Homeschooling Tidbits

Homeschooling is an important phenomenon. It is growing in the US and a few other places. Some forms of homeschooling are linked with political, social, or religious movements. For instance, some people homeschool because they want their children raised in a certain religious setting and to have minimal contact with the rest of society. Other people homeschool because they are very distrustful of the government and anything that looks or smells even a little like the government. Anyone who is interested in education should keep an eye on homeschooling.

For my part, I like to occasionally reproduce commentary or news about homeschooling; sometimes pro, sometimes con, just as I cull and summarize news about nature or evolution.

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I drive some people so crazy their head explodes. I don’t know why.
This drives certain homeschoolers nuts, of course, to the extent that they fear and loath me, and will stop at nothing (such as truthfulness or willingness to discuss issues) to discredit my commentary or the commentary of others who disagree with hem. The very fact that I have linked to them in this paragraph will make them want to come here and make nasty, biting comments on my blog, or post hateful lies on their sites about me and the people who comment here. However, the fact that I’m saying that they are likely to do this will make them send private emails to each other trying to agree to ignore my post and not comment on their site. The very fact that I commented, just now, within this very paragraph, on the fact that they will try to not comment will make them want to comment even more, but that will also make them not want to comment even more. This will drive them into a frenzy, and they will be filled with loathsome emotion that they will not be able to contain. But they will want to contain it. Eventually, two or three of them will probably explode.

They make me laugh.

But none of that is of any consequence. The point of this post is to provide three or four very diverse current tidbits … pro, con and other … of home schooling discussion for your interest and edification:


Will Smith on Home Schooling

Will Smith refuses to send his two children with wife Jada Pinkett Smith to school, claiming the system limits their education. Smith insists he didn’t learn his most valuable lessons in school and claims there are no limits to what he can teach Jaden, eight; Willow, six; and his 14-year-old son Trey, from his marriage to Sheree Smith.

He says, “The date of the Boston Tea Party does not matter. I know how to learn anything I want to learn. I absolutely know that I could learn how to fly the space shuttle because someone else knows how to fly it, and they put it in a book. Give me the book, and I do not need somebody to stand up in front of the class.”

Todd Wilson on Why Parents Should Now Worry About Their Own Intelligence or Abilities

People who home-school their children, especially moms, always want to do more for their families, but maybe they need to do less.

That was part of the message from a nationally known speaker – and father of eight home-schooled children – at the Montana Home Educators Convention and Curriculum Fair.

“I challenge you to do less,” Todd Wilson told more than 100 parent-educators Friday….

“God gave your children exactly the mother that they needed,” he said. “It’s not about being smart, it’s about being best. If you want to find someone smarter to teach your children, they’re a dime a dozen. You’re the best for your children.”

Kids are predestined to become what they are meant to be, Wilson said. “Your children are going to become what God created them to be,” he said.

One Hundred Percent Christian Home Schooled

One thing I have seen a problem with in regards to keeping ourselves in a bubble, is home-schooling. Parents seem to believe that if they keep their kids at home to be home-schooled throughout their first very moldable 18 years of life, they will keep them safe and sheltered. Their kids will never know of hatred or murder or gossip. They will never know how it feels to overhear another kid talking bad about them, they will stay in their mother’s arms for all of their life, and there they shall remain. But hear me out pro-homeschooling parents: Every child I have known who has been home-schooled their entire lives, has become that awkward Christian. That person that no one wants to listen to. And even though that child may have a great Message to share with me (even though I already know it), I am not going to listen to it. There are social norms that are missing, and it is a hindrance. And by simply looking at it from a non-Christian’s point of view, if being a Christian means that I have to become that socially awkward person, I wouldn’t want to be one.


How To Get the Bestest Home Schooled Syllabuses

Home school is your definite choice. Then how you get the best Syllabus? Pre-packaged syllabuses are galore for home schools. The best thing that comes across with regards to homeschooling is that it allows to make the choice with the syllabus you think you would like your child like to learn. Now what are the best home schooling syllabuses and how to you make the correct choice?

Incase your requirements can be fulfilled from a Christian teaching then there exists quite a few prepackages syllabus that will be right for your child. The two best worth a mention are the BJU Press home school syllabus and also the Abeka homeschooling syllabus. Mary Pride has given both these syllabuses high reviews.

