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Michelle in MO

A somewhat troubling conversation about homeschooling . . . please chime in!

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I dearly love our girls' piano/voice teacher, and she has always been supportive of our family's choice to homeschool.

 

Today, however, she told me what I've heard so often from public school people---that teachers at the public schools are not friendly towards homeschoolers (like, I already knew that!) because they don't believe that most homeschoolers are doing a good enough job for their kids to be able to function in the public schools. She said that her son, who teaches in the Springfield (MO) area, says that he sees many homeschoolers whose parents are giving them the bare minimum: enough math to do their checkbooks, enough reading to help them get by in life, etc. etc.

 

Now, she told me that she thought we had done an excellent job, so she wasn't being critical of our family.

 

I guess this conversation started me thinking: because I try to homeschool classically (albeit imperfectly), am I in the minority of most homeschooling families? Are there really that many homeschoolers out there who are doing the bare minimum so that their children can pass the GED and work at a factory or something similar? In other words, what is the cold, hard truth about homeschooling in general? Is my perception that homeschoolers do better than public school kids skewed? I'm just really curious about this.

 

Honestly, I read so many of your posts on these boards that I know you're doing an awesome job! Really---some of your kids are National Merit scholars, going on to college and beyond, taking several online courses at one time, taking AP courses, etc. You know what I mean. I feel like I'm at the "low end" of some of this---really. Yet, are classical homeschoolers, or homeschoolers who are on these boards, in the minority?

 

What do you think?

 

:confused1:

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Depends on what YOU classify as the "bare minimum".

 

I've been told by some like you(and others--who classically school), that I am failing my kids because I don't follow a rigerous school type schedule (umm, isn't that the point?), that because I don't use a certain curriculum or a certain method, blah de blah.

 

Honestly, it's the same old tired argument. All one has to do is substitute one word for another and you(general) could be arguing against unschoolers, or relaxed schoolers, or even Christian homeschoolers.

 

You(general) might choose Charolette Mason, while I might choose Bju. Neither of us are right and neither of us are wrong. We both chose what we felt was best for our kids. But some don't get that.

 

So, to you I would say--define what YOU think "bare minimum" is--because *I* might be doing what you consider "bare minimum" even while I think I am doing a lot. Kwim?

 

Yes, there are most definitely some who do just the 3 R's and think that suffices. But who am I to say what they are doing is wrong?

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I know a lot of homeschooled kids, and not all of them are (or were) homeschooled classically. Both my current and former church is made up of mostly homeschool families, and in both cases, I was (am) in the minority as a more or less classical homeschooler. I know scads of other homeschooled kids from online classes, a theater group, and some homeschooling lists that I am on. A homeschooling family even lives across the street from my mom. With very few exceptions, these kids are college-bound and tend to do very well. Almost all of the "horror" stories I hear are hearsay.

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there are many homeschoolers around my area that unschool - NO formal school work at all. In Massachusetts, state tests/std tests are not required by all superint.; that means some kids don't even have to learn to read or do BASIC schoolwork.

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Sigh...

 

When my son attended a Montessori school, I remember one of his Sunday school teachers (who worked as an aide at a public elementary school) tell me that children from the Montessori school were so far behind. Really?, I asked. No history or science was studied at the public school--only math and English. They did things in a different order at Montessori: addition led to multiplication, then came subtraction, etc. So maybe they did not learn what was on the equivalent end of grade test that the public school gave, but behind?

 

Sometimes I think that public school teachers tend to measure grade levels based on their content. We may choose to read a particular Shakespearian play in 10th, not 9th. Does that mean we are behind even though we read Sophocles and Aristophanes in 9th and our public school friends did not?

 

Some homeschool parents may do a disservice by not having their kids do challenging course work. But when I was teaching at the local community college, I met many kids from the local public schools who were ill served by this school system. They received a high school diploma but placed into the equivalent of 6th grade remedial math at the CC.

 

Broad generalizations are dangerous.

 

Yeah, some homeschoolers are lax. So are a lot of non-homeschoolers. But every high school homeschool student whom I know has taken and passed some college level course work at either the CC or the regional university near us. They may not be brilliant, but at 16 or 17 they are capable of keeping their heads above water in a college classroom. To me this is a statement.

 

Jane

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I have had the same type points made to me lately. First, my sister-in-law (a high school english teacher) was applauding the particular approach I'm taking and the work we put into this. She said that we are definitely in the minority because we really "teach" our children. I asked what she meant and she said basically that most homeschool families don't do enough and just kind of leave their children to the wolves. I think much of that is the indoctrination she's getting in the public school setting. I was a little taken aback by it, because honestly, half the time if I compare my family to other families that homeschool, I feel we aren't doing "enough". I don't always feel that way, but at times I get a stab of fear in that direction.

 

The next comment was by a neighbor with kids who are my kids' friends. She was saying good things about our homeschooling, etc., and said that she hadn't had experience with anyone who did it for the right reasons like we do. She has a friend who homeschools just so she doesn't have to make the point to get them to school on time and the 4th grade child can't read or do math, etc. etc.

 

I had another neighbor try to tell me not to do it (I moved here 7 months ago and have been homeschooling for 8 years). She said her husband's ex-wife homeschooled and her kids only got a 4th grade education.

 

So I pondered the whole thing a while and came to a couple of conclusions: 1) Maybe many of the homeschoolers who choose to hole their children up and let them watch soap operas and cartoons all day aren't the ones who get out and do homeschool activities for me to get to know them anyway. I mean, if I felt ashamed of my efforts, I'm sure I'd avoid social situations, kwim? 2) A lot of people who don't homeschool but have negative opinions of homeschoolers make biased, blanket statements based on their uncle's cousin's sister who knows a family who knows a family who homeschools and 17yo junior can't write his name, and thus, all homeschoolers are uneducated. I've seen that often enough.

 

JMO. I too think there are numerous ways to do this thing. My own convictions lead me a certain way, but many others do it differently. It's the beauty of having freedom to educate your child as you so choose.

 

Teresa

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Well, it seems to me that the unfriendly ps teachers and administrators are the ones who feel threatened, whatever the reason. That’s been my experience.

 

That said, I know that there are homeschooling parents that are doing their children a disservice, by anybody’s definition. There are homeschooling parents that are doing a fabulous job. And there are both terrible and terrific public schools. There is always going to be someone doing a better or worse job.

 

I can’t honestly speak to the question about whether classical/college-bound homeschooling families are in the minority. I don’t really pay attention to that. We don’t do coops or support groups because they don’t help us accomplish our goals.

 

But I strongly believe that more and more universities would not be actively seeking homeschool students if homeschoolers weren’t better prepared than their ps counterparts.

 

Jennifer

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I think some of it is true. Some of it is perception based on someone's position in the world. Some of it's wrong...

 

For perception... How is it that your piano teacher's son interacts with home schoolers? I have a good friend (who sends her kids to public school and afterschools them, but is very respectful of home schooling generally) whose mother is a reading specialist in a public school in Canada. The home schooled kids in her school are transitioning to the public schools in late elementary school. Many of them are making the transition because for some reason home schooling wasn't "working". She gets most exposure to the ones who need her help -- her help as a reading specialist. These kids *are* behind. They generally don't have basic literacy or math skills in late elementary school. They can't keep up. They often have other problems going on as well (social, etc). *But* the *reason* she meets these kids is because there was a problem with home schooling (in some cases the kids weren't really being home schooled at all, they were neglected, and social services got involved; in some cases the kids had LDs that weren't being addressed at home and eventually the parents thought maybe the school could help; a family tragedy may have occurred that caused schooling the children to fall by the wayside for an extended period of time, etc, etc) -- the kids who are home schooled successfully don't come across this woman's radar very often. Just knowing our family and my kids has made a difference in her opinion of home schoolers, but her perspective on the whole is certainly skewed by her position.

