Jump to content

Menu

How Common is Educational Neglect Among Homeschoolers?


Recommended Posts

I don't remember ever discussing the holocaust at school.

 

What I knew of it came from my own outside reading.

I'm sure my memory is off but it seems we always started with pilgrims, hit the Revolution, and ended with the civil war while somehow skipping presidents 4-15. It felt like we did this every year without going in depth. I don't know how they managed to fill the time.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 307
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

This thread is crazy. After reading some of the responses, there's no doubt in my brain that many would have (or DO?) considered us neglectful. Three of my kids finished Algebra ONE in 11th grade. Y

I don't think this is so much about geographic region. We always think we know so many people, and I don't think we do. We know the people in our circles and the people a degree or two away from us. W

Some of the judgmental attitudes coming from homeschoolers is appalling to me. Yes, kids need consistent teaching. But it does nor have to look like “school at homeâ€. I think the judgmental att

Another wrinkle is that what is neglect at one age (due to not presenting materials) is going to vary by age. A 8 year old who has never heard of the Holocaust is not unusual and I doubt that most would say has suffered any neglect. A high school graduate who hasn't heard of it might be - but some of it depends on whether they've learned any other history. Otherwise you could say that anyone who has any holes in their education (and most of us have some either because the material was presented and we have forgotten it or it got missed for whatever reason) has had their education neglected. Most of us don't say that - we just say "oops. We have a hole in our education there. Let's learn the material now."

 

By pointing this out, I'm not saying that there aren't parents who have neglected to educate their kids (often past ________ grade). And I agree that basic literacy and numeracy skills is especially crucial.

 

edited because I hit send too soon.

I was talking with a friend’s daughter today and she didn’t know what a thesaurus was. She’s 7th grade. But she knew synonyms and antonyms and we were playing a fun game with them. Her vocabulary is excellent. My kids might not call that period of time he holocaust but they have a really good idea what genocide is and understand that it was bigger than Jews in germany. I don’t think I knew that graduating from public high school. So...are they even holes? It’s so hard to say!
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a definition of neglect:

ne·glect

nəˈɡlekt/

 

verb

verb: neglect; 3rd person present: neglects; past tense: neglected; past participle: neglected; gerund or present participle: neglecting

  •  

     

    1.

     

     

    fail to care for properly.

    "the old churchyard has been sadly neglected"

    synonyms: fail to look after, leave alone, abandon, desert; More

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

antonyms: cherish, look after

 

 

not pay proper attention to; disregard.

"you neglect our advice at your peril"

synonyms: pay no attention to, let slide, not attend to, be remiss about, be lax about, leave undone, shirk More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

antonyms: concentrate on, heed

 

fail to do something.

"he neglected to write to her"

synonyms: fail, omit, forget

 

 

"I neglected to inform her"

antonyms: remember

 

noun

noun: neglect

  •  

     

    1.

     

     

    the state or fact of being uncared for.

    "animals dying through disease or neglect"

    synonyms: disrepair, dilapidation, deterioration, shabbiness, disuse, abandonment;

     

     

    raredesuetude

    "the place had an air of neglect"

     

  •  

    the action of not taking proper care of someone or something.

    "she was accused of child neglect"

    synonyms: disregard of/for, ignoring of, overlooking of; More

     

     

     

     

     

    antonyms: attention

  •  

    failure to do something.

    "he was reported for neglect of duty"

    synonyms: negligence, dereliction of duty, carelessness, heedlessness, unconcern, laxity, slackness, irresponsibility;

     

     

    formaldelinquency

    "her doctor was guilty of neglect"

    antonyms: care

 

How does this add to the conversation? I don’t think that any if us fail to understand the dictionary definition of neglect. That definition does nothing to define exactly what constitutes neglect in an educational setting whether it is the home or not.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL! But actually, you'd be surprised at the number of kids who do leave home without basic life skills like this. When my dh and I were in our 20's, we had to hire college kids to work at a camp we ran. We met kids who had never cleaned the bathroom at home, never did dishes, never cleaned their own rooms (seriously?!!!), never weeded a garden, never painted anything...it was truly shocking to us the lack of basic life skills so many kids had! We truly had to start from scratch with instruction--there wasn't a foundation to build on there.

 

Ummmm, I’ve never lived anywhere there was a garden and most certainly haven’t weeded one, and I live in the country. I am certainly not neglected.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, this.  Exactly.  It's complicated.

 

Really, everyone needs to read Educated and listen to stories of homeschool alums with open minds and hearts.  The extreme educational neglect described in the book provides a useful starting point for our thinking.  Thinking about what would have helped the author and her siblings in terms of education is what informed my ideas about educational neglect and minimal basic standards.  She had never heard of the Holocaust.  What the ...  And this happened in America where she supposedly had the right to a basic education.

 

I've had my kids claim to my face that they had "never heard of _____" only to have me pull off a particular textbook/resource that they acknowledge completing to show them that yes, we did cover the topic in question. I did this yesterday with my DE 10th grader who claims that I never covered cellular respiration with her (she's studying for an exam). It just went WHOOOSH in one ear and out the other.

