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What things do some homeschoolers do to give us a bad name?


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This last weekend I was with a group of people not family but long-standing friends I see once a year.  I mentioned homeschooling.  At one point later on I walked into the room and I heard a woman who works at a community college complaining about homeschooled kids saying "What is a Scantron?", and then she has to teach them how to fill one out.  

 

This was something I plan on covering, but it made me wonder, Are there other things that aren't on my radar?  

Edited by shawthorne44
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The main things that comes to mind is that homeschoolers have a reputation for expecting everyone to bend the rules for them. I have had several conversations with people who run classes or provide event space who want assurance that we aren't those type of homeschoolers who expect to be treated like rock stars.

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FWIW, my kids have taken 1-3 standardized tests, but I think being unfamiliar with a Scranton is fine until they are considerably older.

 

The one homeschool family I know who gives homeschool a bad name have kids who can barely read. They are also unkempt. The kids clothing is often dirty and inside out or backwards, and it isn't unusual for their flies to be down.

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I talked to a private school teacher last weekend who said she proctors tests for the local homeschoolers every year, and they tend to come in saying they are in third grade but haven't covered any multiplication.  To her, that meant they weren't where she expected and were just labeling their kids by grades without content.  She isn't impressed.

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Not knowing what a Scantron is, is hardly giving homeschoolers a bad name. It's a tiny gap that can be filled in about 3 minutes.

 

However, letting the kids be filthy, not actually teaching them anything, or expecting to be catered to are things that would give homeschoolers a bad name.

 

(And I might even say the "not actually teaching them anything" is subjective because the kids might not be at "grade level" due to learning disabilities which are being addressed for those kids.  That would have to be considered on a case by case basis.)

 

I was going to say being late to things and flaking out on whether or not they'll be there, but it turns out that many people do that.  We've had plenty of threads where people say they'll come to weddings and don't, they say they'll come to birthday parties and don't, etc.  I'm not sure that it's just homeschoolers who do that vs. lots of people do that.

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This last weekend I was with a group of people not family but long-standing friends I see once a year.  I mentioned homeschooling.  At one point later on I walked into the room and I heard a woman who works at a community college complaining about homeschooled kids saying "What is a Scantron?", and then she has to teach them how to fill one out.  

 

This was something I plan on covering, but it made me wonder, Are there other things that aren't on my radar?  

Ummm...I went to a private high school and had no idea what a Scantron was until college. It's not just homeschoolers. Not everyone knows about Scantrons. Is she going to complain about a non-traditional student not knowing as well? Sounds more like she just has a chip on her shoulder. Definitely not something that should give a bad name. 

 

ETA: The ones who give homeschoolers a bad name are those we constantly see in the news for cases of neglect, abuse, and murder. 

Not teaching your kid to read, barely teaching them, or (like some in my district) constantly taking them in and out of public school because you don't like the rules - these are what give homeschoolers a bad name.

And, unfortunately, the squeaky wheel gets noticed. These are things that annoy, frustrate, or call attention to homeschooling. The non-squeaky wheels - those that educate their children and whose children excel - are hardly ever noticed. 

Edited by Southern Ivy
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I don't think my kids know what a Scantron is (by name, that is.)  But they have done standardized tests with the bubbling in.  They were just as adept at that as their public school counterparts, even though we were very sparing with standardized test until their high school years. 

 

I think the flakiness of homeschoolers is the biggest thing that gives us a bad name ... not showing up when they say they will or not being on time.  The other thing is the need to give every detail about what grade a child is working at (well, they read at a 7th grade level, but they are doing 2nd grade math.) As a new homeschooler, I was guilty of that until I figured out people only ask to know how old the child is.    My last pet peeve is the "change everything you offer to make it work just for me" attitude.  The 4 year old who reads is not really a good fit for the elementary science club.  The 7th grader is not a good fit for the teen book club.  Part of the reason to meet is social ... finding other teens that are still homeschooling.  No, I'm not going to remove a book from my book club because you find the content objectionable.  And please don't go badmouthing me to your entire group  that I am such a heathen because I don't shield my kids from all difficult content before college. 