 

Some home schoolers *are* behind the public schools in terms of skills. I actually see this fairly often. It's not all home schoolers by any means! I know some fabulous, conscientious home school parents (with a variety of "philosophies" -- not just classical) whose students work to the best of their abilities (whatever those are -- I certainly don't think it's helpful to suggest that "all" home schooled students should be in the top X percent). But I also know a number of families who simply don't value skills that I would consider to be very basic.

 

I find it frustrating when home schoolers imagine that their children are all better educated, better adapted, more polite, etc than children in other school situations simply because they're home schooled. There's a range in *every* schooling situation. The "studies" I've seen have been poorly designed and prove nothing -- they look only at a self-selected group of home schoolers.

 

Obviously I think home schooling can be *wonderful*. And I *think* we're doing a pretty good job academically, socially, etc. But I think it's always good to step back and question what's working and what isn't...

 

ETA: When I went from home schooling to a year of private school (9th) then a public International Baccalaureate school (10 and 11), both schools were *wonderful* to me about my home schooling background. Granted, lol, I started 9th grade in 1992. ;) So it's been a while. We met with a guidance counselor at another public school, and he was just horrid. His perspective was that "home schoolers always fail". lol. I think we just blinked at him in amazement. We left. He had never seen a test score, looked at anything I'd done, anything at all... The other two schools were fabulous, accepting credit from our home schooling, placing me appropriately even when it was outside the norm for my grade... When I skipped my senior year to go to college on scholarship, I was tempted to send the bad guidance counselor a copy of the newspaper article from our local paper, lol. ... But really, it concerns me when people make blanket statements about how schools feel about home schoolers as much as when they make blanket statements about home schoolers -- the fact is, schools, like home schoolers, are made up of individuals and those individuals generally set the policy.

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I've recently started substitute teaching at our local high school. When I mentioned that I have a daughter who is a Jr (17) and is homeschooled--ALL of the teachers in the workroom (it was lunch time) gave me POSITIVE support/comments!

 

Years ago my dad was a PS teacher. When my sister--who never finished college--decided to pull her young dd's out of PS and homeschool them my dad gave her GRIEF! He made all of the 'usual' comments about her failing her children...but she kept on home schooling like she knew that is was best for her children!

 

A few years later my dad retired from PS teaching. He decided to 'help' out my sister's poor deprived daughters and offered to give them music lessons (he was a band director). Some of their friends joined in too and my dad made an almost IMMEDIATE 180 degree turn around. Suddenly HOMESCHOOLERS were the best educated, best behaved and over all BEST students he had ever had!

 

He now has homeschool bands that reach across the whole state of Oklahoma http://www.centralokhomeschoolbands.com/

 

I've talked to several other PS teachers over the years and the ones who made negative comments were the ones who were exposed to homschool students who were put (back) into PS after a 'failed' attempt to homeschool. In some cases the parents worked full time and expected their high school aged kids to school themselves...

 

I have many many friends who homeschool. I'm close to one family that is doing what most would consider a HORRIBLE job--2nd grader does not know the alphabet (he can sort of write his name)--does NO school at all (not even unschooled!), 15 yr dd has not worked on ANY school type subject in years (but her older sister taught her to read so she is literate). There are 6 children in this family who are not getting any type of education...of the other 3 children--one attended PS and is now in the military. One was born with severe disabilities and the 3rd oldest taught herself and now attends community college--it will take her nearly 7 years to graduate with a '4-year' degree. This is a HAPPY family--and they are ACTIVE in our community and church. The children are among the most 'social' and POLITE--not to mention HARD WORKING, I have ever met.

 

The MAJORITY of my homschooling friends have children that are college prep. They are getting huge scholarships and those that have gone on to college have excelled there too...

 

I'm homschooling a dd with special needs--I KNOW she is not getting the same level of instruction that would be considered 'college prep'. She is doing much less work than my other dd who is in PS high school. BUT I know without a doubt that she is learning more at home at her own speed than she would from a special ed class at our local PS.

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there are many homeschoolers around my area that unschool - NO formal school work at all. In Massachusetts, state tests/std tests are not required by all superint.; that means some kids don't even have to learn to read or do BASIC schoolwork.

I just wanted to clarify that my mention of unschoolers was because I consider myself sort of one as well. We have a very relaxed, eclectic, unschooling approach but we also use texts. So that's why I asked you to figure out what YOU mean by "bare minimum" because I happen to know some unschoolers (total ones) whose children are far ABOVE mine, education wise.

 

I know some don't like unschooling, but I think I'd try to avoid words like "no formal work" at all and replace it with "just not using books the way I do", because there is formal work done in unschooling, just as there is books used; they just go about the method of schooling differently than you or I might.

 

I've recently started substitute teaching at our local high school. When I mentioned that I have a daughter who is a Jr (17) and is homeschooled--ALL of the teachers in the workroom (it was lunch time) gave me POSITIVE support/comments!

 

My Dh is a public high school teacher and I just want to tell you that you are not alone. We've received nothing but positive comments from his teacher friends--in fact, they seek him out and offer to him their old text books, thinking we could use them!! Any material they don't want, they give to him--for us!! The only negative comment I've ever received by someone at his school was from a teacher ready to retire who thought that homeschooling was an "unsocialized backwoods hick thing" to do (yes she said that). Good thing she retired that year.

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I do think this minority (I hope) of people who leave highschoolers to homeschool theirselves; gives people in general a poor idea of what most homeschoolers are like.

 

Everyone has a different way of educating their children - like PS schools - some are better than others.

 

I am dumfounded by the amount of parents I work with that pull their children out of PS to homeschool - and then continue to work full time! Night shift at that. They assign their kids their work and then go to bed because they have been up all night. Then the parents are angry because when they got up their teens - surprise surprise - did not do their work. IMO most kids that are motivated could probably eek out a fairly good ps education BUT if you are pulling your child out of school because he would not do his work there. What in heck do you think they are going to do at home left to their own devices???

 

YOu have to actually HOMESCHOOL them. Sit down with them, discuss their school work - bare minimum at least look through and make sure they did the work and check over it.

 

I have one friend who took her child out of PS because she was pregnant. She was a sophomore. While it is great that this child "finished" 11th grade before the baby was born and then "finished" 12th grade in 6months. She did it all on her own while her mother continued to work full time night shift. The child scored a 14 on her ACT. Imagine what a child who was pregnant and then had a baby and finished the equivalent of 2 grades in one year; could have done had someone actually went over her school work with her??

 

I really do not understand it. I do not have a problem with un-schoolers (your children ARE learning just not in the same way mine are) and / or ecclectic schoolers - which I think to some extent we all are. Just if you are going to homeschool DO IT. Cartoons all day is not homeschooling. 2nd graders who can not write there name - shameful. Unless the child has special needs there is no reason why they should not be being educated.

 

I could go on, and on.....what do you do when you know a child is being educationally neglected?? It is such a slippery slope to even open that can of worms. But don't we have a responsibilty to the chilren who - have not done school work in "years'??

 

Such a hard Questions with no simple answers.........

 

Chelsea

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by people who know absolutely nothing about homeschooling. I would have no idea how many homeschoolers our piano teacher's son actually runs into. I do think a lot of these situations are hearsay, like Kathleen says.

