Jump to content

Menu

A Post: In Which I Reconsider My Original Premise and Make an About-Face


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 170
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Not much to add, except that I know these people too-and I don't even live in your state LOL! It worries me-for the future of these kids. My dear friend died in her mid-50's leaving her "unschooled" son, 19 to continue to figure things out for himself. He attempted to sign up for a CC class and discovered that he is not yet up to the math or reading level that is needed to take CC classes. So much remediation was needed that he was discouraged, decided to skip it, and is now without plan, or job, or employment. Because it turns out that employers also want to hire people that can read and write!

 

I hate the idea of more regulation but I also worry for the fate of some of these kids. And I also know some really dedicated, "true unschoolers" whose kids are thriving educationally and doing very well. I guess part of the problem for me is just the definition of unschooling. Some take it to mean unstructured education, some just mean no education. Unsurprisingly, there's a huge difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always believed it should not be all or nothing, some regulation needs to be in place. I have seen far too many "homeschooler" not do anything and call it unschooling when in fact it was just plain neglect.

(I do know there are unchoolers who on the outward appear to be doing nothing but there is learning going on because you see it in the children. This is different from what I am talking about.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that perhaps the loose standards will lead to this large group of uneducated kids in the future. I know many who do co-ops as their school, play a lot of video games, and seat work is rare. Our state has testing every year but I haven't ever met anyone who has trouble passing since the bar is so low. I know people who complain about the testing but we do it, my kids pass and I am ok with it. If they didn't pass I would do more work to get them there. So adding in some minimums for homeschooling is ok with me simply b/c we probably already do it. But I think in the future as these kids move up and want to go to college and get jobs there is going to be an issue. People in general think homeschooling is weird and this group is going to leave a negative impression of what some of us actually do. I think the evaluator option in most states is great for those that really need it. Special needs learners need those options. But to just let your kid play all day and not learn anything all year and just skirt the minimum on the testing isn't responsible parenting IMO. I want my kids to aim high. And if college isn't it, I am ok with that, but they will be prepared should that be their choice. That is my responsibility since I chose not to let the public schools into their lives.

 

I don't really want more gov't intrusion. But I wish there was a way for some guidelines for the kids who are aren't being given the chance to learn at home or are abused and parents use homeschooling as way to keep them home. I sure wouldn't want to turn 18 and find out I can't go to college to do my dream career b/c my parents let me run around all day instead of pushing some kind of academics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never been opposed to some sort of oversight or regulation. I am in IL where it is easy to homeschool there is no regulation. I have seen families who are doing a great job teaching their kids in traditional, unschooled and eclectic methods in between. But I've also run into the opposite enough times to feel some sort of accountability would be a good thing.

 

 

That being said, I do have concerns with accountability and oversight being taken to extremes and negating the benefits of homeschooling vs tradition brick and mortar schooling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have witnessed it as well. However, what I have seen as even more prevalent than "no schoolers" is co-op level work as "fabulous" while I wouldn't even qualify it as mediocre. In all my yrs of homeschooling, the number of homeschoolers that have the same level of academics we do could be counted on 1 hand.

 

That said, I do not believe the answer is regulation. I have lived in states with more regulation and in ones with less regulation. I have not seen any difference in the homeschoolers that I have been around. At All. These attitudes originate in the family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have witnessed it as well. However, what I have seen as even more prevalent than "no schoolers" is co-op level work as "fabulous" while I wouldn't even qualify it as mediocre. In all my yrs of homeschooling, the number of homeschoolers that have the same level of academics we do could be counted on 1 hand.

 

That said, I do not believe the answer is regulation. I have lived in states with more regulation and in ones with less regulation. I have not seen any difference in the homeschoolers that I have been around. At All. These attitudes originate in the family.

 

I agree with 8, but with the caveat that I hs'ed only in a single low regulation state. Family attitudes are a big component of public school failures as well as in homeschool failures. There is no one perfect answer to how children can or should be best educated and it's been a subject for contention for a very long time. I don't believe regulations are the answer; people either do or do not value education. Those who do usually find a way despite obstacles. Those who do not will fail no matter how many opportunities are put in their way.

 

A high school failure isn't necessarily a disaster--there are viable options today for second chances for someone who's either been shortchanged by adults or who refused to take advantage of good opportunities during their teen years. Life isn't perfect and instead of trying to regulate perfection I try to promote ways to make options available for people who didn't come from an ideal situation.

