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Invariably every second person I mention homeschooling to around here gives me a horror story of someone they knew who homeschooled and raised them as hermits with social skills to match, or how their cousin's wife teaches school and had formerly homeschooled kids enroll in her class and found they were a whole two years behind in school. I do know of one family personally (disfunctional, abusive, very poor family - when I knew them they were living in a garage) and the kids were neglected in their education as well as sanitation and nourishment. I sent boxloads of clothing, vitamins, food etc. Eventually the state gave the kid's a "guardian" and the kids were in the process of being taken away from the parents.

 

The flipside: my tutoring business relied and prospered by the number of p.s. kids who were two years behind in school.

 

Another flipside: except for the one family mentioned above, every homeschooling family I know is so conscientious in choosing curriculum, social opportunities and training etc. Many p.s. families are conscientious as well (not in choosing curriculum) but in choosing supplemental afterschool activities, in volunteering at the school etc.

 

Do you think that homeschooling failures are that common? Does the testing that my state (WA) requires and whatever your state requires ever result in the state stepping in to say that these kids are being failed? (legitimately I mean). Part of me wants the govt. to have no part of my business (including schooling my kids) but part of me wants the govt. to watch out for some of the abuses. What do you think?

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I have certainly seen cases of educational neglect under the guise of home schooling, and this disturbs me. I also think that it has been shown over time (by the example of the stricter states compared with the more permissive ones) that more extensive state oversight (curriculum approval, standardized testing) does not fully prevent this.

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The majority of the HSers we know have more involvement than most PS parents in their child(ren)'s education. I have met many PS parents that have no idea what their children do at school or if they are at their grade level. The HSing families we've met all appear to have a good grasp on educating their children within reason.

 

But with that said, I have personally met at least two HSing families that scared me. These families were not educating their children at all. I am NOT saying they were unschoolers. Unschooling (IMO) works for some families. The two families I met didn't want their children to attend any school and were not educating they're children at home at all.

 

The scary part was that the families admitted doing this to me (a complete stranger).

 

I hate to hear that some parents claiming to be HSers are really neglecting their children. It can give a bad view of HSing to outsiders in general.

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I'm w/ Ellie.

I think there are at least as many public school failures as homeschool failures. As such, you then can't say that homeschooling is the problem :-) More of a "parenting failure" i think.

 

I'd be interested in seeing a study on how many inmates were homeschooled vs public schooled. Now THAT is a failure in social skills, lol.

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I think that some hsing children are abused. I think that some ps children are abused.

 

I think that government controls already in place are able to help children some of the time, if good, savvy social workers step in and good judges get involved.

 

I think that just as often government controls end up getting misinterpreted, abused, etc. and cause problems.

 

So, in general, I think the less written laws and the more generalized they are, the better. Because then at least you have the hope of good lawyers, judges, etc. being able to make an argument for reason to prevail. If you get too many badly written laws on the books, sometimes you tie folks' hands and there's nothing they can do.....

 

Even though much of Kentucky is still very rural and agrarian in culture/thought, and you can find some of the very conservative people here who you might think of from the stories you've been told, I haven't seen huge numbers of families in my time hsing here who I think aren't doing a good job. And I've seen even fewer who I think aren't even trying to do a good job....

 

All in all, I would say that there are a larger percentage of children on a daily basis in this state who are being traumatized by mean, hateful teachers; or ignored by indifferent teachers; or underserved by ignorant teachers, than children receiving the same sort of treatment at the hands of parents. A teacher who's not doing his/her job is generally impacting about 30 children at once. A parent who's not doing his/her job is generally impacting quite a few less than that (save, perhaps, for Old Mother Hubbard....) And from my own experience, poor teachers often just get shuffled around so that they can poorly impact the lives of even more children, while parents will generally either shape up or get called on the carpet by social services, etc.

 

Regena

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MHO, people just like to notice and gossip more about the homeschooling "failures."

 

You could probably classify my eldest ds as a "failure". He went to PS in 7th grade and is in 9th now and still makes a lot of bad grades.

 

HOWEVER, we also found out that he has ADHD and possibly some other issues going on, such as CAPD. He doesn't make bad grades because he is stupid; he makes them because he is highly distractible and doesn't follow what people say half the time. But, if you didn't know him or me very well, I guess you could say, "did you know that kid used to be HOMESCHOOLED??" and then a few smug naysayers would think their antiHS position is justified. :(

 

Sadly, fellow homeschoolers can be just as judgemental, when their kids are always "ahead" of their peers, etc.

 

We have learned what I've always suspected--there are a lot of kids failing in PS. There are even more severe troublemakers. There are kids that you would NOT want your kids hanging around--and they tend to be in MY ds' classes, because we all know that the bad kids and the bad grade kids are all cut from the same cloth, and that's because they have bad parents (sarcasm alert)! I have been guilty of thinking such things myself. having heard some of the horror stories about these kids and their homelives, I often wonder am I one of the few "good parents" of a non-honor roll kid?

