Jump to content

Menu

Mark Gregston's views on homeschooling


MegP
 Share

Recommended Posts

We have always homeschooled. I am reading a book by Mark Gregston and this one chapter is really making me think and almost question our decision to homeschool through high school.

 

I would love to know what others think. It is chapter 5 called The Homeschool Rebel and you can read it here-

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=j6OHxe4mErIC&pg=PA46&lpg=PA46&dq=mark+gregston+homeschool&source=bl&ots=wQQ9SrNpNH&sig=mQj8aSRvfUWsZCL6wCqlbI-JGOY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiY7bLclubLAhVU1GMKHaMHAHoQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=rebel&f=false

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who is he?  I gather he works at some place for troubled teens?  I skimmed the chapter.  If these teens are coming from a very legalistic and sheltered environment, then I can see it.  But for the homeschooled teens I know (including my own), well, my thought is "give me a break".  For one thing, lots of kids get bullied in school and have a hard time with it.  And there are lots of kids who don't fit in, even though they've been in public school all their life.  As to teaching your kids to maneuver in the world, I agree.  And for letting them spread their wings, I agree as well.  But I can do that and homeschool - in some ways better than in public school because we don't have the restrictions of an institution. 

  • Like 40
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have always homeschooled. I am reading a book by Mark Gregston and this one chapter is really making me think and almost question our decision to homeschool through high school.

 

I would love to know what others think. It is chapter 5 called The Homeschool Rebel and you can read it here-

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=j6OHxe4mErIC&pg=PA46&lpg=PA46&dq=mark+gregston+homeschool&source=bl&ots=wQQ9SrNpNH&sig=mQj8aSRvfUWsZCL6wCqlbI-JGOY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiY7bLclubLAhVU1GMKHaMHAHoQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=rebel&f=false

 

Well, he's right, if you raise your children to be overly sheltered and naive little bigots they're probably going to suffer out in the real world.

 

The good news is that there's no reason to raise kids that way. Many homeschooled families (including mine) have found that homeschooling allows our children to be in the world more, not less, meeting far more diverse people than they'd have ever encountered in school. In our case, that's especially true because we have a whole city at our doorstep, but our kids would have attended a township school.

 

My children are 19, 17, 15, and 11. They have very few homeschooled friends (because they have a lot of homeschooled relatives and that's plenty), they're active in many communities with people of all ages and backgrounds, and they don't seem to suffer from self-loathing or culture shock.

  • Like 28
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think I agree with him.  The feeling I got was that based on his experience we should be immersing our teens in pop culture and fitting in behavior rather then exploring their world and following their interests.

 

My teens have homeschooled friends and public schooled friends.  They have both worked in the summers.  They seem able to navigate many social pitfalls.  To the authors point, there are definitely some social cues my kids do not get at all.  My oldest has difficulty understanding that when your friend says "quit it" they mean it.  He is the kid who can't stop and takes things one step too far.  Would this have been corrected if he attended school?  Maybe.  They have certainly missed out on some social activities due to benign neglect.  Not at school. not part of the plan making. 

 

I am sure if you asked my oldest this minute what he thought about homeschooling high school he will tell you he wished he had gone to school.  These past 4 years have been a cycle of I don't know what but some years I couldn't stand to be in the same room as him and other times things were great.   Sometimes, as parents we have to make the call. 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first thought was -why do I care about Mark Gregston's views?

My second (after skimming the chapter) was - didn't these parents ever let their kids out of the basement?

 

I agree with the above - if the kids are homeschooled to protect them from the big, bad world and they only socialize within a small insular group - then sure, they are going to have big problems if they are suddenly thrown into public school.  But I think the majority of homeschoolers (definitely the majority on this board) are taking their kids out into the world occasionally.

 

My kids do a mix of homeschooled and "after school" activities.  The majority at the moment are actually non-homeschool groups just because that's how it's working at the moment. 

  • Like 22
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, this gentleman is making a pretty good case for homeschooling, if it's to be taken as read that public schools are intolerant and unkind dens of conformity. My eldest son never went to ps, but he's in college and hasn't witnessed or experienced any of that childish pecking there, nor at any of his jobs with adult coworkers over the years.

 

My kids had a bad experience in an evangelical mega church. The youth group culture mirrored the small town public school culture - in every way, most of the kids were on the same page. From fashion and mannerisms to parental income/lifestyle and politics! It was a total crab bucket, for those familiar with the syndrome...

 

My kids' academic opportunities at home are meant to lead to more expansive thinking, an awareness of social justice, an understanding of why the world is the way it is. "We always wear pink on Wednesday"* was jarringly incongruous, beneficial only in the conversations that culture necessitated at home about what Christianity even is. Ditto for luxury retreats and camps which neatly exclude low income families. These things are the norm among the wealthy public school students in town. But do we really believe that churches or public schools should be country clubs?

 

*Mean Girls film reference

  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's a reason not to homeschool, but more of a reason not to socially isolate your kids if you do homeschool. I haven't personally seen these homeschool rebels or homeschooled teens that fall apart when put into public school. But, I know some kids in our co-op that would likely have a very hard time if they were ever to go to school. IMO, they've been too sheltered from the world and really even have trouble interacting with the majority of other homeschoolers. In our area, most of the homeschooled kids we know are very 'normal' kids. They have a mix of public and private schooled friends. They dress like regular teens. They play video games, see movies, hang out with each other. I also see these teens' parents putting a lot of effort into making sure their teens have active social lives (and I don't mean in a 'helicopter' way, but an appropriate parenting way.😊).

