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What are some curriculum trends you’ve noticed over the years?


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1 minute ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

These authors are more complicated than they think and the reasons that these books are good and worth reading is that they see children as people not things that need to be taught virtue TM. (Sorry rambling...)

 

Yes, not to mention that Arnold Lobel died of AIDS and was gay. 

What I see Lobel’s books as genius at (including Grasshopper on the Road) is pointing out pomposity and the stupidity of blindly following rules. So I love Frog and Toad for different reasons entirely. 

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That whole post reminds me why I stopped reading anything from Circe a few years ago. A few mostly-true things, wrapped up in a bunch of other stuff that seems arrogant and oversimplified. I wonder who they are reaching these days. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Penelope said:

That whole post reminds me why I stopped reading anything from Circe a few years ago. A few mostly-true things, wrapped up in a bunch of other stuff that seems arrogant and oversimplified. I wonder who they are reaching these days. 

I think there’s always an audience of people who like to make fun of others. I used to know quite a lot of such superior people in real life, and they made me just exhausted. Not surprisingly, a lot of them have crashed and burned. But I feel like there’s a real tendency to go for this approach.

 

ETA This hilarity:

“Many marriages last because husband and wife have something significant to lose if the marriage falls apart. Likewise, a high school sophomore who wants to date a girl should have something significant to lose if the relationship does not last. I would suggest a thousand dollars. Before being allowed to date a certain young woman, her suitor should approach the young woman’s father and give him a thousand dollars in cash. If the couple remain in a dating relationship for one full year, the young man can have half the money back. If the couple can last eighteen months, the young man may have the rest of his money back. In the meantime, if the couple breaks up for any reason, the young woman keeps all the money.”

https://www.circeinstitute.org/blog/guide-dating-high-school

I thought the money was for the girl. Now it’s for her dad.

Edited by stripe
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37 minutes ago, stripe said:

Yes, not to mention that Arnold Lobel died of AIDS and was gay. 

What I see Lobel’s books as genius at (including Grasshopper on the Road) is pointing out pomposity and the stupidity of blindly following rules. So I love Frog and Toad for different reasons entirely. 

I knew he was gay but forgot that he died of AIDS. A good example of how they miss the point. 

Someone once showed Teaching the Classics (the one that is through that writing company - I'm drawing a big blank) and how they analyzed Peter Rabbit. It was supposed to be about obedience and how Peter was almost eaten because he disobeyed his mother. First, how absurd to have your young child work through the "meaning" of a story like that anyway. Can't you just enjoy it? Second, I didn't see that meaning when I read it as a child and when I read it to DD. That's not Beatrice Potter wrote that story. How sad to think of it that way! 

12 minutes ago, Penelope said:

That whole post reminds me why I stopped reading anything from Circe a few years ago. A few mostly-true things, wrapped up in a bunch of other stuff that seems arrogant and oversimplified. I wonder who they are reaching these days. 

They don't see to have much impact on homeschoolers these days. Their focus seems to be more on classical private schools than homeschoolers. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Some of these classic children's book authors are so much complex than they give them credit for being. Lobel is more than a a teacher of virtue TM. I don't think he thought of his books in the reductionist way that these virtue peddlers (not just the Circe folks) do. I read No Pretty Pictures by his wife a few years ago. What an amazing book! I still think about it years later. These authors are more complicated than they think and the reasons that these books are good and worth reading is that they see children as people not things that need to be taught virtue TM. (Sorry rambling...)

I love Lobel. And I really don't think of those books as simple-mindedly moralistic!! I mean, even thinking about one of the stories explicitly mentioned in that article... despite all their attempts at willpower, Frog and Toad are unable to stop eating the cookies and are forced to give them away to the birds. 

And then one of them stalks off to bake a cake 😂. As a morality tale, it's pretty darn dubious. As an actual story, it's great! 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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56 minutes ago, stripe said:

What I see Lobel’s books as genius at (including Grasshopper on the Road) is pointing out pomposity and the stupidity of blindly following rules. So I love Frog and Toad for different reasons entirely. 

I absolutely adore Grasshopper on the Road. My kids don't like it as much, I think, but it's a truly wise book. 

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4 hours ago, stripe said:

ETA This hilarity:

“Many marriages last because husband and wife have something significant to lose if the marriage falls apart. Likewise, a high school sophomore who wants to date a girl should have something significant to lose if the relationship does not last. I would suggest a thousand dollars. Before being allowed to date a certain young woman, her suitor should approach the young woman’s father and give him a thousand dollars in cash. If the couple remain in a dating relationship for one full year, the young man can have half the money back. If the couple can last eighteen months, the young man may have the rest of his money back. In the meantime, if the couple breaks up for any reason, the young woman keeps all the money.”

https://www.circeinstitute.org/blog/guide-dating-high-school

I thought the money was for the girl. Now it’s for her dad.

Wow.

This reminds me of the approach taken by Zappos, where they pay their employees thousands of dollars to quit

The equivalent is dad (where's mom?) paying some teenager to stop dating the son/daughter.  If s/he takes the money, you know they're no good.  

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7 hours ago, stripe said:

“Many marriages last because husband and wife have something significant to lose if the marriage falls apart. Likewise, a high school sophomore who wants to date a girl should have something significant to lose if the relationship does not last. I would suggest a thousand dollars.

I'm sorry they are in HIGH SCHOOL. I would much rather some high school boy thinking my daughter (also in high school) is cute go on one date with her (where they do some innocent thing like go to a movie maybe have dinner) at which point go whoa we are not meant to be and move on. Rather than have my daughter be stuck with some "playa" because he feels some monetary obligation to date her for a year.  Anyways a "player's gonna play" if he's dating your daughter for a year you can bet he's cheating on her. 

Not to mention that the dating should be a mutual decision, not just a decision between a boy and a girl's father.

There is so much wrong with that quote. 

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8 hours ago, stripe said:

Yes, not to mention that Arnold Lobel died of AIDS and was gay. 

What I see Lobel’s books as genius at (including Grasshopper on the Road) is pointing out pomposity and the stupidity of blindly following rules. So I love Frog and Toad for different reasons entirely. 

I had never heard about his life. I absolutely love the Frog and Toad books, and it’s not the morality lessons, it’s the beguiling way they are told.  
 

Margaret Atwood has some good (though very different in style) children’s books that I also quite enjoy.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting thread. When I started homeschooling in the 90's I thought there was a LOT of curricula. I couldn't afford most of it. It seemed like a lot to me, and it still does.

I like to read old teachers manuals from the 1700's and 1800's and all of the 1900's through today. And even what the ancients wrote about teaching: Quintilian is interesting reading, especially the controversy about whether education should start at age 6 or 7.

Nature schooling is just rewritten Waldorf with the gnomes taken out, and Waldorf is just earlier methods with the gnomes added in. Waldorf's discussion of whether school should start at 6 or 7 is at least as old as the Roman empire. Chalkboard, form-drawing, grain rotations, color theory: none of that was invented by Waldorf.