 

What is even scarier is the "really good kids" and "gifted" and "honors" kids who really don't seem to be getting a great education, either, and don't sem to care, as long as they can make good grades and be in lots of sports and social clubs, and date. Thei parents are thrilled because their kids look good to everyone else. But think back to your own childhood, and think about what my ds tells me frequently--those kids can be downright SCARY bad and even sort of dumb, knowing and caring nothing about kids from other cultures and races, having very little interest in history and not even knowing what the Nazi regime was all about, hating to read, drinking on the weekends with their preppy friends, having s*x....

 

Ok. I hate to rant. But I hate the whole "homeschooling failure" thing. Who defines who a "failure" really is???????????????? :rolleyes:

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I'm w/ Ellie.

I think there are at least as many public school failures as homeschool failures. As such, you then can't say that homeschooling is the problem :-) More of a "parenting failure" i think.

 

I'd be interested in seeing a study on how many inmates were homeschooled vs public schooled. Now THAT is a failure in social skills, lol.

 

Yup.

 

Maybe I'm naive, but I believe that the vast majority of homeschooing parents are conscientious and care about their children's education.

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A teacher who's not doing his/her job is generally impacting about 30 children at once. A parent who's not doing his/her job is generally impacting quite a few less than that (save, perhaps, for Old Mother Hubbard....) And from my own experience, poor teachers often just get shuffled around so that they can poorly impact the lives of even more children, while parents will generally either shape up or get called on the carpet by social services, etc.

 

I'd never thought about the impact of teachers on so many children. Though I've often heard parents with kids in p.s. say, "Oh, Johnny has a horrible teacher this year. But he'll get a better one next year, I'm sure. We'll just ride it out and hope he learns how to deal with people like this." That argument always sets my teeth on edge. It seems like a whole 9 months with a teacher like that (and probably a few more over 12 years of schooling) would still have a major impact, even if all the other teachers were gems and masters at their craft.

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...the defensive (from my perspective) reaction from many homeschoolers is predictable. Someone asks, "Do you think the government should have some oversight of homeschooling?" to which the response is offered, "As soon as the government fixes their schools, they can have a say in mine!". Aside from the fact that this likely isn't true (that is, if the government hypothetically fulfilled their part of that bargain, the speaker in all probablity still would not want them to be involved in homeschooling), it avoids the question. It's on par, imo, with a red herring.

 

Do you think that homeschooling failures are that common?

 

I don't have a clue. I don't personally know of any "homeschooling failures", in academic terms. Nor do I know of any outrageously impressive, remarkably unusual "homeschooling successes". I'd put homeschoolers on par with the majority ~ average.

 

Does the testing that my state (WA) requires and whatever your state requires ever result in the state stepping in to say that these kids are being failed?

 

As far as Washington state is concerned, I would prefer that the annual test scores or evaluations be submitted to the school district. I feel there should be some modicum of oversight in that regard.

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I had a neighbor who was a school teacher and VERY anti homeschool. After telling me of a "hs failure" kid who got put into her classroom, I explained it to her this way. "If I went to the high school and picked out the kid who was failing everything, would you allow me to hold him up as a representative of ALL public schooled children? Well, that's how I feel about this child you are talking about. He isn't any more a representative of homeschooling, than a failing public school student is a representative of public schooling."

 

That was pretty much the last I heard about it from her. I use the same argument for "socialization." If a kid is socially awkward as a hser, he would be so as a ps. And vise versa.

 

It's been an effective response for me.

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I agree with Elizam. How often is "that weird hs kid" or "hsing failure" actually dealing with a LD or ADD or Asperger's? I'm sure someone who doesn't know us may have seen ds in a bad moment and gotten lots of fodder for their anti-hsing attitude:eek:. But, I've also gotten lots of compliments from ps personnel who actually deal with kids like him who are psed. It's hard to judge a situation from outside.

 

I'm very wary of legislation that doesn't take into account a child's special needs. These are precisely the kids who most need to be hsed and are the easiest to dub "failures". They're also the ones who often get the short end of the stick in ps!:mad:

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I only personally know one other homeschooling family and I don't really know how they are doing. They are having problems, but they've just started, and were unprepared, so they're trying to get their feet under them. It doesn't help that they don't have money for gas, let alone materials. But they are just doing this until they sell their house and move -- then they'll be putting the kids back in public school.

 

Our state doesn't require any testing or reporting. And I am glad of it. Part of the reason I didn't want him in school anymore is because they were teaching for the tests. He did great on the tests and failed miserably at everything else. The only test I'm worried about at this point is the ACT.

 

People tend to focus on the negative case or two that they are aware of -- or repeat gossip they've heard whether or not it's actually true -- especially if they are against the concept to begin with.

 

I would have to take off my shoes to count the number of "failures" that I personally know from our local school.

 

I have to agree that homeschool failure is parenting failure. Not because they can't or won't educate their kids -- if there is a problem -- but because the can't or won't take the next step to correct it. Not everyone who wants to homeschool is up to the task, and those who *are* up to the task aren't capable or willing all the time. A responsible parent will evaluate and correct, and do whatever comes next.

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I want the government to stay out of *private* education. That's why it's called "private."

 

When the government can say that it has been successful in preventing educational abuses in its own schools, then it can consider meddling in private education.

 

 

 

 

Sing it Sister!!!