 

What worried me most during our hs years was having a false sense of security--that we were doing less than we imagined. I don't think making a fetish of "homeschooling in and of itself" is a good thing, but I've seen unrealistic evaluations in public and private schools, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think when you're around other families, you have to school yourself to think the best of them. Tell yourself that you're only seeing one small piece of their lives. You don't know everything, even if it feels like you do. Remind yourself that you may not know all the issues - there could be severe anxiety, depression, etc. that is leading a family to take a more relaxed stance to deal with other problems. Tell yourself that there can be seasons for things. Many families are lax for awhile and then become more rigorous or vice versa. Remind yourself that many, if not most, kids can catch up on skills. Don't ever assume that the parents are lazy. Trust that they have their kids' best interests at heart. Don't judge by your standards and expectations. Let the parents have their own.

 

I have to say, I know a number of unschooling families and while I have not had universally positive experiences or opinions of those families, I have not had this experience that so many people come here to complain about that somehow they're neglecting their children's education. I see a different type of work being done and a different set of premises about how great learning will come about. So I think a lot of this is about what lens you see people through.

 

I can't conceive of any meaningful regulation that would work and be flexible. I don't really trust a large state bureaucracy to carry one out. And, as has been said, I don't think being in a high regulation state does change anyone's behavior. I know homeschoolers in MD and homeschoolers here in DC and in VA. MD is higher regulation, DC and VA are lower. There's no difference in what people actually do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's good, in a way, to hear this from you, Eight. In another way it's kind of sad, isn't it? I, too, have argued against regulation, because I don't think it's going to change what parents and kids actually do in their homes. We looked into moving to PA (with lots of regs) and we decided the cost-savings wouldn't be worth the hassle. However, I know I could make a nice-looking packet of materials to hand in to the school superintendent, if we had to do that. ;) But how would that in any way reflect what we really DO at home? How would anyone know? So, I've been anti-regulation (very much so). Hmm... these past few months have really helped me to see the issue from the perspective of those who argue for some oversight, from somewhere.

 

About the co-op level work: We've been getting invites to join this or that (lots of HSers up here). Just going by the level of "work" done by those inviting us, I'm thinking it might be a waste of time? Anyway, we have our work lined up at home, you know? We enjoy our quiet, studious, at-home school days. There is a pleasant satisfaction in getting meaningful work accomplished. Even my K'er twins will mention how they enjoy "doing school" from day to day, and I know my 2nd grader takes pride in her work and progress. We don't want to run all over to fill up the time.

 

How do you remain friendly to other homeschoolers, regardless of their particular "bent" or style, while at the same time remain focused on your educational objectives? I have been Doing a Dory -- "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." So, I thank the person for the invitation, say we'll check our calendar (at home), and then get back to what we do.

 

We work, no apologies.

 

Sorry, ladies, for the rant/vent. I was just feeling it profoundly today, KWIM?

 

I do understand, but want to encourage you in one thing; you won't regret holding to your academic standards. Time spent running around during the day takes away from your school time so I was always careful to accept only those invitations that worked with our plans. I practiced a whole list of variations on "Thank you for the invitation, but...."

 

Are there social opportunities scheduled for times that don't conflict with schoolwork that you can participate in? Unfortunately, if the co-ops you have access to are mostly socialization opportunities you may find that might not work. It's tough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a philosophical disagreement with those who think that formal study is not necessary for any child, ever, and that living life and following your bliss is always just fine. Unschooling is a fit for certain kids - I personally know some kids who are gifted, and very self-motivated to learn, and who don't struggle with any basic "three Rs" skills, who I think are probably going to learn 95% of what public school would say they "should" learn, and be above average in just about every area, and in some areas, off the charts above average, all without any formal or structured study. For these kids, formalizing/structure would probably only get in their way, and confining them to public school standards could cause them to shut down. These kids would not benefit from more regulation, and it would just be a nuisance. And it could become a true hindrance, because these are the kids who will excel by having complete freedom - give them the freedom to learn what they want, when they want, and how the want, and they will exceed all of the standards of a public school.

 

But I think there are a lot of people embracing unschooling, believing that their kids are like the ones described above, but they aren't. Without some structure, these kids are not going to come out of their homeschooling with the knowledge or skills that their publicly schooled peers have. The idea that "even the worst homeschool is better than any public school" is IMO ridiculous. I think of these people as the ones who are unschooling, but shouldn't be. Their kids need some structured help, but the parents don't see it, or have fallen for some of the hype of the unschooling gurus, or have just fallen into unschooling because it seems easier since structured teaching takes time, effort and discipline. Some increased regulation could perhaps be beneficial for these families, because it might pressure the parents to do what needs to be done to make sure their kids meet some standards for academic progress.