Charlotte Mason may have written some nonsense about having a dream, but I think she just dreamed some stuff that she had already read, because I can find older teacher manuals that includes every one of her "new" ideas.

The Principle approach was popular in the 90's. Far Above Rubies and Blessed is the Man were unit study curricula for teenagers. A LOT of people used American School Correspondence School for High school. It is still in business, but not the same at all. Digging up Robinson Curriculum threads is fun. LOL. Ruth Beechick, Mott Media, and Alpha Phonics were popular.

Not everyone started with Abeka and BJU. They were expensive and refused to sell parents the TMs in the early days.

People spent less money and less time and moms had less background education. I have never seen a study that shows homeschooling is more successful now than then.

I have been around and around with my opinions of old books over the decades. Firstly, it is a BIG deal to me that they are copyright free. And secondly, the youth of any culture that completely ignore the advice and writings of the older generation, and only value the ideas of their young peers, make a fool of themselves.

In the early 2000's, there was a single college textbook on the progymnasmata that is the foundation of all the later more expensive yearly progym workbooks. Around 2000, all the single books seemed to multiply like the Tribbles in Star Trek.

I don't think we are doing better or are better than we were, despite all the time and money being spent, and despite how enlightened we believe ourselves to be. I think we are just too blind to see our faults, and I think part of that is a result of too much time immersed in the culture and ideas of our age peers and what they write.

I have begun to embrace some older authors that I would have discarded years ago. I do not agree with everything they say and I cringe and even cry at some of it. But I take what the Bible says seriously, about taking the time to listen to my elders. I have adopted some authors and speakers as my adopted grandparents. When I listen to them go astray, I feel fear that in the years to come, what I am saying now will be seen for what it is: mess, mess, and more mess.

We are human. Humans are messy. The more "advanced" and "enlightened" we get, the more our mess multiples exponentially. Like Tribbles.

 

Edited by Hunter
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7 hours ago, Hunter said:

I have begun to embrace some older authors that I would have discarded years ago.

I'd love to see your list of favorite older authors. 

Thanks for chiming in, I always appreciate your point of view.

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I spent some time last winter taking some seminary classes and learning about seminary style academic writing. There are as many parallel prejudices in academic vs lay studies as there is among traditional schooling vs homeschooling. People that use older resources are accused of using "folk theology". People using readily available public domain resources are accused of using "devotional resources" and wikipedia is mocked and forbidden in many forum conversations. People are not allowed to contribute to the forum conversations unless they cite "appropriate" resources, which are only accessible to the rich and connected.

Vernon McGee is a mess. LOL. But he is mine. I claim that man as my spiritual grandfather, including the worst of his mess. I have his complete Thru the Bible radio series on a solar powered player, and when the power surges are rippling through the neighborhood and I need to keep everything unplugged, I lay in the dark and listen to him.

I really liked taking sociology class in college. When we can participate in multiple cultures and observe the patterns of how humans behave, we see each individual culture more clearly.

It is not so much which older homeschool and literature writers that we each claim as our own, but more the attitude. We must teach our children to trust their elders and seek their wisdom. We must teach our children humility as they listen to mess, instead of arrogance. 

A culture that is taught to hate their elders is a culture that will cease to exist.

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Robinson Curriculum threads is fun. LOL. Ruth Beechick, 

On 5/27/2021 at 5:23 PM, Hunter said:

Robinson Curriculum threads is fun. LOL.

Ruth Beechick, 

Oh yes, I forgot about those! Simplicity at its heart.  I think that today's offerings are the complete antithesis of these early ideas. Teach your kids -- you don't need content, materials, curriculum, equipment, electronics, workbooks, etc. All you need is books, paper, and a parent to actually teach and mentor. 

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On 5/29/2021 at 1:59 PM, lewelma said:

Robinson Curriculum threads is fun. LOL. Ruth Beechick, 

Oh yes, I forgot about those! Simplicity at its heart.  I think that today's offerings are the complete antithesis of these early ideas. Teach your kids -- you don't need content, materials, curriculum, equipment, electronics, workbooks, etc. All you need is books, paper, and a parent to actually teach and mentor. 

Nothing is simple or cheap anymore and I have yet to see a study that says homeschooling has become more effective. Some of us need to decide if the changes have been worth it and if all of us want to continue this way. Sometimes more effort and money doesn't get us more results. We need to stop and evaluate.

What changed?

Why did it change?

What have been the results of these changes?

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51 minutes ago, Hunter said:

Nothing is simple or cheap anymore and I have yet to see a study that says homeschooling has become more effective. Some of us need to decide if the changes have been worth it and if all of us want to continue this way. Sometimes more effort and money doesn't get us more results. We need to stop and evaluate.

What changed?

Why did it change?

What have been the results of these changes?

I think there are several reasons why things changed but one is that families began homeschooling for academic reasons instead of religious reasons. Academic homeschoolers don't see public schools as off limits so homeschooling has to be justified as an alternative. Look at the thread below about a homeschooling family that isn't doing anything academic. School isn't an option for that family because of religion. 

And as homeschooling spread to less religious families, the lives of the mothers were different. These mothers were more likely to work outside or inside the home so had more disposable income and less time. 

But my question is whether the homeschooling movement in general was good or bad. I'm sure there are children who did better at home than in school but I also can't deny that there are probably many other kids who should have been in school. I'm pretty unimpressed when I look at the homeschooled kids we know. Most of these kids aren't doing much academics. And honestly, I don't think we did that great of a job either. 

I had a discussion with a few other homeschooling mothers recently. There was also a woman who was pregnant with her first baby. She plans on homeschooling. All of the homeschooling mothers, including me, were planning on putting our kids in school eventually. 

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1 hour ago, Hunter said:

Nothing is simple or cheap anymore and I have yet to see a study that says homeschooling has become more effective. Some of us need to decide if the changes have been worth it and if all of us want to continue this way. Sometimes more effort and money doesn't get us more results. We need to stop and evaluate.

What changed?

Why did it change?

What have been the results of these changes?

I dunno if anything changed but the population. Homeschooling is more mainstream now. When the people doing something change, the preferences of the group change. 

Me, I DIY everything. I'm an anachronism, I think 😉 . 

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17 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'm pretty unimpressed when I look at the homeschooled kids we know. Most of these kids aren't doing much academics. And honestly, I don't think we did that great of a job either. 

What do you think the problem was? This fall my eldest will start TK. We are super early in the journey and I am homeschooling for academic reasons. (Public school in our area is not good. We do have the option of private school, but it would be nice to save that money for something more fun.) 

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19 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'm pretty unimpressed when I look at the homeschooled kids we know.

I'm very curious about what we'll see long-term. I'm not that impressed with most homeschoolers I know, either, but then I'm not impressed with most kids I know that go to school. Realistically, maybe it's unreasonable to expect an excellent, meaningful, thoughtful education out of either environment. Exceptional things won't be attained on average. We aren't in Lake Wobegon. 

