Should the Obamas Homeschool Their Daughters?

One of the many questions about the future Obama presidency is, “Where he will send his children to school?” The girls currently go to a private school in Chicago. Now that they will be in Washington D.C, one of the worst school districts in the country, there is much speculation about where they will attend.

There are some who say that our president-elect should send his children to public school since he such a large proponent of public school reform. In particular, he supports charter schools. If he doesn’t send his children to public schools, is he being hypocritical? How can he possibly understand the needs of schools if he’s not directly involved in them?

Then, there are several private schools he could send his daughters too. They’d certainly be more safe from crazy people who would want to hurt them. And they would certainly suffer less from “celebrity” status at an expensive private school. There is also the issue of actually getting his daughters the best education he can, and that won’t happen in the DC public schools.

Well, what about homeschooling? What would it be like to homeschool kids in the white house?

If the Obamas decided to homeschool, they would probably hire a tutor to do most of the “schooling” and to watch the kids during the day when both Michelle and Barrak are busy running the country. True homeschooling would be close to impossible in a family of extremely busy and high-profile politicians. Unless they had a family member or friend who could fill the role of parent/teacher, they would have to hire someone.

What about being isolated? Would a child who is homeschooled in the White House be isolated from the “real world” anymore than a White House child who goes to private school? And what about quality of education or socialization? What would a presidential homeschool playdate look like? Would they get involved in the DC homeschooling groups?

From my perspective, after having homeschooled, and being a busy writer, speaker, and volunteer, I can say that it would be totally possible to homeschool in the White House. Not only would it be possible, but it would be an absolutely amazing homeschooling experience. It would also take quite a lot of help, and effort, to keep every single thing the kids did out of the media’s prying eyes. That would be the hardest part. And for that reason alone, I can see how going to a private school might be an advantage – simply to have a place to go on a regular basis where they don’t have to worry about being bothered by the media.

What do you think? Would it be possible for the Obama’s to homeschool their girls, even with a tutor? Or are they just too busy and too high profile to do it?


11 Responses to “Should the Obamas Homeschool Their Daughters?”

  1. Sandra Foyt Says:

    It would definitely be possible to homeschool the girls in DC, there are lots of resources in the district that make that a fabulous choice even without the White House advantages.

    However, it all comes down to making the best choice for each child. Both girls previously attended a highly academic private school. If that was a great fit, then finding something similar would be the best choice.

    Due to their busy schedules, the Obamas would have to outsource the schooling anyway, and I can’t imagine that they would want to take on the management of tutors in addition to their other responsibilities.

  2. family4family Says:

    The Obamas could take on the task of homeschooling their girls; much in the same way the rest of us do, by having them involved in real life.

    I know from experience that travel is one of the best educations as child can have. I went to 14 different schools, including 3 high schools. I learned more out of class than in. You can’t deny what they could learn just traveling with mom and dad.

    Alas, I speculate that the Obama girls will go to Friends School. It has been the school of presidential off-spring for decades.

    Isolation? I think being a “first child” is isolation in of itself. They will not experience the real world for at least the next four years. Does anyone think the Secret Service will allow them on a soccer field? Or, at slumber party outside the White House?

    President-elect Obama could say more about education, not by the choice he and Michelle make, but by opening up choices to other families. He could champion school choice in some form for all.

  3. D Says:

    I’m sure they’ll make an informed choice that fits their family…but I would SO homeschool in the White House(I would anywhere…but I’m just sayin’).
    Areas of the house could easily be designated media-free when the family is ‘in house’ and with a good helper or two, the girls could travel with their parent/s from time to time and gain SO, SO much.

    I can’t imagine the safety challenges, myself, though. Mercy.

    Just my 2 cents 🙂


  4. Anna Says:

    We would continue to homeschool, but in our house, I would be the pol, and DH would be the one who was home. He would jump at the chance to homeschool in DC. He would be thrilled to arrange private field trips for our First Kids.

  5. Christy Says:

    I doubt the Obama’s will homeschool. I understand that in his memoirs he references homeschooling as a choice for some families. They will probably follow the lead of other families that have had school age children in the White House and send them to a private school.

    I agree that the best thing they could do is be proponents of school choice.

  6. BJK Says:

    If it were our family I would say yes. Even before we started to homeschool. But I don’t see them doing it. I also could not see running for office if my kids were that young. Unless I felt that my husband was being lead by the Lord. Seems like a hard place to be when you have yournger kids. Can then still be just kids who want to go on class field trips and run around the mall with their friends?

  7. tobeme Says:

    I think that it makes perfect sense for many of the reason you outlined. No matter what decision they make it will have an interesting impact on our education model as it is today.

  8. Jill Says:

    I don’t think it’s hypocritical of him to be sending his daughters elsewhere. Obviously he if he thinks something needs to be changed in the public school it’s something he wants his daughters to stay away from. Sending them to a public school would be kind of like starting to ride the subway during campaigns, I think… trying to fit in with the common people. It’s realistic for the President of the United States to be sending his children to something “better” than the typical public school. I think he’d also be willing to admit that his daughters are going to a private school (if they are), just like when he didn’t try to deny, hide, avoid, or disguise the fact that he was richer than most Americans.

  9. Jen Says:

    Well, Tammy, you KNOW we’d homeschool in the White House had we such an opportunity! D.C. is such a FABULOUS place to explore, not to mention easy access to the entire East Coast, and presidential access to the world! What could really be better?

    Then again, the president is supposed to be busy running the country, so unless Mrs. Obama takes the lead role, they may take some extra guff for spending the time with their children.

    I thought it odd that presidents, the leaders of our country which is so heavily dependent upon public schooling, too often do not send their children into the same system they advocate. They may talk big about funding public schools, but they’re not willing to send their own children into that program. This is precisely the reason I did not run for the local school board when I was asked to – I’m a homeschooling parent! Why should I be telling public school folks what they should or should not be doing in that setting?

  10. CB Says:

    Wow I really am feeling the Obama love flowing here. Strange but not surprising that homeschoolers would support him. Make no mistake, both major parties could care less about homeschoolers. The only proponents of homeschoolers are third party candidates( Libertarians etc). The NEA was a major supporter of the Obama campaign, do you have any idea what the NEA’s stance is on homeschooling? Take a wild guess.
    Obama is a hypocrite like most pols. You must give more and more to a failing public school system your kids don’t attend, while he sends his kids to private school. C’mon folks. This is not a dem repub issue either, both parties hate school choice because it is political suicide for them to do so.

  11. Hillary Says:

    I am guessing they will go with private school, but I think it would be a fantastic opportunity for the girls to be homeschooled in the White House. I think it is possible for the girls to have a hired guardian who was more in charge of taking care of the girls needs as they travel than “schooling” them. For example, the president is traveling- they go along and go on fantastic field trips but if it becomes too much they could go home early.

    It would also be fantastic to make the White House more “family friendly” and let those values ripple out to the rest of society.

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