 

For the people who are already incorporating enough structure to meet some standards for academic progress, increased regulation probably is not beneficial. It would only cause them to have to spend more time jumping through hoops, which is time taken away from teaching the kids. And in some cases, it could really lead to some problems. Our son has some LD issues. I keep a pretty structured homeschool. I know I am doing what needs to be done to help him reach his potential. I'm doing it right now - on a summer morning, he's working on math. However, if I had to jump through hoops in the form of him being tested, or turning in work that he had done, it may not appear on paper that his schooling meets standards for what is typical. It might put us in a situation of having to make extra effort to prove to authorities that I am in fact teaching him appropriately, or lead to school authorities deciding to force us to put him in school. I don't want to have to think about being in that situation, or have to spend time proving that I am in fact doing it right, or have a school looking over my shoulder. I am most effective with him when I am the person deciding each day how to meet his needs. More regulation would be an annoyance and a hindrance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.

 

How do you remain friendly to other homeschoolers, regardless of their particular "bent" or style, while at the same time remain focused on your educational objectives? I have been Doing a Dory -- "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." So, I thank the person for the invitation, say we'll check our calendar (at home), and then get back to what we do.

 

We work, no apologies.

 

 

 

Same here. I am careful to arrange our time so that we have enough time at home, alone, to keep making academic progress. I don't put things on our calendar that I can do a better job of at home alone. I don't fill it with social activities that will push out our school time. Most of our social time with other homeschoolers is at regular activities that work better outside of the house - that is PE and the arts. I don't have much on our weekday calendar that I can't honestly think of as filling a school requirement in an optimal way. This does limit our social connections - but IMO doing the school work has to come first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

For the people who are already incorporating enough structure to meet some standards for academic progress, increased regulation probably is not beneficial. It would only cause them to have to spend more time jumping through hoops, which is time taken away from teaching the kids. And in some cases, it could really lead to some problems. Our son has some LD issues. I keep a pretty structured homeschool. I know I am doing what needs to be done to help him reach his potential. I'm doing it right now - on a summer morning, he's working on math. However, if I had to jump through hoops in the form of him being tested, or turning in work that he had done, it may not appear on paper that his schooling meets standards for what is typical. It might put us in a situation of having to make extra effort to prove to authorities that I am in fact teaching him appropriately, or lead to school authorities deciding to force us to put him in school. I don't want to have to think about being in that situation, or have to spend time proving that I am in fact doing it right, or have a school looking over my shoulder. I am most effective with him when I am the person deciding each day how to meet his needs. More regulation would be an annoyance and a hindrance.

 

I think the system of a portfolio evaluation by a certified teacher is supposed to handle situations like these. An experienced educator should be able to say "he has a LD? Oh, yes, I can see that. I see he progressed very well in subject x. I see subject y is a struggle, have you tried approach z?"

 

But that may only actually happen in Fantasy-Land. So, yeah, it's a tough situation to deal with.

 

I'm of the opinion that there should be minimum standards (with exceptions made for LD and other issues, just like in ps). But at the same time I like being able to take a radically different approach to education (by which I mean concentrating on handwriting and spelling instead of having my kid write a 10-sentence story that is largely unreadable).

 

But honestly, since a large swath of homeschoolers do it for largely non-academic reasons, I don't think any system based on academic requirements is going to go over well, at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always been a supporter of some regulation. At the very least, hsed kids without LDs should have to take basic reading and math tests to make sure they aren't hopelessly behind. If the kids are that far behind, the parents should have to get some kind of outside help, like a certified tutor. Obviously it wouldn't fix every problem, but it might make parents think twice before allowing their kids to hit puberty still unable to read Bob books.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I think the system of a portfolio evaluation by a certified teacher is supposed to handle situations like these. An experienced educator should be able to say "he has a LD? Oh, yes, I can see that. I see he progressed very well in subject x. I see subject y is a struggle, have you tried approach z?"

 

But that may only actually happen in Fantasy-Land. So, yeah, it's a tough situation to deal with.

 

I'm of the opinion that there should be minimum standards (with exceptions made for LD and other issues, just like in ps). But at the same time I like being able to take a radically different approach to education (by which I mean concentrating on handwriting and spelling instead of having my kid write a 10-sentence story that is largely unreadable).

 

But honestly, since a large swath of homeschoolers do it for largely non-academic reasons, I don't think any system based on academic requirements is going to go over well, at all.

 

As a fairly new homeschooler who happens to live in super-regulation-crazy Pennsylvania, I can tell you I was very intimidated by the oversight our state has regarding homeschools. However, it's been a very positive experience for us. Our evaluator does just what is outlined above....she looks at my individual kid, his work samples and test scores, and, most importantly, talks to him about his year. She has given us some good ideas for moving forward. Then she signs the paper and I turn it all in. Our state standards. which sound awful and intrusive, are in reality very easy to work with. (And, for the record, very, very few homeschoolers in PA do not pass. According to our evaluator, it's typically just cases of neglect.)