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31 minutes ago, Clarita said:

What do you think the problem was? This fall my eldest will start TK. We are super early in the journey and I am homeschooling for academic reasons. (Public school in our area is not good. We do have the option of private school, but it would be nice to save that money for something more fun.) 

What is TK? Frankly, I think it's very hard to be a mother and a teacher and run a home and whatever else you're supposed to do in your life. I'm not saying that it can't be done but it's hard. I don't think my DD ever produced her best work with me because I was her mother. I'm very happy about some aspects of our homeschooling but there were struggles. 

30 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I'm very curious about what we'll see long-term. I'm not that impressed with most homeschoolers I know, either, but then I'm not impressed with most kids I know that go to school. Realistically, maybe it's unreasonable to expect an excellent, meaningful, thoughtful education out of either environment. Exceptional things won't be attained on average. We aren't in Lake Wobegon. 

I'm not that impressed with the kids from school either but those kids are getting an education. There is a schedule. They are learning math and reading. It's not the greatest but at least they are learning something. 

In contrast, I know multiple homeschooling families that aren't doing math at all. One mother told me that she'd decided that kids aren't developmentally capable of doing math until adolescence. 

We already have long term results and they're not great although the long term results are from religious homeschoolers. 

 

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I think there are several reasons why things changed but one is that families began homeschooling for academic reasons instead of religious reasons. Academic homeschoolers don't see public schools as off limits so homeschooling has to be justified as an alternative. Look at the thread below about a homeschooling family that isn't doing anything academic. School isn't an option for that family because of religion. 

And as homeschooling spread to less religious families, the lives of the mothers were different. These mothers were more likely to work outside or inside the home so had more disposable income and less time. 

But my question is whether the homeschooling movement in general was good or bad. I'm sure there are children who did better at home than in school but I also can't deny that there are probably many other kids who should have been in school. I'm pretty unimpressed when I look at the homeschooled kids we know. Most of these kids aren't doing much academics. And honestly, I don't think we did that great of a job either. 

I had a discussion with a few other homeschooling mothers recently. There was also a woman who was pregnant with her first baby. She plans on homeschooling. All of the homeschooling mothers, including me, were planning on putting our kids in school eventually. 

My experience is very different. The homeschoolers around me are being diligent about providing good rich educations to their children. Homeschooling is hard, it’s true and I am less idealistic about it now than I was. However several women who sent their children through the schools here ( good schools) recently confided in me that if they had it to do over, they would homeschool. 

I am sorry your experience wasn’t good.  It is good you were able to make a change that worked for all of you. 

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2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'm not that impressed with the kids from school either but those kids are getting an education. There is a schedule. They are learning math and reading. It's not the greatest but at least they are learning something. 

In contrast, I know multiple homeschooling families that aren't doing math at all. One mother told me that she'd decided that kids aren't developmentally capable of doing math until adolescence. 

We already have long term results and they're not great although the long term results are from religious homeschoolers. 

On the one hand, I also know kids who aren't doing math at all, and I feel pretty disquieted by that.

On the other hand, I've talked to some kids who "do math" in school, and let's just say that it's not obvious to me that it's better than not doing any math. School math has a way of knocking all the sense out of kids. 

 

2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I don't think my DD ever produced her best work with me because I was her mother. I'm very happy about some aspects of our homeschooling but there were struggles. 

Now THIS is definitely a real thing. I'm an academically demanding person, but we've definitely had to deal with the fact that working for one's parent doesn't always come naturally to kids... something about the psychology of it doesn't work as well. 

In our case, though, it's definitely offset by the fact that DD8 is very accelerated and no one was ever going to accelerate her like that in school. So I'm certainly not sorry. 

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2 hours ago, freesia said:

My experience is very different. The homeschoolers around me are being diligent about providing good rich educations to their children. Homeschooling is hard, it’s true and I am less idealistic about it now than I was. However several women who sent their children through the schools here ( good schools) recently confided in me that if they had it to do over, they would homeschool. 

I am sorry your experience wasn’t good.  It is good you were able to make a change that worked for all of you. 

I didn't write that my experience wasn't good. I wrote that I was very happy about some of our homeschooling efforts but there were some struggles. Overall, I think our experience was good. I think DD made some leaps that she would not have done if she had remained in school. 

58 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

On the one hand, I also know kids who aren't doing math at all, and I feel pretty disquieted by that.

On the other hand, I've talked to some kids who "do math" in school, and let's just say that it's not obvious to me that it's better than not doing any math. School math has a way of knocking all the sense out of kids. 

 

Now THIS is definitely a real thing. I'm an academically demanding person, but we've definitely had to deal with the fact that working for one's parent doesn't always come naturally to kids... something about the psychology of it doesn't work as well. 

In our case, though, it's definitely offset by the fact that DD8 is very accelerated and no one was ever going to accelerate her like that in school. So I'm certainly not sorry. 

I think we need to exclude the exceptions and your daughters fall into the exception category. Based on what I've seen, I think the (mythical) average homeschooled child would do better in school than at home. School math can be bad but at least it's something which is better than nothing. I'll never be convinced that some effort (even if poor) is worse than nothing. And nothing is what is happening in too many homeschools. 

Moms don't come out and admit it but it's obvious when you listen. When they say the quiet part (that they aren't getting around to math at all) out loud, other homeschooled moms tell them, "that's okay....cooking is enough math" and the truly repulsive, "heaven not Harvard" thing. 

 

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7 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

School math can be bad but at least it's something which is better than nothing. I'll never be convinced that some effort (even if poor) is worse than nothing. And nothing is what is happening in too many homeschools. 

I really don’t know. Would learning the wrong alphabet be better than not learning to read? That’s how I feel about some school math.

That being said, I don’t know anyone who does no math at all. I just know people who don’t do enough. 

 

7 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Moms don't come out and admit it but it's obvious when you listen. When they say the quiet part (that they aren't getting around to math at all) out loud, other homeschooled moms tell them, "that's okay....cooking is enough math" and the truly repulsive, "heaven not Harvard" thing. 

Yeah, I don’t know many religious homeschoolers, so our sample is different.

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13 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I didn't write that my experience wasn't good. I wrote that I was very happy about some of our homeschooling efforts but there were some struggles. Overall, I think our experience was good. I think DD made some leaps that she would not have done if she had remained in school. 

I think we need to exclude the exceptions and your daughters fall into the exception category. Based on what I've seen, I think the (mythical) average homeschooled child would do better in school than at home. School math can be bad but at least it's something which is better than nothing. I'll never be convinced that some effort (even if poor) is worse than nothing. And nothing is what is happening in too many homeschools. 

Moms don't come out and admit it but it's obvious when you listen. When they say the quiet part (that they aren't getting around to math at all) out loud, other homeschooled moms tell them, "that's okay....cooking is enough math" and the truly repulsive, "heaven not Harvard" thing. 

