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Letter to the Editor by
Laurie Block Spigel

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In response to a front-page New York Times article, entitled "Home Schooling: More Pupils, Less Regulation", about homeschooling regulations in Pennsylvania, published on 4 January 2015, Laurie Spigel wrote the following reply, which was published on 9 January 2015 under the title Easing the Rules on Home Schooling

To the Editor:

Just three days into home schooling I discovered that the world was our teacher. The world is the well, and student and parent go to the well together. Taking this view, education becomes a shared adventure, instead of a regimen forced on students by authority.

My kids had dozens of teachers — far more than they would have had in school. I taught them literature and writing (my strengths). For other subjects, we had the world to choose from.

Many people wrongly assume that this means I must be among the affluent elite. I started home schooling with enough spare change in my pocket for only one subway ride a week. As a result of my own experience, I compiled a list of over 1,300 free or cheap educational activities available to New York City kids:

My sons, now grown, both received generous scholarships from their first-choice colleges, with no high school diplomas — but with a great high school education and both are people with diverse interests leading interesting lives. Perhaps most important, my sons view learning as a lifelong pursuit.

Home schooling is a misnomer, and the stereotype is far from the truth. I have met hundreds of home-schoolers who are not stuck at home learning from one parent. They are out in the world, engaging in countless social, artistic and educational activities, learning from museums, libraries, internships and more — living in an environment for learning that reaches far beyond any classroom.

Bronx, Jan. 6, 2015