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My oldest dd has graduated from college and is about to start on a post- baccalaureate nursing degree. She was home schooled from kindergarten through graduating from high school--although we did outsource some home schooling classes starting in eighth grade. She completed her undergraduate degree at age 20 and is now starting nursing school in January.


She has been submerged in the home school culture and has made many observations based on her experiences and those of her peers. Some of what we have seen has been very encouraging; some not so much. We have an ongoing conversation about the pros and cons of each educational choice. She has taught college test prep classes for a local company to public school students for over two years, so she's had her share of exposure to the public schooled student as well.


Frequently, we'll discuss the inherent weaknesses of different educational method and way to mitigate this. We discuss home schooling strengths and weaknesses, particularly in relation to what we've seen and experienced.


She has a blog where she discusses home schooling "secrets". You may agree or disagree, but you may find it interesting to hear this from a home school graduate perspective. (And also from the perspective of a kid whose parent discovered classical education when her dd was in kindergarten, found Susan Wise Bauer's book when she was in fourth grade, and tried her best to implement it.)



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For those of you who don't want to clink on the blog link (often a pet peeve of mine too), here is the content of the post:





Homeschooling Secrets…From the Inside-Part 1

by Antigone's Clamor

Last night, I read Josie Bloss's Faking Faith and couldn't put it down! Here is a review of the book that's pretty accurate. I didn't run in these circles, but I'm about a degree of separation away. Bloss's choice of topic surprised me, as the subculture she described is not one that everyone is aware of. If you have a free evening, check it out!


I wanted to write a little about homeschooling honestly and realistically, after observing many of the pitfalls. Now that a large group of people I know have graduated, it's been interesting to see where they have ended up and how certain factors have contributed to their success (or lack of). I'll try not to be to specific, but to be honest, I have quite a few specifics reeling around in my mind. This is about as restrained as I could be.


Some of the bright homeschooled students receive publicity, and many think that homeschooling provides an overall better education. While it certainly can, it often doesn’t. It’s easy enough for you to look up the homeschool geniuses, but let me tell you a few of the secrets, as a former homeschooler.


Math and writing are the two subjects that get left out the most, just like in the public sector. I’ve known homeschool graduates who can’t put together a five paragraph essay or do basic algebra. Let’s just say that the community colleges in my area get their fair share of homeschoolers in remedial math and writing classes.




What's in that comic strip is just as much true, if not more, for parents! People who aren’t organized aren't as successful at homeschooling. When you homeschool, you not only have to be able to teach the content (or use a teacher’s manual successfully), but you have to be the secretary, the school counselor**, the scheduler…the WORKS. Disorganized homeschool parents create disorganized, frustrated, poorly prepared kids. There just isn’t a lot of accountability with homeschooling in certain states, (which is what many people want).


Homeschooling doesn’t have a lot of diversity. While your school district might not be diverse, homeschooling is even less so. According the the HSLDA, 82% of homeschoolers are protestant, and 12% are Catholic. I’m not even going to start on race. Exposure to other cultures, religions, and ideas can happen, but it takes great effort on the parents’ part. So many homeschoolers roll their eyes at "socialization". While homeschoolers do get socialized, their circles are often more limited (which is what some parents want) and they are exposed to more unusual people groups. In spite of my mom's efforts, I grew up thinking that a lot of things were normal that actually weren't normal, because everyone around me did them. It took a degree at a state university and a crazy post-college job experience to whack that out of me!< /p>


Because homeschooling is a countercultural movement, it attracts those who like to buck the system...just for the heck of it. There are big religious and political nuts in homeschooling. Many of the stereotypes you’ve seen ARE true, contrary to the efforts of many to dissuade the public. There are also nice religious people, and I know many of them….but the others are there, too!


All this being said, most of my closest friends are former homeschoolers, and they are all pretty normal. :) It’s not fair to elevate a particular system above another, and I think that homeschooling can get both an overly negative and overly positive rap.


It can’t guarantee academic success, and it can’t protect or shelter, even if kids are cooped up on a farm. Human nature is human nature, as we all saw in The Village. It’s not inherently better or safer than any other form of schooling, and I've seen a lot of homeschool parents fall prey to that type of thinking.


**I wanted to highlight this, because it's a big problem. Preparing for college depends solely on the parent's initiative, which often doesn't start till late junior or senior year. There's a lot of preparation and research that has to be done, and let me tell you, it doesn't happen all the time. I've seen brilliant kids, even ones with great first-time SAT scores, held back because of a failure on the parents' part to navigate the college prep experience. I could tell you stuff that would make you sick to your stomach for days.