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 The other thing is the need to give every detail about what grade a child is working at (well, they read at a 7th grade level, but they are doing 2nd grade math.) As a new homeschooler, I was guilty of that until I figured out people only ask to know how old the child is.    

This drives me nuts. When I ask what grade your kid is in, it isn't because I'm choosing curriculum for your child. It is because I can't tell if your kid is 7 or 10. I don't want to hear how advanced your child is in X or Y (because I know you sure won't be telling me where your child is behind). Maybe we'll get there in conversation someday, but I don't really care now. We live in a context of schools and most of my kids' friends go to school, so asking grade rather than age is normal. 

 

Emily

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I think being a non-conformer gives HSer's a "bad name"(being late, expecting things to be done a certain way, not learning multiplication until after 3rd grade, not standardize testing!). Luckily as a non-conformist I could care less what the rest of the world thinks.  What  truly gives us a bad name is, as Southern Ivy mentioned, those people who use HSing to cover up neglect and abuse but they're not really HSer's. 

Edited by foxbridgeacademy
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What is a scantron?  Seriously, I never heard of that.  Is that the machine that scans those bubble sheets?  If that is the case, what a thing to complain about. 

 

My kid will start a course at the CC soon.  He is very young.  I do worry about a few details because he has never been in a real classroom situation.  But then he is smart and observant and I think he'll figure it out.  But my biggest worry is just the attitudes he might encounter.  I am worried, for example, he'll forget to put his name on a test.  And that'll be pointed out as a problem with homeschooling.  Except in my class now, every single test the instructor has given out there have been at least 2 people (adults) who forgot to put their name on the test.  So it can happen to anyone. 

 

 

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Teaching children that matters of personal belief and faith can be applied as educational information. I understand people do this with good intentions, but it makes all of us look woefully ignorant.

 

This.  THIS.

 

When a parent shelters their child from true and basic facts and instead teaches matters of personal belief as those facts, it is bad for all of us. 

 

When they excuse not giving their child an education of any sort as "unschooling" or "child led", in quotes because I do believe in these methods when they are done correctly, with intention and purpose.

 

When they consistently reassure other parents that it's okay not to educate, that they'll be fine when they can't read at 11 and haven't had any intervention, when they push for relaxing to the point of educational neglect.

 

When they helicopter, because they're used to micromanaging at home and haven't let the child take on even an ounce of responsibility for their own education.

 

Chronic tardiness.  OH, BOY

 

.

I do push for a bit of homeschooling reform, a mandatory send-in of scope, sequence, and books used every year.  That enough would help many children around here who aren't being taught anything because of the above. 

Edited by HomeAgain
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Being a "homeschooler" has nothing to do with an awful lot of things that mainstream homeschoolers get all bent out of shape about.

 

Mainstreamers don't agree with a lot of radical PARENTING. I've been around a lot of flavors of radical parenting. Radical parenting is legal in the USA. The USA will need to start making sure all kids are at least OFFERED a lot of things listed on your basic human rights lists, before they can even think about rounding up all the radicals and forcing them to mainstream their kids.

 

If you CAN and choose to be a mainstreamer, don't expect all americans to be ABLE, never mind choose, to copy you. And if you and some of those radicals choose to homeschool, don't expect your homeschools to look the same.

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At the ps where I work it's a combo of those who:

 

1) Haven't actually taught their kids much and wonder why junior is in low level classes.

 

2) Think we need to eliminate a bit of our content to fit their views of what should be taught (not read certain books, etc, due to content).

 

3) Get picky about schedules or details with what happens in school, etc.

 

4) Feel everyone should fit in to their diet "shoulds or shouldn'ts" when parties or celebrations come up.

 

These complaints are rare in ps families - at least at the high school level.

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Should homeschoolers be held to higher standards than public school kids?

 

I know a public school kid, that is only a public school kid, because his parents didn't want to deal with all the homework his privately schooled older sister had.