Each of these 2 syllabuses encompasses all major topics. A creationist view is given to science teaching. BJU Press far more traditional than Abeka. This could be important while taking a final decision. Both the two have received the rating of being amongst the best curriculums for home school. These syllabuses could be either found on websites or at you’re nearest bookstores.

Your requirements could be beyond Christian impartations. If your preference is that of a worldview that’s conservative Christian then too the choices are extensive. While if requirements need you to create a selection of varied publishers all into one to suit your needs then consider Saxon for math or Math-U-See….


That there may be elitist aspects of homeschooling can be argued among Americans or Canadians, but when you move to relatively poor countries, the argument kinda falls apart….

Articles on education and home schooling have been written and published on the internet. However, here in my own country, the Philippines, one of the many areas of education that is not so popular among Filipinos is home schooling. Why? Because home schooling won’t just work in the Philippines with the present economic conditions of the country and the society’s unpreparedness about home schooling.

Robert Grazian, an educator in the United States agreed with this findings. He stated that in the recent news, there have been so many problems in school, such as Columbine, the teaching shortages, overcrowded class room and the no child left behind program, and parents are turning to home school. The media has gone out of its way to point out the disadvantages of public school. But how many people have taken a look at home school disadvantages, some situations may not be appropriate for the child when home schooling.

While the concept of home schooling is great, there are a few situations where home schooling may not be a good thing. Some parents don’t have adequate education, they have busy lifestyles, and they have limited financial resources. Although in certain situations home schooling is a good option for parents. But in most of the cases, the home schooling issues can be a disadvantage. There are lots of advantages for the kids when they go to a school. Home schooling may not be able to bring out that perfect level of confidence in the kids. Thus you must pay attention towards selection of the home schooling program. The wrong kind of program can be really disastrous for your kid. Make sure that you select the right one for your child.

One of the major problems are adequate education of the parents, most don’t have a degree and are unsure how to do the new math, history is extremely boring and science is not one of their strong suits. In this situation it is not a good idea for the parents to teach their children at home. They will have a hard time making sure their children are able to keep up with the Joneses. In the technical age, children need all the education they can get.

Another problem is parents who have many children, busyness is a big concern, and a home school parent must be able to make time during his or her busy day to make sure the child gets the adequate education. Education is key to their survival; parents must have the time to give them a structured education.

….

Comments

  1. #1 Joel_m
    May 19, 2008

    I can hear the heads popping now. Most of the noises are coming from the general direction of isolated cabins in Montana, if I am not mistaken.

  2. #2 Barn Owl
    May 19, 2008

    I know how to learn anything I want to learn. I absolutely know that I could learn how to fly the space shuttle because someone else knows how to fly it, and they put it in a book.

    Jeebus, talk about narcissistic personality disorder.

    Reminds me of that Steven Wright joke, in which he’s planning to try some outrageous and impossible car stunt, “I think I can do this…I saw it in a cartoon once….”

  3. #3 JanieBelle
    May 19, 2008

    Home school is your definite choice. Then how you get the best Syllabus? Pre-packaged syllabuses are galore for home schools. The best thing that comes across with regards to homeschooling is that it allows to make the choice with the syllabus you think you would like your child like to learn. Now what are the best home schooling syllabuses and how to you make the correct choice?

    That right there says I you need to know about Christian home-schooling, and it’s not at all flattering.

  4. #4 JanieBelle
    May 19, 2008

    That right there says I you need to know about Christian home-schooling, and it’s not at all flattering.

    And that right there says all you need to know about not proof-reading, and it’s also unflattering. Funny, but unflattering.

  5. #5 scott pilutik
    May 19, 2008

    Will Smith might’ve been better off homeschooling his kids; instead, he’s turning his kids (and other people’s kids) over to the Scientologists. Smith has funded the New Village Academy which uses L Ron Hubbard’s “Study Tech.” Smith will no doubt soon be asked about the school’s connection to Scientology and he’ll undoubtedly claim that there is no link–that study tech is secular and not religious–but the evidence suggests otherwise.

  6. #6 ice9
    May 19, 2008

    Writing is clearly not on the syllabus.