 

It was funny---seven years ago, when we started homeschooling, the principal of the small private school our dd's were enrolled in encouraged us to "really teach them" and not follow the path of "so many other homeschoolers he'd seen" who don't do anything with their kids. When my husband talked to him, he told him, "You know, we personally don't know anyone who homeschools their children the way you're describing." We'd been at that school for about six years (2 years pre-K, then K-3rd), and that comment seemed so "off" to me. I thought, "Don't you know us by now? Don't you think we want to do the right thing with our children?"

 

I agree with Toni here . . .

 

I just wanted to clarify that my mention of unschoolers was because I consider myself sort of one as well. We have a very relaxed, eclectic, unschooling approach but we also use texts. So that's why I asked you to figure out what YOU mean by "bare minimum" because I happen to know some unschoolers (total ones) whose children are far ABOVE mine, education wise.

 

I know some don't like unschooling, but I think I'd try to avoid words like "no formal work" at all and replace it with "just not using books the way I do", because there is formal work done in unschooling, just as there is books used; they just go about the method of schooling differently than you or I might.

 

There are many reasons why people choose to homeschool; it's not just academic issues. It could be for superior socialization, dislike of the p.s. system, instilling our personal values into our children, etc. I didn't mean to come across as critical of anyone. I honestly have not met anyone who did nothing with their children. I think most parents who go to the trouble of pulling their kids out of whatever school system there in do truly love their children and want what's best for them. Somehow the state has gotten into the middle of all this and they feel they need to decide what's best.

 

I guess my personal goals for homeschooling are that our girls will reach their full, God-given potential, whatever that may be. Our older two girls seem to be more inclined towards literature and writing. Our youngest is extremely mechanical and good at math; she also says she wants to be a vet when she grows up, and we're looking into a science camp for her this summer and a creative writing camp for the other two.

 

It does seem like there are a lot of skewed perceptions, and perhaps on both sides. I don't think many public school educators really know what homeschoolers do or don't do, and the same could be true of me, as well. I haven't stepped inside of a public school classroom for 30 years, perhaps, so I really don't know what they're doing. Perhaps they're doing a phenomenal job, or perhaps it's mediocre (at least in our school district). I hear both kinds of stories from our local p.s. Two years ago the valedictorian of the h.s. class went to MIT; at the summer school last year, the health class teacher had the kids run to the local DQ every day to get a sundae for health! I get such a schizophrenic idea of what's happening at that school that I honestly don't know what they do.

 

I am trying to challenge my girls without overwhelming them, and we want to see a passion ignited in them for what they're supposed to do. I do hope, though, that they are doing better than their peers at the p.s. My oldest is reading a book on screenplay writing now, and my middle daughter, without my prompting, is reading Paradise Lost, based on a discussion we had last week in Omnibus. So, I think they're doing OK. (But---we still need to work on that math!)

 

I hope what I'm saying makes sense.

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Yes, sometimes homeschooling is an excuse to neglect - the child doesn't want to go to school and the parent can't be bothered to make them, or the parent just wants an at-home helper, or, since school is hard work for parents, the parent can't be bothered to deal with the homework, clothes, paperwork, etc. needed. But I think many times those apparently under-educated unschoolers are really just lopsided. You might find after speaking with them that yes, they haven't done much math but they're performing musicians, or they might not have read many books but their artwork is spectacular, or they build wooden boats from start to finish, or they have invented a new operating system for computers, or they perform Shakespeare. They excell at doing one thing, and their lopsidedness doesn't particularly bother them because they taught themselves that thing and they don't see learning as stopping when they turn 18; they assume they can teach themselves whatever else they need to learn, like algebra or Spanish or how the US government works, when the time comes. And they are probably right. Only a few things have developmental windows. They often aren't particularly worried about making a living because they have had small businesses of their own since they were in middle school, and their families are untraditional and not worried about them living at home as adults. On the surface, it is sometimes hard to tell the neglected ones from the lopsided ones. And I think Abbyej is right, that many times the public schools see only the ones for whom homeschooling has failed.

-Nan

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So, to you I would say--define what YOU think "bare minimum" is--because *I* might be doing what you consider "bare minimum" even while I think I am doing a lot. Kwim?

 

Yes, there are most definitely some who do just the 3 R's and think that suffices. But who am I to say what they are doing is wrong?

 

I totally agree with you. One of the reasons many people homeschool (and this is one of my MANY reaons) is because I don't like the one size fits all way of thinking. Even if the end results are the same (which they arent't for everyone) -- the road there can be varied.

 

I personally love reading the various approaches home educators take. I love reading different educational philosophies and child development books. I am encouraged and challenged when I read posts from unschoolers (believe it or not, I think I am an unschooler -- to a large extent -- at heart without the courage to do it). I try to give my children plenty of time to pursue their own interests and to learn things in ways that are outside of regular curricula. My 8 year old becomes intensely interested in one thing after the other, and he really learns a lot if I just get out of the way.

 

I do have friends who would probably homeschool in a way that would be what you refer to as "the bare minimum" because they don't do very much "book" work. They run a farm. The truth is, though, that they are learning so very much because each older child essentially is in charge of a certain aspect of the farm. They use mathematics every day in ways my boys don't -- they have to workout fictitious word problems, while their daughters are "doing" word problems. They handle the money, they figure out how much feed is needed, and so on. Their Dad also teaches graphic design and Photoshop classes, so the children help with web design, photography, newletter layouts and so forth. Several of them are talented musicians and artists as well.

 

I find the more I meet other homeschoolers and the more I read about them, the more I come to appreciate the differences.

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Another thing I was thinking of the other day is that many people separate education and the rest of life far more than most homeschoolers I know.

 

I remember standing in line at A C Moore one day when my boys were much younger. I had a pack of Color Wonder in my hand. Now, Color Wonder isn't exactly scholarly or anything, but it was great for the boys to use in the van since I don't allow regular markers in there. Another lady, standing in front of me, looked at what I had in my hand. She asked what it was, so I told her about it. I told her my boys loved it and explained how it worked.

 

She then said, "Oh, I don't need to get that because my children do that at preschool."

 

Again, we're not talking about math or science here, but just the idea that there's "school" and then there's home struck me as funny. Well-meaning relatives say things to my boys like, "Oh, school -- I never liked school." And they're trying to be cool and empathize with them, but I hate it. I didn't even use the word "school" until the boys watched a Franklin movie and started asking about "school."

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There are some homeschoolers that do a poor job. Sure, but I think the vast majority of the time parents are doing what they think is best and working hard at it.

 

My main point is that you can never truly know the situation of the homeschoolers that your sister's, friend's, brother-in-law met once because that 6yo whose handwriting is like a 3yo could be mine. She is academically advanced but is in therapy for small motor problems. That hs'er that is not "well socialized" could also be mine - Sensory processing disorder and borderline ASD. If you didn't know that, you might think homeschooling was to blame. Instead homeschooling has allowed her to soar in the things she is good at and slowly work to build up her weak areas.

 

We just really can't know what is going on in the life of someone else from a distance.

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I guess this conversation started me thinking: because I try to homeschool classically (albeit imperfectly), am I in the minority of most homeschooling families? Are there really that many homeschoolers out there who are doing the bare minimum so that their children can pass the GED and work at a factory or something similar? In other words, what is the cold, hard truth about homeschooling in general? Is my perception that homeschoolers do better than public school kids skewed? I'm just really curious about this.

 

 

What do you think?

 

:confused1:

 

 

I was once in a position where I was a "advisor" to new homeschoolers. They called me on the phone and I would talk to them about our state's homeschool laws and then just generally talk them through various resources. I was there to answer questions both general and specific. It was a volunteer position.