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Raising teens is a tricky business. And there is no right answer or perfect way to do it. As we are fond of saying to the kids, "mistakes have been made." We have now seen all sorts of teens, homeschooled, public school, private school, charters, online, etc. i don't think you can say, here is the answer for parenting teens. You can say, in my experience with this particular person, this is what worked or didn't work.

We have seen sheltered, naive, bigoted kids out of "the best" public high school. And out of homeschools. And out of private schools.

Be out in the world, make friends with different sorts of people, try to model compassion and tolerance of mistakes. Everyone can do those things, no matter where they go to school.

  • Like 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I skimmed the chapter.  I'm homeschooling a 9th grader right now.  It was his choice to homeschool high school.  He partially chose to do it because it isn't unusual for him to be out of the house every day of the week with activities.  He is with a peer group almost daily.  I will say he is not nearly invested in what his peers think of him as the average schooled teen I know.   He does has the social saavy not to bring up a discussion on religion in mixed company in a casual setting. 

 

I don't doubt there are huge issues when kids are raised in very restrictive homes and are very isolated from society.  My kid isn't one of them nor are really any of the secular homeschoolers (which doesn't mean "doesn't attend church" but means "homeschooling for reasons not related to religion") we mix with so I really wonder how wide spread this issue actually is.  I'm not super impressed with what I skimmed of this book.. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, this gentleman is making a pretty good case for homeschooling, if it's to be taken as read that public schools are intolerant and unkind dens of conformity. My eldest son never went to ps, but he's in college and hasn't witnessed or experienced any of that childish pecking there, nor at any of his jobs with adult coworkers over the years.

 

My kids had a bad experience in an evangelical mega church. The youth group culture mirrored the small town public school culture - in every way, most of the kids were on the same page. From fashion and mannerisms to parental income/lifestyle and politics! It was a total crab bucket, for those familiar with the syndrome...

 

My kids' academic opportunities at home are meant to lead to more expansive thinking, an awareness of social justice, an understanding of why the world is the way it is. "We always wear pink on Wednesday"* was jarringly incongruous, beneficial only in the conversations that culture necessitated at home about what Christianity even is. Ditto for luxury retreats and camps which neatly exclude low income families. These things are the norm among the wealthy public school students in town. But do we really believe that churches or public schools should be country clubs?

 

*Mean Girls film reference

Agree.

My in laws have always supported our parenting choices but homeschooling was definitely outside of their comfort zone. One concern they brought up was that there was a homeschooled kid at their church and the other kids made fun of him in Sunday school--they worried about socialization and homeschooled kids being odd. My thought was that if the socialization achieved through the school system led kids to bully and make fun of others, that was something I wanted no part in.

Edited by maize
  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have always homeschooled. I am reading a book by Mark Gregston and this one chapter is really making me think and almost question our decision to homeschool through high school.

 

I would love to know what others think. It is chapter 5 called The Homeschool Rebel and you can read it here-

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=j6OHxe4mErIC&pg=PA46&lpg=PA46&dq=mark+gregston+homeschool&source=bl&ots=wQQ9SrNpNH&sig=mQj8aSRvfUWsZCL6wCqlbI-JGOY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiY7bLclubLAhVU1GMKHaMHAHoQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=rebel&f=false

 

I read the chapter.  My oldest, who homeschooled for 7th and 8th grade, graduated from public high school, then did plumbing for 3 years, then went to engineering school, and now has been working for a few years would agree with this.  Because he homeschooled for awhile and because his brothers were homeschooling, he has noticed the homeschoolers around him as they tried to fit into high school or college.  Some did fine.  Some floundered.  When he talks about homeschooling, he says something very similar to what this chapter says - that most children have years and years experience with learning to fit in socially without giving in on the issues that are most important to them, that they have years of experience with classroom learning, and that they have plenty of time every day away from their families to experiment and get this all worked out while the stakes are low.  He says it is better to get this figured out in high school than in college, where mistakes are expensive and the social costs are high.  I have heard adults ask him about homeschooling and heard him say exactly this.  So, why did I homeschool our two youngest all the way through high school, even though I, too, feel this way?  Because I thought for the two younger brothers, the advantages of homeschooling outweighed the disadvantages, and because when I explained all this, they agreed with me.  We did what we could to mitigate the problems.  They were in the gym after school half the week.  They were away from us for months at a time travelling, as teenagers.  We used community college to ramp up to classroom learning and I taught study and scheduling skills (or tried to, anyway).  We still had problems with the transition to college, but I still think it was worth it.  And time and experience has shown that others in our extended family have had the same problems transitioning to college, despite public school.

 

Nan

 

ETA Younger two say something very similar, now that they are in their twenties.

Edited by Nan in Mass
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't agree with him at all. As others have posted, I suppose if you lived completely isolated lives then yeah... I suppose your kids are going to have issues. But I would say my kids are pretty caught up in the "culture" of their peers. They go to Awanas, participate in sports, etc. They seem to fit in when they go to camp and do stuff with other kids. Some kids are going to have problems making their way to adulthood anyway and homeschooling is a great thing to blame. Although I have seen homeschool families that run a very tight ship, the parenting is very authoritarian, the kids are "extremely obedient" and I think to myself, "hmmm, now that's a rebellion in the making!" But that's not the fault of homeschooling.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just as an aside, like the current statistic is that 56% of people who enter college graduate college within 6 years.   My freshman year of college was nuts how many had gone home by the end of the year or didn't return the following fall.  There are MANY reasons young adults don't succeed in college.  College IS a difficult adjustment and is not for everyone. 

