Home schoolingcan be too protective

As a former student home-schooled in North Portland, allow me to fill you in on the dirty little secret of home school: It is dreadfully boring (Taking lesson plans to the hearth, March 26). I have no doubt that home-schooling your child protects them from the dangerous influences of social interaction. However, it unfortunately also protects your child from the influence of fun. How exciting can it be to spend the majority of your day at home? Trust me, not much.

When I was home-schooled, my two best friends were a scrawny apple tree in the back yard and the mailman. Oh, how I loved the mailman.

Yes, change is good. I would rather have been subjected to the taunts and jeers of my peers, than be stuck at home for one more day.

Home school is safe and boring.

Justin Morton

Arlington, Va.

City would be wiseto aid homeowners

The article on the gap between white and minority homeownership rates (American dream proves elusive, Business, March 12) referenced the Portland Housing Center as a private-sector business. Hardly. The Portland Housing Center is a nonprofit organization with the mission that everyone deserves access to homeownership. We provide education, counseling and financial services to help make it possible.

As to how to increase minority homeownership, it is not through another study. More public and private funds must be spent on outreach, education, lending and building homes. The city's Housing Investment Fund showed how down-payment programs could leverage millions of dollars in first mortgages. Homeownership One Street at a Time and Northeast Community Development Corp. showed how new homes for sale motivated renters to become homeowners. The Asian, Latino and African-American Home Buying Fairs demonstrated how hundreds of people are interested in buying their first home.

Homeownership is not just a dream. It fuels the economy. New purchases, refinancing, home starts, related retail sales and home improvements create jobs, wealth and tax revenues.

To reduce the gap, the city should again invest in homeownership to leverage more private sector dollars. Then everyone has the opportunity to share the dream.

Peg Malloy

Portland Housing Center

Northeast Portland