 

  • Like 12
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had my kids claim to my face that they had "never heard of _____" only to have me pull off a particular textbook/resource that they acknowledge completing to show them that yes, we did cover the topic in question. I did this yesterday with my DE 10th grader who claims that I never covered cellular respiration with her (she's studying for an exam). It just went WHOOOSH in one ear and out the other.

 

Ha ha

 

That sounds so familar in fact it happened today.

 

"You never told me that."

 

"That's strange here is a whole workbook covering the matter, that we did together last month and it's filled with your handwriting."

 

This may explain my memory of what I learned in school though. Oops

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

But those things are not hard for adults (or young adults) to learn.  Set them up with a checklist.  Show them how.  It shouldn't take them very long to show each task.  They have the small and large motor skills to handle tools appropriately and the memory to handle step by step instructions (or to intuit them).  It's a bit different than lack of basic literacy or numeracy skills which take longer to learn.  Same with a hole in learning about something like the Holocaust.  An in depth knowledge takes longer but a basic explanation of what happened can be given in five minutes. 

 

 

Right.

 

 

Ummmm, I’ve never lived anywhere there was a garden and most certainly haven’t weeded one, and I live in the country. I am certainly not neglected.

 

 

I never said they were difficult to learn, nor did I ever say it was part of "educational" neglect. Please don't read into my comment :-). I'll grant that it was a "sidebar" to this conversation though! Someone made the comment that kids don't leave home without the skills to do chores--and I merely responded to that specific comment (hence my quote of what I was responding to) that indeed they do. I will say, as someone who had to employ people without such very basic skills, that the lack of work ethic that comes with not having been made to do chores as they grew up impacted their desirability as employees far more than just the simple lack of know-how. Most who didn't work as kids didn't really want to work as young adults, had little stamina, had no sense of a thorough job no matter how many times they were shown...hopefully they learned somewhere along the way though! We tried our best with them for an entire summer but there were many we just couldn't rehire the next year even though we liked them as people. It was a very different scenario from simply never having weeded but knowing how to do other chores, or at least being willing to learn and work. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't do any chores as a child.  I didn't clean my room or do dishes or vacuum.  I had to learn how to use a mop at my first job (as a dog washer).  

 

Miraculously, I was a diligent worker. :)  I had no problem transitioning to an adult's responsibilities with work and home life, although it did take me a couple of years to learn how to cook more than frozen pizzas and eggs.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to present a different perspective. I think the wild popularity of curriculum options, online classes, co-op communities, homeschool resources and programs such as charter schools, CC and WTM would not be there if the homeschool community was largely practicing neglect. The fact that there is such a growing market is evidence that most homeschoolers want a robust education for their children. I would posit that there are some people in this community who may use homeschooling as a cover for neglect, but I would also posit that this percentage is not significantly greater than those in the system who abuse and neglect. Statistics would be hard to measure, but this is my best theory. I don't believe there's any significant correlation between homeschooling and neglect, and I certainly don't believe that there is any causation. I think this is the crux of the argument.

 

As we determine what oversight should or should be not on homeschoolers to ensure the safety of children, I think it's important to remember the cost of freedom for that safety net. Why punish the majority for the minority? This comes down to a fundamental belief that can be seen in many current national arguments. Personally, I follow the Benjamin Franklin quote on the matter: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither." Homeschooling and its freedoms are not the enemy here, and they shouldn't be targeted as potential monsters just because it was one factor in one couple who were monsters to their children.

  • Like 20
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had my kids claim to my face that they had "never heard of _____" only to have me pull off a particular textbook/resource that they acknowledge completing to show them that yes, we did cover the topic in question. I did this yesterday with my DE 10th grader who claims that I never covered cellular respiration with her (she's studying for an exam). It just went WHOOOSH in one ear and out the other.

 

 

Yep.  That's why I phrased mine as "We must have discussed it but I don't remember it"  You get past the test and only some of the stuff will stick. Doesn't mean it wasn't covered.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL! But actually, you'd be surprised at the number of kids who do leave home without basic life skills like this. When my dh and I were in our 20's, we had to hire college kids to work at a camp we ran. We met kids who had never cleaned the bathroom at home, never did dishes, never cleaned their own rooms (seriously?!!!), never weeded a garden, never painted anything...it was truly shocking to us the lack of basic life skills so many kids had! We truly had to start from scratch with instruction--there wasn't a foundation to build on there. 

 

Do you seriously think wedding a garden is a life skill most kids should have? Everyone lives in a house with dishes, bedrooms and bathrooms.  The percentage of kids in America living at a home with a garden is incredibly low in general and, depending on region, even rarer.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

For the purpose of my post, I will soften the phrase to a parent's educational indifference instead of neglect. I don't know if there is really a solution to this problem.

 

Often the solution offered for an indifferent homeschooling parent is to put that child in a public school. But students who excel in public schools are usually the ones whose parents are devoted to their success. Those whose parents are indifferent usually underperform in public schools.

 

Here is my anecdotal perspective. For the most part, my homeschooling friends have been very conscientious concerning their children's educations. But one lady I know removed her child from public school to homeschool him because he was not progressing as he should. But after she brought him home, she did not really do much with him, so he didn't progress at home either. Additionally, the public schools did not do an adequate job teaching her older son the basics of reading or arithmetic, and he is struggling as an adult.