 

Locally, most capable homeschoolers do PSEO which is free college classes as high schooler 11th and 12th grader.  It's a good steppingstone.  The vast majority of homeschoolers we know who do this have been very successful.  I'm grateful our state has this as an option.

Edited by WoolySocks
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't agree with him at all. As others have posted, I suppose if you lived completely isolated lives then yeah... I suppose your kids are going to have issues. But I would say my kids are pretty caught up in the "culture" of their peers. They go to Awanas, participate in sports, etc. They seem to fit in when they go to camp and do stuff with other kids. Some kids are going to have problems making their way to adulthood anyway and homeschooling is a great thing to blame. Although I have seen homeschool families that run a very tight ship, the parenting is very authoritarian, the kids are "extremely obedient" and I think to myself, "hmmm, now that's a rebellion in the making!" But that's not the fault of homeschooling.

 

Yeah, I think what he is talking about is more a problem with authoritarian parents than homeschooling. 

 

I don't think that social pressures to be like everyone else is even half as bad after high school as during high school.    After public school your world broadens and people are free to find their own tribe.  In high school, the pressure to conform isn't just by the popular kids.   Each group requires conformity.   I don't think that is healthy. 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Raising teens is a tricky business. And there is no right answer or perfect way to do it. As we are fond of saying to the kids, "mistakes have been made." We have now seen all sorts of teens, homeschooled, public school, private school, charters, online, etc. i don't think you can say, here is the answer for parenting teens. You can say, in my experience with this particular person, this is what worked or didn't work.

We have seen sheltered, naive, bigoted kids out of "the best" public high school. And out of homeschools. And out of private schools.

Be out in the world, make friends with different sorts of people, try to model compassion and tolerance of mistakes. Everyone can do those things, no matter where they go to school.

 

:iagree:   And I love the "mistakes have been made."  No assigning blame, just acknowledgement!  What a great way to live life. 

I don't think it's a reason not to homeschool, but more of a reason not to socially isolate your kids if you do homeschool. I haven't personally seen these homeschool rebels or homeschooled teens that fall apart when put into public school. But, I know some kids in our co-op that would likely have a very hard time if they were ever to go to school. IMO, they've been too sheltered from the world and really even have trouble interacting with the majority of other homeschoolers. In our area, most of the homeschooled kids we know are very 'normal' kids. They have a mix of public and private schooled friends. They dress like regular teens. They play video games, see movies, hang out with each other. I also see these teens' parents putting a lot of effort into making sure their teens have active social lives (and I don't mean in a 'helicopter' way, but an appropriate parenting way.😊).

I agree that sheltering and isolating your kids do them no favors. 

 

Some kids would have trouble interacting no matter what environment.  I have oone who is probably on the spectrum and another who has social anxiety issues.  School would not have cured their issues.  Homeschooling allowed them to have a more normal existence with lots of social successes because the environment was geared to help them succeed.  That doesn't mean I sheltered them, but I gave them much more freedom over their environment than they would have had in school.  They hated the mere thought of going to high school, but loved taking college classes while being homeschooled.   Neither of them had much difficult adjusting to college as far as socialization is concerned.  They were able to find their tribes in college. One has graduated and the other is back at school after some difficulty with mental health issues (which I have posted about before.)  My youngest is probably the most emotionally and socially healthy out of everyone in our household (parents included.)  She was born that way. 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I generally think there is a "chicken and egg" element at work. I do think homeschoolers can struggle socially. But I also think that people that choose homeschooling, and particularly those who choose to homeschool through high school (myself included) tend to be somewhat non-mainstream, and have reasons for selecting the alternative route. Perhaps they saw something different in their kids early on, perhaps they themselves struggled in high school.

 

My opinion is that the kids would have struggled, regardless of the educational venue.

Edited by Gr8lander
  • Like 15
Link to comment
Share on other sites

:iagree: And I love the "mistakes have been made." No assigning blame, just acknowledgement! What a great way to live life.

I agree that sheltering and isolating your kids do them no favors.

 

Some kids would have trouble interacting no matter what environment...

So agree with this. Yes, some homeschool parents sheltering causes issues. Some kids are "sheltered" or out of touch even when they are in public school.

 

I was super out of touch and "uncool" in junior high despite having been in public school. We were just scraping by financially so I had really out of date clothes. My glasses were cheap and ugly. I had a botched perm/short hair cut early in 7th grade that took most of the year to grow out into a decent style. Even though we weren't religious, my mom didn't let me watch MTV or read teen magazines because she thought I was still "too young" for that stuff at age 12. I was smart and got good grades, which worked against me in the "cool" game. Luckily, I learned to overlook the teasing. I found better things to do and didn't "rebel". Eventually I figured out how to look a bit more like I fit in. But it totally could have gone a different way...a lot of these struggling homeschool teens might have struggled in other settings too.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I generally think there is a "chicken and egg" element at work. I do think homeschoolers can struggle socially. But I also think that people that choose homeschooling, and particularly those who choose to homeschool through high school (myself included) tend to be somewhat non-mainstream, and have reasons for selecting the alternative route. Perhaps they saw something different in their kids early on, perhaps they themselves struggled in high school.

 

My opinion is that the kids would have struggled, regardless of the educational venue.

