How One Student Sold Her Professor on Homeschooling

A college professor’s view on the legitimacy of homeschooling was turned upside down by one student.

David McGrath, an emeritus English professor at College of DuPage in suburban Chicago, explained in a recent commentary published by the Chicago Tribune that his opinion of homeschooling had to change once he realized the best student in his college composition class had been homeschooled.

“She maintained eye contact throughout lectures and discussions, listened intently to me and her classmates, raised her hand to offer an observation, an answer or to ask a question when no one else would, followed instructions to the letter, communicated verbally and in writing more clearly than everyone else, and received the highest grade on every assignment,” McGrath said. “She was the first student to arrive, had perfect attendance the entire semester, and was a catalyst for every lesson I ventured.”

His editorial presented four reasons why he assumed this homeschooler was at such an advantage in his college setting.

1. The classroom experience was new to her.

2. She viewed the classroom as a 1-on-1 learning experience with questions specifically directed toward her.

3. She accepted learning as her own responsibility.

4. She had previous experience interacting with an adult on many different topics.

McGrath had high praise for other homeschoolers he has taught. He also mentioned that while there are many reasons people homeschool, the best reason is that it simply offers a better education.

“If every student in my classroom were a radio, my homeschooled student was the one whose switch was turned on,” he said.

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