 

One day I got a call from a man who at first seemed reasonable to me. He wanted to talk about curriculum. Fine. Then he proceeded to tell me that he was going to work during the day while his son (2 or 3rd grade-can't remember) was at home. Then he'd homeschool him at night. I said, well you really can't do that. It is not legal to leave him home by himself all day. He was pretty disgruntled and then said, "Well can I leave him home if he does the school work during the day?" At first I was pretty calm about it and tried to explain how legally (and for good safety issues) he could not do it. The phone call went downhill from there.

 

Later, I was on some homeschooling board and related the story. Responses were varied. But, I was attacked pretty fiercely for finally telling the guy that in HIS situation as he described it to ME, he had no business homeschooling.

 

"How dare you act as judge and jury?"

"What gives you the right to tell him he shouldn't homeschool?"

 

etc.etc.

 

What I got out of it was that there is a certain segment of the population at large (homeschool and other) that brooks no judgement over whether someone should homeschool or not. And heaven help any of us who voice that there probably should be some minimum standard-though I don't advocate a law for it. (Course its totally acceptable to judge the school system.)

 

From the minimal amount of homeschool volunteering I did, I can tell you that you would be surprised at the wide variety of homeschoolers. Many in the ps see more of the families that "gave up" on homeschooling because it wasn't going well and therefore have a skewed view of how successful homeschooling can be. It would probably be interesting to see how college professors who have dealt with graduated hsers view homeschooling. They'd probably see a more balanced cross-section that a typical public school setting.

 

Holly in N NV

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The only homeschool family I ever thought was doing a lousy job ended up with the oldest getting a perfect SAT score. I thought he was odd at the time. He's an incredible man now.

 

All the people I know who homeschool are very responsible parents who want the best for their kids educationally, emotionally, socially, etc.

 

Oops, this should be under the OP.

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Later, I was on some homeschooling board and related the story. Responses were varied. But, I was attacked pretty fiercely for finally telling the guy that in HIS situation as he described it to ME, he had no business homeschooling.

 

"How dare you act as judge and jury?"

"What gives you the right to tell him he shouldn't homeschool?"

 

And you know why you got that response, IMHO? I can think of one place I could use to back up what I am about to say, but you got that response because there are a small minority of homeschoolers who truly believe EVERYone should be homeschooling and to admit or tell anyone that maybe homeschooling wouldn't be a good fit for them, is bashing all homeschoolers and "caving in to the corrupt PS system". The phrase "keep them home where they belong" comes to mind and should be a good hint as to what I am referring to.

 

Certain groups of homeschoolers do not believe that there is a real possibility that homeschooling just doesn't work or isn't for, everyone. They feel you didn't try hard enough, and that you've failed if you have to put them in PS.

 

Bullhockey and most here know this. But I just wanted to throw that out.

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I have two contradictory points :)

 

First....yes, the vast majority of the homeschoolers I know do not provide a solid education for their children. It is why I never discuss homeschooling with them and why I love this board. I am not speaking in terms of unschooling. I am saying they don't provide adequate educational standards. Period.

 

:rant:I was teaching a high school lit class to 10th-12th. When grading papers, I wrote a comments on 10th and 12th graders' papers about needing to maintaing verb agreement and perspective consistent throughout their papers.

 

I had a mom (a close friend) get very upset with me. She told me I was expecting too much for high school students to not have verb tense shifts. (hmmm.....I don't let my 5th graders do that!!) Her ds is now my ds's roommate and he is struggling in very basic introductory classes (classes my ds took in 11th and 12th grade)

 

Another close friend is only making her twin seniors finish their Saxon alg 2 textbooks as their entire senior yr to call them high school graduates. Not b/c they finished other subjects, but b/c it was too much work and they only really want to play their guitars.

 

I love these families, but they have really limited their children's ability to function in the real adult world.:rant:

 

Ok, taking my :chillpill: :) The flip side is that the homeschoolers that are ending up in schools are not representative of homeschoolers in general. It might simply be reflective of the fact that those that aren't able to give a good homeschooling education realize it and give up and send their kids to school.

 

So how is that for both sides of the argument. :)

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Lots has already been said. I just borrowed Homeschooling Highschool from the library. In it are the results of a survey (with open questions so as to reduce bias) of a number of colleges. There was bad with the good, but the good responses outweighed the bad. There are times when homeschooled kids to go to college unprepared, some parents have refused to give required info about their kids' educations. I see going to college kind of like getting a job--you have to have their basic requirements to get in/hired.

 

My husband used to occasionally say we should put the kids back to school so the house can be tidier and I could get a part time paying job (okay, only when the house was REALLY messy because we were overbooked and he was working all the time so couldn't help) but he never does anymore. Why? A friend of ours did a mid-life career change from business to teaching ps. He is continually praising us for homeschooling and has told more than enough stories to convince dh.

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I certainly hope we're not. HSLDA conducted a poll not too long ago about homeschooling and adults who had homeschooled growing up filled it out. I don't know if there are any allegations that it might have been skewed in any way (I didn't think so at the time it came out). It certainly seemed to indicate that homeschoolers are doing well in life as opposed to just barely making it.....

 

Regena

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She said that her son, who teaches in the Springfield (MO) area, says that he sees many homeschoolers whose parents are giving them the bare minimum: enough math to do their checkbooks, enough reading to help them get by in life, etc. etc.

 

Hmmm. He *sees* *many* of these kind of homeschoolers? Sounds like a specious overgeneralization. Job security for him I guess. :)

 

 

Lisa

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Two points --

 

1) On the judging end -- I do worry occasionally about the education a hs'ed child I know is receiving. I recently heard that a child that I was concerned about is heading off to a well-known Christian college and his SAT scores were high enough to qualify him for a merit scholarship! So who am I to judge?

 

2) And sometimes I am judged. My older two kids are academic powerhouses (okay, that isn't modest, but they are.....) I was talking with my mother the other day and she was asking about my youngest, who is in 6th. I mentioned that I am always confused by what grade she is in. I MEANT that dd2 is another academic powerhouse and is doing work that my other kids didn't do until 7th or 8th grade, but my mother started worrying about my dd's academics!

 

I got off the phone in tears -- after my older kids get unbelievable test scores, acceptances, scholarships, etc., my mother is worried about whether or not my 6th grader is doing 6th grade work!!!!! Talk about not having faith in me and homeschooling! (The day after this phone call, ds1 got a "likely letter" from UVA.....)

 

I think that the moment we step off the "normal" track people get worried.

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perceived effectiveness of homeschooling.

 

Homeschooling at large has changed as it has become more mainstream and accepted as an alternative form of education. You might compare it to the old frontier. Homeschoolers used to be pioneers, then came the homesteaders, now the tourists. It is my personal opinion that the majority of the negatives come from the tourist segment. Around here, in MD, we have a certain population who either pull their kids out of PS because they are failing or who have kids expelled and then "homeschool" (Of course I don't mean the families who pull those kids out and really work with them!) You also have those who have athletes who are put on academic probation...so you yank them out and "homeschool" to get the average back up where it should be. And you will always have the folks who just don't give a darn and let laziness take its toll.

 

I don't think these folks are in the majority at all, I just think they are the ones giving others of us a bad rep. It is always the bad news that takes center stage. I really can't think of any families that I personally know who are just saying they are homeschooling and then not doing anything real. Of course there is a wide variation between what one family calls thorough and what another calls slack, but isn't that one of the reasons we all do this?