The author might have a high proportion of homeschoolers because homeschooling parents tend to be parents who active. They are used to trying to solve problems actively tather than just waiting for them to go away, are able to envision a different state of affairs, and value their relationship with their teenager enough to want to fix it right now. They might be more likely to go for help and try to change things (which might make things worse) rather than just passively wait out any teen unhappiness.

 

Nan

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never heard of Mark Gregston before. I read his Amazon bio. He works with troubled teens. He knows far more troubled teens than he does typical teens. I imagine he knows far more troubled homeschoolers than typical homeschoolers due to his profession. His perspective is skewed. 

 

I read a bit of the linked book in the preview. I don't recommend authors who concentrate on the negative aspects of parenting. Without examining the whole of his work (for which I have neither the time nor the desire), I am concerned that he is concentrating on the things that can go wrong and on placing blame, rather than on concentrating on helping people build strong family relationships that can weather what life throws at them.

 

This statement is concerning: 

"So the question every parent must ask is this: Is the inappropriate and unacceptable behavior I see in my teen rebellion, or is it a response to something that is happening or has happened in my child's life?" (p. 11). 

 

What, only two options?  Many poor decisions children make are a result of their emotional immaturity and lack of life experience. Those decisions can lead down many, many wrong paths. Ultimately, though, we are each responsible for our own decisions, teens and adults alike. 

 

 

  • Like 22
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never heard of Mark Gregston before. I read his Amazon bio. He works with troubled teens. He knows far more troubled teens than he does typical teens. I imagine he knows far more troubled homeschoolers than typical homeschoolers due to his profession. His perspective is skewed. 

 

 

It's like talking to a public school teacher who is against homeschooling due to the fact that homeschoolers show up in his/her classes not being able to read.  They see the failures- not the successes.

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's like talking to a public school teacher who is against homeschooling due to the fact that homeschoolers show up in his/her classes not being able to read.  They see the failures- not the successes.

 

Yep. I have a friend who is director of Special Ed for a ps district. She has been super supportive of my homeschooling, but thinks I'm one of the only ones out there doing it right. All the homeschoolers she has met were a mess. Of course all the homeschoolers she had met were giving up on homeschooling, entering ps, and mostly had learning disabilities that the parents had been unable to deal with. Um, yeah, of course her opinion is skewed. Of course Mark Gregston's opinion is skewed for the same reason.

 

My kids homeschooled high school. My oldest has done just fine in his first year of college. My youngest is on Dean's List at the CC and will head of to a University in the fall (a year early). Neither is showing any signs of rebellion, although in truth, I've always encouraged rebellion. If you want to go your own way, as long as no one gets hurt, go for it. I like and encourage independent thought. As far as homeschooled kids doing well in college, ever admissions person my kids talked to was actively recruiting homeschoolers because they do so well. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a parent who has had three teens in public school and is homeschooling a teen who is adamant about staying home for high school, I don't think this author is looking at all the variables. Two of my three always public schooled teens really didn't care much about teen culture. They did their own thing. Sometimes it resulted in being teased or otherwise not treated well by peers, but that didn't make them rebel and change to fit the culture or have problems that needed more care. It just made them think that many of the other teens were immature and cruel. They are now both in their mid-20's and don't have many good things to say about their time in PS. Both now wish they had the opportunity to be homeschooled in high school and both are doing amazingly well as adults. One of them still doesn't fit into the culture of his peers and has no desire to do so, but he's found his group and is doing well. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like whoever this guy is is surrounded by troubled kids and wherever he works attracts homeschooled kids.  He's going to have a skewed view of how teens are.  It's his reality.

 

I was homeschooled.  I know a whole lot of formerly homeschooled adults.  Not a single one of us ended up in jail or on drugs.  I do know some public schooled kids who did, but most of them turned out just fine, too.  That's my reality.

 

My daughter attended public high school in 9th grade.  She wanted to come back home the next year.  She says public school is not a healthy environment for many kids.

 

Don't let some random guy make you think homeschooling high school is a bad idea.  Raising teens can be tough whether they go to brick and mortar school or stay home.

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What i was wondering, more than whether homeschooled kids are more likely to rebel, was more of the idea that homeschooled kids are often unaware of pop culture, of the latest slang, the coolest clothes, what music is popular, etc and might be shunned or teased because of it.

 

Also the author talks about making choices on page 52. He says that as early as first grade, kids learn to make choices in situations that are not in line with the family's belief systems.  He suggests that having the opportunity to do so at a young age when the stakes are smaller, is better than first encountering peer pressure situations in high school (for a kid who was always homeschooled until then). It is almost like he is saying that the act of making choices and standing up to peer pressure is a muscle that must be exercised to get stronger. I read this quote that speaks to this as well-

 

"Character cannot be created. It comes out of choice. Character does not develop in a moral vacuum. One does not learn to be good by never being allowed to do evil. Character is the end result of many moral contests. One must face moral dilemmas, with no limitations or constraints on his freedom, and choose between the naked realities of good and evil in order to develop character. Further, one must chose good in circumstances that are hostile to his choice."

 

If homeschooled teens ( not just ones who are sheltered,-but also the ones who are not having regular interaction with non homeschooled peers) are not exposed to situations with their peers where they have to -

 

1. learn enough about pop culture and how to act in such as way  as to fit in to the degree that they are not mocked

 

2. deal with situations where they have to choose how to respond , such as sexual pressure or alcohol or drugs or porn on someone's phone, etc.