 

I guess I've been pleasantly surprised so far at how the regulations have been easy to work with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I homeschool to meet the very specific needs of my family. DH and I act in our families best interests and to the exclusion of what other people may or may not think. We don't need an uninformed, low wage government type challenging our educational decisions.

So then you'd be one of the radical unschoolers with illiterate children, I take it.

 

I agree with Heather. Illiterate children? Please inform me how illiterate my children are.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never been opposed to some sort of oversight or regulation. I am in IL where it is easy to homeschool there is no regulation. I have seen families who are doing a great job teaching their kids in traditional, unschooled and eclectic methods in between. But I've also run into the opposite enough times to feel some sort of accountability would be a good thing.

 

 

That being said, I do have concerns with accountability and oversight being taken to extremes and negating the benefits of homeschooling vs tradition brick and mortar schooling.

I am also in IL. Honestly, I've been more impressed by many unschooling families I've met. Sure, there are a few that aren't really unschooling, IMO, but just neglecting. But they are rare. I stopped unschooling because it was too intensive for me. lol That and math issues. Math is one of those things I don't believe can be properly unschooled.

 

I do know "traditional" homeschooling families I would say border on educational neglect, though. Kids who don't know basic information or don't have basic skills for their age. Some of them I try not to judge-they may have LDs, and some I know went to school and came home *because* they were so far behind and the schools failing them. So the parents are trying to catch them up. Unfortunately from a portfolio or reporting standpoint, the curricula I know they use is a popular choice and one I would not consider worthwhile after seeing the outcome from people I know.

I think when you're around other families, you have to school yourself to think the best of them. Tell yourself that you're only seeing one small piece of their lives. You don't know everything, even if it feels like you do. Remind yourself that you may not know all the issues - there could be severe anxiety, depression, etc. that is leading a family to take a more relaxed stance to deal with other problems. Tell yourself that there can be seasons for things. Many families are lax for awhile and then become more rigorous or vice versa. Remind yourself that many, if not most, kids can catch up on skills. Don't ever assume that the parents are lazy. Trust that they have their kids' best interests at heart. Don't judge by your standards and expectations. Let the parents have their own.

 

I have to say, I know a number of unschooling families and while I have not had universally positive experiences or opinions of those families, I have not had this experience that so many people come here to complain about that somehow they're neglecting their children's education. I see a different type of work being done and a different set of premises about how great learning will come about. So I think a lot of this is about what lens you see people through.

 

I can't conceive of any meaningful regulation that would work and be flexible. I don't really trust a large state bureaucracy to carry one out. And, as has been said, I don't think being in a high regulation state does change anyone's behavior. I know homeschoolers in MD and homeschoolers here in DC and in VA. MD is higher regulation, DC and VA are lower. There's no difference in what people actually do.

I completely agree. Some people would look just at my 8 yo who has reading problems and judge that. However, she's been evaluated by the school district & doctors and has developmental delays because of medical issues. We have done more for her reading than the school district said they were capable of. Obviously, there are cases of educational neglect, but looking in on a family won't give you the full picture. I'm sure my neighbors think my kids do no work because I make them play outside whenever it's nice out. We just do our work at other hours and on ickier days. :p

 

And then there are those times when you're sure everyone thinks you're neglectful because your kids freeze up when asked questions about schoolwork. One time, my ds froze up and couldn't remember his birthday or grade. He was 10! They gave him a minute to warm up and then he loosened up, but man I felt like a loser! :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We go through a homeschool charter and I do not find it stifling at all. We will do standardized testing and that to me is good. I want to know how my kids are doing. I like meeting with my ES because it helps to have someone to discuss if your kids are on target and motivates me to document what we do and hold me accountable to doing school time when they are at an age it's easy to get distracted. I actually feel a sense of pride when I document our month since I am pleasantly surprised at how much we've accomplished, despite not always getting to some things or having days we did not do school because the kids were sick or something came up. We are more Charlotte Mason style, but we do some seat work 3-4 days a week on average so coming up with some language and math samples is usually not a big deal.

 

If I unschooled I suppose this would be more difficult but that's not my style.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But that may only actually happen in Fantasy-Land. So, yeah, it's a tough situation to deal with.

 

 

Having observed a little of Maryland's portfolio evaluation system, it does feel like fantasy-land to me - at least in terms of consistency. Some evaluators are fine. Some are actually good. Some have their own ideas about education that they bring to the table where they don't like that you're doing copywork instead of original writing and invented spelling in first grade and they spend the whole meeting giving you a hard time and vaguely threatening you if you don't change your educational approach. Others are social workers, not educators, and they spend the whole time looking for abuse and grilling you about health. Some state outright that they don't like homeschooling. Some take any evidence and others give people a hard time about a portfolio stuffed with example work.