 

Arg, I should SO keep my opinions to myself, but there's just so much here that bothers me. She wrote, gracefully I think, exactly what I was thinking, which was that your experience and anecdotes and perceptions seem to be exactly that -- your data points, and she is saying it's a shame those were negative overall when you look at HS and B&M school. Which is true. 

But I see no evidence at all that your feeling accurately reflects the reality -- that the average HSer is worse off at home than at school. Or that "nothing" is happening more frequently in homeschools than in public schools. Frankly, I would label that, very scientifically, to be "crazy pants." Kids consistently self-report a 10% rate of being propositioned by their teachers at some point K-12. Performance rates of HS kids are always, on average, higher than public schools, and their socialization is better too, even when the study is paid for by people antagonistic to HSing.

And if we are talking less about data and more about feelings and anecdotes, we all have our own. I can talk about the NYC public school where my husband volunteered in college, where the teacher had stopped even trying to teach and none of the kids had any books, paper, or pencils, and he literally couldn't tutor them because no one had any supplies or interest. Or the cultural problems I see -- middle school students who look like every day they are miserable, and have sky-high rates of anxiety and stress. I have met dozens of homeschoolers and have never met a single family that isn't really homeschooling. And I have seen and interacted with dozens of HS kids who are confident, joyful, and engaged. And I have personally met many public school kids who are sullen, withdrawn, and have seemingly no connection to their families. (Of course, I've also seen HS kids like this too.) In the end, of course, these are just anecdotes. 

As for "heaven not Harvard" I would say this is not repulsive at all. Now, "Harvard not heaven" would be truly disturbing. The Ivy league looms way too large to people. My DH and I have a lot of Ivy experience and it's not that great. It's a better education because the kids can handle more work, and that's about it. It doesn't guarantee a good career. It doesn't guarantee a happy life. IMO, if people would spend 1% of the time they spend worrying about positioning their kids for highly selective colleges on instead teaching them virtues, self-sacrifice, EF skills, and the fundamentals of what marriage really looks like and entails, we would have happier and healthier kids with better and more productive lives. Trying to optimize for greatest possible academic performance rather than a stable, emotionally and spiritually whole person is not a good calculation. Of course, it's best to have both. 🙂

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36 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

Performance rates of HS kids are always, on average, higher than public schools, and their socialization is better too, even when the study is paid for by people antagonistic to HSing.

That’s not true. There are almost no good studies and the best studies don’t show that effect.

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38 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

It's a better education because the kids can handle more work, and that's about it. It doesn't guarantee a good career. It doesn't guarantee a happy life.

Nothing guarantees a happy life. But good colleges often have a population that’s passionate about their interests and that’s worth something. So are the increased opportunities.

It’s not the answer for everyone, obviously. But I constantly see bashing of selective colleges on here and it bugs me.

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19 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

Arg, I should SO keep my opinions to myself, but there's just so much here that bothers me. She wrote, gracefully I think, exactly what I was thinking, which was that your experience and anecdotes and perceptions seem to be exactly that -- your data points, and she is saying it's a shame those were negative overall when you look at HS and B&M school. Which is true. 

But I see no evidence at all that your feeling accurately reflects the reality -- that the average HSer is worse off at home than at school. Or that "nothing" is happening more frequently in homeschools than in public schools. Frankly, I would label that, very scientifically, to be "crazy pants." Kids consistently self-report a 10% rate of being propositioned by their teachers at some point K-12. Performance rates of HS kids are always, on average, higher than public schools, and their socialization is better too, even when the study is paid for by people antagonistic to HSing.

And if we are talking less about data and more about feelings and anecdotes, we all have our own. I can talk about the NYC public school where my husband volunteered in college, where the teacher had stopped even trying to teach and none of the kids had any books, paper, or pencils, and he literally couldn't tutor them because no one had any supplies or interest. Or the cultural problems I see -- middle school students who look like every day they are miserable, and have sky-high rates of anxiety and stress. I have met dozens of homeschoolers and have never met a single family that isn't really homeschooling. And I have seen and interacted with dozens of HS kids who are confident, joyful, and engaged. And I have personally met many public school kids who are sullen, withdrawn, and have seemingly no connection to their families. (Of course, I've also seen HS kids like this too.) In the end, of course, these are just anecdotes. 

As for "heaven not Harvard" I would say this is not repulsive at all. Now, "Harvard not heaven" would be truly disturbing. The Ivy league looms way too large to people. My DH and I have a lot of Ivy experience and it's not that great. It's a better education because the kids can handle more work, and that's about it. It doesn't guarantee a good career. It doesn't guarantee a happy life. IMO, if people would spend 1% of the time they spend worrying about positioning their kids for highly selective colleges on instead teaching them virtues, self-sacrifice, EF skills, and the fundamentals of what marriage really looks like and entails, we would have happier and healthier kids with better and more productive lives. Trying to optimize for greatest possible academic performance rather than a stable, emotionally and spiritually whole person is not a good calculation. Of course, it's best to have both. 🙂

First, don't put words in my mouth. I did not say that my experience was negative. I keep repeating myself. There were good things and bad things about our homeschooling journey. I would have continued homeschooling for the next several years if DD had not asked to return to school to be with her friends. 

There were some negatives. It added some challenges to our relationship and the social aspect was difficult. Of course there was a pandemic which made everything more difficult. I also have an only child which adds unique challenges. 

What is the averaged homeschooling family like? I'm going off the families I know and what I see in FB homeschooling groups. It appears to me that the average family is doing some kind of online program. I know some people would argue that these aren't real homeschoolers at all. FB is more "here comes everyone" than this forum. I've also read many accounts from homeschooled adults who grew up in fundamentalist families. 

What I've observed in my circles are claims that homeschooling is how you can get your children to heaven. You see, "this is why I homeschool" in response to something about transgendered children or drag storytime hour. There's a lot of romanticization about homeschooling in these circles. There's very little acknowledgement of its difficulties and the need to actually know the content that you're going to teach to your children. I've had mothers admit to me that they never actually get around to the curriculum because they have a lot of kids and there's always a baby or a toddler in the house. What those mothers need to hear is that school is okay and it won't mean that they are out of the clique at church and they're damning their kids to hell. But that's not what they get because homeschooling is about ideology instead of education. 

I believe homeschooling done well can be a beautiful thing and I'm actually mourning for the end of that in our family right now. I think it can be a beautiful thing even if the math or science isn't up to what they would get in school. 

 

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49 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

Arg, I should SO keep my opinions to myself, but there's just so much here that bothers me. She wrote, gracefully I think, exactly what I was thinking, which was that your experience and anecdotes and perceptions seem to be exactly that -- your data points, and she is saying it's a shame those were negative overall when you look at HS and B&M school. Which is true. 