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Two points --

 

1) On the judging end -- I do worry occasionally about the education a hs'ed child I know is receiving. I recently heard that a child that I was concerned about is heading off to a well-known Christian college and his SAT scores were high enough to qualify him for a merit scholarship! So who am I to judge?

 

I think it's important to realize that we see only a small part of the picture of any one young person's academic and social development when we interact during a co-op class or support group function. And even if we see that young person repeatedly, unless we get to know the family intimately, we may not come to know some of the reasons why he presents as he does. Late bloomers and children with developmental delays/disabilities and/or specific LDs are especially prone to getting negatively judged. The parents may not always share the details of the child's situation.

 

I wouldn't doubt if people sometimes talked out of my earshot about my second dd, expressing worry over her academic and social development. Said dd is now in college with academic merit and audition-based scholarships and doing well. The same child who worried ME about her social development was said to have been greeted by no fewer than half a dozen girls on her floor when she returned after the New Year, with an enthusiastic "S, You're back!" I just heard this from my parents who dropped her off for us since we left a day earlier to go away.

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I From the minimal amount of homeschool volunteering I did, I can tell you that you would be surprised at the wide variety of homeschoolers. Many in the ps see more of the families that "gave up" on homeschooling because it wasn't going well and therefore have a skewed view of how successful homeschooling can be. It would probably be interesting to see how college professors who have dealt with graduated hsers view homeschooling. They'd probably see a more balanced cross-section that a typical public school setting.

 

Holly in N NV

 

I've been teaching part-time in the state CC system for some nine years now, longer actually than I've been homeschooling! And I have to say that at least in my area, I haven't seen a huge difference between the homeschool grads and the public/private school grads. Same thing for my dual-enrolled students. Frankly a few in every class I teach just don't belong there at that time because of poor study skills, a bad work schedule, need for remedial work, etc. etc. It really doesn't matter where they came from.

 

What bugs me though is when a homeschool parent tells me offline that their student is headed for academic greatness, and then I see a very different picture in class. I've actually received assignments from this type of student that I strongly suspect (but couldn't prove) were strongly influenced by a parent. When I see one thing on an essay question on an in-class exam and quite another in a project, you have to wonder. Ironically this has only been an issue with my homeschooled students. I guess that the parent feels more self-conscious in this situation because I'm both a homeschool parent and college professor.

 

In teaching in the local homeschool community at the grade school level, I have also seen cases where busy parents signed their children up for paid classes and then provided no support at home for the child to complete the assignments. I guess that's not that different than teachers who assign homework that never gets done.

 

Bottom line -- I think it's a mistake to say that homeschooling is superior to public school. In some cases, yes! In other cases, it is not, but I'm not sure that those kids would do any better in a classroom either. Teachers will tell you that parental involvement is a decent but not absolute predictor of who does well in school, and some homeschool parents just aren't that involved even though that seems like a contradiction.

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I think a lot of great points have been made. i still think homeschooling is better for MOST families than public school. Not "some", but MOST.

 

 

...they don't believe that most homeschoolers are doing a good enough job for their kids to be able to function in the public schools. She said that her son, who teaches in the Springfield (MO) area, says that he sees many homeschoolers whose parents are giving them the bare minimum: enough math to do their checkbooks, enough reading to help them get by in life, etc. etc.

 

 

 

It's not a homeschooling problem, it's a parenting problem.

 

RePhrase:

 

...they don't believe that most public schoolers are doing a good enough job for their kids to be able to function in the community. She said that her son, who teaches in the Springfield (MO) area, says that he sees many public schoolers whose schools are giving them the bare minimum: enough math to do their checkbooks, enough reading to help them get by in life, etc.

 

 

Now, that sounds familiar, don't it? :)

 

When i hear that, i ask them to show me the stats on how many welfare recipients and juvenile felons were public schooled vs private schooled vs home schooled.

 

No Contest.

 

I haven't even run the numbers officially. But I'll bet a tidy sum of money on the results! :D and the funny part? Nobody has ever even tried to say i might be wrong. They know. Deep down, they know.

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I certainly hope we're not. HSLDA conducted a poll not too long ago about homeschooling and adults who had homeschooled growing up filled it out. I don't know if there are any allegations that it might have been skewed in any way (I didn't think so at the time it came out). It certainly seemed to indicate that homeschoolers are doing well in life as opposed to just barely making it.....

 

Regena

 

My brother and I (both formerly home schooled adults) participated. We felt filling out the survey was an interesting exercise, but both came away feeling that the results would be incredibly skewed. We actually laughed about it when the final report came out. It was all "self-reporting", self-selecting, and the questions themselves were slanted. I think it's an interesting read, really, but it doesn't prove anything at all (except about the few people who chose to fill it out).

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there are many homeschoolers around my area that unschool - NO formal school work at all. In Massachusetts, state tests/std tests are not required by all superint.; that means some kids don't even have to learn to read or do BASIC schoolwork.

 

I am bothered by some of the assumptions here.

 

Unschooling or even lack of required formal schoolwork do not necessarily equal a poor education.

 

The things that we do for our children aren't mandated by law, we do them because we love our children and want what is best for them. I do not believe that making laws requiring these things will have an effect on parents who aren't already doing them.

 

I have trouble believing that homeschooling families are deliberately trying to cause their children academic harm... they have a different philosophy of learning and, perhaps, a different set of priorities. I feel very upset when I feel that our convictions about the value of our way of raising and educating our children leads us to judge others' choices... especially when our knowledge of the individual choices is either superficial or non-existent.

 

 

Personally, I place a high value on academics, but can I really say that someone else who chooses to give her child a minimal academic education, but a rich practical, or musical, or humanitarian education is doing wrong? Doesn't she have the right, shouldn't she have the right to make that choice for her child? I don't want anyone else imposing their value system on how we raise (and educate) our children, and I don't want to do that to someone else.

 

I have heard people on these boards say that they have different academic standards for their sons than their daughters, which shocked me to the core, and, frankly, appalls me. But I respect their right to raise their children according to their worldview (so long as they aren't causing harm to anyone else by doing so - I'm thinking of the east coast sniper kid and his father figure), and I would passionately fight any legislation which would take that freedom from them.

 

I am not an unschooler (just to be clear!), but I have read a lot about it, and I believe that an unschooler can achieve a comparable level of academic excellence to anything even the most rigorous family here might aspire too... I wouldn't enjoy the journey that way, the kind of effort it would take would kill my joy...

 

I think that outcome is determined by the goals, the approach, and how well they match each other, the children, and the parent/educator leading the project, and that it isn't right to assume that a certain approach is intrinsically less rigorous.

 

I think David Albert's unschooling approach, as described in several books including The Skylark Sings with Me, is amazing - I couldn't do it his way, but what he's done is really impressive.) I will grant that many of those who choose the unschooling approach aren't interested in what we would call rigorous academics.

 

:rant: I'm talking too much, I'll stop now... I'm not trying to jump on you personally, MIchelle... but you're little post pushed a button... and out came a very impassioned rant. Please don't feel attacked! I'm a wave my arms in the air and pace about speechifying kind of person... it doesn't mean I'm mad, just having strong feelings!

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of unschooling at all. I realize that some have deep-seated convictions about unschooling, and who am I to meddle with their decisions? One mom in our area, while maybe not an unschooler, per se (I'm not exactly sure what the definition is) takes the approach of allowing her child's passions to blaze the path ahead of them. By taking this approach, her dc is pursuing all kinds of things: advanced math, Latin and Greek (and I don't believe she would consider herself a classical homeschooler) and other advanced classes given in a homeschool coop setting. Her dc is doing great, and the child is thoroughly engaged and interested in the schoolwork. It's a different approach, but it works for them.