    And, more than a snide remark: People who post such garbled, careless prose (regardless of the intended idea) are highly suspect as teachers, or teachers of teachers, or people who might give teachers some kind of advice. It’s not the typo or minor mistake here or there; it’s writing that is as good as it is going to be, and that is error-ridden, inconsistent, hasty, choppy. If the writing is sloppy, it’s a safe bet the thinking is sloppy. (If the writing is tight, it’s still possible for the thinking to be sloppy, but it’s very unusual for effective thinkers to be poor writers. If they are weak writers, they get help, you see.)

    ice

  7. #7 jefrir
    May 19, 2008

    I don’t think that English is the author’s first language, especially having looked at the rest of her posts. A fair few of the errors seem more like someone unfamiliar with the language, rather than ordinary illiteracy. There are still plenty that are just sloppiness though, and it is pretty appalling for someone talking about education and apparently homeschooling. I’m pretty sure it’s worse than what I produce in Russian, and I wouldn’t be happy publishing my stuff without a proofread from a native speaker.

  8. #8 Steve
    May 19, 2008

    Look, I’m the first to get the willies at the idea of Christian Home Schooling (think “Bible Camp” mother). I’m the first to agree that many parents are unprepared to teach their children many important things – it’s going to be tough to teach your kid to read if you can’t do it yourself. But this doesn’t mean home schooling is categorically a bad thing, anymore than the fact that there are bad teachers in the public school system means that the entire public school system is a failure.

    In fact, I think it’s a fairly safe bet that there are FAR more “public schooling horror stories” than “home schooling horror stories” just by sheer dint of numbers. I mean, my daughter’s first grade teacher ‘proofread’ her story destined for a beginning writers’ expo, and corrected “Once there was a Princess” to “Once their was a Princess”. Should I immediately yank her out of school?

    Of course there are zealots everywhere, but one doesn’t have to be a home schooling zealot to see the bias in the way you present it here. I don’t think it is inaccurate to characterize your coverage of homeschooling as pejorative and slanted. This post, while amusing, makes no attempt at balance in viewpoint – and I would be honored if you could point me to the posts on your blog that contained “pro home schooling” information, as I don’t remember seeing them.

  9. #9 Nomen Nescio
    May 19, 2008

    I drive some people so crazy their head explodes. I don’t know why.

    it’s because you deliberately provoke them and then feign ignorance most unconvincingly.

    this has been a random blog comment public service announcement.

  10. #10 JanieBelle
    May 19, 2008

    But this doesn’t mean home schooling is categorically a bad thing…

    No, and I don’t think anyone is necessarily suggesting otherwise. Nevertheless, the most vocal proponents of home-schooling seem to be religious whack-jobs whose intent is to insulate their children from society and reality for the express purpose of more effectively brain-washing the next generation of religious whack-jobs.

    That should not go unmentioned.

  11. #11 Markus
    May 19, 2008

    Of course there are horror stories on “both sides”. It’s just that the home-schooling side is quite adamant about not even addressing the issues on their front.

  12. #12 Gene Goldring
    May 19, 2008

    A creationist view is given to science teaching.

    Schooling for fish at best.

  13. #13 Becca
    May 19, 2008

    @Joel_m- *looks out window*, it doesn’t look like Montana to me!

    @JanieBelle- As an agnostic scientist, and rational sort of person who advocates homeschooling in a fashion that furthers the express purposes of not segrgating children by age, exposing them to more people and ideas, and letting them exercise free will in determining what, when and how to learn, how do you propose I become vocal enough to drown out the religious whack-a-doos that seem to be the only people you listen to?

    @Markus- Uhm, no. Or at least, many of us on the “home-schooling side” are very interested in *civil* discourse regarding both pros and cons of homeschooling. Dr. Laden, alas, sometimes falls slighly short of such a lofty goal. I am genuinely interested, how do you think homeschooling horror stories should be addressed?

    @ BarnOwl- oh, I don’t know. One of the most powerful illusions I have cultivated as a grad student is the idea that I can learn anything. I don’t make any promises about how quickly I might be able to do so though.
    Still, how else do you think people *become* brain surgeons and rocket scientists, except by going through at least a temporary period of having not-entirely-factually supported faith in their abilities?

  14. #14 Cherish
    May 20, 2008

    Greg, why don’t you ever post quotes like this:

    “This is the state of gifted education today: Only a few more than half of the states require schools to provide any services. Those that do, often offer only in-class enrichment or pull-out programs that have gifted kids doing word puzzles and puppetry, not advanced academic work. Schools that do offer advanced academic work refuse to accelerate more than a year or two, no matter how advanced the child may be. Attempts to change things are brushed off as too expensive or, in the case of Paul’s family, twisted to make school so miserable that the child doesn’t want to be gifted anymore. Yet educators and officials everywhere continue to insist that gifted kids will fend for themselves.