 

I think most of the evaluators are well-intentioned. They're probably fine at their regular jobs so I wouldn't call them names. But they don't provide a real check on homeschoolers as far as I can see. They give some people who are doing an amazing job a hard time and make them feel really cruddy about what they're doing when they have slates of curricula going as long as anyone on this board. And other people who do almost nothing just game it out and pass every time without trouble. It's a poor system. I can't imagine a better one being created.

 

ETA: Strictly speaking, most of the evaluators in MD *are* government bureaucrats, not people who necessarily work with children all the time. And many of them are completely uninformed about the law and have never read it. Low-wage doesn't really mean anything to me though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've lived in a high regulation state and one with no regulation. If you're hell bent on letting your kid play Minesweeper all day for a year, you're going to do it regardless of the regulations. You're just going to be more creative about what subjects Minesweeper covers on paper in a high regulation state.

 

(Not that I think all unschooled children are illiterate and spend years playing Minesweeper. I'm just trying to point out that it's not that easy to keep people from fudging paperwork.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Low-wage doesn't really mean anything to me though.

 

I agree. Gov't interference is gov't interference.

 

The flip side of this conversation is what is the evidence of the quality of education from the system with the highest gov't oversight, the government school system commonly referred to as public school. If one believes that gov't oversight produces better quality education for students, the evidence should be found/affirmed in the outcome of education of their students. (and its access is readily available for all who want it. ;) )

 

A close friend called me last week and we were on the phone for hours. Her oldest is a rising sr in ps (at one of the best schools in the state.....rated 9 on a scale of 10), has a 3 something GPA and just made a 15 on the ACT. She told me that her dd's best friend, in the same school in honors classes, scored close to that as well. She had no idea how poorly educated her dd actually is. The ps has not helped her dd succeed. It has actually camouflaged its failures in obvious grade inflation and teaching to state tests (which she has passed all course exit exams).

 

That is what makes me sad. Here you have a situation where parent and child both thought she was doing well and well-educated b/c she was told she was by a "gov't system." She was planning on applying to colleges in fall. Where?? She is now facing remedial coursework. Her mom is planning on taking her over the local CC to see what remedial courses she can start taking in the fall since the school system has so obviously failed her dd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our province we have two options: either be a registered home schooler, where you completely do your own thing (wade in the creek if you want.) Or enroll in a distributed learning program, where you are theoretically tested, follow provincial outcomes, do paper work, and so on. They give you about $1000 to go through DL, so that's more popular.

 

All the wade-in-the-creek types? They're _all_ with distributed learning. They all do that paperwork, report weekly, and every which other requirement.

 

tl;dr summary? I don't see that the regulation works. There's a big difference between passing a law ("no one should ever be fat! All children must learn to read!") and getting the desired result.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read all the responses only part of them so far, until all the kids in public schools come out actually able to read and write, the governments should stay out of it. It is a parents responsibility to raise and educate their kids and whether they do it themselves or farm it out to someone else doesn't matter, it is still their responsibility.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are always going to be parents who neglect their children's education, regardless of regulations. The government cannot insure that all children will be reasonably educated without tyrannically taking over that responsibility from parents, to whom it rightfully belongs. I think we all know that our society's abysmal lack of literacy is NOT the fault of unschooling, or lack of homeschool regulation. While I lament that some "unschooled" children may reach college age functionally illiterate and unprepared for adult life in the real world, I believe that they are in the very small minority, and a huge number of children in our nation's public school system fare much worse. Children who are raised in a loving home with parents who are personally invested in their well-being (even if their educational choices are what many of us would consider foolish) are much better off in general than the far greater number of school students whose irresponsible parents don't care what they learn and use school - whether public or private - for nothing more than glorified babysitting.

 

Most of us homeschoolers are properly educating our children, who on the whole will far exceed any government standards, and I don't want my own parenting freedoms taken away in order for the government to try to force the slackers to get it together. Even the most well-intentioned parent makes poor decisions at times, and it is a reality of life in the human race since the beginning of time that all children - including my own - have to deal with the consequences of those decisions, and ultimately, no amount of government intervention - short of a totalitarian regime in which all children are wards of the state - can change that (and who thinks that our government will do a better job than the average parent?). Lest anyone misunderstand my last point, I am all for government intervention when abuse and physical neglect are involved. Protecting people from that level of harm and punishing the perpetrators is one of the primary responsibilities of government. But that's a far cry from educational regulation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's quite an assumption.