 

I guess I was more addressing the issue of whether or not there were that many homeschoolers who did "nothing" (like the principal of the private school our dd's were attending cautioned us about) or the "bare minimum" (as defined by the son of our piano teacher---not by me) about barely being able to read, only enough math to balance a checkbook, etc.

 

I agree with Peek-a-Boo when she said that the same thing could be held true of some p.s. kids.

 

Overall, I do believe ALL of us on these boards want what's best for our children----whatever that means in terms of how we educate them----and I can't personally think of anyone on these boards who is doing nothing with their children. That statement just seems over the top----that some homeschoolers do "nothing."

 

I guess I want high academics for our daughters, I want them to do well past the boundaries of this house and in the big wide world out there, and I want them to succeed in life---success here being defined as doing well emotionally, spiritually, and able to function in the adult world.

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Is this a simple matter of research? Is the teacher simply questioning academics?

 

Homeschoolers score better on SAT scores, and this is documented.

 

People respond to what they hear, who they know, etc. Most of the time our exposure is limited.

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I guess I was more addressing the issue of whether or not there were that many homeschoolers who did "nothing" (like the principal of the private school our dd's were attending cautioned us about) or the "bare minimum" (as defined by the son of our piano teacher---not by me) about barely being able to read, only enough math to balance a checkbook, etc.

 

...That statement just seems over the top----that some homeschoolers do "nothing."

 

 

Yes, I know a few. They don't send their dc to school because it would take too much effort, so they "homeschool" them, which amounts to the oldest babysitting the rest of them while both parents are gone all day. Or they don't have the education necessary to impart even basic skills. Or thye are severely disorganized or lack motivation. Or several other reasons.

 

I dont think they are in the majority. I think they are a small percentage.

 

That said, a lot of school personnel will only ever see the "failures." They see dc whose parents weren't doing well homeschooling, so they put them in school. Or children who were so ill-behaved the parents couldn't stand to have them home all day anymore and put thme in school. There are not enough people putting back in children who are doing well to make up for the number schools will see who ar not. So they see it as most of us failing.

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It was the word "nothing" that made me go down the unschooling track. When one's children are little, unschooling is an incredible amount of hard work (why I didn't go that direction completely), but when they are in high school, I think it sometimes becomes hard to distinguish between nothing and unschooling from the parents' actions. And the fact that many of these unschoolers continue to unschool themselves while their age-mates are in college doesn't exactly help the world to judge the situation.

-Nan

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Who are we to judge whether academics or saving the world (or even one living in it) are better? I, personally, am trying to give my children both because I think they will be in a better position to save the world if they have some academics, but I know plenty of people with the bare minimum of academics who ARE saving the world. Some of them can't even read and they are still doing fine at their end of things. They just leave the high level politics to someone else. I am always left wondering if by educating my children the way I am, they will feel obliged to do those high level politics, just because they can, which I know they are unsuited for and will hate. It is my gravest doubt about the sort of education we are doing. But that is totally beside the point. And I just realized my post sounds like I think that people here are judging other people by their level of education, which is also totally beside the point and not what I think anyone here is trying to do at all. Sigh. Sorry.

-Nan

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to upset anybody!

 

And I just realized my post sounds like I think that people here are judging other people by their level of education, which is also totally beside the point and not what I think anyone here is trying to do at all. Sigh. Sorry.

-Nan

 

I wasn't trying to judge anyone by their level of education and how specifically they were educating their children. I can't remember who it was on these boards----I think it was on their blog----whose son was doing a wonderful job at building a boat with his father. The pictures were posted on the blog. I'm not sure what particular homeschooling persuasion this person was coming from, either. All I know is that it was truly far more than what a p.s. kid could get coming out of "shop class." I think many of us have different perspectives on how best to homeschool, and I realize what works for one may not work for another. However, at least on these boards I haven't come across anyone whose children were watching cartoons all day, weren't learning how to read or do math, etc.

 

For some, a more relaxed approach works best with their children, but that doesn't mean to me that they're doing nothing.

 

Nan, I'm sure you're doing a good job! :grouphug:

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I am sure that there are SOME people who do no homeschooling, who keep their kids home to beat them, or to have babysitters, or whatever. I am also rather confident that this is quite the minority.

 

Now, others having different goals and methods, sure. Many people homeschool so that they can flesh these out in their own families.

 

But, we do need to understand that there are many in the NEA and in governmental and educational positions who think their way is the only way, and that we at home need to parrot the public school system. These few bad apples who do NOTHING -- who neglect their children -- will continue to show up on Fox news or CNN, and because of them the masses will cry out, "Can't the gov't do something about this? Shouldn't the parents be required to turn in the same paperwork as the public school teacher?" Indeed, the NEA is crying about those things already.

 

Yes, I could turn in all sorts of lesson plans and show how they match up to the SOLs, but that would take away time from my home management and my learning time with the boys. Teachers are feeling the strain already. So much paperwork, so little time to teach.

 

There is already a law that requires a certain # of days to educate. Now, this is not a huge deal, but it shows that someone believes a certain # of days leads to a certain education, and some group of people decided on that # of days, and anything less is not adequate. So, you may say, big deal -- they want you to educate for $160 days, or 180 or whatever. Is that so much to ask? Well, it takes extra time to document whether you "did school" that day. Other states have hour requirements. This shows even greater ignorance because it just does not take my 6 and 8 year olds 50 minutes per course!

 

I've seen people's eyes pop out when I tell them that, yes, I have to test my children in math and langauge arts, but not science and history. I'd go batty if we were required to teach to the SOL for science and history.

 

You mark my words, there will be more laws to comply with and more hoops to jump through. The public school teachers are feeling it, and it will trickle down to us. Then, there goes the beauty of designing one year to the next.

 

One thing I find funny about teachers making comments about how homeschooled children have a difficult time entering public school, or about how some of them are academically behind, is that there are lots of public school students who have a difficult time and who are behind. It's as if they the parents are to blame when the children are homeschooled, but the teachers surely cannot be blamed when the students are in their classroom.

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Nan,

 

Thank you so much for saying what I have been thinking as I read this thread -- that academics are fine, but they don't necessarily save the world.

 

I come from a family of intellectual snobs (father -- professor, mother -- teacher, it was expected that brother and I would go to top schools. I couldn't fathom what kids who weren't headed to a top-tier school did -- I would have been so ashamed had I not gotten accepted to a "good' college).

 

I was so surprised when I started staying at home with dd1 to find many wonderful people out there who were doing great things -- and they didn't have an Ivy League education. In fact, some of them didn't graduate from college, and a few didn't even graduate from high school! But all those people are out there helping society -- church leaders and foster parents and homeschool moms and guitar teachers and engineers.....

 

We need intellectual leaders -- Einsteins and Feynmanns and Sowells -- but we also need more everyday folks -- real estate brokers and waitresses and football players and soldiers and........

 

And we all need to be careful not to be "intellectual snobs"!

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Nestof3, I'm quoting you point for point, but I want you to know I'm not actually picking on YOU, just what you've said because you make some valid points, but I've got the counterpoints to that--ok? ;)

 

But, we do need to understand that there are many in the NEA and in governmental and educational positions who think their way is the only way, and that we at home need to parrot the public school system. These few bad apples who do NOTHING -- who neglect their children -- will continue to show up on Fox news or CNN, and because of them the masses will cry out, "Can't the gov't do something about this? Shouldn't the parents be required to turn in the same paperwork as the public school teacher?" Indeed, the NEA is crying about those things already.