But I see no evidence at all that your feeling accurately reflects the reality -- that the average HSer is worse off at home than at school. Or that "nothing" is happening more frequently in homeschools than in public schools. Frankly, I would label that, very scientifically, to be "crazy pants." Kids consistently self-report a 10% rate of being propositioned by their teachers at some point K-12. Performance rates of HS kids are always, on average, higher than public schools, and their socialization is better too, even when the study is paid for by people antagonistic to HSing.

And if we are talking less about data and more about feelings and anecdotes, we all have our own. I can talk about the NYC public school where my husband volunteered in college, where the teacher had stopped even trying to teach and none of the kids had any books, paper, or pencils, and he literally couldn't tutor them because no one had any supplies or interest. Or the cultural problems I see -- middle school students who look like every day they are miserable, and have sky-high rates of anxiety and stress. I have met dozens of homeschoolers and have never met a single family that isn't really homeschooling. And I have seen and interacted with dozens of HS kids who are confident, joyful, and engaged. And I have personally met many public school kids who are sullen, withdrawn, and have seemingly no connection to their families. (Of course, I've also seen HS kids like this too.) In the end, of course, these are just anecdotes. 

As for "heaven not Harvard" I would say this is not repulsive at all. Now, "Harvard not heaven" would be truly disturbing. The Ivy league looms way too large to people. My DH and I have a lot of Ivy experience and it's not that great. It's a better education because the kids can handle more work, and that's about it. It doesn't guarantee a good career. It doesn't guarantee a happy life. IMO, if people would spend 1% of the time they spend worrying about positioning their kids for highly selective colleges on instead teaching them virtues, self-sacrifice, EF skills, and the fundamentals of what marriage really looks like and entails, we would have happier and healthier kids with better and more productive lives. Trying to optimize for greatest possible academic performance rather than a stable, emotionally and spiritually whole person is not a good calculation. Of course, it's best to have both. 🙂

@Not_a_Numberalready addressed the claim that HSed kids do better than public school kids but what support do you have the bolded? I googled and don't see it. I found this on Wikipedia:

Quote

6.5% of the respondents reported having personally experienced sexually inappropriate attention from high school teachers.

Sexual Harassment in Education in the United States

That's very different from the claim that 10% of all students report being propositioned. 

These false assumptions illustrate the problem, IMHO. Why do these myths keep being circulated in homeschooling circles? 

It's odd. One on hand, we hear "heaven not Harvard" in ideological homeschooling circles but then we also hear the myths about homeschooling kids doing better than public schooled kids. So which is it? We even heard "heaven not Harvard" and then about a homeschooled kid who got into Harvard. 

I think some homeschooling families are doing a great job and I think public schools are too regimented. But exceptions don't make the rule. What's underlying homeschooling ideology? 

It's ugly, IMHO. It's anti-public school which is the place where the vast majority of American children are educated. It's used to justify underfunding those schools which hurts children. 

It's also premised on a very individualistic ideology which is ultimately poisonous to society. 

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16 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

That’s not true. There are almost no good studies and the best studies don’t show that effect.

No true Scotsman? There can never be studies that randomly assign people to the various educational options, so you're never going to get a perfect study. My understanding is that teachers' unions and others have often funded studies to discredit homeschooling and consistently come up with nothing they like. If studies DID show worse outcomes for HSers, we'd have a much harder time keeping our right to HS. 

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18 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Nothing guarantees a happy life. But good colleges often have a population that’s passionate about their interests and that’s worth something. So are the increased opportunities.

It’s not the answer for everyone, obviously. But I constantly see bashing of selective colleges on here and it bugs me.

And I constantly, constantly in real life see parents doing everything in their power to get their kids into selective colleges to the neglect of many other things. And I'm saying that's silly because of my experience -- I know tons of happy and unhappy people and it has nothing to do with what college they went to. Nothing. Being in the ivy league is fun and hard work, but it has almost nothing to do with having a good life. 

 

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16 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

No true Scotsman? There can never be studies that randomly assign people to the various educational options, so you're never going to get a perfect study. My understanding is that teachers' unions and others have often funded studies to discredit homeschooling and consistently come up with nothing they like. If studies DID show worse outcomes for HSers, we'd have a much harder time keeping our right to HS. 

No, not no true Scotsman, but I do have standards for studies — for instance, I don’t accept self-selected samples.

If you have a link to a teachers’ union funded study, I’d be happy to discuss the specifics. I don’t know of any such studies.

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6 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

6.5% of the respondents reported having personally experienced sexually inappropriate attention from high school teachers.

Well, I think right away I would just note that 6.5% of high schoolers is very much in line with 10% over all grades. And seriously, 6% would still be pretty messed up and not a "myth" circulated by HSers.

Also, the 10% figure is real. It comes up in many places over decades. If you have other evidence, fine. Just a couple examples:

A huge meta survey by the government in 2004 talking about the difficulties in research and concluding 9.6% rate overall:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwi5hra32PTwAhXHbc0KHXhmClYQFjAJegQIGhAC&usg=AOvVaw0I-DI3_3N8c3YTS1g1gW08

And here's Slate referencing another study

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2012/02/is-sexual-abuse-in-schools-very-common.html

Look, I went to a good public school. And there was some messed up stuff. And you can choose PS for your kids, that's fine, I did at one point and may well again.. but with all due respect you cross the line when you go from "this is what's best for my family" into "the average homeschool is worse for kids". I mean, that's a objective-sounding claim and you shouldn't be surprised to get push back.

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15 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

And I constantly, constantly in real life see parents doing everything in their power to get their kids into selective colleges to the neglect of many other things. And I'm saying that's silly because of my experience -- I know tons of happy and unhappy people and it has nothing to do with what college they went to. Nothing. Being in the ivy league is fun and hard work, but it has almost nothing to do with having a good life. 

I’d agree that this is silly 🙂. It’s certainly not THE thing one should aim for, and it isn’t for us.

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2 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

Well, I think right away I would just note that 6.5% of high schoolers is very much in line with 10% over all grades. And seriously, 6% would still be pretty messed up and not a "myth" circulated by HSers.

Also, the 10% figure is real. It comes up in many places over decades. If you have other evidence, fine. Just a couple examples:

A huge meta survey by the government in 2004 talking about the difficulties in research and concluding 9.6% rate overall:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwi5hra32PTwAhXHbc0KHXhmClYQFjAJegQIGhAC&usg=AOvVaw0I-DI3_3N8c3YTS1g1gW08

And here's Slate referencing another study

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2012/02/is-sexual-abuse-in-schools-very-common.html

Look, I went to a good public school. And there was some messed up stuff. And you can choose PS for your kids, that's fine, I did at one point and may well again.. but with all due respect you cross the line when you go from "this is what's best for my family" into "the average homeschool is worse for kids". I mean, that's a objective-sounding claim and you shouldn't be surprised to get push back.

I'm not surprised to get push back. I anticipate push back because our culture is very relativistic about child rearing. Whatever feels good is good. And I didn't claim that the average homeschool is worse for kids but rather that the averaged homeschooled kid would be better off in school. 

Your Slate link doesn't align with what you claimed. You claimed "proposition" but the details are below. 