 

 

One I'd bet is correct. Anyone who gets that defensive at even a hypothetical discussion about minimal regulation and immediately starts bashing government employees is usually acting that way for a reason. I get sick of every discussion like this turning into another round of "the government is evil!" hysteria.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No more than those of us that get tired of the "gov't is the answer/solution" mantra.

 

Better to have some small bit of regulation now than to wait until ten years down the road, when twenty or thirty percent of kids in this country are homeschooled, and have some study find out that half the hsed kids are illiterate and can't add single digits. What kind of regulations do you think would get passed in that situation? I can guarantee it'll be more than a basic math and reading test.

 

And no one is saying "government is the solution." If we believed that, we'd have our kids in public schools. We simply don't believe they're the devil, they way some people here do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, I understand what you're saying and agree with most of it. I've been in your shoes. I take homeschooling very seriously -- it is my job and I work myself into a state of exhaustion trying to do it well. I've gone back and forth on the issue of more regulation/less regulation and I'm torn. At a surface level, more regulation makes sense. All kids deserve an adequate education, and parents who just let their kids play Minecraft and go to park days aren't preparing them for higher education. Those kids will be at a loss if they decide to attend college in the future. On the other hand, I see a whole lot of negative consequences by giving more control to the government. There are plenty of students in government-runs schools who are NOT learning anything. If there are further government regulations, will the government eventually dictate which curriculum we use and subjects we teach? I don't believe in standardized tests as a measure of success -- especially as the mom of a special needs child who is plodding away below grade-level in math. Should my homeschool program be terminated because my 4th grader bombs the 4th grade standardized test because he is diligently working on a 3rd grade math curriculum? Based on test scores in that one area, it would appear that I'm not doing a good job educating my child, when I am. He would probably do worse if he was in school, but the school's program wouldn't be terminated if my son failed.

 

As I said, I'm on the fence. If you ask me on any given day, I'll be leaning more one way than the other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Though I've seen what you are talking about, and it breaks my heart that those kids are being deprived what is rightfully and truly theirs--by their own parents, no less, I can't get behind more regulation. Think about how that would play out--what type of oversight? How much? By whom? How often? What new branch of state government would accomplish this oversight? A branch of the NJEA? Who would head it? What guidelines would have to be made and used?

 

This state barely gets a thing right as it is, the schools are dismal failure, the taxes are the highest/second highest in the country, and they still can't manage to find their rear with both hands in the matter. The one thing they DO get right is the homeschooling law. (I'm of the opinion that they could care less as long as they get our taxes.)

 

You want justice for the kids, I totally get that. You're angry that their parents would do such a thing to them, and I truly get that, too. But get angry at the parents. To fix the problem with regulation would be bad for all of us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

This state barely gets a thing right as it is, the schools are dismal failure, the taxes are the highest/second highest in the country, and they still can't manage to find their rear with both hands in the matter. The one thing they DO get right is the homeschooling law. (I'm of the opinion that they could care less as long as they get our taxes.)

 

I don't know where you live, but this describes Las Vegas education environment to a "T".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Better to have some small bit of regulation now than to wait until ten years down the road, when twenty or thirty percent of kids in this country are homeschooled, and have some study find out that half the hsed kids are illiterate and can't add single digits. What kind of regulations do you think would get passed in that situation? I can guarantee it'll be more than a basic math and reading test.

 

There are public schools producing that in some areas...

 

Where have you seen regulation CHANGE the behavior of these types of "homeschooling" parents? Show me some evidence that it will do any good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Better to have some small bit of regulation now than to wait until ten years down the road, when twenty or thirty percent of kids in this country are homeschooled, and have some study find out that half the hsed kids are illiterate and can't add single digits. What kind of regulations do you think would get passed in that situation? I can guarantee it'll be more than a basic math and reading test.

 

And no one is saying "government is the solution." If we believed that, we'd have our kids in public schools. We simply don't believe they're the devil, they way some people here do.

 

Neither is anyone suggesting that "some small bit of regulation" is "the devil," simply that greater regulation does not equate to ensuring better quality education.

 

Most states already have some sort of minimum regulation and there is no evidence supporting that states with higher regulations have students that are better educated than from those from less regulations.

 

And, "the day that 20-30% of the students in this country are homeschooled and have some study find out that half the hsed kids are illiterate and can't add single digits".....talk about hyperbole. While I have witnessed what **I** consider sub-standard education, I have never encountered a single homeschooled student who was illiterate and could not do basic elementary math (though the same cannot be said of ps graduates I have encountered at check out counters) and have only ever even heard of four extreme cases of educational neglect in close to 2 decades of homeschooling. Just skim these titles for a google search of "what percentage of high school graduates require remedial college courses" and you'll see stats from 40% to 80% (the 80% is from NYC schools...... and unless things have changed, NY is a high regulation state, btw.)