 

So I don't see what the solution is for the younger child. Sending him to the local public schools doesn't seem to be the solution, and homeschooling doesn't seem to be the solution. I don't have the answer.

 

Academically, I feel like usually the common denominator in a child's success is the parents' devotion to their success. Whether that is public school or the many varied ways of homeschooling. Even if the parent is not brilliant, the child can achieve success because the parent makes sure that the child does his public school trigonometry homework or completes her homeschool chemistry DVD lesson.

 

Is there any solution for a child whose parent is indifferent?

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

For the purpose of my post, I will soften the phrase to a parent's educational indifference instead of neglect. I don't know if there is really a solution to this problem.

 

Often the solution offered for an indifferent homeschooling parent is to put that child in a public school. But students who excel in public schools are usually the ones whose parents are devoted to their success. Those whose parents are indifferent usually underperform in public schools.

 

Here is my anecdotal perspective. For the most part, my homeschooling friends have been very conscientious concerning their children's educations. But one lady I know removed her child from public school to homeschool him because he was not progressing as he should. But after she brought him home, she did not really do much with him, so he didn't progress at home either. Additionally, the public schools did not do an adequate job teaching her older son the basics of reading or arithmetic, and he is struggling as an adult.

 

So I don't see what the solution is for the younger child. Sending him to the local public schools doesn't seem to be the solution, and homeschooling doesn't seem to be the solution. I don't have the answer.

 

Academically, I feel like usually the common denominator in a child's success is the parents' devotion to their success. Whether that is public school or the many varied ways of homeschooling. Even if the parent is not brilliant, the child can achieve success because the parent makes sure that the child does his public school trigonometry homework or completes her homeschool chemistry DVD lesson.

 

Is there any solution for a child whose parent is indifferent?

I agree with you.  Sometimes the solution is a mentor for the child - sometimes a family member, a friend (peer or adult) or a teacher of some kind (doesn't have to be in brick and mortar school).  Sometimes the solution is a determined child.  My dad (who died a number of years ago at age 92 so this was a long time ago) was forbidden to leave the farm to go to school because he was needed on the farm.  He got up even earlier than farmer's hours to get farmwork done and then rode his horse to school anyway. 

 

The sad reality is that some families are in that "not quite abusive or neglectful to the point where the state needs to get involved) category.  And those kids do fall through cracks even in brick and mortar schools and even in homeschools.  I still think that it is a small percentage who are at the extreme.  And many kids who were in the next indifferent family category can overcome it.  As far as unschoolers go, this is one set of stats I found https://healthresearchfunding.org/20-incredible-unschooling-statistics/ (you can debate the legitimacy of the stats) where a significant portion are educated enough to pursue some higher education.  I assume this means at least community college.  It might not be the Ivy's but last time I checked, community colleges do require basic literacy and numeracy.  As far as the extreme religious go, most at least want their kids to read the Bible (which if it is the King James version which many of the more extreme religious prefer or even require) which is listed as having a reading level of 12th grade.  And most want their kids to have basic numeracy - even the girls. 

 

If I knew people in the indifferent category, I would be sad and I would try to be a mentor as I was able.  I don't know any though.  (The ones I knew of in the past have kids who have subsequently been able to go to college even though it was a tougher road for them for awhile.) 

 

Edited to add link

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you seriously think wedding a garden is a life skill most kids should have? Everyone lives in a house with dishes, bedrooms and bathrooms.  The percentage of kids in America living at a home with a garden is incredibly low in general and, depending on region, even rarer.

 

Please see my follow-up post where I explain that the kids we worked with didn't know how to do ANY of those skills. But it's interesting how polarizing weeding is, LOL! That'll teach me to go off on any kind of tangent (quoting the previous person and only responding to her, btw), LOL!

 

Is it a serious issue to have never pulled a single weed? I state for the record, no! 

 

I am surprised how many people think you have to have a garden to do this (we don't have a garden but have had lots of opportunities to pull weeds at our house, at our church, at places of business years ago--sidewalks, parking lots, a simple flower bed by the door...

 

But will it equate to not knowing reading or math skills, emphatically I say no! 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Annnnnnnnddd... then the whole can of worms of homeschool parents shoving students off on unsuspecting co-op teachers, and the students DO NOT DO THE WORK.  

 

At our co-op ( I talked to two teachers who've been there a long time, one for ten years and one for 5) and they said, by and large FIFTY PERCENT generally don't do the work.  

 

And this is a co-op which has a volunteer requirement, an in person interview with BOTH parents, and all students directly interviewed, and a 400.00 per family registration fee in addition to the fact that the classes aren't cheap. 

 

I've heard the number is closer to 30% at the local secular- unschooler when young, offeres high school classes when older group.  

 

That was my experience when I taught paid classes. Families paid a facility fee, and then they paid me for the class.

 

I ended up doing hands on science classes for grade school kids. No homework, no reading. We did a lapbook and experiments. Worked great!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Please see my follow-up post where I explain that the kids we worked with didn't know how to do ANY of those skills. But it's interesting how polarizing weeding is, LOL! That'll teach me to go off on any kind of tangent (quoting the previous person and only responding to her, btw), LOL!