Quote

The best available study suggests that about 10 percent of students suffer some form of sexual abuse during their school careers. In the 2000 report, commissioned by the American Association of University Women, surveyors asked students between eighth and 11th grades whether they had ever experienced inappropriate sexual conduct at school. The list of such conduct included lewd comments, exposure to pornography, peeping in the locker room, and sexual touching or grabbing.

And if we're going to go down this path, how many homeschooled children are subject to abuse in their homes? More than 10% of children suffer some kind of abuse or neglect in their homes. These numbers include all children but would homeschoolers be less likely to abuse their children? 

Fear based homeschooling is bad. Whether the fear is of a gay teacher, transgender students, or sexual abuse in schools. 

 

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19 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

 And I didn't claim that the average homeschool is worse for kids but rather that the averaged homeschooled kid would be better off in school. 

Your Slate link doesn't align with what you claimed. You claimed "proposition" but the details are below. 

This is why arguing with strangers on the internet is so silly and pointless. I specifically said "proposition" instead of "abuse" because the 10% figure includes these other things beyond abuse, like showing pictures or offering a date, etc. Are you really saying this whole thing is overblown because it includes "lewd comments, exposure to pornography, peeping in the locker room, and sexual touching or grabbing" and you don't think that's bad enough to be a concern?

I'm not saying people should homeschool due to fear. But I'm calling double shenanigans on saying on a homeschooling forum "the average homeschooler is better off in school" and then sitting back and insisting that anyone who disagrees must produce multiple studies that conform to an incredibly high standard, or who imply that millions of students' reported misconduct isn't abusive enough or is emblematic of poor reasoning?? This is crazy pants.

I can't believe I once again started out my day intending to finish homeschool planning and instead getting into fights on the internet with strangers who have no interest in my opinions. This is why my husband wants to cut off the internet. And probably should!! I need to block all social media until I get enough self control to just roll my eyes and move on. Which is probably never. So no more internet for me. And I'm bowing out now. Good luck with your educational choices!

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5 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

This is why arguing with strangers on the internet is so silly and pointless. I specifically said "proposition" instead of "abuse" because the 10% figure includes these other things beyond abuse, like showing pictures or offering a date, etc. Are you really saying this whole thing is overblown because it includes "lewd comments, exposure to pornography, peeping in the locker room, and sexual touching or grabbing" and you don't think that's bad enough to be a concern?

I'm not saying people should homeschool due to fear. But I'm calling double shenanigans on saying on a homeschooling forum "the average homeschooler is better off in school" and then sitting back and insisting that anyone who disagrees must produce multiple studies that conform to an incredibly high standard, or who imply that millions of students' reported misconduct isn't abusive enough or is emblematic of poor reasoning?? This is crazy pants.

I can't believe I once again started out my day intending to finish homeschool planning and instead getting into fights on the internet with strangers who have no interest in my opinions. This is why my husband wants to cut off the internet. And probably should!! I need to block all social media until I get enough self control to just roll my eyes and move on. Which is probably never. So no more internet for me. And I'm bowing out now. Good luck with your educational choices!

No one is arguing with you and I didn't demand that you show multiple studies. 

What's crazy pants is jumping into a conversation and claiming that people are arguing with you when they are not. 

Nothing was said about your or reasoning. This isn't about you. 

 

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20 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I think there are several reasons why things changed but one is that families began homeschooling for academic reasons instead of religious reasons. Academic homeschoolers don't see public schools as off limits so homeschooling has to be justified as an alternative. Look at the thread below about a homeschooling family that isn't doing anything academic. School isn't an option for that family because of religion. 

And as homeschooling spread to less religious families, the lives of the mothers were different. These mothers were more likely to work outside or inside the home so had more disposable income and less time. 

But my question is whether the homeschooling movement in general was good or bad. I'm sure there are children who did better at home than in school but I also can't deny that there are probably many other kids who should have been in school. I'm pretty unimpressed when I look at the homeschooled kids we know. Most of these kids aren't doing much academics. And honestly, I don't think we did that great of a job either. 

I had a discussion with a few other homeschooling mothers recently. There was also a woman who was pregnant with her first baby. She plans on homeschooling. All of the homeschooling mothers, including me, were planning on putting our kids in school eventually. 

To the bold, the homeschooling movement just is. It is neither good nor bad, it is both. Just as public school, private school, charter school, online school, etc is both good and bad. My oldest attended public, online charter, homeschool and an early college charter. They all have upsides and downsides. It was my job, as an involved parent, to get the most out of every one of those. I told whoever would listen that online charter schools are not for everyone. Some kids are built for it and some are not. It is a fact. That doesn't mean one kid/method is better. All it means is what works for one person does not work for others. We all know that, right?

 

1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

First, don't put words in my mouth. I did not say that my experience was negative. I keep repeating myself. There were good things and bad things about our homeschooling journey. I would have continued homeschooling for the next several years if DD had not asked to return to school to be with her friends. 

There were some negatives. It added some challenges to our relationship and the social aspect was difficult. Of course there was a pandemic which made everything more difficult. I also have an only child which adds unique challenges. 

What is the averaged homeschooling family like? I'm going off the families I know and what I see in FB homeschooling groups. It appears to me that the average family is doing some kind of online program. I know some people would argue that these aren't real homeschoolers at all. FB is more "here comes everyone" than this forum. I've also read many accounts from homeschooled adults who grew up in fundamentalist families. 

What I've observed in my circles are claims that homeschooling is how you can get your children to heaven. You see, "this is why I homeschool" in response to something about transgendered children or drag storytime hour. There's a lot of romanticization about homeschooling in these circles. There's very little acknowledgement of its difficulties and the need to actually know the content that you're going to teach to your children. I've had mothers admit to me that they never actually get around to the curriculum because they have a lot of kids and there's always a baby or a toddler in the house. What those mothers need to hear is that school is okay and it won't mean that they are out of the clique at church and they're damning their kids to hell. But that's not what they get because homeschooling is about ideology instead of education. 

I believe homeschooling done well can be a beautiful thing and I'm actually mourning for the end of that in our family right now. I think it can be a beautiful thing even if the math or science isn't up to what they would get in school. 

 

And people that send their kid to public school are satisfied with their child's education, but not with education overall. * No one wants to say the school they are sending their kid to is awful.

My kids made it through the pandemic without a whole lot of disruption to their education. I won't judge yours or anyone's outcome based on my own. We all had different circumstances to deal with. I had a lot of neighbors that created their own podschool with licensed teachers. It's not my ideal, but at least they were able to provide their kids with consistent routine when everything else was up in the air. 

I quit FB. There's a lot of homeschoolers that don't bother posting on SM. They have their head down and are happily doing their own thing. I stopped making sweeping judgements about society based on SM. Look at what a big deal Twitter is compared to the number of people that are actually on it. It's not representative of reality. It's 70% male, ages 25-34, with 10% of the users creating 80% of the content.