 

Is that a problem? Will that become a problem for them in college if they are homeschooled all the way through high school?

Edited by MegP
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seriously, my always homeschooled 9 year old knows the latest fads, popular songs, and fashions. If your child leaves the house sometimes and spends time with others, it's not too hard to pick up on trends. She doesn't know the latest tween TV shows, but that's because we don't have cable TV. Even if she was in PS, she still wouldn't be watching those shows. She isn't texting, using Snapchat, or always playing with a tablet like many of her friends because we have made a family decision not to provide phones or tablets to our children right now. Those differences are related to family culture, but this guy would probably blame them on homeschooling.

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was not  homeschooled, but I was raised overseas and went to college without a lot of American pop culture or knowledge of American culture in general.  Not knowing pop culture did not hurt me.  I got gently teased by my friends when I didn't know Leave it To Beaver or the latest grunge band.  But it was in good fun and I took it that way.  I was hurt by some sexual naivete.  That helped to contribute to being assaulted in college (though of course my naivete did not cause my assault). 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If homeschooled teens ( not just ones who are sheltered,-but also the ones who are not having regular interaction with non homeschooled peers) are not exposed to situations with their peers where they have to -

 

1. learn enough about pop culture and how to act in such as way  as to fit in to the degree that they are not mocked

 

2. deal with situations where they have to choose how to respond , such as sexual pressure or alcohol or drugs or porn on someone's phone, etc.

 

Is that a problem? Will that become a problem for them in college if they are homeschooled all the way through high school?

 

IME homeschooled teens are exposed to things if they are allowed to watch TV and are allowed on the internet and around other people.  It's not like they're locked in the basement all the time.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't read all of it.  I guess I wonder what came first, the chicken or the egg.  In other words, could it be that more homeschool because their children were difficult to begin with and they would have had problems down the road?  Or is it really something about them being homeschooled?

 

I have not personally met homeschoolers who shelter their kids.  Most don't set strict limits on TV, Internet, etc.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read the quotes from students about how they felt the first week of being in public school. 75% of those were me...every single day of my entirely public schooled life. I wanted to be home schooled so badly but my parents felt that I needed to be forced to interact with people at public school.

 

At the age of 33 I'm still a socially awkward introverted shy dork. Public schooling did not change that for me, but some painful things happened to me in school. I wouldn't go back for a million dollars.

 

Perhaps if I had been home schooled I would blame my personality on the way that I was raised; I'm sure others would as well.

 

So, in short, I do not agree with this man. Being a teenager is hard no matter your background.

 

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My kids have never seen anyone who is drunk. Except on TV. They have never witnessed a robbery or seen a drug deal or even someone on drugs. We live in an area where you just don't see that stuff. 

 

Our neighbors are wonderful and sweet. We know all of them. One of them brings us homemade goodies all the time and watches our dogs for us when we are away. I guess it depends on where you live. It would have been good for them to see some of those things.  I do talk to them all the time about issues, politics and sex and all that, and they do watch TV and go on the internet. (too much!)

Edited by MegP
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have occasionally met homeschoolers who do seem to want to shelter their kids from ever making independant choices.  I'm not convinced that it is great for them.  But I knew a few kids like that in public school as well.  Even young elementary school kids do from time to time make the choice to veer from their family culture, and that is IMO normal and probably developmentally important.

 

OTOH, I think excessive supervision has as much to do with that as being at home for school - avoiding that is a reason we homeschool.

 

I am totally meh over the pop culture thing.  I don't think it is common for kids to be that disconnected, for one, and in so far as they are less attached to it, I think that is a good thing.  School can be a real hot-house of pressure.

 

But really, I don't think a kid being really disconnected from pop culture is important or will have any really significant life effect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, contrary to what educators like to think, school is not real life. The 12 years a child spends in an institutional setting,surrounded by others of his exact same age (basically), doing what they do in school is nothing at all like what they will be doing for all the years of their life after that. Except maybe jail. School can be very similar to jail, now that I think about it. Kids learn about real life by living it, as Kathy mentioned above, with their parents.

 

I still remember a scenario that happened 10 years ago. It's a long time, but it made an impression on me. I was in a doctor's office for my then infant son. There was one other person in the waiting room. A teen age boy with long hair in a ponytail and an upper level math book. He spoke to me first, asking about my children, he was there because his mom has to take one of his younger siblings to see the doctor. But what struck me was the ease with with this boy spoke to me. He looked me in the eye, was pleasant and confident. Found out he was oldest of 9 siblings, all homeschooled. My conversation with him really turned me on to homeschooling.

Edited by KrissiK
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think giving kids independence is different from sheltering. All parents shelter their kids. Some just keep sheltering their 15 yo like they are still 5. The world is a big and varied place; all of us, not just teens should be out living in it.

It is easier to do with a more diverse neighborhood or city. We are currently between houses and are perching at my dmil's. Our old house was in an ethnically and economically diverse neighborhood, right now we are living in a 98 percent white upper middle class (with some serious wealth thrown in) area. These teens are not sheltered from pop culture, but they are sheltered from life. They spend their days with people who look like them and think like them and they think the entire world is like that.

Anything bad is just not discussed. Real life with its sorrows and disasters is hidden from them. They are growing up in a bubble and in many ways they are incredibly naive.