 

He walks around in too small, on backwards clothing, with the fly down. And the kid's grandfather has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame or whatever it is. His aunt sent me a link to the video of some ceremony thing. It all looked pretty cool. The kid had on a suit done right. Somebody made sure.

 

This kid's mom would have the legal right to homeschool. If she did, you all would think she made YOU look bad? Or would you give her a free pass because of who her dad is, if you knew? She probably wouldn't tell you, though, because she doesn't tell people.

 

This kid's aunt thinks it is funny how he is dressed. She says she is glad her sister lets her nephew be a "real kid".

 

Radical PARENTING is legal. And half the time you don't have a clue about the whole story.

Edited by Hunter
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I do encounter more parents annoyed that their homeschooled child is not accomodated than the kids themselves. Also the way some parents brag that their kids are too good for the public and private schools.

 

The public school parents are used to back door negotiations so you (general) are spared the drama.

 

Manners, plus enough reasoning skills to understand how a private lesson targeted to the student can accelerate a student beyond a group lesson targeted to the most below grade level child in the room, would be helpful.

My kids forgot how to politely wait when bored. The public and private school kids in their after school class were able to patiently wait.

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I didn't know what a scantron was (by name) until this semester of college.  Mainly because I'm old (comparatively)

What I hate is when people blame something they don't like/agree with on being homeschooled.  

My kid is weird.  She has been weird since birth.  She was weird all through her 6 years at public school.  She was weird through her 7 years of homeschool.  She's a weird college student.  But she gets labeled as the "weird homeschooler".  Any time she doesn't know something, whether it has a thing to do with her education or not, it is seen as a homeschooler issue.  
 

 

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....My kids forgot how to politely wait when bored. The public and private school kids in their after school class were able to patiently wait.

 

We are going to have to work on that.  DD is still young, but she has this idea that we should leave a restaurant when she is done eating.   We don't, but the idea persists.    

 

 

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I hadn't meant to start anything contentious.  I was just hoping for a list of Things I Need To Make Sure To Cover.  I'd planned on eventually doing a scantron test or few.  But, I could see someone missing that.  I wondered if there was other things I might miss.  

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Accept poor behavior with an excuse of it being "child led" or "expressing himself". No, I'm sorry, but four letter words aren't appropriate in a group class, even if you do allow them at home, and if your child hits mine, I'm not OK with your child "learning from experience". We've run into trouble with parents not only allowing these sort of things, but being downright irate when a parent in charge of a co-op class calls a child on their behavior. And when you have a co-op leader with a spine made of spaghetti who doesn't want to rock the boat, one such parent/kid can bring an entire class down.

 

It's not limited to homeschoolers-but PS kids tend to learn a set of "school behavior rules" and the school has the authority to enforce them, so usually it doesn't get quite so bad.

 

One of the things that I tell parents that I want in my groups is for ANY parent to be willing and able to step in when something is going too far-that is, if someone is being hurt, don't hesitate to step in and tell the other kids that they're going too far and need to stop. Especially the mythology club, where the kids spend a lot of time pretending to be characters from mythology and toy weapons are often involved. If you see a kid is not having fun because others are taking it too far, step in. It really doesn't take much adult intervention as long as every adult is willing to intervene and is on the same page. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have options and I am not accustomed to negotiating my kids' education.  This is what I contribute to our bad reputation.  

 

I enrolled my dd in private school for a month until she had had enough.  If I hadn't been a homeschooler, she would probably still be there, tolerating it, because I wouldn't be comfortable with the homeschooling option.  

 

If we don't like something, we take quick action to make things right.  Math homework at this school meant writing about her feelings.  If we think negotiating with a teacher is going to take too much time and effort, we don't bother.  We leave the school and get our tuition reimbursed.  

 

I feel bad that our actions may make it more difficult for other homeschoolers to gain admission to this school, but my kids come first.  

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I hadn't meant to start anything contentious. I was just hoping for a list of Things I Need To Make Sure To Cover. I'd planned on eventually doing a scantron test or few. But, I could see someone missing that. I wondered if there was other things I might miss.

:lol:

 

With my memory loss, I get confused about who is who, but I looked at your avatar and didn't think it matched up with this thread.