Also, I'm well aware that this happens in both public and private schools. Just want to make sure we're all equals here. ;)

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Thank you for the link. That was a very good article. She did a very good job.


So many people rely on the assumption that homeschool is just naturally better. Becuase they have a small class size, safe environment, etc they can be caught unaware that problems can and do happen. Socialization (social skills) is not the automatic 'red light' that public school families might assume but it is not the automatic 'green light' that homeschool families would like to assume.


Very nice blog.

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I think this article is seriously biased. It seems that the author has only had contact with Christian homeschoolers. I do have to quibble with her using HSLDA for homeschooling statistics. Where does HSLDA get their numbers? This makes it sound like only Protestants and Catholics homeschool. An overwhelming majority of people I know who homeschool do so for academic and social reasons, not religious. So, while the conservative Christian homeschoolers tend to be very vocal, I do not believe that they are representative of homeschooling in general. Most Catholics who homeschool would not join HSLDA because the membership and attitudes tend to be slanted toward the evangelical side, which often does not consider Catholics to be Christian. Also, most non-religious homeschoolers wouldn't join HSLDA either. People who live in rural areas will probably not experience diversity simply because they don't have as diverse communities. People who live in metropolitan areas will experience more diversity if they live their lives in a more public arena. Those who only join homeschoolng groups with statements of faith will probably meet a rather homogeneous set of people, by design. The rest will meet people from the same backgrounds as their surrounding communities.

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I have to say I disagree with a lot of her assessments as well. They address her situation maybe, but not ours. My own experiences are very different. We live in a very diverse neighborhood city. Our hs co-op is less diverse than our P.S. would be, but it is representative of the things I grew up with: LDS persons, and protestant and Catholic, different races.


Our kids play with muslims, Catholics, and athiests in the neighborhood, and we are close with them. We are close with an LDS family and do lots with them. We are protestant. There are many races in our hs co-op and city.


Growing up in a rural P.S. I actually had way less diversity. We had one black family that came to school half of the year when they lived with one of their divorced parents. The other half of the year they lived with the other parent in another school. I am not kidding. From K-10th grade I was in that school with almost all people of my same race (or close enough that I didn't know a difference.) I was not harmed and did not become racist because of it. That is just the area we lived in. I have a brother of another race now, that was adopted by my mother when I was grown. He is my kids' uncle.


So I do agree that you must be organized, but I think her stuff on the above topic is not very logical.


Also on the college stuff. Guess what? If you have uninvolved parents in a public school who do not encourage you to take SATs or ACTs or see your counselor, then you aren't going to get much help getting into college right away either. That is life too. Some kids get more help in this area or have parents that care more about that than others. Then you have parents who think teenagers are grown up and let them fend for themselves on most matters. Some of those kids will be self motivated and figure it out. Some it will take longer. That is life too.

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Guest Timotheous

"I think this article is seriously biased. It seems that the author has only had contact with Christian homeschoolers."


Yeah, that's pretty much the case. She's speaking from her own experience, not the experience of every single homeschooler. Of course there is diversity within the homeschool world, and of course it encompasses every major religion (or lack thereof). If you had bothered to read any of her other articles, you would know that she comes from a Christian environment, ergo she would only interact with other Christian homeschoolers. The purpose of this article was not to say "all homeschoolers believe x and are x." She was merely presenting her thoughts (hence the name of her blog) of homeschooling from the perspective of a graduated, Christan homeschooler.


As for your quibble with the facts, there is no perfect set of facts, nor will there ever be one. Should she have mentioned that there are other non-Christian homeschoolers out there? Perhaps, but it was her prerogative to use the data that she thought was accurate. And who is to say that your view isn't biased? You? Her thoughts and her voice is just as valid and accepted as yours. I don't see the point in shooting her down like that.


"I have to say I disagree with a lot of her assessments as well. They address her situation maybe, but not ours."


See above response.


"Also on the college stuff. Guess what? If you have uninvolved parents in a public school who do not encourage you to take SATs or ACTs or see your counselor, then you aren't going to get much help getting into college right away either."


Allow me to use her own words in response:


"I'm well aware that this happens in both public and private schools. Just want to make sure we're all equals here."


She was not attacking public and private schooling, nor was she saying homeschooling was a better or worse option than public/private school. As I said before, she was merely expressing herself by sharing her own thoughts from her own unique experience with homeschooling in a Christian environment.


"I do agree that you must be organized, but I think her stuff on the above topic is not very logical."


This comment makes no sense. What topic are you referring to? If it's living in a rural area, she wasn't talking about that, so this comment was absolutely unnecessary and, frankly, quite rude.

Edited by Timotheous
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