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I think everyone who doesn't homeschool only reads and hears about the cases that went wrong. KWIM? They never say on the news public school kids went off on a rampage but they always point out if it is a homeschooler. And really they don't put out a lot look how cool the homeschoolers are stories. I know my hypercritical sister often points out the last homeschoolers gone bad stories. But really if one thinks about the stories of homeschoolers that hit the news are as frequent as the family gone awry stories that don't label where the kids were educated.

Also a friend of mine (my old high school counselor) says in his twenty five years of dealing with homeschoolers that were coming in to the system rarely did one test below grade level. He also says that as far socialization it is true the kids may not have been quite as in the swing of things but that those students could communicate with all ages much better than their peers.

I figure there are successes and failures in all sorts of families. I just wish we could celebrate more of the successes for all of us.

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I had a neighbor who was a school teacher and VERY anti homeschool. After telling me of a "hs failure" kid who got put into her classroom, I explained it to her this way. "If I went to the high school and picked out the kid who was failing everything, would you allow me to hold him up as a representative of ALL public schooled children? Well, that's how I feel about this child you are talking about. He isn't any more a representative of homeschooling, than a failing public school student is a representative of public schooling." .

 

I agree. I often remind people that these children are back in school because for whatever reason, homeschooling wasn't working. You don't see the overwhelming majority of homeschoolers who are making a successful go. Many homeschooled children were elementary school dropouts 1-2 years behind grade level who have gone on to blossom when freed from the system. It goes both ways.

 

Barb

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I've taught homeschoolers for many years (science and English classes). I've seen a lot of homeschooled high school students who lack basic writing skills, who have poor reading comprehension, lack basic study skills, and are years behind in math. This is not to say that I don't run across well-educated homeschooled high school students, but that they seem to be in the minority around here. Overall my experience with homeschoolers has not impressed me. I've run across too many kids of all ages who are behind in lots of subject areas. And, for the record, I live in PA which is one of the more regulated states.

 

There's a myth in the homeschool community that homeschoolers are ahead of their public school peers just by virtue of being homeschooled. Don't believe it. A good education doesn't fall into your children's laps just because you homeschool - it takes dedication and hard work. Unfortunately, I've seen far too many parents who are not willing to put in the time and effort, and it shows in their kids.

 

Ria

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I wonder if I'm a homeschooling failure. I don't know any other homeschoolers IRL. I've met one other family who homeschools -- in Wal-Mart no less. I know that in the Big Town there are hs groups, but that's nowhere near me. I feel completely alone. I am, normally, a pretty self-confident person who doesn't mind being different, but I sometimes feel like a freak anomaly when it comes to homeschooling.

 

My son? He's different. He still cuddles us (at 8 1/2 for gads sake!) and in public, too. He plays games by himself -- really imaginative, full-storied games. He doesn't even know any swear words for his body parts! He doesn't think like the local kids. He doesn't talk like them. He doesn't act like them. Most of the time I think "thank gods for that!" but then other times I wonder if he's going to hate me for making him into a freak and we'll have one of those strained-to-nonexistent relationships once he's grown and gone.

 

To me, he's precious and marvelous and I don't want someone else to have him 7 hours a day and ruin who is is on his own. But... he doesn't "fit in" and I know it, yet do next to nothing about it.

 

Looking over what I've just typed... Yes, I don't wonder... I do think I'm a homeschooling failure.

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I wonder if I'm a homeschooling failure. I don't know any other homeschoolers IRL. I've met one other family who homeschools -- in Wal-Mart no less. I know that in the Big Town there are hs groups, but that's nowhere near me. I feel completely alone. I am, normally, a pretty self-confident person who doesn't mind being different, but I sometimes feel like a freak anomaly when it comes to homeschooling.

 

My son? He's different. He still cuddles us (at 8 1/2 for gads sake!) and in public, too. He plays games by himself -- really imaginative, full-storied games. He doesn't even know any swear words for his body parts! He doesn't think like the local kids. He doesn't talk like them. He doesn't act like them. Most of the time I think "thank gods for that!" but then other times I wonder if he's going to hate me for making him into a freak and we'll have one of those strained-to-nonexistent relationships once he's grown and gone.

 

To me, he's precious and marvelous and I don't want someone else to have him 7 hours a day and ruin who is is on his own. But... he doesn't "fit in" and I know it, yet do next to nothing about it.

 

Looking over what I've just typed... Yes, I don't wonder... I do think I'm a homeschooling failure.

 

Is he educated? If so, then no, I can't imagine that you're a homeschooling failure.

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I wonder if I'm a homeschooling failure. ...

My son? He's different. He still cuddles us (at 8 1/2 for gads sake!) and in public, too. He plays games by himself -- really imaginative, full-storied games. He doesn't even know any swear words for his body parts! ...

Looking over what I've just typed... Yes, I don't wonder... I do think I'm a homeschooling failure.

 

Hm. When I think of "home schooling failures", I'm thinking of families who haven't made any concerted effort to educate their children in a way appropriate to that child's abilities. I'm not referring to people who make their best efforts and whose children face additional challenges that prevent them from reaching "average" or "above average" academic or social goals...