 

You were looking for a checklist. That makes sense, now!

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We are going to have to work on that.  DD is still young, but she has this idea that we should leave a restaurant when she is done eating.   We don't, but the idea persists.    

 

 

------------------------

 

I hadn't meant to start anything contentious.  I was just hoping for a list of Things I Need To Make Sure To Cover.  I'd planned on eventually doing a scantron test or few.  But, I could see someone missing that.  I wondered if there was other things I might miss.  

So maybe instead, "General Knowledge that most P.S. students know that I might want to teach my HSer?"

 

like scantrons, how to actually stand in a straight line, what the real meaning of "stand still" is.... kind of thing.

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In terms of the actual question you asked, I do not think other homeschoolers need to represent me.  It's personal.  Do they all do things in a way I think is the best?  No I do not, but I don't really necessarily know what is best either.  Like anything there will be less than ideal situations.

 

 

:iagree:   All people of my nationality do not represent me.  All people of my faith do not represent me.  All people of my race do not represent me.  All people of my educational method do not represent me. 

 

The benchmark I think at these lists of pet peeves might be. . ."is this behavior something that negatively affects someone else"?  Does not knowing the term "Scantron" negatively affect someone else?  No, unless you count saying "This sheet where you fill in the bubbles is called a Scantron" as being negatively affected.  I don't - or see it as so minor as laughable.  Being chronically late - would negatively affect the class if it's the teacher and can negatively affect the class by being a disruption. 

 

I've had people say "Oh, I knew a homeschooler once and they. . . ."  and my reply is "why are you telling me this?  I am not them.  If you are worried about whether I might not do XYZ, why not directly ask me my views on XYZ?"  I am not responsible for people jumping to conclusions about "all" homeschoolers when they are using faulty logic. 

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If you're looking for things to absolutely teach, add Power Point.  It's not only common in middle and high school, my college kids have all had to do presentations.

To teach Power Point shouldn't I understand Power Point?  I really need to take some classes at the library.

 

 

 

***ETA: I was mostly kidding.  I'm sure PP is relatively easy,  I just prefer Keynote.

Edited by foxbridgeacademy
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:lol:

 

With my memory loss, I get confused about who is who, but I looked at your avatar and didn't think it matched up with this thread.

 

You were looking for a checklist. That makes sense, now!

 

Oops.  I agree, I think this OP's (actual!) question is an excellent one, and needs to be reposted with a clear title.  "bad name" is likely to drive emotional responses (like mine).  

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Currently with my eldest we are working different ways to appropriately entertain themselves in group settings and entering conversations because it has become clear that he lacks those and his mostly school-going cadets have. He is great at making games and such for a group but it didn't click that if everyone is sitting and talking during their extra time, running around with a coat on his head trying to make a game happen when it obviously wasn't isn't appropriate. This likely is more him than general home ed but I think it could fit a list.

 

Locally, the things some home educators do that gives the rest of us bad names and problems is flakiness/not showing up which has resulted in some places not wanting HE groups to set up education tours, parents being overly demanding/wanting special changes made without following already outlined stepped for accommodations which has resulted in several places no longer taking HE private candidates for qualification testing, and - likely because I live in a very unschooling area - most high schools and sixth-form colleges have expressed that HE student that come typically are not prepared for GCSE level work which has made it difficult for some who are to get where they should be.

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If not knowing what a Scantron is gives homeschoolers a bad name, well, that's just silly.

 

IME, what gives homeschoolers a bad name is things like showing up late for activities, parents talking during a docent-led field trip instead of listening (yes, parents talking. What??!), homeschooled children not knowing how to actually listen to a docent/teacher/whatnot without interrupting. 

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How to take 1 piece of paper then hand the rest to the next person..... why is this so hard for older children to learn? Is it like a language best learned when you're young?