    It’s no wonder that about half of the families we work with homeschool.”

    from Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds by Jan & Bob Davidson

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    May 20, 2008

    Cherish: That is not about homeschooling. This post is about homeschooling.

    Of course there are zealots everywhere, but one doesn’t have to be a home schooling zealot to see the bias in the way you present it here. I don’t think it is inaccurate to characterize your coverage of homeschooling as pejorative and slanted. This post, while amusing, makes no attempt at balance in viewpoint

    Sorry, you are utterly wrong about that (though I can see where you might think this). I get a google news alert on the word “homeschooling” and the items posted here were the last five at the moment I decided to write the post. And no, I was not waiting for five juicy examples, and no, the next five were not different. This is just the way homeschooling looks when you look at it on the internet. (Not necessarily the way homeschooling is.)

    it’s because you deliberately provoke them and then feign ignorance most unconvincingly.

    Deliberately provoke them: Yes, that is not my main objective but it is clearly an objective. Feign ignorance? No, not at all. That is simply not true. Why would you say that?

  16. #16 Barn Owl
    May 20, 2008

    I don’t make any promises about how quickly I might be able to do so though.
    Still, how else do you think people *become* brain surgeons and rocket scientists, except by going through at least a temporary period of having not-entirely-factually supported faith in their abilities?

    I hope to FSM that the neurosurgeons I know aren’t poking around in the third ventricles, pontomedullary angles, and spinal nerves of their patients, based solely on information “put in books”, as Will Smith would have it.

    Sticking with the medical profession theme, and regarding your point about “how quickly you will learn it”, the medical schools with which I’m familiar have 6-year limits for finishing a 4-year program. Sure, the occasional student tries to game the system, but he or she will usually not be successful in obtaining a residency, even if the MD degree is awarded. Not all of those who can achieve an MD can necessarily be neurosurgeons, or surgeons of any type, either. A student who gets special dispensation for ADHD, for example, and successfully completes medical school, is not going to be favored for a specialty that requires prolonged, consistent concentration, and in which time is of the essence. And a disability that can be turned on and off at will is not really a disability, IMO (I’m not talking about sporadic disorders, like MS, that vary in severity and symptoms for an individual).

  17. #17 Andrew
    May 20, 2008

    ADHD usually goes away by the time a person is an adult.

  18. #18 Steve
    May 20, 2008

    “Sorry, you are utterly wrong about that (though I can see where you might think this). I get a google news alert on the word “homeschooling” and the items posted here were the last five at the moment I decided to write the post.”

    I’m sorry, but I fail to see how selecting the five last posted items on anything constitutes an attempt to be fair or balanced. I’ll certainly accept your word that you didn’t cherry pick, of course.

    I share your frustration with the Xian whackjobs. When we were planning on homeschooling our daughter, we were completely unable to locate any homeschooling groups here in the midwest that were not Xian in bias. The groups that offer home schooling parents an opportunity to get their kids into groups for activities – think nature walks, music, etc – also all had fundy Xian overtones.

    But since we sent our daughter to public school her rate of learning has slowed significantly, and her math abilities have regressed significantly. I think that’s why I get so riled up by your posts; we’ve had to make a choice between the lesser of evils – educating our daughter in isolation, vs the whackjob Xian homeschoolers’ groups, vs a barely competent public school system largely inhabited and operated by the slightly-less whackjob “mainstream Xians”, many of which still believe in Creationism and the Ten Commandments.

  19. #19 BarnOwl
    May 20, 2008

    @ BarnOwl- regardless of whether the difficulties encountered in medical school are necessary or sufficient (or even relevant) preperation for the strenous work required to work as a surgeon… what I’m getting at is more the transition each doctor has to take the very first time they go from books and watching someone else perform a surgery, to actually cutting in themselves. From the medical students I’ve talked to, there is often a leap of faith involved. That discrepency between learning and doing is bigger for some of us than others- and I don’t think narcissisim is necessary the only explaination for why you might have a smaller hesitancy.