 

The way you describe your son above sounds very much like mine. Until you added the part where your son doesn't like the other kids around him. The imaginative play, the closeness, certain types of naivete all apply to my ds as well. The only difference is that he has a number of kids (boys and girls, ranging from ages 5-13, though mostly in the 8-10 range, many but not all of them home-schooled) he genuinely enjoys playing with. I'm not sure if this means we're terribly lucky in the kids we have access to or what... But certainly it's possible to have friends without giving up the sweet qualities you described above...

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Hm. When I think of "home schooling failures", I'm thinking of families who haven't made any concerted effort to educate their children in a way appropriate to that child's abilities. I'm not referring to people who make their best efforts and whose children face additional challenges that prevent them from reaching "average" or "above average" academic or social goals...

 

The way you describe your son above sounds very much like mine. Until you added the part where your son doesn't like the other kids around him. The imaginative play, the closeness, certain types of naivete all apply to my ds as well. The only difference is that he has a number of kids (boys and girls, ranging from ages 5-13, though mostly in the 8-10 range, many but not all of them home-schooled) he genuinely enjoys playing with. I'm not sure if this means we're terribly lucky in the kids we have access to or what... But certainly it's possible to have friends without giving up the sweet qualities you described above...

 

No I didn't mean he doesn't like other kids. When he's around other kids he wants to play with them. I meant on his own, which is most of the time since he's an only... he play games by himself.

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Is he educated? If so, then no, I can't imagine that you're a homeschooling failure.

 

If you mean can he read, write and do his arithmetic... that kind of education.. yes, he is.

 

Education is more than just the 3R's and some Latin, though.

 

I can't believe I'm even arguing this. It is so not like me, but when I see his non-conformist social skills right in front of me, it suddenly seems important and I *get it* when I hear those stories of "awkward homeschoolers." I don't really know if you can call him that. I'm not an objective observer here.

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If you mean can he read, write and do his arithmetic... that kind of education.. yes, he is.

 

Education is more than just the 3R's and some Latin, though.

 

I can't believe I'm even arguing this. It is so not like me, but when I see his non-conformist social skills right in front of me, it suddenly seems important and I *get it* when I hear those stories of "awkward homeschoolers." I don't really know if you can call him that. I'm not an objective observer here.

 

I am the mom to one of those awkward kids. And let me tell you, your acceptance of him as the person he is is a great gift.

 

He's not suddenly going to be less awkward because you throw him to some wolves. He might benefit from a few more playdates, sure. And if you see deficiencies, then dang, girl, give him opportunities to help him correct them. But school isn't going to make a socially different kid somehow "better." Don't EVEN beat yourself up about that.

 

When I think back to my own school days, I'm not sure it helped that I was tortured by my age-mates for having a different drum to march to. And I'm not sure anyone could have taught me the rhythm of the prevailing, social acceptable music.

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My son? He's different. He still cuddles us (at 8 1/2 for gads sake!) and in public, too. He plays games by himself -- really imaginative, full-storied games. He doesn't even know any swear words for his body parts! He doesn't think like the local kids. He doesn't talk like them. He doesn't act like them. Most of the time I think "thank gods for that!" but then other times I wonder if he's going to hate me for making him into a freak and we'll have one of those strained-to-nonexistent relationships once he's grown and gone.

 

I just remembered that when ds went away to boarding school at 11, I taught him all the body part "swear" words, the sex slang, and the racial epithets. And he had been to US ps for two years (three if you count a year of half-day kindergarten), German school for three, and had good friends in the neighborhood and at church. He was just oblivious. Quirky, different drummer, different drum -- heck, it might have been a trombone he was marching to, for all I know.

 

As to cuddling, this one still reached out to hold his dad's (DAD's!) hand in the *mall* when he was 13. Without a single bit of self-consciousness at all.

 

At 18, he's just a normoquirky frat boy at college. (Minus the whole Knights of Sobriety sub-society thing that he and his other non-drinking fraternity brothers came up with. Well, that would be the "quirk" part of "normoquirky," I guess.) Anyway, my point is, you wouldn't be able to pick him out of the crowd as "the weird guy."

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Like anything that's out of the norm, the media, and the average person, is only going to pay attention to the sensationalized cases. If I had to, I would guess that there are a higher percentage of public school failures than homeschool failures. It is much easier to put your child's education in the hands of someone else.

 

Personally, I have not met any homeschool failures. (Though I do admit my sample size is rather small.) Recently I met a homeschooled young man, who was definitely a bit socially awkward, but I can say with certainty that it wasn't homeschooling that caused that, as I know plenty of similarly socially awkward public schooled kids. If anything, I think homeschooling helped him to be more himself.

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I know that people (many biased against homeschooling or at least "worried" by it because it isn't the norm) would have a wide range of what a homeschool failure would be. And my examples in the original post reflected that.

 

Personally, I would not count a child who has learning problems (they would have them to some degree in any setting) and I think the one-on-one of homeschooling would probably make their learning better. What I personally think of as a homeschooling failure is a homeschooling parent who doesn't actually homeschool (and like someone else mentioned here that doesn't mean unschooling) but neglects their responsibility and their children.

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He still cuddles us (at 8 1/2 for gads sake!) and in public, too. He plays games by himself -- really imaginative, full-storied games. He doesn't even know any swear words for his body parts!

 

I'm not seeing the 'failure' part, Audrey. Our kids play long, imaginative games because they have the time. And if cuddling with your Mom is weird at 8, well....then I'm glad they're different.