 

1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

That's very different from the claim that 10% of all students report being propositioned. 

These false assumptions illustrate the problem, IMHO. Why do these myths keep being circulated in homeschooling circles? 

It's odd. One on hand, we hear "heaven not Harvard" in ideological homeschooling circles but then we also hear the myths about homeschooling kids doing better than public schooled kids. So which is it? We even heard "heaven not Harvard" and then about a homeschooled kid who got into Harvard. 

I think some homeschooling families are doing a great job and I think public schools are too regimented. But exceptions don't make the rule. What's underlying homeschooling ideology? 

It's ugly, IMHO. It's anti-public school which is the place where the vast majority of American children are educated. It's used to justify underfunding those schools which hurts children. 

It's also premised on a very individualistic ideology which is ultimately poisonous to society. 

The amount of anti-homeschooling posts here, on a homeschooling forum, is disconcerting. 

As homeschoolers, we have to be aware of our limitations. Public schools have limitations that private schools do not. Charter schools have limitations that are somewhere between public and private. 

Education is part ideology. People send their kids to religious private school for a reason. Family values are more important than education in some families. Whether you, I or the government likes it is really none of our business. People have the right to raise their children with their values.  We don't send our kids to the church of public school. From my view, public school is trying to replace family values with their own. That is ugly and poisonous to our society. 

 

2 hours ago, Emily ZL said:

Kids consistently self-report a 10% rate of being propositioned by their teachers at some point K-12.

 I believe it. Happened to me...twice. One was repeated sexual harassment. 

 

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2 hours ago, Plum said:

People have the right to raise their children with their values.

I think that's exactly the thing that people argue about. I think we all believe this... to some extent. And the extent is precisely the topic at hand. 

We all probably believe that a kid's right supersedes the parent's when it come to being beaten. (That has not actually historically always been the case! But I'm pretty sure we do agree about that on this forum.) But what we don't agree about is WHEN it's reasonable for outside forces to get involved once you get away from stark examples like that. Should parents be required to teach kids to read? To do any arithmetic? To speak English? If you believe in no oversight at all, then you're theoretically OK with parents choosing not to do those things. You might think that no one will ACTUALLY do them, but you're willing to take that chance. 

I think these issues are all tricky. Personally, I am aware that I'm far better off with no one looking over my shoulder than I would be otherwise. Most of us on this forum are responsible homeschoolers and most of us would probably do best with minimal oversight. But I don't know what follows from that... 

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2 hours ago, Plum said:

I quit FB. There's a lot of homeschoolers that don't bother posting on SM. They have their head down and are happily doing their own thing. I stopped making sweeping judgements about society based on SM. Look at what a big deal Twitter is compared to the number of people that are actually on it. It's not representative of reality. It's 70% male, ages 25-34, with 10% of the users creating 80% of the content.

I'll agree with that one 🙂 . Social media is dominated by the loudest people. It's not representative.

As my own personal sample, I've had kids in my math classes that came straight from public school and ones that had been homeschooled the whole time, and I would not say that the public schooled kids were better off. That being said, kids being pulled from public school are of course a totally unrepresentative sample, since the kids who are thriving aren't the ones being pulled...

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

I think that's exactly the thing that people argue about. I think we all believe this... to some extent. And the extent is precisely the topic at hand. 

We all probably believe that a kid's right supersedes the parent's when it come to being beaten. (That has not actually historically always been the case! But I'm pretty sure we do agree about that on this forum.) But what we don't agree about is WHEN it's reasonable for outside forces to get involved once you get away from stark examples like that. Should parents be required to teach kids to read? To do any arithmetic? To speak English? If you believe in no oversight at all, then you're theoretically OK with parents choosing not to do those things. You might think that no one will ACTUALLY do them, but you're willing to take that chance. 

I think these issues are all tricky. Personally, I am aware that I'm far better off with no one looking over my shoulder than I would be otherwise. Most of us on this forum are responsible homeschoolers and most of us would probably do best with minimal oversight. But I don't know what follows from that... 

It's a hard pill to swallow for sure. No one wants a kid to be neglected physically or educationally. It happens all over and not just in homeschools. Schools have come up with all kinds of ways to force parental involvement and student attendance because neglect happens. Parents have discovered their kids can't read at high school graduation because neglect happens. 

I think what most people forget is that homeschooling is a custom job. I can guarantee that my standards are not the same as your standards (which is fine) and our standards are not the same as just about any other random homeschooler. We all have individual reasons for homeschooling that are as unique as our kids.

Judging other homeschoolers methods and the quality of their homeschool would be difficult for even veteran homeschoolers. We all do things differently because we are making it up as we go. We adjust on the fly. We pursue unexpected interests and follow rabbit trails. We don't always end up where we planned but we learned a lot along the way. 

My middle is a late bloomer academically. He has been delayed in reading, writing and math. Once it clicks, he does fine. He still processes slow for some things. All of this has lead to tremendous self-doubt, which would undoubtedly be 100x worse if he were enrolled in ps. My timeline looks nothing like a college prep pressure cooker. I'm okay with that. My goals are not elite colleges, but practical careers without going into huge amounts of debt. It's our plan and no one else's business to judge. 

Other people have different timelines, different priorities, different goals, and different needs. I don't believe it's the state or the feds place to judge any of that. This past year has shown all of us just how big this country is and how different each state is. There is not much of a chance for standardization especially among the independent-minded homeschool crowd.

Do some people need a kick in the pants every once in a while to get their homeschool back on track? Absolutely. Why does that have to be a state job? As a friend or family member and fellow homeschooler, all I can do is be a good example to others. I can't change ideologies (nor do I want to!) and neither can the state.

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Stating that many homeschooled kids would be better off in school is not anti-homeschooling. 

43 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I think that's exactly the thing that people argue about. I think we all believe this... to some extent. And the extent is precisely the topic at hand. 

We all probably believe that a kid's right supersedes the parent's when it come to being beaten. (That has not actually historically always been the case! But I'm pretty sure we do agree about that on this forum.) But what we don't agree about is WHEN it's reasonable for outside forces to get involved once you get away from stark examples like that. Should parents be required to teach kids to read? To do any arithmetic? To speak English? If you believe in no oversight at all, then you're theoretically OK with parents choosing not to do those things. You might think that no one will ACTUALLY do them, but you're willing to take that chance. 

I think these issues are all tricky. Personally, I am aware that I'm far better off with no one looking over my shoulder than I would be otherwise. Most of us on this forum are responsible homeschoolers and most of us would probably do best with minimal oversight. But I don't know what follows from that... 

Exactly. I suspect this is one reason why the myths about homeschooled kids excelling over public schooled kids came to be. They don't want to live with the accept that some children are poorly served by something they support. When a homeschooled kid is accepted at Harvard, it's an example of how great homeschooling is but when there's a case of a homeschooled child abused or neglected, it's dismissed as not related to homeschooling. We can't have it both ways. 