    I’m pretty sure I don’t have the physical steadiness of hand to be a brain surgeon, but there is no doubt in my mind I’d be bright enough (I’ve sat through too many classes with future brain surgeons to think otherwise). If I really wanted to be a brain surgeon, it would be pretty dang important I had enough humility to admit that I didn’t have adaquete coordination. On the other hand, if I did have the drive and that coordination, it would be foolish for me to not learn to be a good surgeon because I was afraid I couldn’t. Too many people get the idea they can’t learn things, and teachers that keep emphasizing how difficult something is, or someone’s general ‘unsuitbility’ for a particular task, probably do not help the matter (incidently, you aren’t an educator, are you, BarnOwl?).
    I think homeschooling, done properly, (or any good education, really) facilitates your faith in your ability to put theory into practice.

  20. #20 Cherish
    May 20, 2008

    Okay…well what about this quote:

    Parents who homeschool children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) “engaged their students at higher levels of academic responding than the public school instructors achieved with their students,” although the parents had no formal teacher training.

    from “The Homeschooling Option” by Lisa Rivero citing “A Preliminary Investigation of the Effectiveness of Homeschool Instruction Environments for Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder,” School Psychology Review 33, no. 1 (2004): 140-58.

  21. #21 Cthulhu
    May 20, 2008

    IMHO home-schooling is only as good as the amount of time and work the parents are willing to put in to teach their children. I have 1 child who is home schooled and 1 who attends public school – and believe me – it takes a lot more time and resources for my wife and me to home school our daughter. I spend more time much more time preparing myself to teach my daughter than she spends learning the material and that goes for my wife also. If you want to home school and expect your child to compete in the real world, you had better be prepared to work your butt off. And I don’t think my head has exploded – but I haven’t checked in the mirror since I shaved this morning :-)

  22. #22 Dawn
    May 20, 2008

    //And no, I was not waiting for five juicy examples, and no, the next five were not different. This is just the way homeschooling looks when you look at it on the internet.//

    Never noticed that with my google alert for ‘homeschooling’.

    I’m going to track this for awhile Greg and see if you’re right on that matter. It is a little disturbing that you’re so easily led by a google news alert though.

  23. #23 Markus
    May 20, 2008

    Becca,
    Issues on the home-schooling from is NOT a home-school vs public-school issue. They are home-schooling issues which need to be solved within the home-schooling context. Take creationist curriculum: It is certainly an issue that many home-schoolers teach this rather than valid science. However, they refuse to allows standards that would require proper scientifically sound curriculum to be used. It’s not just a pro-con thing. It’s getting issues solved kind of thing.

    We public schoolers elect school board members and petition them and the town council to ensure public school infrastructure and educational needs are met.

    What are you doing to improve home-schooling?

  24. #24 Daryl Cobranchi
    May 20, 2008

    Deliberately provoke them: Yes, that is not my main objective but it is clearly an objective.

    Why? So we can all get a hardy laugh at your expense? Thanks, but you really shouldn’t have gone to all the trouble.

  25. #25 greg laden
    May 20, 2008

    Daryl and Dawn: Thanks for stopping by. I knew you would not be able to resist despite the email you got from Doc telling you to stay away from strange men … and women … with open minds and a brains. Whatever you do, though, please, please, DO NOT LINK TO MY SITE! I really don’t want you to sully my reputation any further!

    Dawn: I’m looking forward to your detailed analysis.

  26. #26 Cherish
    May 20, 2008

    We public schoolers elect school board members and petition them and the town council to ensure public school infrastructure and educational needs are met.

    Yeah…that worked great in Dover…and Kansas…and Georgia.

    The problem with school boards is that if they go insane, a lot more people are affected in the interim. And as noted on Pharyngula today, the amount of time that is given to evolution (or not) is teacher-dependent, not dictated by school-boards. Ultimately, it’s all up to individuals at some point, and some parents aren’t willing to make that gamble with their child’s education.

  27. #27 Daryl Cobranchi
    May 20, 2008

    Whatever you do, though, please, please, DO NOT LINK TO MY SITE!

    Whatever you say, Br’er Rabbit.

  28. #28 Becca
    May 20, 2008

    @ Markus
    Oh dear; I was afraid of that. We seem to have very different ideas of what constitutes a homeschooling “horror story”. See, the idea that somewhere, some homeschooling family might just be teaching creation “science” simply doesn’t keep me up at night. Such faux science makes me wince, whether taught by homeschoolers or private schools, but it doesn’t strike me as “OMGtehHORRORS!!!11!!!111111!!!!!!!!!!!!!eleventy1!!!”

