This is Part 1 because there is more than one part. But I’m only going to do one of them, so it is Part 1 of 1. There is more than one “kind” of home schooler, home schooling parent, home schooling family, etc., and thus there are multiple attitudes. But a good chunk of the home schooling population, represented by these excerpts from their own rhetoric, are more than a little annoying, and are the reason why we should always be suspicious of home schooling and home schoolers until we see their credentials.

Home Schooling Is a Good Choice for Christian Parenting

If you want to impart a Christian parenting style to your children, home schooling may be good option for you. …Under the Clinton Directive in 1995, schools can teach about religion in social studies classes and the like but they can not teach religion per se. Hence, advocates of Christian parenting and other faiths as well often contemplate to resort to home schooling so that they can provide their children with a well rounded education with academics, extra curricular activities as well as faith based knowledge….If you are in favor of Christian parenting and do not think that Sunday school for a few hours a week makes a big difference, try out home schooling…

[source]

Home Schooling Virtual Schools are Meeting the Needs of America’s Students

Home school combined with Christian online academies is an outstanding way to educate children. Home schooling with online academies has proven to be extremely successful. While virtual schools eliminate the dangers of public schools it does not eliminate students learning about evolution and other fallacies. Instead, Christian home schooling online academies teach home schoolers the truth of the Gospel and allow parents to instill Godly values into their children.
[source]

Recommended for homeschooling curriculum:

The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible

What happened to the dinosaurs? Could they have lived sometime in the past thousand years? Astonishing historical and geological information ignored by pro-evolutionary scientists. Fully illustrated. Color.

Recommended rating system for movies, from Christian Homeschoolers.

Acceptable


  • Does it promote family values?
  • Does it promote Biblical values?
  • Does it promote healthy moral relationships?
  • Is there a redeeming value?
  • Is there an educational value?
  • Is there clear distinction between good and evil?
  • Is there value placed in human life?

Unacceptable



  • Profanity, obscene language, taking God’s Name in vain
  • Pornography, nudity, sexual scenes, promiscuity, homosexual preferences
  • Occult, witchcraft, voodoo, black-magic, spells, zombies, spirit possession, psychic
  • Violence, blood and gory, pointless killings, grotesque themes, horror
  • Portrayals of religious clergies as wacky, bigots, perverts
  • Glorification of villain characters as heroes
  • Disrespect for authority
  • Anti-God
  • No redeeming value

If this all leaves a bad taste in your mouth, I recommend visiting some other sites that have a more constructive, or at least a different, attitude about homeschooling. Like here and here.

Comments

  1. #1 Old Bogus
    January 19, 2008

    I am on a BoE and am appalled at the laissez-faire attitude regarding home schooling in my state. The range goes from scholastically excelling to learning nothing (literally; some parents use “home schooling” as legalized truancy). Subverting it for whatever other aims is, in my experience, the norm.

    So this “outraged” stance seems a bit contrived to me. What actual, concrete efforts have YOU made to change the laws? Or is righteous indignation your only response?

    I strongly urge all progressives to quit “preaching” and start doing. Until we can make policy, we won’t change policy.

  2. #2 chezjake
    January 19, 2008

    That last link isn’t working.

  3. #3 Theo Bromine
    January 19, 2008

    OldBogus:

    Greg states that one should “be suspicious of home schooling and home schoolers until we see their credentials”. How is that “righteous indignation”? What exactly is the “doing” you are demanding of progressives, some of whom are homeschoolers themselves?

  4. #4 J. Grybowski
    January 20, 2008

    I think perhaps everything past the opening paragraph needs to be bumped up a quote level. Clearly he’s quoting someone else here, but the way it’s presented makes it sound like it’s his own views.

  5. #5 Katrina
    January 20, 2008

    Yes, I’m one of those “other” homeschoolers, and I have to deal with this kind of crap all the time.

    Even for something as simple as selecting a curriculum, it gets in the way. Finding math and English books? No problem. There are some excellent books available to homeschoolers. Science and history? Not so much. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available online to overcome the problem, but still. . .

    Those of us who homeschool for other-than-religious-reasons have that same bad taste in our mouths.

    Here’s another, saner, perspective:
    http://www.secular-homeschooling.com/

  6. #6 Katreina
    January 20, 2008

    Old Bogus said of homeschools:

    The range goes from scholastically excelling to learning nothing

    Unfortunately, the same could be said for public schools.

  7. #7 R N B
    January 20, 2008

    “Does it promote Biblical values?”
    Look down this list that I saw recently, I bet examples of every single one of these activities can be found in the bible, probably just within the first few books:
    Profanity, obscene language, taking God’s Name in vain, pornography, nudity, sexual scenes, promiscuity, homosexual preferences, violence, blood and gory, pointless killings, grotesque themes, horror, portrayals of religious clergies as wacky, bigots, perverts, glorification of villain characters as heroes, disrespect for authority, anti-God…
    No redeeming value.