 

Different is good, sometimes. Thinking the 's' word was 'stupid' until pretty late in the game probably didn't help my kids 'fit in', but I tried to keep them innocent when they were little, kwim?

 

I don't think any of this affected them later. Both of my older girls fit in very well with their peers, and always have. Sometimes a little too much!

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I would count it as a 'homeschooling failure' if the kids were really not being educated in any way, and hurdles were placed on them so that they really were deprived of an education. For instance, if they were made to work long hours and the parents wouldn't let them have access to any books, or some weird scenario like that.

 

I have a hard time believing that if the mom is just 'not teaching', that that is the absolute worst-case scenario. I had to 'self-teach' my way through many a school class, and also, before I was school age. Mom sat at the table drinking coffee while I doggedly tried to teach myself how to read (and it worked! Sibling rivalry was my motivator!).

 

I haven't met that many homeschooling failures. One mom I know said that her mom failed her, in that she would shove a box of curriculum at her every year, say, "Let me know if you have any questions!" and then keep her busy doing farm chores. I kind of disagree that she absolutely couldn't have gotten a halfway-decent education that way, but it would have involved being more of an independent learner.

 

I've met two moms that I thought were putting their husband's demands over their children's education. They spent more time doing things for their husband and would willingly curtail a field trip or a phonics lesson if it meant that they then wouldn't have time to do some household chore or errand. However, they did school their kids, they just had some things set at a higher priority. And honestly, they had pretty good marriages, too, so who am I to say?

 

All of the real 'horror stories', I've only heard on the news. I've known many, many unschoolers that were doing a wonderful job, and their kids often seemed more knowledgeable about subjects than mine did.

 

I also agree that ps often gets kids who, for one reason or another, homeschooling didn't work out. AND there are many people using the label 'homeschooling' (abusive/neglectful parents) that know full well they have no intention whatsoever to homeschool.

 

I often hear on these boards of someone who knows someone who just flat out isn't schooling the kids, though, so there must be some truth to it.

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I think homeschoolers in our area have done a wonderful job of networking and projecting a positive image to others in the community. Most people were positive and encouraging when we were considering hsing.

 

I do think you have to be aware that by your choice to take your children out of ps, you are essentially challenging all the parents who haven't made that choice. Who is doing the right thing? I always make a point to say that this was the best fit for my oldest son, who was doing well educationally in ps but was emotionally miserable. I try to make other parents feel at ease about their choice to send their child to ps or a private school. Then they don't have to justify their decision to me.

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I taught paid science classes for several years, and now teach in a paid co-op. Over the years, I've had about half a dozen kids in these classes that I felt had significant learning challenges that the parents were not addressing. We're not talking about a 2nd grader who isn't reading chapter books yet -- these are kids 8 and over who are two or more grades behind. Ethically, I've always felt the need to mention my concerns, and I've always been rebuffed, "OH, he'll figure it out eventually, they all do." Would public school deal with this? Maybe. I realize that sometimes they don't, but my heart goes out to these kids. It doesn't take long in a group for them to realize that they're behind. I had to modify my writing class because I was having everyone in the class take turns reading certain materials out loud, and one kid absolutely could not do that. In another class, I had been having the kids write their names on their work until I realized that one 9 y.o. was jumbing the letters of their name and was getting teased for it.

 

So when people make comments about the "crazy neighbor who homeschooled and...", I always say, "Yes, there are some people who shouldn't be homeschooling, just as there are some teachers who frankly shouldn't be teaching. In the end I think we'd agree though that as parents we have to be involved in our children's education. That's the difference."

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<<Over the years, I've had about half a dozen kids in these classes that I felt had significant learning challenges that the parents were not addressing. .....Would public school deal with this? Maybe. >>

 

Re. hsing -- it has always bothered me when parents are given blanket advice that some children are just late bloomers, and that they'll "get it eventually." For many, that may be the case, but for kids who are dyslexic, it is not. The signs are there early, and when remediated early and intensively, dyslexia's impact can be markedly diminished.

 

On the flip side, just last week, a mom told me that her ps-ed child finally scored enough checkmarks to be labeled w/ dyslexia. They have been watching and testing her for years, gradually modifying her work to compensate. Now that she is "labeled", she has a whole new range of accommodations available to her. I, rather stupidly it turns out, asked if the school was offering any kind of remediation instruction (we live in the center of the Orton-Gillingham universe), and she said no, that the child is doing very well on her own. Now, mind you, this child is scoring more and more deficiencies every year, with a growing gap, enough that they finally labeled her. But the school is not offering remediation, only accommodation, and the mom did not respond with curiosity or interest when I asked.

 

I would say that this is a case of the ps not serving the interests of the child.

 

It cuts both ways--there is failure in both hs and ps.

 

v

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<<Over the years, I've had about half a dozen kids in these classes that I felt had significant learning challenges that the parents were not addressing. .....Would public school deal with this? Maybe. >>

 

Re. hsing -- it has always bothered me when parents are given blanket advice that some children are just late bloomers, and that they'll "get it eventually." For many, that may be the case, but for kids who are dyslexic, it is not. The signs are there early, and when remediated early and intensively, dyslexia's impact can be markedly diminished.