 

The issues with raising teens are complex and so much more than where they go to school and what they see on the Internet. Part of the difficulty with parenting teens is the mirror they hold up to you. Are you modeling what you are requiring from them? I know I struggle with that question.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My kids have never seen anyone who is drunk. Except on TV. They have never witnessed a robbery or seen a drug deal or even someone on drugs. We live in an area where you just don't see that stuff. 

 

Our neighbors are wonderful and sweet. We know all of them. One of them brings us homemade goodies all the time and watches our dogs for us when we are away. I guess it depends on where you live. It would have been good for them to see some of those things.  I do talk to them all the time about issues, politics and sex and all that, and they do watch TV and go on the internet. (too much!)

 

WHY?

 

My God, I'd give just about anything to be able to erase certain things from my kids' minds.

 

Why on Earth do people (not just you, MegP) have the idea that we need to see stuff like that as kids in order to develop properly?

 

I understand getting to know all sorts of cultures, or interacting with people of different economic backrounds, etc.

I don't get why we need to expose our kids to robberies, drug deals or people on drugs, or swearing neighbors.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

WHY?

 

My God, I'd give just about anything to be able to erase certain things from my kids' minds.

 

Why on Earth do people (not just you, MegP) have the idea that we need to see stuff like that as kids in order to develop properly?

 

I understand getting to know all sorts of cultures, or interacting with people of different economic backrounds, etc.

I don't get why we need to expose our kids to robberies, drug deals or people on drugs, or swearing neighbors.

 

This. I was gobsmacked by that comment, as well.

 

My kids have seen a lot of trouble and met a lot of unsavory characters because of where we live. We moved here for the low COL and for the diversity; the bad stuff is the downside of that choice. My boys are definitely street smart and capable of handling themselves in tough situations, for which I am thankful, but I am not thankful for some of the lessons that led to those skills.

 

Parents are supposed to want to provide safe and pleasant homes for their children, and to protect them from harm. Drug deals, prostitution, theft, and gang activity are not a television show, they are potentially deadly scenarios for innocent bystanders! Don't wish this for your children!

 

Classical education is one response to the overly sheltered paradigm. If you really and truly study the history and literature of the world, your children will know about the seamy side of life. They will also be steeped in truth, beauty, and goodness so that they can clearly recognize the opposite, even from a distance.

 

Also, human nature just contains a lot of garbage. Even our own kids. Even our pretty little towns. It's important to be able to recognize the evils of gossip, xenophobia, selfishness...it's not true that the Mayberry settings of this world have no problems. Our own children will have their own mountains to climb, as well, and they are done no favors when we parents think that they've never seen "real trouble."

 

Please.

 

MegP, your questions are bordering on the offensive at this point. You are asking if it's possible for homeschooled teens to have character and street smarts. What are we all to say? "No, my children have neither, but that doesn't bother me?"

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What i was wondering, more than whether homeschooled kids are more likely to rebel, was more of the idea that homeschooled kids are often unaware of pop culture, of the latest slang, the coolest clothes, what music is popular, etc and might be shunned or teased because of it.

 

Also the author talks about making choices on page 52. He says that as early as first grade, kids learn to make choices in situations that are not in line with the family's belief systems.  He suggests that having the opportunity to do so at a young age when the stakes are smaller, is better than first encountering peer pressure situations in high school (for a kid who was always homeschooled until then). It is almost like he is saying that the act of making choices and standing up to peer pressure is a muscle that must be exercised to get stronger. I read this quote that speaks to this as well-

 

"Character cannot be created. It comes out of choice. Character does not develop in a moral vacuum. One does not learn to be good by never being allowed to do evil. Character is the end result of many moral contests. One must face moral dilemmas, with no limitations or constraints on his freedom, and choose between the naked realities of good and evil in order to develop character. Further, one must chose good in circumstances that are hostile to his choice."

 

If homeschooled teens ( not just ones who are sheltered,-but also the ones who are not having regular interaction with non homeschooled peers) are not exposed to situations with their peers where they have to -

 

1. learn enough about pop culture and how to act in such as way  as to fit in to the degree that they are not mocked

 

2. deal with situations where they have to choose how to respond , such as sexual pressure or alcohol or drugs or porn on someone's phone, etc.

 

Is that a problem? Will that become a problem for them in college if they are homeschooled all the way through high school?

 

Public schools are not the only places to learn to be discerning people of character. I think a pretty strong case could be made that public schools are one of the hardest environments in which to learn critical thinking and self-awareness.

 

Character-building moral dilemmas, and the personal freedom to choose between good and evil, exist outside the brick and mortar walls of a public high school.

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What i was wondering, more than whether homeschooled kids are more likely to rebel, was more of the idea that homeschooled kids are often unaware of pop culture, of the latest slang, the coolest clothes, what music is popular, etc and might be shunned or teased because of it.

 

Also the author talks about making choices on page 52. He says that as early as first grade, kids learn to make choices in situations that are not in line with the family's belief systems.  He suggests that having the opportunity to do so at a young age when the stakes are smaller, is better than first encountering peer pressure situations in high school (for a kid who was always homeschooled until then). It is almost like he is saying that the act of making choices and standing up to peer pressure is a muscle that must be exercised to get stronger. I read this quote that speaks to this as well-

 

"Character cannot be created. It comes out of choice. Character does not develop in a moral vacuum. One does not learn to be good by never being allowed to do evil. Character is the end result of many moral contests. One must face moral dilemmas, with no limitations or constraints on his freedom, and choose between the naked realities of good and evil in order to develop character. Further, one must chose good in circumstances that are hostile to his choice."