 

Is it a serious issue to have never pulled a single weed? I state for the record, no! 

 

I am surprised how many people think you have to have a garden to do this (we don't have a garden but have had lots of opportunities to pull weeds at our house, at our church, at places of business years ago--sidewalks, parking lots, a simple flower bed by the door...

 

But will it equate to not knowing reading or math skills, emphatically I say no! 

 

I think your follow up post did a good job of explaining that it was the lack of work ethic that was the true problem.  Because I could teach a toddler to pull a weed - if they had enough strength, that is. 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Right.

 

Basic literacy is probably the first hallmark of adequate education.

 

A child without major learning disabilities should be taught to read. I've known some late bloomers who, in spite of school instruction, did not learn to read until age 11 or 12 but after that did not struggle. I think that would be the upper limit of my tolerance for waiting.

 

A child with dyslexia is another matter; I think teaching and remediation need to happen, but I wouldn't judge the adequacy of teaching by results.

 

 

I'm veering off on a tangent, but remediating dyslexia can take several years. Combining that with teenage hormones can increase the difficulty of that task. I'd like to see the acceptance of the late bloomer theory by homeschoolers be moved to down to ages 8 or 9, tops. There is no harm in doing some vision testing and explicit phonics at age 9, if more holistic methods have not produced results by then.

 

/end soapbox. :D 

  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm veering off on a tangent, but remediating dyslexia can take several years. Combining that with teenage hormones can increase the difficulty of that task. I'd like to see the acceptance of the late bloomer theory by homeschoolers be moved to down to ages 8 or 9, tops. There is no harm in doing some vision testing and explicit phonics at age 9, if more holistic methods have not produced results by then.

 

/end soapbox. :D

I just listened to Andrew Pudewa on the read aloud revival podcast talk about his late reader - 12+

He said that - and I'm paraphrasing - deciding not to stress about it doesn't mean you stop working on it. You just keep going with what they CAN do and be calm.

He said that he came to the point where he accepted that some people have to read through their fingers (braille) and maybe for this kid, his severe dyslexia meant that he had to mostly read through his ears. So they did a ton of audiobooks and just low pressure worked on treating the dyslexia.

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

We have only a 15x15 patio and my kids know how to plant flowers, mulch, weed, etc ...having a few living things and caring for ones yard and is just part of life in any home IMO.

we have 3 dogs, 3 cats, 30 cows, 4-6 pigs, and 40 chickens. And no garden. Just because I don’t know how to weed a garden doesn’t mean I don’t know how to care for things, anymore than saying mybkids are educationally neglected because they don’t know about the holocaust.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

we have 3 dogs, 3 cats, 30 cows, 4-6 pigs, and 40 chickens. And no garden. Just because I don’t know how to weed a garden doesn’t mean I don’t know how to care for things, anymore than saying mybkids are educationally neglected because they don’t know about the holocaust.

Relax no one’s saying you’re guilty of educational neglect, but I’m sure most children have planted a seed, at some point in their lives even if it was just 3rd grade science class? Your children know how to care for ones lawn/property so it doesn’t look like/smell like a slum?

 

That’s my point, just that general knowledge would probably result in grown people capable of just looking around a yard/patio/garden/home and being able to THINK about how to make it presentable. They can go to the library and get magazines for ideas, they can call grandma, or they can be like me and keep it really simple, or maybe for you it’s really complicated compared to me since you have to upkeep fencing, but looking around one’s home...and considering how it’s kept, is kind of basic life.

 

And yes stick a seed in a pot and watch it grow. Every school used to do the seed in a milk carton

Thing...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure my memory is off but it seems we always started with pilgrims, hit the Revolution, and ended with the civil war while somehow skipping presidents 4-15. It felt like we did this every year without going in depth. I don't know how they managed to fill the time.

 

Yep, we did that every year, it seemed like!  I don't think we ever got past the civil war.   :laugh:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I bet you do know how to weed a garden, though. Because it goes like this: See a weed, remove the weed.

 

See a sock on the floor, pick up the sock from the floor.

 

Use a dish, wash that dish.

 

People are really zeroing in on the weeding example, to comic effect. The poster, Merry, who said that is an incredibly even-keeled and compassionate person. I feel confident that she doesn't want to want to throw everyone who never had a garden in the klink :lol: .

 

*Do you grow food for these animals?

Ah, but if you came to my house you would need to be able to recognize that milkweed is not a weed.

 

It's butterfly food.

 

I'm sure there is something profound to be drawn from that, related to kids and education and not-weeds. I didn't sleep enough last night though so I need someone else to jump in and do the thought work for me.

 

Or maybe all that needs to be drawn from it is "maize likes butterflies and happily encourages the weeds".

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't snip sorry.

 

What? I did *not* say I wasn't talking to anyone anymore!

 

You said you were not engaging on this thread.

 

I didn't mean to accuse you of ignoring me.

 

I also want to apologize because I've been talking about education policy, and I sometimes forget that to many people here, there is no education policy, there is just "me and how much I care about my kid".

 

Our country and states are abandoning our kids. Straight up neglect. Straight-up, "I don't believe in you, I don't believe you can finish this or that math class."