    So in answer to your question, I’m not doing anything in particular to improve homeschooling. Because I don’t see it as nearly as problematic as a lot of other things that I am working to improve. That is not the same as being “adament about not addressing the issues”; that is disagreeing with you about priorities.

    I have actually looked into the local homeschooling groups, just a bit, thinking about volunteering to help out with some science activities, but it hasn’t gotten beyond thinking yet. In my defense, how many non-parent, non-educators do you know who spend significant time and energy on public school board elections and petitioning on any issue?
    Although, if anyone knows a science-oriented homeschooled student who would be interested in having a molecular medicine grad student as a e-mentor, let me know.

  29. #29 Dawn
    May 20, 2008

    Email?

    Greg, be reasonable.

    Anyway, I’ve changed my subscription for the google alerts to news (you just have news, right?) from comprehensive. I have a ‘homeschooling’ alert too but it catches blog posts and might skew my perception of what comes in.

    I’m quite sure you’re working with an unexamined (possibly willfull?) selection bias but I’ll test the idea and see what happens.

  30. #30 greg laden
    May 20, 2008

    Whatever you say, Br’er Rabbit.

    How dare you imply, however subtly, that I would be Br’er Rabbit like!!

  31. #31 greg laden
    May 20, 2008

    Dawn,

    I might be using both a blog and a news alert.

    Let’s get real. I don’t have any unexamined biases about home schooling. It simply is a fact that if you grab randomly from the blogosphere, the stuff that comes up for homeschooling is, by and large and on average, not complementary from my perspective. It is like shooting fish in a barrel. There is no bias, examined or unexamined.

    There might be a much better big-picture way of looking at this, though….

  32. #32 Dawn
    May 21, 2008

    So is it news or comprehensive (with blogs)?

    Getting real is giving this a good examination to see if what you believe about it is true. It’s not a big deal.

  33. #33 Greg Laden
    May 21, 2008

    Dawn: I believe my feed is news and blogs, comprehensive, as it happens.

  34. #34 Stephanie Z
    May 21, 2008

    Becca, I know one non-parent, non-educator, etc. I’ve participated in a mentoring program for high schoolers and done physics demos for elementary schoolers. I pay very close attention to school board races and multiply my vote by sharing my choices with other non-parent, non-educators in the district who care but don’t take the time that I do. I was hugely relieved to discover that someone had finally produced an introductory psychology textbook based on recent research because that meant I didn’t have to recruit someone with credentials to help me design one and sell it to a publisher using their name after I’d written it.

    But I fully admit we’re not all typical around here. :)

    As far as what you need to do to be heard over the other homeschooling voices, I think you’re doing a pretty good job. The message that homeschooling is not monolithic and does benefit some people does come through.

  35. #35 Yvonne
    May 21, 2008

    OK, I must jump in…

    I’m a homeschooler–an atheist homeschooler who does teach evolution, and world religions, too. Unlike my local public schools.

    However, if people are SO worried about homeschool curriculum, why aren’t you going after private xtian schools? Whatever I choose to teach my kid will impact one kid. The local private schools by me, OTOH, all teach using A Beka books, which are xtian and teach science from a “Biblical World View”. And they are teaching hundreds of kids each year.

    Heck, the one private school doesn’t allow mothers to come to the school dressed in anything but skirts which cover the knees–much more fanatic then almost any homeschooling parent I’ve met! And at least homeschoolers will meet other people in various homeschool groups, and just when out and about. In private schools, the majority of friends come from that school, or the associated church. So there is little variety in thought.

    I homeschool because public schools couldn’t educate my child, and the private schools were so fundie-based that I couldn’t enroll him. And I know I can teach my kid just about anything, and what I personally cannot teach, I can find resources for. In fact, he can start taking college classes in a few years, when most public school kids are busy getting ready for driver’s ed.

    I also know plenty of public school kids who do not believe in evolution–because they are raised in a xtian household. So putting in kids in public school doesn’t guarantee they’ll believe in science over religion. It doesn’t even mean they’ll graduate knowing how to read. In fact, putting kids in public school doesn’t even mean they’ll graduate, as I believe the current figures show a 33% drop-out rate.

    There is no “one way”. Every family is different, each child has different needs. I’m glad to have choices available to me. To choose homeschooling meant a huge cut in family income and a massive expenditure of time and energy, but I think my kid is worth it. Other parents will make other choices.