  8. #8 Eamon Knight
    January 20, 2008

    The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible

    I’ve got this book (via the marvel of used-book rummage sales). It’s a hoot. I’ll have to blog a review of it sometime.

  9. #9 bigTom
    January 20, 2008

    I have mixed opinions on the whole area. In one sense we are allowing a small segment of the population to set up their own madrassa style education. On the other hand, this should reduce pressure on the public schools to accomodate religious demands. Overall though the possibility of decreasing the amount of social cohesion, as we create different classes of people whose experience/knowldge about the world diverge is scary to me.

  10. #10 realtor in Toronto
    January 20, 2008

    I regard homeschooling as antisocial activity because you are deprived of all the essential knowledge what you need to know in practical life. I`m an incredible busy Toronto realtor with three children and I would really take advantage of this method of education but I couldn`t see them to be burdened by facts about the world without experiencing it. The other essential thing the homeschooling lacks is the term of competition what a person needs in life to achieve his goal.

  11. #11 mark
    January 20, 2008

    What I find strange is people who can be on school boards (perverting the board’s mission) but who home-school their kids. Or send them to “cyber-school” as does Heather Geesey, the former Dover, PA, school board member who was part of the effort to bring Intelligent Design Creationism into science class and who suffered the mass amnesia that afflicted Buckingham and Bonsell when put under oath.

  12. #12 Katrina
    January 20, 2008

    Realtor in Toronto said:

    I would really take advantage of this method of education but I couldn`t see them to be burdened by facts about the world without experiencing it.

    That’s an interesting observation. We homeschool because we’re stationed in Italy and the Dept. of Defense school is the only game in town. They have a total of two field trips into the “real world” each year.

    We started homeschooling just this year, and so far, we’ve visited the Greek ruins of Paestum, studied the Solfatara and Vesuvius volcanoes up close, and visited the Forum while studying the Roman Republic. When we were studying fossils, we went out and actually found fossils in the native limestone outside of Naples. Tomorrow morning our homeschool group (about 100 people) will be having a field trip to Caserta to learn how bronze statues have been made for the last 2000 years.

    On the contrary, my son is experiencing The World much more than he would have been while locked in a classroom all day.

  13. #13 Crazyharp81602
    January 20, 2008

    Eamon Knight,

    I looked at that book one too many times and eventually got to the point where I became so sick of all those images of Dilophosaurs eating berries and Acanthopholis pulling an Emperor’s chariot dancing in my head that in October of 2002, I began to make a rebuttal essay of that book which turned out to be the very first rebuttal essay on how creationists deal with dinosaurs stupidly I ever wrote and it took off from there.

    Here’s my review and rebuttal to The Great Dinosaur Mystery book.

    Great Dinosaur Mystery Part 1
    Great Dinosaur Mystery Part 2
    Great Dinosaur Mystery Part 3
    Great Dinosaur Mystery Part 4
    Great Dinosaur Mystery Part 5
    Great Dinosaur Mystery Part 6
    Great Dinosaur Mystery Part 7

  14. #14 dogmeatib
    January 20, 2008

    I’ve had homeschooled kids in my classroom over the years, sometimes its parents recognizing that they don’t have the diverse background necessary to properly prepare their child for college, sometimes it is because of economic shifts in the family, sometimes other reasons. I’ve found that most of the kids are very well versed in their core skills, they also have good work ethics, are prepared for class, genuinely seem to care about their learning. On the other hand many of them lack interpersonal skills, which has been noted, but generally only interpersonal skills with those of their own age. They discuss and interact with me just fine, they just don’t seem to “get” their peers.

    The one big thing I run into is critical thinking skills. It seems to break down 50/50. Some of these kids have phenomenal skills, it is like working with an adult who has been challenged to support their arguments, determine WHY something happened, etc. Others are horribly stunted, I could tell them that clouds are made of shredded puppies and they would write it down without question. A secondary issue I see is in-depth knowledge. I think a number of homeschool parents discover when they hit high school, that there is a very good reason why the kids go from math class to science class to social studies class, etc. They discover that it is harder than hell to know everything to any level of depth.

  15. #15 Logician
    January 20, 2008

    Not once in my teaching career did I find a home-schooled child worth his weight in manure in the classroom or social setting.
    This amounts to nothing but abuse on the part of self-absorbed parents, whether religious OR NOT. If you are so idiotic as to think you can teach better than the professionals, then set up your own school and show us all just how it’s done. Really. Even my fellow atheists.