 

While I agree that the NEA stinks(even DH can't stand them), I can clearly re-write your post (and since you included the NEA by name, I feel comfortable including by name, who I speak of) to say:

"But, we do need to understand that there are many who work for the Old Homeschool House/HSB and other homeschool organizations who think their way is the only way, and that we at home need to keep our children at home always and forever and to not do so makes you a bad parent. These few bad apples who do chastise and bad mouth other fellow homeschoolers who 1)may not follow a homeschool schedule the way they do or 2)may have one child in school and another at home will continue to show on blogs and Nationally sent out magazines lamenting how "horrible" one is for not "keeping them home where they belong" because of them the masses will cry out, "Can't other homeschoolers do something about this? "Do all homeschoolers really believe this way and if not, why aren't they speaking up about it? Because to me, it makes me feel like you are bad mouthing those who have to have kids in the PS system for one reason or another and if you don't feel ALL kids "belong home" and recognize that there are, in fact, valid reasons for not doing so, why allow them to become the vocal minority?" Indeed, the Old Homeschool House, et al is crying about those things already."

 

(and one need only go to their blog to see I am correct in my analogy).

 

Yes, I could turn in all sorts of lesson plans and show how they match up to the SOLs, but that would take away time from my home management and my learning time with the boys. Teachers are feeling the strain already. So much paperwork, so little time to teach.

 

Oh how I and DH agree with this so very much. He spends more of his time in Teacher In-Service days than he does teaching.

 

There is already a law that requires a certain # of days to educate. Now, this is not a huge deal, but it shows that someone believes a certain # of days leads to a certain education, and some group of people decided on that # of days, and anything less is not adequate. So, you may say, big deal -- they want you to educate for $160 days, or 180 or whatever. Is that so much to ask? Well, it takes extra time to document whether you "did school" that day. Other states have hour requirements. This shows even greater ignorance because it just does not take my 6 and 8 year olds 50 minutes per course!

 

I've no idea how long you've homeschooled, so I'm just going to say it: this is actually the easiest of all things to comply with. A simple lesson plan book does it all for you. ;) All one has to do is write down what is done each day for each subject--that's it. It takes me all of 2 minutes to do this and I can do it as I sit here and surf online. ;) It really is as simple as: "Monday--math adding trinomials, english: verb tense shift, Science: evils of evolution(hehehe), etc..." and that's it. Remember, 180 days to them, is like a full year to us--homeschoolers "do" school on weekdays, weekends, holidays, etc.. the PS system does not. Cooking counts, yard work counts, washing the dog counts, even playing video games count-- as school work!! So it is so extremely easy to do this and really not as much work as you think.

 

You mark my words, there will be more laws to comply with and more hoops to jump through. The public school teachers are feeling it, and it will trickle down to us. Then, there goes the beauty of designing one year to the next.

 

I disagree. If Governor Schwarzzie's (I so cannot spell his name) proclamation is any indication, if my own Governor makes a HUGE deal about announcing "Homeschool Week at the Capitol" is any indication--there is no way we are going to get more regulation put on us--we are too many in number for big guys like them to not know they will feel the sting if they hurt us. It just won't happen. I don't believe in "Big Brother" anyway, but this is one area I feel strongly enough about to truly believe it won't happen.

 

One thing I find funny about teachers making comments about how homeschooled children have a difficult time entering public school, or about how some of them are academically behind, is that there are lots of public school students who have a difficult time and who are behind. It's as if they the parents are to blame when the children are homeschooled, but the teachers surely cannot be blamed when the students are in their classroom.

 

This is a bit of a catch-22: ****ed if you do, ****ed if you don't. I'm not saying there aren't nazi teachers out there who want to burn us all at the stake, I'm sure their are. But unless you live in the OZ of school systems, you might be pleasantly surprised to find out that more teachers agree with homeschooling than are against them. Even as nasty as Hillsborough County is to homeschoolers, they leave us alone and I find they are more than willing to bend over and take it, from me, than they are from their schools--because they know inherently, that I am doing a better job.

 

Again, I'm not arguing with you Nest.. just point/counterpointing the discussion a bit. As the wife of PS High School teacher, I can see both sides a bit more clearly than some.

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Is this a simple matter of research? Is the teacher simply questioning academics?

 

Homeschoolers score better on SAT scores, and this is documented.

 

People respond to what they hear, who they know, etc. Most of the time our exposure is limited.

 

I've wondered about this statistic. I imagine most of the 'bad homeschoolers' don't bother with SATs. However, the same could be said of the 'bad homeschoolers'. (and please no one pick on my phrase.....I just mean the kids in either camp who are not being properly taught and/or parented.)

 

Anyway, I wonder about these stats because, while I agree with Peek that I really do believe hs'ling is best for MOST families, I am a little afraid to toss stats around too much for fear they are biased. My SIL once said casually (when my son was K age and I was discussing hs'ling), 'I went to a workshop (she works for social services) and they said that most high school seniors being homeschoole couldn't pass the GED.' That made me sooooo mad, and my mom too, and we both just sort of mildly jumped on her and said, 'I don't believe that for a minute.' Later we learned about 'pass the bean dip.' :)

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"But, we do need to understand that there are many who work for the Old Homeschool House/HSB and other homeschool organizations who think their way is the only way, and that we at home need to keep our children at home always and forever and to not do so makes you a bad parent. These few bad apples who do chastise and bad mouth other fellow homeschoolers who 1)may not follow a homeschool schedule the way they do or 2)may have one child in school and another at home will continue to show on blogs and Nationally sent out magazines lamenting how "horrible" one is for not "keeping them home where they belong" because of them the masses will cry out, "Can't other homeschoolers do something about this? "Do all homeschoolers really believe this way and if not, why aren't they speaking up about it? Because to me, it makes me feel like you are bad mouthing those who have to have kids in the PS system for one reason or another and if you don't feel ALL kids "belong home" and recognize that there are, in fact, valid reasons for not doing so, why allow them to become the vocal minority?" Indeed, the Old Homeschool House, et al is crying about those things already."

 

Bizarre reading material. I feel like I jumped into a conversation and am trying to make sense of it. There may be some homeschoolers who get this worked up about other people's business, but I still think it is rarer than the encounters I have with well-meaning people saying things to me like, "Well, as long as you find the right curriculum, I guess it can work, [baseball Dad unafilliated with education]."

 

To clarify a few things:

 

I have homeschooled for nine years. I do write down what is done every day, but we have a light day here, a heavy day here and so on. I like having a record of what my children have done, but I've personally never gotten too worked up about counting the days. We school on fluffy holidays -- the ones where no real celebration takes place in our house, and we school on and off during the summer.

 

I have a friend who had a stroke when he was 31 caused by a blood condition which causes his body to produce too many platelets. He was a few weeks shy of finishing his MA in electrical engineering. He did manage to graduate after he recovered from his coma. Being legally blind, now, he teaches advanced calculus at an all boys school in CA. He was lamenting over how difficult it was for him to create all of the lesson plans and correlate them to the standards because everything he reads has to be magnified so much. He is, from what I've heard, a great teacher.

 

It's as if they the parents are to blame when the children are homeschooled, but the teachers surely cannot be blamed when the students are in their classroom.

 

I also wanted to make sure all understood I have the greatest respect for teachers in all sorts of environments. I wrote this because I do not think the teacher is automatically the culprit when academic success is not evidenced.

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So in the same vein,

 

All homeschoolers are above reproach

Anything above approach must not be questioned

Therefore all homeschoolers must not be questioned.

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So in the same vein,

 

All homeschoolers are above reproach

Anything above approach must not be questioned

Therefore all homeschoolers must not be questioned.

