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G5052

Professor Rant

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I've been a community college professor for 21 years. I've taught scads of students from all walks of life and all types of education. I've taught students 15-75 years old. I've taught students who lived in their car, and students who were wealthy. I've taught dual enrollment students and hardened vets who have saw the ugly side of war. You name it, and I've taught a student like that.

And the homeschooled kids are pretty much no different than the rest of my students. Really. Just as many of them fail, aren't focused, are rude to me, come to class drunk, etc. etc. as any other type of student. In my experience, they really don't stand out. And that's the consensus among the faculty where I've worked. 

I realize that there are all kinds of homeschoolers out there, and that community college is a different population.

But it's a myth that homeschooled kids universally do well in college. Not at the two community colleges where I've taught. There I said it.

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In all honesty, I'm just glad that they're not worse. I've known a few too many home schoolers IRL who started with good intentions but whose kids didn't really get a decent high school education. Either they had unidentified LDs that went unremediated and undocumented so now they're young adults who aren't able to enlist or find a trade that pays well enough to live on or the hs mom just sort of burned out and didn't get around to writing papers and doing algebra 2. (I live in a completely unregulated state where "Heaven not Harvard" is a common mantra.)

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3 hours ago, daijobu said:

Except our kids.  Our kids are awesome.  😏

Maybe yours. And lots of others on here. But I have human children & while I sure hope none ever show up to class drunk, they are not perfect and not all of them are superstars academically (but that doesn't stop me from loving & being proud of them).

I also know a couple of families that struggle with getting the academics done (whether because of LDs, health problems, or mental health challenges). I know a few public schoolers whose kids have struggled getting enough of an education to subsist in the US workforce.

So, OP, I believe it.

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Vent away, op. 🙂  What brought this on though, may I ask?  Just curious.

 

Edited by Mom0012
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Yep.  Homeschoolers cover a whole gamut.  

I've been around some homeschoolers who are doing amazing things.  Some who are struggling and don't know what to do next.  Many who are in between.  

One of the more corrosive attitudes I've experienced is the one that has contempt for college and as a corollary thinks that their precious ninth grader is ready for college courses, just because a day doing nothing in homeschool is better than any day at a public school.

 

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I've known a lot of homeschooled students.  Some are brilliant, diligent, honest, kind, well-educated, and a pleasure to be around.  Others are... not.  Sometimes the students with opposite traits are siblings.  Individual differences and choices.

 

Edited by klmama
typos
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Do people really say that homeschoolers universally do well in college? Not sure I have ever heard that claim :-)

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18 hours ago, Mom0012 said:

Vent away, op. 🙂  What brought this on though, may I ask?  Just curious.

 

 

I had just put my final grades in and saw a post to that effect on Facebook. Something supposedly by a professor who seemed to universally love homeschooled kids. I should have saved it. It just struck me because it was a constant topic in the faculty lounge where I used to teach. Most of the discussion was about the lack of preparation, sadly. They also talked about homeschooled kids demanding special treatment, issues with group projects, and problems with navigating a textbook. 

Yes, homeschooling is great. I did it PK-12 for both of mine. But they don't walk on water and hang up a halo at night. There are some things that have gone well, and some have not. Thankfully they've done well in college and have navigated the group projects, multiple deadlines, etc. just fine. 

Interestingly, both have said that they rarely tell people that they were homeschooled. To them it isn't a big deal, and they don't want to be labelled.

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My older son has found he is ....

Better than brick and mortar students in:

       1) Using a textbook to learn independently

       2) Content knowledge in his field of speciality

       3) Maturity and confidence and sense of self

Worse than brick and mortar students in:

       1) Figuring out what will be on a test and making sure to study that stuff

       2) Organizing his study when there are multiple competing deadlines

Sounds like this is not what you have seen. 

Ruth in NZ whose son is studying in the USA

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2 hours ago, lewelma said:

My older son has found he is ....

Better than brick and mortar students in:

       1) Using a textbook to learn independently

       2) Content knowledge in his field of speciality

       3) Maturity and confidence and sense of self

Worse than brick and mortar students in:

       1) Figuring out what will be on a test and making sure to study that stuff

       2) Organizing his study when there are multiple competing deadlines

Sounds like this is not what you have seen. 

Ruth in NZ whose son is studying in the USA

I suppose there are significant differences between homeschooled kids who attend an elite university and homeschooled kids who attend the local community college, just as the comparison populations of students at those schools are going to be quite different.