 

On the flip side, just last week, a mom told me that her ps-ed child finally scored enough checkmarks to be labeled w/ dyslexia. They have been watching and testing her for years, gradually modifying her work to compensate. Now that she is "labeled", she has a whole new range of accommodations available to her. I, rather stupidly it turns out, asked if the school was offering any kind of remediation instruction (we live in the center of the Orton-Gillingham universe), and she said no, that the child is doing very well on her own. Now, mind you, this child is scoring more and more deficiencies every year, with a growing gap, enough that they finally labeled her. But the school is not offering remediation, only accommodation, and the mom did not respond with curiosity or interest when I asked.

 

I would say that this is a case of the ps not serving the interests of the child.

 

It cuts both ways--there is failure in both hs and ps.

 

v

 

 

So ar, our experience from what we have learned from other parents is that the school's response to kids having trouble with reading is to set them back a grade or two. My son had a 15yog in his 7th grade class. He also said most of the kids in his class read very poorly. :eek:

 

There does not seem to be ANY means for homeschoolers in our area to find out about learning disabilities, be tested for IQ, etc. The schools will not test them and there aren't any other resources. So that is the parents' fault since them homeschool them? I just don't know anymore what to think. :(

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Yup.

 

Maybe I'm naive, but I believe that the vast majority of homeschooing parents are conscientious and care about their children's education.

 

I believed that for a LONG time. But about the time my oldest was 13, I saw a huge difference. I think the parents still CARED, but they weren't conscientious at ALL. That year changed everything.

 

Maybe it's the age thing? I know *I* got tired by the time my youngest was 12. We changed things up quite a bit, but neglecting them educationally wasn't an option! Maybe other people just struggle more with that?

 

But....

 

Before then, I had known two families who had no business homeschooling. One put her kids back into school until they were teens and that worked fine and the kids did fine (now teens and adults). The other didn't.

 

After then? I knew less than a handful of families that homeschooled in a conscientious manner (regardless of style choice) but knew tons of families whose children were being neglected educationally.

 

Anyway, I wish it were like how I saw it when my kids were little. Now I'm afraid that a large percentage of homeschool kids are neglected :(

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After then? I knew less than a handful of families that homeschooled in a conscientious manner (regardless of style choice) but knew tons of families whose children were being neglected educationally.

 

Anyway, I wish it were like how I saw it when my kids were little. Now I'm afraid that a large percentage of homeschool kids are neglected

 

 

Is it possible that it is simply that your goals are different than theirs? Or that you set standards that are simply much higher than the majority's?Neglect is a pretty strong word - I would be loathe to use it because another family's idea of education is vastly different than yours.

 

I know a family where most of the dc are 2 or more grade levels "behind." With the oldest 2, they simply went to the cc at 16 to take the GED. Both needed remediation, but in the grand scheme of things it really wasn't a big deal. A GED isn't the end of the world - I got mine and I have a Masters degree anyway!;)

 

A midwife who delivered me had NO education until she was 14. They didn't unschool (or maybe they did :rolleyes:), but she managed just fine and has her Masters as well.

 

Anyway, what does it really matter? If a person is of average intelligence and grows up with NO education, what happens? They get one - it's not like there is some magic age where if you don't memorize your multiplication tables then you never will.

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I would not judge someone for using a different style (and btw, we've gone through a couple ourselves). I also would never judge someone based on where their children are academically (and btw, my own kids vary also).

 

Well, I try not to judge others anyway, but I can't help feeling badly for teenagers that are so far behind after years of neglect (not just different choices). The parents often acknowledge problems but never do anything EFFECTIVE to do better.

 

Of course, you're right -- at some point, the kids can take responsibility for themselves and learn DESPITE their schooling.

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Is it possible that it is simply that your goals are different than theirs? Or that you set standards that are simply much higher than the majority's?Neglect is a pretty strong word - I would be loathe to use it because another family's idea of education is vastly different than yours.

 

Yeah, I have to agree here. People who are very linear (as soon as we do this, then we'll do the next thing) sometimes find it hard to understand those who are more uneven. When my oldest was 13, she did nothing. Well, she played with sculpey for 3-4 hours a day and read a lot, but that was about it. I nagged and cajoled and then I gave up for about six months. She never really did what amounted to 8th grade or an official Freshman year of high school but jumped into upper level material. She never did American History or Science of any sort at home. But when she was 14, she took a 300 level course in German Civilization at the local university and scored an A-. She once went 18 months with no math at all, but is now taking Calc III as a senior in high school. I don't know what she was doing in those months of sculpting, but it seems to be something akin to cocooning. It may have looked like educational neglect (and if you had read any of her essays, you would have worried about her academic future), but it all came together in the end. I'm proud to say she just got word she's a National Merit Scholar, so we did what was right for her.

 

My neighbor's 8th grade daughter insists there are only 49 states because Canada used to be a state, but is its own country now. My daughter's best friend was doing Algebra 2 in 11th grade, except that it wasn't Algebra II as in College Algebra, but Algebra 2 as in the 2nd half of Algebra I. It is possible to get a fantastic education or a horrid one in any setting. I think it's wrong to assume homeschoolers are receiving a better education across the board, but I think it's also a mistake to assume they are doing poorly simply because their learning isn't necessarily linear and incremental.