    I would love to see how you fare in a REAL classroom. And do it under the same conditions the professionals must endure: you have NO CHOICE whom you will get in your classroom, from the most violent psychopaths to the most zoned out ‘mentally challenged’; you have NO right to enfore ANY discipline on ANY child but your own, and if you try, you WILL go to court; you have NO RIGHT to determine whether the child has passed, i.e. the PARENT will decide if the child can pass, check your state laws; actually, any of the self-absorbed twits who think they should home school their children would fold like kites in a strong wind the first day they had to REALLY teach a junior or high school classroom.
    And yet, we let the most ignorant, the most socially backward, the most culturally bereft misfits of our society do this virtually unchecked.
    And they wonder why I’m so pessimistic about America’s future…

  16. #16 Anne Gilbert
    January 20, 2008

    This “homeschooling” issue seems to be drawing a lot of very stron opinions on both sides. Personally, I can see why. I have mixed feelings about it myself. On the one hand, I know some parents who are really dedicated, and really try to do a good job of educating their children. Most of these parents are not “religious”. They have varying reasons for homeschooling their children. One parent I met had two children, one of whom was autistic, the other “normal”. She homeschooled both of them because it was easier for her that way(apparently there were no suitable programs in the schools for the autistic one). Other parents homeschool their kids because the school systems in their area simply aren’t very good, or they worry about violence in the schools. There are all legitimate problesm, and should not lightly be dismissed.

    OTOH, I have absolutely no use for parents who use homeschooling as a means of indoctrinating their kids into some system of belief, whether it be fundamentalist Christianity(which, I have on good authority from various types of Christians, including ordained priests and ministers), is “heretical” anyway. These people try to force their kids into their belief system by isolating them from anyone on the “outside”. It may work. Sometimes it does. But it may not, and if it doesn’t, the kid will end up alienated from their parents and family and often will turn against all religious beliefs and traditions. Those of you who are “secular” may think this would be a wonderful result, but in fact, it’s little more than a reaction against bad training in the first place. And those left behind because of such “training”? They are probably condemned to be mired in the same ignorance as their elders, left farther and farther behind the rest of us in the larger world. And that saddens me, because these people are potential wasted minds.
    Anne G

  17. #17 Unschooling mommy
    February 14, 2008

    I would love to see how you fare in a REAL classroom. And do it under the same conditions the professionals must endure: you have NO CHOICE whom you will get in your classroom, from the most violent psychopaths to the most zoned out ‘mentally challenged’; you have NO right to enfore ANY discipline on ANY child but your own, and if you try, you WILL go to court; you have NO RIGHT to determine whether the child has passed, i.e. the PARENT will decide if the child can pass, check your state laws; actually, any of the self-absorbed twits who think they should home school their children would fold like kites in a strong wind the first day they had to REALLY teach a junior or high school classroom.
    And yet, we let the most ignorant, the most socially backward, the most culturally bereft misfits of our society do this virtually unchecked.
    And they wonder why I’m so pessimistic about America’s future…
    Wow! That is EXACTLY the reason to homeschool! What sort of socialization is that? Talk about a backwards system! By the way, many homeschool kids do well in the real world because they live in the real world, not crammed into classrooms with these supposed violent psycopaths, etc.
    By the way, rather than being backward and culturally bereft,I happen TO BE a certified teacher and my husband is a Ph.D. Get a little education yourself, how about “Dumbing us Down” by Gatto or “Coloring outside the Lines” by Roger Schank PhD. And frankly, I’m rather shocked to see how narrow minded people can be, isn’t freedom of choice what makes America great?

  18. #18 Unschooling mommy
    February 14, 2008

    O.K. I didn’t get to say everything I wanted that last post due to a cranky 7 mo old :)
    But really, this is a matter of not thinking about education in an open-minded manner. The comments from Logician truly represent a frightning viewpoint. Would anyone really want such a negative aggressive person to teach their children? Public education is fairly new in respect to how people have been educated throughout history and is admittably a failure by most standards. How can someone complain about it so stongly then suggest that anyone who does not send their child to this “jungle” is ignorant? My homeschool group is comprised of very educated, very intelligent people, and our decision not to institutionalize our children is done so out of love, not ignorance. By the way, my children are very friendly and willing to help their fellow human being reguardless of age or race, unlike their public school friend who exhibit MUCH more stand offish behavior, are they afraid of being made fun of? Are they taught to fear adults (authority figures who MUST CONTROL them in a public school)? Also, standardized tests do not measure creativity, compassion, emotional well-being or hundreds of other very human characteristics. Grades are only labeling (harmfully) our children (the “A” student is a people pleaser, the “D” student internalizes failure and thinks “I’m not smart”) and no where else in one’s entire life will a person be put into a room with only other people of the same age, made to do all the same work at the same time, move about from room to room at the sound of a bell, be told when to start, when to stop, when to go to the bathroom, when to eat, that nothing they are truly interest is important. You cannot stop a person from learning, for that is what man does, you can only hinder it.