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3 hours ago, maize said:

I suppose there are significant differences between homeschooled kids who attend an elite university and homeschooled kids who attend the local community college, just as the comparison populations of students at those schools are going to be quite different.

 Sorry to confuse the issue, definitely not my intent.  I was not comparing homeschool kids at elites vs at CC at all.  Rather, I was pondering the differences between homeschooled kids vs school kids at elites, as I actually didn't expect a difference when he went last year. But he definitely has seen differences.  He is better at some skills and worse at others.  It is not like he is either all better or all worse, so that homeschooling is some utopia. But it does seem somewhat consistent to him across the board with all his school friends and the other homeschooler in his dorm.  Just something I found interesting.

It also suggests to me that while homeschooling let my son run in his strengths, it did not allow him to develop good executive function skills.  Perhaps CC draws a wider distribution of skill level in both groups (from very high to very low), so that trends are not noticeable. But it seems curious to me that most of the freshman school kids in my ds's dorm are less mature in his opinion.  I wonder if a kid chooses to do a ton of work in high school so they can get into an elite, maybe you have no time to develop your inner self.  Just pondering.  My ds's experience this year has been profound, so it is on my mind as he finishes up finals week.  

Edited by lewelma
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My dd is at a good regional university. She did her last 2 years of high school at a 2 day hybrid school so it was not coming from pure straight at home homeschool.   As mentioned above by @lewelma she noticed the maturity, confidence and sense of self that were different.  There are quite a few hybrid and homeschool kids attending this college and at least  the ones she's met are doing well.   The difference she's finding personally is how to figure out how she wants to fit into full time institutional life.  The constant presence of people 24/7 is a lot to adjust to.  Her sleep habits have changed dramatically.  She has always been a morning person, but the dorms are loud and she hasn't been getting enough sleep, so now she sleeps later.  Next year she got on the top floor of the dorm to help reduce the noise.  She's figuring it out.

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On 5/15/2019 at 5:40 PM, G5052 said:

 

I had just put my final grades in and saw a post to that effect on Facebook. Something supposedly by a professor who seemed to universally love homeschooled kids. I should have saved it. It just struck me because it was a constant topic in the faculty lounge where I used to teach. Most of the discussion was about the lack of preparation, sadly. They also talked about homeschooled kids demanding special treatment, issues with group projects, and problems with navigating a textbook. 

Yes, homeschooling is great. I did it PK-12 for both of mine. But they don't walk on water and hang up a halo at night. There are some things that have gone well, and some have not. Thankfully they've done well in college and have navigated the group projects, multiple deadlines, etc. just fine. 

Interestingly, both have said that they rarely tell people that they were homeschooled. To them it isn't a big deal, and they don't want to be labelled.

I would have assumed that this professor was going out of his/her way to show some support for homeschooled students at the post-secondary level, when the media typically loves to focus on the negative aspects. 

And I'd like to see some objective results from large data sets on a variety of outcomes (e.g., drop-out rates, completion of degree, expulsion for cheating, criminal record, obtaining work in the field of study, contribution to community, etc.)  regarding homeschool students. Individual experiences tend to be extremely bias. 

Edited by wintermom

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On 5/14/2019 at 10:41 PM, RootAnn said:

Maybe yours. And lots of others on here. But I have human children & while I sure hope none ever show up to class drunk, they are not perfect and not all of them are superstars academically (but that doesn't stop me from loving & being proud of them).

I also know a couple of families that struggle with getting the academics done (whether because of LDs, health problems, or mental health challenges). I know a few public schoolers whose kids have struggled getting enough of an education to subsist in the US workforce.

So, OP, I believe it.

Yes.

They aren’t more amazing over all. If they are at all, it is probably largely due to socioeconomic factors of homeschoolers vs the average of everyone else. 

But also, why do they have to be more amazing? It feels like because there are a few who have stood out and get lots of attention, all our kids are supposed to be amazing. Because it’s an alternative choice and there are these kinds of comments out there about how homeschoolers are better, there is more scrutiny. But a lot of them are going to be average, because that is just how it works. Hopefully they can use some of the advantages of homeschooling to be the best “them”, and hopefully the disadvantages balance out in the wash. 

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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

 

And I'd like to see some objective results from large data sets on a variety of outcomes (e.g., drop-out rates, completion of degree, expulsion for cheating, criminal record, obtaining work in the field of study, contribution to community, etc.)  regarding homeschool students. Individual experiences tend to be extremely bias. 