 

Barb

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The public high schools here welcome homeschooled kids with open arms. The parents don't have the confidence to teach their kids past 8th grade, yet the public schools are very impressed with them... impressed enough to bend over backward to get them into their classrooms. A public school board rep. came to talk to a bunch of homeschoolers about integrating homeschoolers in part-time to the high schools. She said she was impressed with homeschoolers as a whole. It makes me so mad to think these homeschooling moms are beating themselves up, not thinking they're good enough, and simply hand their kids over to public school teachers whose only advantage is monetary incentive.

 

I was going to launch into a rant about how it's better to be home and not get an education at all than to go to a public school and get a liberal indoctrination, but then I thought better of it. :)

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It makes me so mad to think these homeschooling moms are beating themselves up, not thinking they're good enough, and simply hand their kids over to public school teachers whose only advantage is monetary incentive.

 

I was going to launch into a rant about how it's better to be home and not get an education at all than to go to a public school and get a liberal indoctrination, but then I thought better of it. :)

 

 

I know I'm not good enough to provide what my kids need for high school, though. My hat is off to all those who are, but I'm not. No beating myself up at all. My kids' schools have always been thrilled to have them, though, and some have even paid good money to get 'em. :)

 

Funny, I kept my kids out of some public schools because the particular ones they would have attended tended more toward conservative indoctrination. ;) So you just never know. Right now dd's school is quite the balance between the Baptist preacher who spoke at vespers last evening and some of the academic liberals on staff who were up in arms about it. A pretty happy place for a moderate like myself. :D

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It is so hard for me to say whether or not homeschooling is a success or failure.

 

I read Ria's post and it disturbed me. I went to a co-op two years ago and the leaders said things similar to hers. The leader of Veritas Press said the same thing about homeschoolers also. I don't know now.

 

I am around so many homeschoolers that are diligent in doing their work. They are so obsessed with academics that there are so many academic co-ops out there.

 

I believe that homeschooling is either a failure or a success based upon how involved the parent is in the process. It is the same as public school. The parent is the key to the success of the child. However, my husband came from a poor family and his mother is a functional illiterate and she speaks no English. He graduated from high school in the public school and college and is a success. He had no support for education from his parents. So...

 

I don't know.

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I have a pretty heated response to this currently as I spent my Sunday afternoon being lectured by someone about the ills of homeschooling. Mostly socialization but also the academic opportunities. Arrrrrghhh!!! My children are not awkward - or at least not anymore so than any child their age. Neither are the socially brilliant, lol! I left feeling quite frustrated and made the mistake of sharing the conversation with my non-awkward child who then began questioning if she is awkward. She's just not the life of the party in new groups. There's a girl (ps) who has been on the same soccer team for years (my dd is new, first year) and is MUCH quieter than dd. No mention made of ps there. My dd does a fabulous job of encouraging other girls and reaching out to them. She has unified entire teams (seriously) by her leadership. She's just not one to dive in head first and takes a while to get acclimated.

 

We have a lot of hsers in our area and our church is 99% hs and I have seen the entire gambit. Parents failing in providing an education and of the mindset that the kids are better off ignorant than psed. I doubt these kids would have done really well in ps either. However, Ohio does have a fairly strict evaluation system. This family's evaluater also goes to our church, and bless her heart, had to play the bad guy to get the family in gear many times. She was relieved when they moved out of state! I have seen her work with other families as well. All the other families that were struggling were doing so because of out of the ordinary family circumstances and just need a helping hand to get back on track. They may have been a year (or more) behind, but the evaluation system caught them and provided the needed incentive! I'm not sure how I feel about evaluations in general, but in these instances it has worked, mostly because of the evaluater and her willingness to invest in the families (while hsing 8 of her own).

 

Don't think there are any easy answers here. I don't mind our annual evaluations because of the person doing them; I've also heard horror stories and tend toward the mindset that the government and NEA can keep out of my business. I certainly wish other people who barely know me would keep out of my business LOL!

 

Ok...off to hs my awkward children.

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I do not know, personally, any "homeschooling failures".

 

I have to admit I used to be one of those who immediately defended homeschooling and homeschoolers as somehow academically superior.

 

Thanks in large part to reading Ria's posts over the years, I no longer do this. Her experience and observation are not mine; but I don't have the intimate exposure she does to groups of homeschoolers in academic settings.

 

I do, however, have intimate exposure to public schooled kids and their level of work (and even their grades). I have some generalizations and observations about that, biased of course. :rolleyes:

 

I get frustrated at the (lack of) logic when discussing homeschooling/academics/socialization with Joe Public. The worst example was when I was asked "what about sports and socialization" while watching my son play on his Little League team with his siblings playing happily with the other League siblings.

 

More government oversight will not help the actual homeschooling failures. I don't believe more government overwight will help the actual public school failures.

 

Funny, I kept my kids out of some public schools because the particular ones they would have attended tended more toward conservative indoctrination.

 

I have kept my kids out of and away from some homeschooling settings to avoid heavily punitive parenting, uber conservative theology combined with legalism and lack of respect for other religions/spirituality - even sometimes other denominations.