 

https://www.google.c...iw=1600&bih=796

 

Gov't schools are not capable of regulating their own schools and providing children with appropriate educations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no such thing as "the government". They are not special or magical. They are just your neighbors that you hired to perform a job you couldn't or didn't want to do. More regulation isn't going to change people. Friendship, persuasion, peer pressure, community standards - those are all the things that are going to change peoples hearts and make them WANT to do a good job. Personally I think there is already too much buck passing to some anonymous government entity that is going to solve the problem.

 

 

If you are your brother's keeper then get involved, if the problem is the mom is depressed or overwhelmed or some other reason for her lack of excellence, but if it is just a choice she is making...I am all for personal responsibility and the idea that people are free to raise their families according to their own standards. There are a million things on this board that I don't agree with but I firmly believe that parents know and love their children best and are in the best position to decide how to raise them. Who are we to decide what method or religion or political party or any number of other lifestyle choices someone should choose?

 

Down from the soap box... :leaving:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no such thing as "the government". They are not special or magical. They are just your neighbors that you hired to perform a job you couldn't or didn't want to do. More regulation isn't going to change people. Friendship, persuasion, peer pressure, community standards - those are all the things that are going to change peoples hearts and make them WANT to do a good job. Personally I think there is already too much buck passing to some anonymous government entity that is going to solve the problem.

 

 

If you are your brother's keeper then get involved, if the problem is the mom is depressed or overwhelmed or some other reason for her lack of excellence, but if it is just a choice she is making...I am all for personal responsibility and the idea that people are free to raise their families according to their own standards. There are a million things on this board that I don't agree with but I firmly believe that parents know and love their children best and are in the best position to decide how to raise them. Who are we to decide what method or religion or political party or any number of other lifestyle choices someone should choose?

 

Down from the soap box... :leaving:

 

 

 

I don't disagree with you, but I've done that. I have stood up and said the hard things.

 

Now, imagine yourself a noobie here, and you came on, said you were ...Quiverful, YE, crockpot cooking, take your shoes off in the house, pink tractor driving, don't put your cart back, let your kid stand in the cart, don't put the carseat facing backwards, headscarf wearing, cupcake hating, homeschooler.

 

Might as well paint a huge target on your back and have a deep desire to be scorned.

 

So, what I do now is let them come to me when they find out that my kids are pretty smart.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thought is that the checks and balances ARE there-because, ultimately, most parents don't want their child unemployable and living in their childhood bedroom at age 30. The fact is, this is a test-focused society. Basically any path requires some testing, whether it's the SAT/ACT to get into college, competency testing for a job, licensing exams for trades, and so on. I would argue that there's a lot more likelihood that a kid will fall through the cracks in the PS system than in HSing, simply because the PS system isn't going to be the one having to pay for 0000 level courses for a year or more before a kid even qualifies to start college-the parents are.

 

 

I started homeschooling with a lot of people who thought I was ridiculously formal and structured and doing "too much" and missing the good "go play in the creek" years. Guess what? Now that they have kids who are entering middle school, they're starting to panic and I'm seeing the people who trumpeted the "structure is bad, let them be little, they're only young once" try to really play catch-up. And where they aren't, their kids are-one of the biggest "unschoolers" now has a child who is working with a private math tutor, because her son hit a wall on his tinkering and interests in engineering and robotics and now needs math-so he wants to learn it as soon as possible.

 

I just don't see the "We went to the zoo today, that's enough" lasting into the 2nd decade much around here. The parents who have kids in their teens who are substantially behind tend to be those who pulled their kids out in middle school ages, when their child was already behind and struggling-and they're trying to frantically play catch-up. The economy is lousy-there aren't jobs that high school drop-outs (or someone with equivalent skills) can get that pay enough to live on. And the parents realize that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live in a state that has regulations and there are still plenty of unschoolers who spend their days playing and not doing any constructive learning. They still homeschool year after year. No problems. I know of one portfolio assessor who has groups come to a park to play and at the end she signs the paper work necessary to turn into the school district. No actual evaluation of the student or work. Regulation will not stop radical unschoolers from doing what they are doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And no one is saying "government is the solution." If we believed that, we'd have our kids in public schools. We simply don't believe they're the devil, they way some people here do.

 

How about, "the government has its own interests and motives, which are not mine. The power of the government is nearly infinite. The government is inclined to expand. Genies don't go back into the bottle."

