If your child is enrolled in school, it is illegal to take your child out of school to do family events, educational trips, etc. I know this because I when I had my son in first grade I ended up having to go to the truancy officer in my little Wisconsin town.

I told the truancy officer that my son is two grades ahead of his class and there’s no gifted program so why does he need to be in school all the time?

No answer. Except to tell me that I was the first person in the district he’s ever heard ask for a gifted program.

The thing is, especially until sixth grade, kids really do not need to be in school. At all.

We know from a large body of research that kids will learn to read on their own. And MIT just confirmed this long-known fact to be still true, even with kids on iPads all day long.

We have known since the 60s that kids don’t benefit from being taught math until sixth grade; kids who started learning in sixth grade quickly caught up to kids who started in first grade. This is because we end up learning addition and subtraction on our own, just like reading. And multiplication is very fast to learn when you’re ready and painfully slow when you’re not.

We know that social skills are not something you can teach in school. (If school could teach social skills all the kids with Aspergers would be cured by going to school.) We also know that kids don’t really get to talk with each other in school anyway. So homeschool parents do not need to somehow “socialize” their kids. The kids will do it just fine themselves. Because all the other kids are doing their socializing outside of school as well.

So there is not anything school is providing to kids sixth grade and younger that the kids cannot learn outside of school.

It’s just that once the school admits that, it’s hard to keep the order of the current system in place. We’d have to overhaul everything, which is not what big governments do. But your home is not a big government. You can overhaul whatever you want. And taking your kid out of school is the first step toward that.