    Are there wacky fundie homeschoolers out there? Sure are. Are there wacky fundie public schoolers out there? Yup. Oh, how about wacky fundie private schoolers? Yup again.

    Wacky parents will be wacky parents, regardless of the school they send their kid to. And the kids will be who they will be, no matter what. There are kids who grow up in cults who still think for themselves and find a way out, and there are public school kids who reject science completely. It’s not about the type of school, it’s the type of home they live in that will impact them the most.

    So unless you want to start regulating how parents can raise their kids, I’d stop worrying about homeschooling. There are worse things that can happen to a child.

  36. #36 Greg Laden
    May 21, 2008

    Yyvonne,

    A lot of good points, but let me throw some counter points back to you.

    First, I don’t accept the idea that “If you are going to complain/write/blog about X, then you should also complain/write/blog about Y.” To me that is not logical. This is like saying to a fireman putting a fire out that someone started in a vacant lot: You know, there are really bad fires happening in the third world right now, why are you not in Rwanda putting out a fire there?? huh?”

    I do in fact address the issue of evolution/creationism in public schools. That is a bigger issue for me than homeschooling, and I do more about it, write more posts on it, etc. Now, I know you are not saying this, but I have been told by various homeschoolers (the ones who I managed to scare away from this discussion by predicting their behavior in my post) that I must FIRST solve all the problems of the public school system and make that ‘work’ before complaining about home schooling.

    As I said, I know you are not saying this, but it does lead to my next point. A 33% dropout rate in public schools averaged across the US for the present time (i.e., recent years) which is what I think you are claiming, sounds bad. But what is the dropout rate for homeschooling? We don’t know, do we? We don’t know because of the insular, libertarian/paranoid, maverick, holier than thou attitude of a large percentage of home schoolers that make finding actual useful numbers impossible. So all we have is hollow claims.

    I should say that I’m very suspicious of the HS dropout rate discussion. I think HS dropout rates are like crime rates: Sensationalized and misused. How many of these 30% went to home schools? How do you count them? How many are kids who really should not be in HS, and we’re glad to see go away (really, you can’t complain about behavioral issues AND insist that the bad kids stay around, right?) and later get GED’s? How do you count them?

    “So unless you want to start regulating how parents can raise their kids, I’d stop worrying about homeschooling. There are worse things that can happen to a child.”

    We do regulate this, and there is little worse that can happen to a child than what is sometimes done to them in the ‘security’ of their own homes.

  37. #37 Yvonne
    May 21, 2008

    First, I don’t accept the idea that “If you are going to complain/write/blog about X, then you should also complain/write/blog about Y.” To me that is not logical. This is like saying to a fireman putting a fire out that someone started in a vacant lot: You know, there are really bad fires happening in the third world right now, why are you not in Rwanda putting out a fire there?? huh?”

    Actually, what I’m saying is “Hey, while you’re busy looking at this tiny fire here, there are two apartment buildings ablaze just next door. Get priorities in order!”

    ——————–

    But what is the dropout rate for homeschooling? We don’t know, do we? We don’t know because of the insular, libertarian/paranoid, maverick, holier than thou attitude of a large percentage of home schoolers that make finding actual useful numbers impossible. So all we have is hollow claims.

    Take a look at: http://www.nheri.org/content/view/174/62/
    —————————-

    My point is that if you are concerned with education, then the biggest threats to education are (in order of impact) public schools, private schools, and homeschoolers.

    Also, while you seem concerned over homeschoolers being taught things you don’t agree with, you must admit that private schools are teaching a greater number of kids, and more in depth, things which you probably don’t agree with.
    ———–
    “So unless you want to start regulating how parents can raise their kids, I’d stop worrying about homeschooling. There are worse things that can happen to a child.”

    We do regulate this, and there is little worse that can happen to a child than what is sometimes done to them in the ‘security’ of their own homes

    No, we do NOT regulate how parent’s can raise their kids. I can raise my kid to be ashamed of their body or to be sexually free; to be a bigot, a freethinker, a religious nut, a republican or democrat, a communist or a Nazi…I can raise my kid with any belief I see fit too. And each parent does, regardless of where the child goes to school.

    Oh, a kid can be terribly abused in the security of their own church, too. Or scout troop. Or classroom. There is no end to the ways a child can be harmed.