 

Once upon a time, the income tax act was passed in part because many people thought it was irrelevant. It affected such a tiny percentage of people in many states. From small things big things come (Springsteen is a blue stater!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now, imagine yourself a noobie here, and you came on, said you were ...Quiverful, YE, crockpot cooking, take your shoes off in the house, pink tractor driving, don't put your cart back, let your kid stand in the cart, don't put the carseat facing backwards, headscarf wearing, cupcake hating, homeschooler.

 

Might as well paint a huge target on your back and have a deep desire to be scorned.

 

IDK. We're a lot of that list and I've found it okay. I think it depends on what you expect. Most of the places on the internet are wildly liberal. This place comes off as pretty moderate to me. If most of your online experience to date has been in QF specific fora, then it'd be different.

 

No tractor though. I wonder if I could fit that in the driveway . . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am completely against regulations, for this reason - those parents who are responsible will be unnecessarily burdened with more paperwork, invasive home visits, etc., and those who are not doing a good job educating their children will continue to not do a good job, but if they are insistent upon "homeschooling" their kids, they'll just be more clever at getting around the system. It's just like when I was teaching, a long time ago before cell phones were common. There were one or two teachers who used the school's phone often on personal business. So, instead of going after them, the admin. regulated the phones. We couldn't use the school's phones ever for personal business. So, people like me, who maybe made two calls a year to schedule a dr. appt. or something paid for the irresponsibility of the few, and I obeyed the rule because I was responsible, and I'm sure those few women the rule was aimed toward just found sneaker ways of making their calls.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One I'd bet is correct. Anyone who gets that defensive at even a hypothetical discussion about minimal regulation and immediately starts bashing government employees is usually acting that way for a reason. I get sick of every discussion like this turning into another round of "the government is evil!" hysteria.

 

Another assumption, as well as a gross generalization. The issue is frustrating, and differing opinions also cause a lot of frustration, which is important to keep in mind. There are many possibilities about the reason for a defensive reaction to the idea of increased regulation. I wouldn't automatically jump to, "Your children are probably illiterate." In fact, I wouldn't try to guess the reason at all. There is simply no way of knowing unless you are told.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am completely against regulations, for this reason - those parents who are responsible will be unnecessarily burdened with more paperwork, invasive home visits, etc., and those who are not doing a good job educating their children will continue to not do a good job, but if they are insistent upon "homeschooling" their kids, they'll just be more clever at getting around the system. It's just like when I was teaching, a long time ago before cell phones were common. There were one or two teachers who used the school's phone often on personal business. So, instead of going after them, the admin. regulated the phones. We couldn't use the school's phones ever for personal business. So, people like me, who maybe made two calls a year to schedule a dr. appt. or something paid for the irresponsibility of the few, and I obeyed the rule because I was responsible, and I'm sure those few women the rule was aimed toward just found sneaker ways of making their calls.

 

Laws only regulate the law-abiding unless they are so draconian that everyone fears the consequences. And even then there will always be a some people who still don't care. Meanwhile, the people who do are increasingly burdened.

 

Reminds me of this: You Commit Three Felonies Every Day

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

IDK. We're a lot of that list and I've found it okay. I think it depends on what you expect. Most of the places on the internet are wildly liberal. This place comes off as pretty moderate to me. If most of your online experience to date has been in QF specific fora, then it'd be different.

 

No tractor though. I wonder if I could fit that in the driveway . . .

 

 

(I tried to remember the threads that got crazy, not to pick any particular group out of that. :D)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One I'd bet is correct. Anyone who gets that defensive at even a hypothetical discussion about minimal regulation and immediately starts bashing government employees is usually acting that way for a reason. I get sick of every discussion like this turning into another round of "the government is evil!" hysteria.

 

 

So anyone who feels strongly against government regulation must be guilty of breaking the law? I totally agree that we need the government, that government employees are mostly good people (gee, I hope so as practically all my friends are employed by the government directly or indirectly) and some people are pretty paranoid, but that conclusion seems just as hysteria-driven to me.

 

I'd consider being for more regulation of homeschooling if I thought it could be carried out in a reasonable way that wouldn't place an unfair burden on homeschoolers and would actually change behavior. I just can't conceive of how that would happen. I'm familiar with states that test, but the scores you need are extremely low and I don't see it changing most people's behavior. I know some states require writing up a plan or keeping attendance, but this is data that can easily be just made up. I do a pretty good job homeschooling, but if I had to keep attendance, I'd just make it up. I'm familiar with states that do portfolios, but my anecdotal knowledge of that is that the portfolio evaluators are very uneven - most are fine, a few are ignorant of the law and bully people. It doesn't really alter what people do, it's just the time when you gather a few things and show them to the bureaucrat. I don't know what increased regulation that would change behavior would look like. Without that vision, to me the whole conversation is a moot point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...