 

If homeschooled teens ( not just ones who are sheltered,-but also the ones who are not having regular interaction with non homeschooled peers) are not exposed to situations with their peers where they have to -

 

1. learn enough about pop culture and how to act in such as way  as to fit in to the degree that they are not mocked

 

2. deal with situations where they have to choose how to respond , such as sexual pressure or alcohol or drugs or porn on someone's phone, etc.

 

Is that a problem? Will that become a problem for them in college if they are homeschooled all the way through high school?

 

 

Re: awareness of pop culture and fitting in--these are honestly not among my primary goals for my children. Fitting in--gosh, haven't we been warned over and over again about the dangers of peer pressure? The lengths to which kids will sometimes go in order to "fit in"? Is this what we want for our children? Is pop culture of such value that it should be our highest aim to ensure that their heads are filled with the lyrics of all the popular songs, the antics of the current pop icons, and the latest slang insults--and that they are aware above all of the need to not stand our from their peers, and are able to modify their behavior to match the whims of current teen culture? As I mentioned upthread, if socialization and fitting in within a school context involves learning to mock and bully anyone who is perceived as different--I want not part in that for my children.

 

Like Jean, I grew up largely overseas. By the time I reached college age, I had lived in five different countries, attended eight different schools, experienced life through the lens of a variety of cultures and languages. Was I up to speed on local slang and pop culture when I came back to the US for college? Nope. Was there an adjustment period? Sure. Overall though I found that college students were much more mature--much less focused on everybody fitting a specific mold--than junior high and high school students. I found friends and established a place for myself. In my adult life I have likewise found that there is room to be an individual, and that knowing the current popular music, TV shows, fashions, etc. is really not hugely significant. Let's please not reduce our goals for our children to hoping they can successfully play the petty social games of high school. Not an important life skill in the long run.

 

As for your second point about learning how to make decisions in accordance with their own values, I would argue that they need time to first, acquire some values, and second, allow their brains to mature to a point where rational decision making is a reasonable expectation. Why should seven year olds have to face difficult moral dilemmas on a regular basis? Especially seven year old immersed in a culture where they know they will be mocked if they stand up to their peers? I just can't fathom that being necessary for their healthy development. Learn to make decisions? Sure they can do that in the course of daily life. Be exposed to challenging situations on occasions? Well, assuming they are not isolated completely, they're sure to encounter these from time to time. They can learn, in a gradual and developmentally appropriate way, to navigate the challenges of life--they don't have to be thrown into the deep end at the ripe old age of five years old. 

 

I absolutely believe that adolescents should be stretching their wings, gaining increasing experience and independence. I just don't see that full-time school enrollment is a necessary aspect of this. Extracurricular activities, Community College classes, a part time job, travel, volunteering--any of these can allow a maturing young adult opportunities to gain experience and confidence to navigate the adult world. The ability to navigate the hallways of a high school as a student doesn't really factor into the equation in my mind--presumably they won't be doing that as an adult anyway (I have found nothing in adult life to be comparable to my high school experience).

 

Successfully navigating the artificial social environment of a typical high school is nowhere on my list of life goals for my children. I'm not actually opposed to them attending high school, by that age I think they can reasonably expect to have some say in their own educational path. Living in a state where partial enrollment is an option I am in fact quite intrigued by the possibilities. But If they never do so I do not expect it to hamper their adaptation to adult life. 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He says that as early as first grade, kids learn to make choices in situations that are not in line with the family's belief systems.  He suggests that having the opportunity to do so at a young age when the stakes are smaller, is better than first encountering peer pressure situations in high school (for a kid who was always homeschooled until then). It is almost like he is saying that the act of making choices and standing up to peer pressure is a muscle that must be exercised to get stronger.

 

I have occasionally met homeschoolers who do seem to want to shelter their kids from ever making independant choices.  I'm not convinced that it is great for them.  But I knew a few kids like that in public school as well.  Even young elementary school kids do from time to time make the choice to veer from their family culture, and that is IMO normal and probably developmentally important.

 

OTOH, I think excessive supervision has as much to do with that as being at home for school - avoiding that is a reason we homeschool.

 

IDK if I'm incompetent at passing down our "family culture" or what, but I've found that my kids face "situations that aren't in line with our family culture" just in their interactions with each other.  I just had a conversation dealing with "no means no" and "yes means yes" and "if someone doesn't respect your no, or is trying to pressure you into doing something wrong, get out of there and find someone you trust" - that stemmed from their interactions with each other.  (And I extended it to apply to any adult who's trying to get you to do something you're uncomfortable with, and to later dating situations, with especial emphasis on *immediately* getting out of there and finding someone you trust, the minute someone doesn't respect your no.) 

 

There's an amazing amount of low-stakes "learn how to deal with others' different-but-not-wrong actions" and "learn how to deal with others' wrong actions" just from family interactions.  There's an awful lot of *learning* and *practicing* how "family culture" deals with things - that's quite necessary in order to actually internalize that family culture, so it can be drawn upon in situations that occur outside the family.  (Which our kids of course have - we don't lock them in the basement, you know ;).)  There's a lot of chances for kids playing by themselves to choose their own way (even with adults nearby) - and honestly, our "family culture" ways of dealing with conflict tends to be loads better than the other ways the kids choose.  Which is *why* I'm teaching it to them, after all - because it's the best way I know.