 

I don’t know if that information is available to the public (individual colleges might track that data), but this is a blog that comments on homeschooling research. There is quite a bit that is done in the educational world that goes beyond the things one usually sees quoted by homeschooler speakers and blogs, and some of it is very interesting. The author of this blog also wrote a well-researched book on the history of homeschooling in the U.S. 

https://gaither.wordpress.com/

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On 5/15/2019 at 10:02 PM, lewelma said:

 Sorry to confuse the issue, definitely not my intent.  I was not comparing homeschool kids at elites vs at CC at all.  Rather, I was pondering the differences between homeschooled kids vs school kids at elites, as I actually didn't expect a difference when he went last year. But he definitely has seen differences.  He is better at some skills and worse at others.  It is not like he is either all better or all worse, so that homeschooling is some utopia. But it does seem somewhat consistent to him across the board with all his school friends and the other homeschooler in his dorm.  Just something I found interesting.

It also suggests to me that while homeschooling let my son run in his strengths, it did not allow him to develop good executive function skills.  Perhaps CC draws a wider distribution of skill level in both groups (from very high to very low), so that trends are not noticeable. But it seems curious to me that most of the freshman school kids in my ds's dorm are less mature in his opinion.  I wonder if a kid chooses to do a ton of work in high school so they can get into an elite, maybe you have no time to develop your inner self.  Just pondering.  My ds's experience this year has been profound, so it is on my mind as he finishes up finals week.  

I actually appreciate you sharing your son's experience, I was just musing on why general trends might be quite different in the different environments.

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ITA.The giant blanket people want to toss over ALL homeschoolers irks me to no end. Homeschoolers cover all walks of life. In our region, 15-20 years ago, most homeschoolers were either a) very religious or b) had a genuine prodigy on their hands and the local schools couldn't deal. 10 years ago, a more varied group began to appear. And now? Oh, geez. We have public-school-at-home families who call themselves homeschoolers, a MUCH higher percentage of kids who were expelled from their public/private schools and are "forced" to either homeschool or public-school-at-home, a lot more students with learning disabilities at home, a lot more wealthy families who form exclusive co-ops and class structures, private school/homeschool hybrid models (which cost a fortune!)... and still the very religious and the prodigies and the rest of us. There is no way, no how you could make any blanket statement about a group as diverse as that - not about their likelihood of success at college or anything else.

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On 5/19/2019 at 1:25 AM, easypeasy said:

ITA.The giant blanket people want to toss over ALL homeschoolers irks me to no end. Homeschoolers cover all walks of life. In our region, 15-20 years ago, most homeschoolers were either a) very religious or b) had a genuine prodigy on their hands and the local schools couldn't deal. 10 years ago, a more varied group began to appear. And now? Oh, geez. We have public-school-at-home families who call themselves homeschoolers, a MUCH higher percentage of kids who were expelled from their public/private schools and are "forced" to either homeschool or public-school-at-home, a lot more students with learning disabilities at home, a lot more wealthy families who form exclusive co-ops and class structures, private school/homeschool hybrid models (which cost a fortune!)... and still the very religious and the prodigies and the rest of us. There is no way, no how you could make any blanket statement about a group as diverse as that - not about their likelihood of success at college or anything else.

 

Yes, the students I've taught at the community college are very diverse indeed. Some who went to the $30,000+/year private school and flunked out of an Ivy, and some who are in their 40's and just finished the GED. There's really no single demographic there although the majority of the students are 16-25 years old.

The article was not from Jay Wile, but I've heard that he talks like that at homeschool conventions. That's fine We can all pat ourselves on the back as much as we want to, but homeschooled kids at large don't universally do well in college. Certainly they can do very well, but not always. The year my son graduated from the community college where I used to work, they gave out all kinds of college-wide awards including the top graduate at each campus. The top graduate at his campus was homeschooled and also received the award for the outstanding graduate in his major. My son was homeschooled and received the award for the outstanding graduate in his major. But the following year? There were no homeschooled kids that I know of who received awards. So homeschooled kids do well, but a lot of other kids do well too. 

Edited by G5052
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The article was not from Jay Wile, but I've heard that he talks like that at homeschool conventions.

 

Yes, he does, and that is his experience. But his college teaching was at a public university back in the nineties, when the population of home educated college students was arguably very different than it is today. Then I think more recently he teaches at a Christian university which is going to select for certain populations. As well, these days students who are homeschooled might seek out his classes because of his relationship with the homeschooling community, another self-selecting group. 

There may also be a difference in students who opt for a community college vs a four year school.

Edited by Penelope

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