The Texas mother withdrew three of her children — a kindergartener and two first graders — from public school this school year in favor of homeschooling. She let her ninth grade daughter attend high school with her friends.
“I didn’t like some of the things they learned in public school,” Carter said. “There are too many prejudices.”
“I want them to learn things about politics, things about morality, things about our beliefs,” she told Fox News. “I’d rather they learn from me or ask me questions than learn from someone I might disagree with.”
Carter was particularly concerned when she found out her children were present when their peers discussed gender identity and sexual orientation on the school bus.
“They learned … wildly inappropriate sexual things, gender things and preferences, and they came home and said things about it,” Carter told Fox News. “I was blown away that kindergarten kids talk like that.”
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“I don’t want them to grow up and worry about gender and things like that. They are still babies to me and I want them to be my little kids for as long as possible,” Carter continued. “They grow up much faster if they learn things from their peers that aren’t appropriate for young children.”
According to a recent New York Times/Siena poll, more than two-thirds of registered voters oppose gender identity and sexual orientation being taught in elementary school. But among Democratic voters, 53% supported including gender identity in elementary school curricula.
The issue has become a focal point at school board meetings across the country.
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“I think people realize that I have the freedom to make those decisions,” Carter said. “It definitely plays a big, big role.”
Carter said parents would rather teach their children certain subjects than have them learn from “teachers who are more biased and political.”
The Texas Home School Coalition received a peak of 13,000 home school inquiries in 2021, compared to 3,500 in August 2020. Last month it was down to 1,700, but the organization expects more parents will drag their children to home school for safety reasons school shootings in Uvalde, Texas.
Salvador Ramos shot dead 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in May. Although the politicization of the classroom was the main reason she pulled her children out of public school, Carter said the Uvalde shooting was the final straw.
“It scared me so much I didn’t care if I qualified,” Carter said. “I wanted to transfer my kids from public schools to home schooling.”
The Texas mom said she saw the academic benefits of home schooling.
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your kindergarten child “I wasn’t reading at all when we started about a month ago,” she told Fox News. “Now read it completely.”
Numerous peer-reviewed studies have found that homeschool students perform better on standardized tests than their public school peers. And according to the National Home Education Research Institute, homeschoolers do 15 to 30 percentage points better.
“In public schools, they can only move as fast as the slowest kid,” Carter said. “If your child can learn faster, they don’t necessarily teach faster.”
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Carter said her youngest child excelled at home much faster than her twins did when they were in public kindergarten. She emphasized her ability to focus on her three children versus a teacher who has to split time between dozens of students.
“No one can love and raise your children like you do,” Carter told Fox News. “You know how they learn and you know how to love them best.”
“When you’re in a loving environment, I feel like you thrive,” she said.