 

Some adults have problems with that. Seriously. :confused1: Our choir director regularly hands out music, and every.single.time he has to explain what to do. Or the first person in the row takes the music and instead of passing it to the person next to her in the row, hands it to the person *in the row behind her.* :blink: 

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Some adults have problems with that. Seriously. :confused1: Our choir director regularly hands out music, and every.single.time he has to explain what to do. Or the first person in the row takes the music and instead of passing it to the person next to her in the row, hands it to the person *in the row behind her.* :blink:

 

I've often wondered why the church collection container requires minders to hand it to the next row.  I wonder if adults having this problem is the reason?   Passing papers and passing the collection plate seem like a similar skill set.  Like it maybe it would just get lost somewhere if they didn't have the minders.  

 

--------------------------

 

Any idea on other thread titles?   

 

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Power Point!   That is something I can totally see myself missing.  They aren't hard at all, but if you are doing that for the first time while simultaneously stressing over your very first college presentation, I can see that being a bad thing.  

 

I'd like to think DD would be able to figure out the pass a piece of paper thing, but who knows?  

 

Fortunately I don't see us ever being the Tardy people.  I become an ugly, tense, stressed person when I'm late to leave the house.  So, fortunately the family is good about making sure that doesn't happen.  

 

On her soccer team she does as good at Waiting In Line as everyone else.  So, I think we are good there.  

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Don't change the thread title. People like to get riled up, and it is ensuring that your thread stays hot.

 

 

Has anybody mentioned Dayna Martin on Wife Swap, Mimi Rothschild, or Seelhoff vs Welch yet?

 

:P

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Telling me, to my public-schooled face, in front of my public-schooled kids, that they are so glad their kids don't have to deal with public school kids and all the bad stuff that goes on in their minds and comes out of their mouths.

 

This would be limited to ultra-religious homeschoolers but still.

 

Telling me that it's a good thing their kids won't learn to be automotons like they teach kids in public school.

 

Telling me, to my face, in front of my kids, "we homeschool because I actually care about my kids and what they learn." Particularly in an area where everyone is after schooling and striving and paying top dollar for a good school district, that's just plain rude.

 

In other words, putting others down to justify our own choices. Always a bad idea. Always.

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The Math Kangaroo test uses scantrons. When I showed DD, her response was "oh, a bubble sheet with rectangle bubbles"-and she was fine.

 

She came home from her summer program with a stack of blue books. Apparently, she found them a great size to write/illustrate stories in, and they were really cheap at the college bookstore :).

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To teach Power Point shouldn't I understand Power Point?  I really need to take some classes at the library.

 

 

If you have it on your computer, you probably don't really need classes.  Just start using it.  I think it's much like "learning" email.  Mostly intuitive. 

 

Play with it for yourself for a bit and then let your kids play with it.  Not hard.  I mean, if you want a class, go for it, but it might not be necessary if you don't have the time.

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FWIW, I went through public school all the way, and when I went to college I had no idea what a Scantron was nor what a Blue Book was. I'd never heard of them.

 

 

I went to college for the first time at age 32.  That was back in 2005.  I'd never heard of a blue book either.  :)  I figured it out pretty quickly.

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Powerpoint would be a biggie. My kids learned this to do presentations in 4-H....which meant I had to learn it to teach it to them.

 

Scantrons - easy-peasy, ditto with blue books

 

How to make your way through the forest of bureaucracy, however.....that requires some learning. No, dear, not all the counselors at the CC will tell you the same thing, or even the RIGHT thing about how to register, what to register for, altho' they're usually pretty good at when to register.

 

Online homework - that's turned out to be a biggie @ the CC. Also the pros/cons of textbook purchase and return.

 

How to ride a bus and get it to stop when you need it to. (Suburbia!)

 

How to respond gracefully to an unwanted overture, from a person of either sex.

 

How to respond respectfully and without intimidation to someone who thinks you're an idiot because you don't agree with them. (This would perhaps reflect a parental example when somebody tells them they're an uptight idiot because they don't unschool.)

 

How to deal with it when your college instructor actually says the exact same thing about your writing skills that your mother once told you (and you didn't believe her).

 

How to use a planner, electronic or otherwise....and show up ON TIME.

 

But, seriously.......are these really just homeschooler issues????

 

 

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