Hunter mentioned the famous Yoder case above where the Supreme Court held that the Amish could keep their children from attending high school. The dissenting opinion referenced the long term harm to children who were denied an education because it is so difficult to overcome. 

 

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Just now, Plum said:

It's a hard pill to swallow for sure. No one wants a kid to be neglected physically or educationally. It happens all over and not just in homeschools. Schools have come up with all kinds of ways to force parental involvement and student attendance because neglect happens. Parents have discovered their kids can't read at high school graduation because neglect happens. 

I think what most people forget is that homeschooling is a custom job. I can guarantee that my standards are not the same as your standards (which is fine) and our standards are not the same as just about any other random homeschooler. We all have individual reasons for homeschooling that are as unique as our kids.

Judging other homeschoolers methods and the quality of their homeschool would be difficult for even veteran homeschoolers. We all do things differently because we are making it up as we go. We adjust on the fly. We pursue unexpected interests and follow rabbit trails. We don't always end up where we planned but we learned a lot along the way. 

My middle is a late bloomer academically. He has been delayed in reading, writing and math. Once it clicks, he does fine. He still processes slow for some things. All of this has lead to tremendous self-doubt, which would undoubtedly be 100x worse if he were enrolled in ps. My timeline looks nothing like a college prep pressure cooker. I'm okay with that. My goals are not elite colleges, but practical careers without going into huge amounts of debt. It's our plan and no one else's business to judge. 

Other people have different timelines, different priorities, different goals, and different needs. I don't believe it's the state or the feds place to judge any of that. This past year has shown all of us just how big this country is and how different each state is. There is not much of a chance for standardization especially among the independent-minded homeschool crowd.

Do some people need a kick in the pants every once in a while to get their homeschool back on track? Absolutely. Why does that have to be a state job? As a friend or family member and fellow homeschooler, all I can do is be a good example to others. I can't change ideologies (nor do I want to!) and neither can the state.

The thing I'd say is that I wouldn't want to judge anyone or prescribe to anyone who means as well as the folks on here do 🙂 . But the very reason I love this forum is that practically everyone does their best by their kids. 

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1 minute ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Hunter mentioned the famous Yoder case above where the Supreme Court held that the Amish could keep their children from attending high school. The dissenting opinion referenced the long term harm to children who were denied an education because it is so difficult to overcome. 

I think the Amish are a really interesting case, because they really ARE bringing up their kids for a different world. It's true that they are limiting their kids to their own community, but it's not like their kids will be locked out of the life they expect. (Orthodox Jews do something pretty similar.) I have mixed feelings about this, but it's pretty different than failing to prepare a kid for the world that actually awaits you. 

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52 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I'll agree with that one 🙂 . Social media is dominated by the loudest people. It's not representative.

As my own personal sample, I've had kids in my math classes that came straight from public school and ones that had been homeschooled the whole time, and I would not say that the public schooled kids were better off. That being said, kids being pulled from public school are of course a totally unrepresentative sample, since the kids who are thriving aren't the ones being pulled...

My middle is slow going with math. If he were in ps he would have been pushed along and not had a firm grasp on the foundational basics. We may be "behind" but I am making sure fully understands it so that when he graduates he can continue on if he so chooses without backtracking. 

I think kids being pulled from public school is about equal in sample as the kids that were homeschooled and then put into public school because it wasn't going so great. 😉

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1 minute ago, Plum said:

My middle is slow going with math. If he were in ps he would have been pushed along and not had a firm grasp on the foundational basics. We may be "behind" but I am making sure fully understands it so that when he graduates he can continue on if he so chooses without backtracking. 

That's certainly what I do with kids I work with -- we go at their pace. (For my kids, that's faster than the standard pace, but for some other kids I work with, it's slower.) I do think that's a real advantage of homeschooling... which is actually exactly why I've been kind of bummed to see what people do with their kids in math when homeschooling. I was totally SURE that the homeschooling math education would be way better than the public school math education, since the lessons were individualized. And I've been disappointed to discover that's not generally the case. 

 

1 minute ago, Plum said:

I think kids being pulled from public school is about equal in sample as the kids that were homeschooled and then put into public school because it wasn't going so great. 😉

Yeah, agreed. Terrible sample! Only a tiny bit better than it could be because SOME kids were pulled due to vaccine issues and not academics. But overall... yes, terrible. 

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9 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

What is the averaged homeschooling family like? I'm going off the families I know and what I see in FB homeschooling groups. It appears to me that the average family is doing some kind of online program. I know some people would argue that these aren't real homeschoolers at all. FB is more "here comes everyone" than this forum. I've also read many accounts from homeschooled adults who grew up in fundamentalist families. 

What I've observed in my circles are claims that homeschooling is how you can get your children to heaven. You see, "this is why I homeschool" in response to something about transgendered children or drag storytime hour. There's a lot of romanticization about homeschooling in these circles. There's very little acknowledgement of its difficulties and the need to actually know the content that you're going to teach to your children. I've had mothers admit to me that they never actually get around to the curriculum because they have a lot of kids and there's always a baby or a toddler in the house. What those mothers need to hear is that school is okay and it won't mean that they are out of the clique at church and they're damning their kids to hell. But that's not what they get because homeschooling is about ideology instead of education. 

Yes, but NONE of the families I know are using an online program. None are from fundamentalist families, maybe two families would count sheltering their children from values they don't like as benefits to homeschooling. The most children any of them have is 4. 

And I absolutely know families who are not educating their children or are undereducating their children, and I have talked about it on here, because I think SOME small form of oversight would not be a bad thing. But they are a minority. Most parents I know are educating their children as well as or better than their public school peers. 

This just goes to show why we can not self-select our samples. You are obviously witnessing a totally different world of homeschooling than I am. And I completely believe you, but I do not believe it's a representative sample. Just like mine also is not because the demographics around me are different than the overall homeschooling makeup.

But I 100% agree with you that the villainization of public school or the notion that the "worst homeschool is better than the best public school" is toxic and harmful.

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3 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I think the Amish are a really interesting case, because they really ARE bringing up their kids for a different world. It's true that they are limiting their kids to their own community, but it's not like their kids will be locked out of the life they expect. (Orthodox Jews do something pretty similar.) I have mixed feelings about this, but it's pretty different than failing to prepare a kid for the world that actually awaits you. 

One disagreement here. Is it is that they are locked out of the life that the child expects or the life that the community expects for the child? 

Aren't more and more Orthodox Jewish kids and Amish kids opting out of their communities? And how do you do that without a standard education? What does an ultra-orthodox Jewish kid do if he/she leaves the community without an education? But then on the other hand, why does the community need to prepare their children to leave their community? 

There are no easy answers. 

I realize that I've been harsh here and I'm re-thinking what I wrote. I'm mourning the end of our homeschooling journey which is surely coloring my opinions. 

I'm genuinely conflicted because I have a major issue with families guilted into homeschooling for religious reasons. But it's not like the alternative is perfect either. 

 

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