 

We hear it all the time.

 

And I think the sense is "well a parent would never do that to their kid. I would never do that to my kid, how dare you accuse me, you should know that could never do that, if my family doesn't get a kid exposure to geometry, it is not because of bias, or failure, or neglect to find the right resources, it's because the kid really can't do it and I'm feeling really bad that you're even suggesting that! I'm doing my best!"

 

And I do believe that most people are doing their best! But not everyone. Surely it is theoretically possible that some parents aren't working hard. We all have seen some of these families on threads here. And sometimes, it's important to realize, our best isn't enough (this is what great parents do when they realize their kid has an LD and they need outside help). But that's not failure. That's a success.

 

And where I live, and in most parts of the US, it's some amazing coincidence that kids who are told that they just can't do it, are brown, poor or rural or a combination of the three. The kids who "just aren't cut out for it" are never the privileged city white kids. Those kids, their parents cross hell or high water to get them set up for a career in which they have many options.

 

Not one path to success, but options.

 

I want that for every kid.

 

I also think that everyone thinks that I advocate for some insane system in which everyone finishes Algebra I with an A, and that's not the case. Obviously, that would be impossible. I also did not think that finishing a novel and algebra I would be so controversial, to be honest. Not because it's easy, but because getting a C in something is actually considered acceptable, a D is still a pass, and I think there's a huge disconnect between what is considered finishing a course in my mind, and finishing the course in the mind of the typical WTM homeschooler... it may sound like I think that if a kid isn't cut out for college, I think they're being neglected and that's not the case.

 

I think that if a kid doesn't have the basic classes required to enter community college (being able to write a paragraph, read a novel, use a linear equation) and they can't get special exceptions from the state based on disability, they are set up $15,000 behind the game because then they have to pay for all that as an adult. And all middle and working class kids already start out looking at racking up around $30k in debt.

 

So for the record, I will do anything to make sure that every child in this country has access to an education which allows them to choose their future to the greatest extent that their natural ability allows.

 

It doesn't mean I think someone's a bad parent because their kid did not take calculus or something. Not everyone can be an engineer or even a teacher. But everyone deserves the chance to aim high and work their way to a better future. And I don't think it's up to one person to decide that they are the exception or this one dumb kid of a janitor is an exception. "He can't do it."

 

I want to make every adult looking at every kid believe in them.

 

If you believe in your kid, I'm not looking at you. I'm looking at people who actually are ready to give up on a kid. And there are many people out there, but again, I don't know how many. Hopefully fewer homechoolers than public school teachers...

Edited by Tsuga
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad news story about a homeschool family living in Joshua Tree Friends say Joshua Tree couple is extremely poor, not abusive http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-joshua-tree-couple-20180302-story.html

 

“Klear is the leader of the Phoenix Scouts, a local scouting group. The three children were members, she said. They attended weekly meetings, went camping and made crafts together, she said. On Christmas, the children marched in an annual parade with matching red sweaters and Santa hats.

 

"I know this looks like crap," Klear said, looking at the shelter. "But they were very well taken care of."

 

Klear met Kirk years ago, when Kirk ran a Mommy and Me group for toddlers at a local community center, she said.

 

The children were home-schooled, and the mother and her children were constantly at the library and the Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley, Klear said. The children were all well read and educated, she said.â€

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tsuga you keep quoting me but someobe upthread pointed out it was Spud who said that. Spud, not bud lol

 

Just to keep things straight :)

 

Thank you, and I'm sorry, spud! And bud!

 

Sad news story about a homeschool family living in Joshua Tree Friends say Joshua Tree couple is extremely poor, not abusive http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-joshua-tree-couple-20180302-story.html

 

“Klear is the leader of the Phoenix Scouts, a local scouting group. The three children were members, she said. They attended weekly meetings, went camping and made crafts together, she said. On Christmas, the children marched in an annual parade with matching red sweaters and Santa hats.

 

"I know this looks like crap," Klear said, looking at the shelter. "But they were very well taken care of."

 

Klear met Kirk years ago, when Kirk ran a Mommy and Me group for toddlers at a local community center, she said.

 

The children were home-schooled, and the mother and her children were constantly at the library and the Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley, Klear said. The children were all well read and educated, she said.â€

 

I read about this. They did look extremely poor, but also, unable to organize their thinking around their very poor household. Though, it might have all just blown about from the wind.

 

Poor kids. 

 

It does not sound like a case of educational or even physical neglect, though. Another article I saw earlier described the kids as cared for, if extremely poor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have joined the ranks of hs'ers who do not discuss hs'ing IRL.

 

We are in a low reg state. I have seen some horror stories, with what Kung Fu Panda and others were saying about parents getting offended by the school and pulling kids out on a whim. "Punishing the school" as opposed to "seeking the best learning environment for their child."

 

They don't stop working. (In every situation that I've known personally, they can't afford to.) They don't address their own literacy and social problems. They don't learn what the child needs to know, to progress academically. The child loses speech therapy AND breakfast and lunch that he got at school.