 

how funny.... but yet true.

 

It seems that we as homeschoolers get our "panties in a wad" when anyone questions our methods, or even the fact we are homeschooling.

 

I wonder did we as a group do better "educating" our children when we were scared someone would come knocking and demand to see just what were we teaching our children?

 

NOw that it is legal in almost every state - have we as a whole gotten lazy??

 

I think it is easy to pigon hole ourselves when we are members of great groups like wtm, SL, Trisms, etc... That we think that every homeschooler does a great job with their kids.

 

When I ran a homeschool support group in our area i found for a lot of children the few of homeschooling we gleem from being members of groups such as this one - do not necessarily reflect the real world.

 

I won't dicuss particulars of these families here because some of you know me personnally and know the families. There are children out there who I do believe would be better off in school - than in the environment they live in daily.

 

Again - should these families be reported?? I have been troubled by this Question. Ultimately i decided not to report the families because of the slippery slope that would start by opening that can of worms.

 

I personnally believe we should not be afraid of testing, record keeping or gasp - looking at my curriculum and plans. In TN they are wanting every child to have to take the TCAPS. I say bring it on. I have my kids take the IWOA ro stanford every day. I do not teach the test - as they do in PS- and my kids do fine.

 

I am not the "perfect" homeschooler either. I make grand plans every summmer - ultimately they get changed. I have switched alg I curriculums so many times I am surprised my son have not rose up in protest.

 

My point it - if we are going to homeschool we need to do it well - no matter what method we choose. We need to prepare our children for the cold harsh realities of the world - I am talking Highschoolers not elemantary kids - let them keep some innocense as long as possible. it is our repsonsibility to make sure that when our children leave this house they are prepared so they can be an active participant in today's world. If they are to go to college to make sure they can function in a class room and can accept input from other sources other than mom.

 

I would say that 99.9 percent of the people on this board - their children will be prepared for what ever life brings them. It is the other "hidden" world of homeschoolers that I worry about. In secruing our freedom to homeschool we have not left any ability for those children to get help....

 

I hope my ranting made some sense,

 

Chelsea

who was educated in PS and can not spell my way out of a paper bag :)

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.

 

. In TN they are wanting every child to have to take the TCAPS. I say bring it on.

 

 

 

ACK!! Not the TCAPS! Can't we say "Nationally normed test? Bring it on!"

 

Not the TCAPS!! Anything but the TCAPS!!!

 

:rant: I see no reason why we should not take nationally normed tests. I also think the public schools should have to take nationally normed tests and not their own in-house creation. I will make those calls and send those emails to fight HB2795. I can't see why homeschoolers should be the scapegoats of Mr. Hardaway and that is the only thing he hopes to accomplish. It is not about us, it is about all the public school kids who cannot pass their exit exams.

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ACK!! Not the TCAPS! Can't we say "Nationally normed test? Bring it on!"

 

Not the TCAPS!! Anything but the TCAPS!!!

 

:rant: I see no reason why we should not take nationally normed tests. I also think the public schools should have to take nationally normed tests and not their own in-house creation. I will make those calls and send those emails to fight HB2795. I can't see why homeschoolers should be the scapegoats of Mr. Hardaway and that is the only thing he hopes to accomplish. It is not about us, it is about all the public school kids who cannot pass their exit exams.

I do agree about the Nationally normed tests. If Tcaps is anything like FCAT--then I agree--it stinks.

 

Get rid of ALL tests, pick ONE that is a general area test, and make it be used by ALL in every state. For example, retool the ACT or SAT to be grade geared and make it a National Test to be taken every year by all students.

 

This way there is no "well MY kid did this on that" bullhockey going around. Make everyone play on the same field.

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I do agree about the Nationally normed tests. If Tcaps is anything like FCAT--then I agree--it stinks.

 

Get rid of ALL tests, pick ONE that is a general area test, and make it be used by ALL in every state. For example, retool the ACT or SAT to be grade geared and make it a National Test to be taken every year by all students.

 

This way there is no "well MY kid did this on that" bullhockey going around. Make everyone play on the same field.

 

That wouls be great. And makes too much sense so it won't happen. I agree the TCAPS sitnk. I would much rather do the IOWA or the standford type test and then every states take it. Would be better to compare different states educational systems as well for PS.

 

But it makes too much sense....

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You know, I've been thinking (you can smell the smoke, right???) About this thread and what education is. I'm rushing to write this before I lose my train of thought, so I haven't read all of the new posts, but I haven't seen this yet.

 

I'm a firm believer in the multiple intelligence theory--8 kinds of intelligence. Most people are "smart" in several areas. Some will be behind in all areas due to sad events such as substance abusing mothers or for no known reason at all.

 

So, what is education all about? Or, rather, what should it be about? In a sense, preparing each of your children with what they need to succeed in life as best as they can. For some, it will be bagging groceries in the supermarket. For others, it will be rocket science. But is one inherently better than the other, or is it just society's perception? Sometimes I wonder who does more for my family's health--the doctor we see occasionally, or the men who come pick up our trash each week (so far I haven't seen a woman trash collector, although I'm sure there's at least one somewhere.)? I'm being serious, but not to make light of doctors and their training at all..

 

What if you have a child who excels in "nature smarts", interpersonal intelligence and kinesthetic intelligence? Shouldn't those areas be stressed in their education? You know, a jock/peer mediator/naturalist as opposed to an English/math/history stressed education? Not that I don't think a balance is important.

 

Or, for a child who has a low social Q (and it's really not the horrendous thing it's made out to be all the time), how much social skill level do they really need? I think of Temple Grandin, who is autistic. She wrote, and I paraphrase, that she thinks kids with autism, etc, need enough social skills to get by and to be better than everyone else in one thing. She never gets work through human resources, but work she does. Aside from being a professor, she takes her ideas directly to the engineers of the companies she'd like to work for and tells them she'd like to work for them. Who knows better if her ideas will work--HR or the engineers? Logical, isn't it?

 

How about the ADHD child who would thrive best working on a farm, or with their hands? Or the ADHD child who is a computer whiz, or a writer, or anything else? I just don't thing there's a one size fits all education, not even among my three dc, and certainly not when I taught piano--I modified all the time.

 

Now, this last point has been made in various ways, but I'd like to phrase it to finish. Just who decides what constitutes a great education for each individual child?

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While I agree that the NEA stinks(even DH can't stand them), I can clearly re-write your post (and since you included the NEA by name, I feel comfortable including by name, who I speak of) to say:

"But, we do need to understand that there are many who work for the Old Homeschool House/HSB and other homeschool organizations who think their way is the only way, and that we at home need to keep our children at home always and forever and to not do so makes you a bad parent. These few bad apples who do chastise and bad mouth other fellow homeschoolers who 1)may not follow a homeschool schedule the way they do or 2)may have one child in school and another at home will continue to show on blogs and Nationally sent out magazines lamenting how "horrible" one is for not "keeping them home where they belong" because of them the masses will cry out, "Can't other homeschoolers do something about this? "Do all homeschoolers really believe this way and if not, why aren't they speaking up about it? Because to me, it makes me feel like you are bad mouthing those who have to have kids in the PS system for one reason or another and if you don't feel ALL kids "belong home" and recognize that there are, in fact, valid reasons for not doing so, why allow them to become the vocal minority?" Indeed, the Old Homeschool House, et al is crying about those things already."

 

(.

 

It's too soon to rep you again, but I have to really say this is correct. Just as what Peek a boo did with the rewritten quote of the OP's Music teacher's son. You're going to find people like that on both sides. People are people.

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