 

I get the feeling that the author doesn't trust parents' "best way" to actually *be* a good way.  That he assumes that kids can discover a better way of living on their own (or through being taught by the "experts" - teachers and schools and other social services) than if they adopted their parents' way of living.  So that either parents *can't* effectively teach kids how to live, or that whatever parents *do* teach their kids about living is *wrong*.  If he's working with troubled teens, he's mostly going to see what went wrong and not what went right, but that's not a great base to generalize from - to assume that the problem is "parents teaching their kids" instead of "parents teaching their kids *wrongly*".

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

MegP, your questions are bordering on the offensive at this point. You are asking if it's possible for homeschooled teens to have character and street smarts. What are we all to say? "No, my children have neither, but that doesn't bother me?"

 

Why would you feel offended by this line of questioning? She's asking legitimate questions, most likely to work through her own thoughts about this issue.

Many homeschooling families in my circle, my own included, have asked and debated the same thing.

I can't understand your personal offense in this.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the pop culture thing is a weird thing to mention.  Some schooled kids are into pop culture.  Some aren't.  I have 2 homeschooled kids.  My dd is the family consultant for pop culture.  My older son could barely care less.  He is a music kid and thinks pop music is ridiculous.  It's not like it's kept from him by any stretch.  It's not of interest for him.  My husband went to public high school and has been into old time country his entire life.  LOL.  DH and DS do like going to the latest action movies together though.   DS can sing Hamilton end to end, but theater is an interest.   Different kids have different interests regardless of where they are schooled.  If you're kid is put in the basement with nothing and has no interests and nothing to discuss I do think that's odd.  Otherwise human beings having varying interest and there's nothing unusual about that.   There are nerdy kids at school too.  DH and I were those types. 

 

Current events are much more important to discuss with your kids than pop culture IMO.  If an area of pop culture is of interest, fine.  If it's not, fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because he homeschooled for awhile and because his brothers were homeschooling, he has noticed the homeschoolers around him as they tried to fit into high school or college.  Some did fine.  Some floundered.  

 

Sure, but that's true of most (every?) group of kids transitioning to new educational environments.

 

My son was homeschooled. He began dual enrollment when he was 15 and did fine: did well in class, got along well with instructors and other students, hung out with a group in the cafeteria, surprised people who found out he was both young and homeschooled.

 

He transitioned to full-time university enrollment at 16 and did just fine socially. He made friends and joined orgnizations navigated roommate issues. His grades took a big hit that first semester, but we did a lot of talking while he was home on break and he turned things around. 

 

He had three close buddies during his high school years, all of whom he met through our then-church, and each of whom has taken a different post-high school path.

 

One (A) mostly attended public schools for K-12, with one year out for homeschooling. His parents worked hard to get him placed in the best possible academic situations, including moving to get him into the district for one of the area's best high schools. He took a rigorous course load (achieving AP Scholar status) and balanced that with an impressive list of extracurricular activities (band, choir, STEM-related clubs, etc.). He was even a member of the homecoming court. He graduated with all kinds of honors and recognitions and was admitted to several highly selective/presitious universities with juicy scholarships. 

 

Another (M) was homeschooled through middle school, then transitioned to a good public high school. He worked very hard to keep up academically (mostly because of some underlying isuues) and graduated with a somewhat spotty GPA. He was active in just a couple of extracurriculars (a foreign language/culture club and the school newspaper), but excelled at one. Under his leadership, the school paper won a variety of awards.

 

The third (H) also entered public high school after homeschooling. He entered as a freshman, despite being a year older than most 9th graders, because his parents decided it would benefit him to start at the beginning. He enrolled in a full slate of honors classes and did well both academically and socially. He was involved primarily in theatre-related activities, including choir and thespians. His thespian group competed at both the state and regional levels. He had a great time in school and did all of the stereotypical things like going to prom. 

 

A is finishing up his freshman year at a very prestigous, out-of-state university. He has struggled both academically and socially. He has yet to plug into a social group that works for him, despite trying out a variety of activities. His grades for his first semester were so low that, if he had not transferred in a few credits of A-level work from a summer program affiliated with the same university, he would be on academic probation. He has vowed to his parents that he will do better this semester, but the signs aren't looking great. 

 

M enrolled at his first-choice in-state public university, which happens to have a well-thought-of journalism program. He's doing well academically (better than he did in high school, actually) made friends, gotten involved in some activities and been promoted from volunteering for the college's paper into paid role as co-editor. He is planning to move off-campus next fall with a group of friends and seems very happy.

 

H seems to be floating a bit. He wasn't enthusiastic about any particular college or university, finally applied to our local state U, but was not admitted to the program of his choice. He took a gap year and has been working at a bagel shop and making a web series with friends. He just turned 20 and is living at home. Last I heard, he was planning to reapply for the state U for this coming fall, but I don't know whether that happened and, if so, whether he was successful.

 

So, from my small and completely anecdotal sampling, it doesn't look like sending a kid to middle school or high school correlates especially well to academic or social success in college. The always-homeschooled-supplemented-with-extracurriculars-and-dual-enrollment-classes student started college early and, after an adjustment at the beginning of full-time enrollment, has done well.

 

Of the two homeschooled-until-high-school students, one is doing really well and the other seems to have stalled out.

 

The almost-entirely-public-schooled one has not adjusted to the social environment of college and is uncomfortably close to flunking out.

 

Teenagers, like other people, are individuals. Where and how they go to school is just one of many factors that influences their personalities and the course of their lives.

  • Like 7
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...