 

But here, you can't say, "Public schoolers problems," because they don't usually sign up for virtual ps. It's known to be a failure here. These are still the Walmart workbook type. When they do return to school, it's not next fall, it's more like three to four years later (according to friends who are ps teachers), and they've not progressed academically since they left.

 

I'm not going to put a number on this, but combined with the Gothardite types who have twelve untaught children, I see a significant problem with hsing in my state.

 

Now here's why I don't talk about hsing IRL: I know why people pull their kids out of schools here.

 

There is no way I can say to a functionally illiterate mom, "You can't teach him, and you aren't teaching him, and what are you going to do to afford the missed meals, you owe it to him to enroll," when I know she took him out because test anxiety and bullying and inappropriate curriculum were destroying him! At age eight!

 

And the same veteran teacher who decries the homeschool failure, tells me she is sick at heart over the testing culture, that she can only manage about 2.5 months of actual instruction because of it, and that the test anxiety and excessive homework are harming her third graders...and the only reason she's still teaching is that she's reluctant to turn the children over to young teachers who have only learned these non-nurturing and ineffective methods...

 

And nowadays, what if I, personally, tell an obviously unfit hsing mom that she owes it to her child to put him in school - and he gets shot? Or bullied until he kills himself?

 

No way. Not me. I've got my head down, finishing raising my boys, saving my books for the grandchildren.

 

Nutshell: I think hs neglect and failure are very real. But I see this situation as public school failure. If our schools were safe and effective, only a few outliers would homeschool. Probably that 3% that we maintained for so long; that's how many actually *want* to homeschool (and therefore do a pretty good job). Too many families are hsing because they just don't want to send their kid back. I want our nation to get the schools back on track, with all that's included in that sentiment.

 

Edit: I also went down the road of being in favor of increased hs regs, for several years, in response to what I've seen with Gothardite girls who are not given a basic education - not even third grade math - while being responsible for the care of younger siblings. But again, I have waved the white flag. Surrender. I don't want the school people telling me what to teach, and it doesn't even work when the father of those neglected girls used to pay "Christian" homeschool evaluators to lie on the reports.

All of this.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh boy, these are the students I get coming to me for tutoring. It makes me incredibly sad. One student I have at the moment in in 8th grade, and he cannot write a sentence. I have finally convinced his mom to tackle the Head of English about providing this poor kid with daily remediation, because our hour a week is never going to be enough to catch him up.

 

He's been in school for 7+ years. No homeschooling involved. School is not deprived in any way. Student has just had his basic education neglected since Year 1.

 

What did the parents do about it all these years? Surely they must have been aware their kid did not learn?

Link to post
Share on other sites

What did the parents do about it all these years? Surely they must have been aware their kid did not learn?

I used to have make my living tutoring kids like this. In my experience, parents were aware. They asked the teachers who told them “trust us. We’re dealing with it. “. For years. Until these parents realized with horror that it was getting worse, not better. Then they called someone like me. And like Sadie, these were not homeschooled kids. (And yes, I realize that many ps kids learn just fine. )

  • Like 11
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh boy, these are the students I get coming to me for tutoring. It makes me incredibly sad. One student I have at the moment in in 8th grade, and he cannot write a sentence. I have finally convinced his mom to tackle the Head of English about providing this poor kid with daily remediation, because our hour a week is never going to be enough to catch him up.

 

He's been in school for 7+ years. No homeschooling involved. School is not deprived in any way. Student has just had his basic education neglected since Year 1.

 

Having volunteered tutoring adults, I would say that it only gets more difficult. Interestingly, teaching basic math skills was not that big a struggle, but I suspect that most of the adults I encountered who lacked basic literacy actually had dyslexia that the public schools had failed to identify. They were all either poor or minority students who had simply been assumed not to be smart, which was so far from the freakin' truth.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I bet you do know how to weed a garden, though. Because it goes like this: See a weed, remove the weed.

 

See a sock on the floor, pick up the sock from the floor.

 

Use a dish, wash that dish.

 

People are really zeroing in on the weeding example, to comic effect. The poster, Merry, who said that is an incredibly even-keeled and compassionate person. I feel confident that she doesn't want to want to throw everyone who never had a garden in the klink :lol: .

 

*Do you grow food for these animals?

I do not grow food for these animals. I buy it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What did the parents do about it all these years? Surely they must have been aware their kid did not learn?

FWIW, my daughter was in a good school from 4k through 5th.  She started 6th grade as a homeschooler, unable to read well at all (Clifford books were hard).  She is bright and was compensating in many ways but also struggled daily.  From the outside looking in that must seem like I wasn't paying any attention.  The school must not have been either.  Looks can be deceiving.

 

Yes her teachers were aware.  Yes I was VERY aware.  Painfully so. 

 

I worked hard every.single.day reteaching what had been taught at school.  We worked hours after school.  Poor DD. I absolutely knew something was wrong.  I just didn't know what.

 

I talked to my mother, the reading specialist who taught for years and has several degrees.  I talked to our pediatrician.  I had innumerable meetings with DD's teachers.  I talked to other parents.  Other family members.  I talked until I was blue in the face.  Not one person mentioned dyslexia, I knew virtually NOTHING about dyslexia so I didn't even know it was staring me in the face, and when I finally started asking the right questions I got shut down.  BY EVERYONE.  Including my own husband.  We wasted years trying things that did not help her.  Years.  Believe me we were not sitting on our laurels.  Other parents I know have gone through the same process.  At least there is more information out there now than when I started this journey...