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I had a neighbor who had 8 children. She hs her older three through middle school and then put them into public high. They did great in high school and are all in college, one on a full scholarship.

 

However, I was worried about three of her younger children. When she was remodeling her home, her younger kids came to my house once a week to hs. When we worked on their math it was clear that they weren't doing any math during the week - just once a week at my home. They had such a negative attitude, hated all their schoolwork and read alouds. My MIL, a retired school teacher, came to help me a few times and was shocked at their reading skills. According to her they were way behind in reading. She was so concerned she asked me to call the authorities. I didn't because of my neighbor's track record with her older kids.

 

A few years later she put these three kids in private school and they are doing great. They are all A students and thriving. I have no idea how they got caught up so fast, but I am so happy for them because I was really worried.

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Social Services scares the heck out of me for this very reason. I'm not criticizing you, because I know a similar family with a lot of kids and I also felt the younger kids really seemed to be struggling and I was worried just like you. I don't know half the story, though, and I'm not qualified to pass judgment on the kids because I teach one of the younger ones for an hour a week.

 

We tread on dangerous ground when we think the government or anyone else is qualified to know what is better for our children than we do. I maintain a healthy skepticism when I turn my kids over to pediatricians or psychiatrists or other teachers or any other expert.

 

The idea that the government is a reliable indicator of a child's success or failure is a mindset that leaves the country wide open to all kinds of government abuse. In my kids' Fallacy Detective book, that's what's called a "faulty appeal to authority."

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There's a myth in the homeschool community that homeschoolers are ahead of their public school peers just by virtue of being homeschooled. Don't believe it. A good education doesn't fall into your children's laps just because you homeschool - it takes dedication and hard work. Unfortunately, I've seen far too many parents who are not willing to put in the time and effort, and it shows in their kids.

 

Ria

 

 

I'll go out on a limb and add my 2 cents worth. For the record, I have teaching certificates from MD and CA. When we got orders to HI we decided hsing would be in the best interest of our dcs. We'd already been dealing w/ CA schools being behind VA schools which were behind MD schools (where I got my degree & taught). I used the MD standards (available online at http://www.mdk12.org) to make basic selections for curriculum with the knowledge that what I chose the first year would probably NOT be what I stuck w/, but I needed a starting point KWIM? When choosing a math curriculum I had several hsing friends strongly recommend Abeka. So I took dd(then in 5th gr) to one of the Abeka hotel sales to have her look over the materials. At that time she was halfway through 5th gr., and not in an accelerated math class, etc. She looked through the Abeka books and we found that she'd already done the work up through the 7th gr. book. So to have her working on new material she would have to have used the 8th gr Abeka book! (Abeka was 2 1/2 years behind PS math!) My heart sank when I realized this. Not because it was a problem for us, but I have dear friends who faithfully use Abeka and I worry about their children. How do you tell a friend that they might NOT be doing the best thing for their dcs?

 

It does take dedication and hard work to give your kids a good education. And sometimes it means choosing a curriculum (or schooling method) for reasons other than convenience or "it's what we've done all along". Whether is ps or hs, everyone involved in the child's life needs to be on top of things, every year. That's the only way failures have a chance of being avoided.

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How do you tell a friend that they might NOT be doing the best thing for their dcs?

 

But maybe for *her* children, it is the best thing! I have a child whose verbal skills have come incredibly naturally to him but his math skills have been a long time coming. He's just...slow?...in math. It's not the curriculum, it's not lack of effort on his part and it's not a case of my not doing the best thing for my child.

 

I'm not trying to be combative. I just want to point out that under different circumstances, a child who seems "behind" may be working on his own time table, as is mine.

 

In a more formal school setting, without Mom to say, "Good! Now, what about this one? Great! Now, what about this one?" my son would be seriously floundering. As it is, he isn't threatened by what he hasn't yet mastered. His standardized test scores in math are at the "average" to "above average" level and we are steadily closing his learning gaps. I don't consider that a homeschool failure, I consider it an educational success.

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Social Services scares the heck out of me for this very reason. I'm not criticizing you, because I know a similar family with a lot of kids and I also felt the younger kids really seemed to be struggling and I was worried just like you. I don't know half the story, though, and I'm not qualified to pass judgment on the kids because I teach one of the younger ones for an hour a week.

 

We tread on dangerous ground when we think the government or anyone else is qualified to know what is better for our children than we do. I maintain a healthy skepticism when I turn my kids over to pediatricians or psychiatrists or other teachers or any other expert.

 

The idea that the government is a reliable indicator of a child's success or failure is a mindset that leaves the country wide open to all kinds of government abuse. In my kids' Fallacy Detective book, that's what's called a "faulty appeal to authority."

 

 

I agree wholeheartedly!!!!!!!!!!!! Kids don't all learn at the same pace. Turning them over to the authorities because we don't think they are doing as well as they should is so wrong on so many levels!

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It seems that everyone I meet wants to tell me about "that homeschooled kid they knew" on and on and on, the one who seemed to be behind, the one who hated to do school, etc. I just smile and nod, and if they stop talking long enough for me to say anything I usually just point out that all kids need involved parents for their education to be a success, no matter how that education takes place. We choose now to homeschool, but I always reserve the right to choose something else for any of my children at any time. That, to me, is the very definition of a successful education.

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