 

I was told:  She is just a little unfocused.  She needs more time.  Some kids are a little delayed.  Not every child can be a straight A student.  Her grades aren't bad so it must not be as bad as you think it is.  Maybe she needs an earlier bed time.  Some kids just don't like books.  She is lazy.  You need to be firmer with her and MAKE her read.  Maybe she isn't as bright as she seems.  Some kids are not academically oriented.  You should have her eyes checked (which we did, several times).  We also were told by professionals:  There is no such thing as dyslexia.    Or: Dyslexia exists but your daughter doesn't have it.   

 

ONE parent, one single parent, mentioned to me one day that she had found an evaluator NOT through the school that might be able to help me.  And she did.  Yes, DD is profoundly dyslexic; and dyscalculic; and has low processing speed; and an auditory processing glitch; and possibly ADD.  She is also very bright and had a lot of tremendous strengths that were helping her limp along.  And not one single professional (teachers, school evaluators, doctors) ever figured it out.  You know where I have gotten the most useful information?  The Learning Challenges board here on WTM.  Once we started our homeschooling journey the lovely people there gave me LOADS  more useful tips and advice than ANY professional I ever went to.  I am eternally grateful and wish with all my heart I had known about that resource long, long before I did.

 

In the end, my own pediatrician started calling me for information.  Teachers at the school were calling me for information, even though my children were no longer attending.  The school evaluator was calling me for information.  You wouldn't believe the level of ignorance and lack of training these professionals were using as their base for determining the fate of the children they encountered.  I don't blame them.  They did care.  They were not trained.  I blame the system.

  • Like 15
Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhere along the line, many school administrators and teachers got this mistaken belief that dyslexia cannot be diagnosed until 3rd grade. While there are indeed "late bloomers" who are slower to learn to read but then quickly catch up, phonological processing difficulties (the underlying problem that causes dyslexia) can reliably be diagnosed as young as age 4. Schools should be screening kids upon kindergarten entrance for phonological processing problems and starting intervention straight away.

 

My daughter's high frequency hearing loss was only discovered because I was insisting halfway through kindergarten that the school test her for dyslexia. She's actually got good phonological processing as it turns out- her difficulties learning to sound out words were because she physically could not hear the differences between many consonants. She was just such a good lip reader that she could use that plus context clues to "fill in the gaps" of what she wasn't hearing that nobody figured out she was profoundly deaf above a certain frequency.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to present a different perspective. I think the wild popularity of curriculum options, online classes, co-op communities, homeschool resources and programs such as charter schools, CC and WTM would not be there if the homeschool community was largely practicing neglect. The fact that there is such a growing market is evidence that most homeschoolers want a robust education for their children. I would posit that there are some people in this community who may use homeschooling as a cover for neglect, but I would also posit that this percentage is not significantly greater than those in the system who abuse and neglect. Statistics would be hard to measure, but this is my best theory. I don't believe there's any significant correlation between homeschooling and neglect, and I certainly don't believe that there is any causation. I think this is the crux of the argument.

 

As we determine what oversight should or should be not on homeschoolers to ensure the safety of children, I think it's important to remember the cost of freedom for that safety net. Why punish the majority for the minority? This comes down to a fundamental belief that can be seen in many current national arguments. Personally, I follow the Benjamin Franklin quote on the matter: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither." Homeschooling and its freedoms are not the enemy here, and they shouldn't be targeted as potential monsters just because it was one factor in one couple who were monsters to their children.

You are not punishing the majority. How is maintaining basic standards and meeting a few criteria punishment? There are all kinds of things we do not because it benefits us personally but because it serves the common good. And you are not giving up an essential liberty for temporary safety - you are accepting that as a member of a society you have to do things you might not want to for the benefit of that society and to keep other people safe.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhere along the line, many school administrators and teachers got this mistaken belief that dyslexia cannot be diagnosed until 3rd grade. While there are indeed "late bloomers" who are slower to learn to read but then quickly catch up, phonological processing difficulties (the underlying problem that causes dyslexia) can reliably be diagnosed as young as age 4. Schools should be screening kids upon kindergarten entrance for phonological processing problems and starting intervention straight away.

 

My daughter's high frequency hearing loss was only discovered because I was insisting halfway through kindergarten that the school test her for dyslexia. She's actually got good phonological processing as it turns out- her difficulties learning to sound out words were because she physically could not hear the differences between many consonants. She was just such a good lip reader that she could use that plus context clues to "fill in the gaps" of what she wasn't hearing that nobody figured out she was profoundly deaf above a certain frequency.

I know one issue is with the law. In my state, they often adhere to the letter while doing as little as possible. One factor in this is that as part of the "diagnosis" of learning disabilities, intervention is not required if a child is not at least 3 grade levels behind in one or more subjects. You can't be three grade levels behind until 3rd grade.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I know one issue is with the law. In my state, they often adhere to the letter while doing as little as possible. One factor in this is that as part of the "diagnosis" of learning disabilities, intervention is not required if a child is not at least 3 grade levels behind in one or more subjects. You can't be three grade levels behind until 3rd grade.

 

That was our experience too.  My son was homeschooled but received services from the school starting at age 4 for various issues.  He showed signs of dyslexia but they said that they could not diagnose him until 3rd grade.  

 

Of course, by then his little smart-self had learned to accommodate fairly well and was reading above level by 5th grade.  By age 12, he had reached full accommodation and could do oral readings with no signs of an issue. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to think of homeschooling as overlapping circles. I'm in a populous area. I'm part of this list and that one and this group, etc. Those people are part of another list and another co-op, and so forth. Like, we're all closely overlapping.

 

Usually this thinking serves me well - I'll meet someone - even someone an hour away - who homeschools and I'll be like, do you know so and so or so and so. Oh, yes, I do. Or, oh, yeah, I'm on that list. Or, oh yeah, my kids took that class years ago. Overlapping circles.

 

But every once in awhile, I meet someone whose circles have NO overlap. Like, none. This happened to me recently. Dh is an actor and he did a show where the theater was in a church. One of the church women who was doing the tech for the theater turned out to homeschool. So I did the circles thing. Who do we know in common? What groups?

 

None. Not a one. She lives not that far away. She lives in the same neighborhood as two families I know. She was active socially with homeschool friends. We had no overlap. She's a very religious homeschooler, it turned out. Most of my circles are secular, but many of the people in them are religious (but homeschooling for secular reasons) and have some religious circles as well. But there was no overlap.

 

In moments like that, I realize that there are whole parallel worlds in homeschooling. I think of myself as pretty well connected in the homeschool world here - and other people do to. But I simply don't know whole communities of people. And in that, I know, there could easily be some parallel world where educational neglect is common. Just right next door. Who knows.

 

ETA: She seems to be a lovely person and not at all an educational neglecter, fyi. I don't mean to imply her circles might have any neglect rampant either. Just that there are these parallel worlds and we don't know who we don't know.

I had one of these moments recently. We went to the state house to a hearing on a homeschool bill. It was quite draconian and brought out a lot of diverse homescjoolers. Of the 250 or so there at the beginning of the hearing, I knew only 2 families. There were over 500 people there by the end of the hearing. I think I ran into 3 other families I recognized.

 

I have definitely seen in some homeschool groups that people start to think that what the dozen families the see often are doing is what "most" homeschoolers are doing.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish there was a #metoo movement for kids who completed 12 years of ps education and can neither read or write well for no other reason than educational neglect.

 

Or wasn't enrolled in H.S. Geometry, while in public school, because she wasn't "college material."  (I now have a BA)

 

Or had to teach herself how to figure area as an adult because somehow that basic skill fell through the cracks in my public school education.

 

My education wasn't neglectful, but it was certainly mediocre, ineffective, and indifferent.  

 

I've continued reading stories of adult homeschoolers who regret being homeschooled.  Some were truly neglected or abused.  More and more I'm seeing stories of students with mediocre educations saying they suffered from educational neglect because they didn't like the curriculum their parents chose, or were provided with resources and then forced to self-teach in high school (a legitimate complaint, but doesn't rise to the level of neglect), or wish their parent had done better with certain subjects.  

 

All of that is feedback worth hearing, and as the parent of a high schooler, I take it to heart and try to learn from it.  But it's frustrating to hear it labeled "neglect" because that's not what it was.  It was a mediocre home education not unlike the mediocre public education received by thousands of students.  Look at the enrollment in remedial courses at a community college and you'll see many recent public school grads taking pre-algebra or reading comprehension.  It happens.  The grass isn't always greener... 

 

For students coming out of neglect situations, surely the mediocre public school system would have been an improvement by a huge margin.  But for the rest of y'all... stop romanticizing public school.  It may or may not have been better in your particular situation.  But you have this idea of year after year of talented, engaged teachers presenting material that you really learn and remember.  That's generally not how it works. Some teachers and subjects will be great, but most of the time... meh.   You'd graduate with gaps and probably feel cynical about the mediocre public education you received. 

  • Like 20
Link to post
Share on other sites
 For students coming out of neglect situations, surely the mediocre public school system would have been an improvement by a huge margin.  But for the rest of y'all... stop romanticizing public school.  It may or may not have been better in your particular situation.  But you have this idea of year after year of talented, engaged teachers presenting material that you really learn and remember.  That's generally not how it works. Some teachers and subjects will be great, but most of the time... meh.   You'd graduate with gaps and probably feel cynical about the mediocre public education you received. 

 

Yeah, I think many HSed kids imagine some combination of Ms. Frizzle (minus the crazy field trips) and Hogwarts (minus the magic). Yeah, that's not what PS is like...

 

  • Like 10
Link to post
Share on other sites

My oldest went to public school. In second grade, his teacher had so many kids she said who shouldn't have passed 1st, she didn't have any time for my smart kid. She had him tutor other students and let him read at his desk most of the time. He had over 1,500AR points. I was working at a public library at that point. He would have been much better served if he had come to work with me and hung out reading books at the library. And some people would call that educational neglect, but it would have been better than the public school - at least that year.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...