    And, there has to be significant abuse for social services to step in. It’s not that easy to remove a child from his or her home, generally. Spanking isn’t enough, even an occasional beating won’t do it. I have a close friend who works in social services, and she horror stories of the kids they finally “rescue”, and how damaged they are. And, even sadder, how long it takes and how hard it is to do. Kids don’t generally report abuse, and are experts at hiding it. And, again, it’s the parents or priets or teachers or abusers/other–not the method of education–that creates this.
    ————–
    And, as I said, there are plenty of publicly educated children who do not believe in evolution, or who are fundie Xians, or who are freethinkers…Heck, 16% of science teachers don’t believe in evolution!

    It’s less about the school and more about the mindset of the parent, and the home life. As I said, there are wacky parents in public schools, private schools, and home schools.

    But I enjoy living in a country where I have freedom in my choices, and freedom to raise my child as I see fit.

    You don’t have to like it, you don’t even have to agree with it. In fact, I appreciate that there are those who are so adamant against it, it keeps me on my toes.

    But while individual families may be a problem, to condemn it across the board doesn’t solve anything.

  38. #38 Greg Laden
    May 21, 2008

    Yvonne: No, not really OK. There is a thing going on here that you are participating in. I can write about whatever I want, even something insignificant, and I can ignore whatever I want. But yes, it is true that the public educational system is screwy. I know that. I work on that problem. So no, no, no, a “counter argument” to my complaints about home schooling is simply NOT that there are problems with public schooling. It is just plain not relevant.

    No, we do NOT regulate how parent’s can raise their kids. I can raise my kid to be ashamed of their body or to be sexually free; to be a bigot, a freethinker, a religious nut, a republican or democrat, a communist or a Nazi…I can raise my kid with any belief I see fit too. And each parent does, regardless of where the child goes to school.

    Perhaps you “can” but you should not and it would be wrong. And society needs to find ways of gently or harshly, as needed, stop people from raising their children to be the monsters of the future. This dos not apply to all of your comparisons in this paragraph. Republican, democrat, communist, fine, Nazi, no, not OK. I do not subscribe to the belief that because there is a spectrum that it is impossible to draw a line. We can draw the line and Nazism is not OK, you should not do that and it would be abusive and should be illegal. People who home school to raise their children as white supremacists or Nazis should have their children taken away from them.

    And, as I said, there are plenty of publicly educated children who do not believe in evolution, or who are fundie Xians, or who are freethinkers…Heck, 16% of science teachers don’t believe in evolution!

    Yes, I agree that this is true and that it is bad and I and others are working on that fire as well. The fact that I may complain about people raising up Nazis does not mean that I think it is OK that the public school system can truly suck, and that it needs to be fixed.

    Condemning home schooling across the board would be wrong, I agree.

  39. #39 Yvonne
    May 21, 2008

    Perhaps you “can” but you should not and it would be wrong.

    Says you. So, what are we allowed to think? Or to believe?
    ———–
    This dos not apply to all of your comparisons in this paragraph. Republican, democrat, communist, fine, Nazi, no, not OK. I do not subscribe to the belief that because there is a spectrum that it is impossible to draw a line. We can draw the line and Nazism is not OK, you should not do that and it would be abusive and should be illegal.

    So, again, what are we allowed to teach our children? What is there in the constitution regarding my freely expressing my opinions to my child? Am I allowed to teach my child religion? What religion? How involved in any given religion am I allowed to get? I, personally, do not like the idea of thought police running around drawing lines as to what I can or cannot teach my child.

    There are countries right now where I could not raise my child as an atheist, or a Xian, or a anything other than the ruling religion. I don’t live in those countries, and I hope I never do.
    ———————–
    People who home school to raise their children as white supremacists or Nazis should have their children taken away from them.

    Oh. Okay. But, but…if I send my kid to public school, then I can raise them to be a Nazi? Of course, I didn’t realize that it was against the law to be a Nazi…

    You see, I understand that freedom means freedom to disagree.
    ————-
    So no, no, no, a “counter argument” to my complaints about home schooling is simply NOT that there are problems with public schooling. It is just plain not relevant.

    It is very, very relevant. Because, you see, if the public school system wasn’t so broken, I might not be homeschooling. I know many parents who started in public schools, only to pull out their children after years of torment and failure. So the state of public schools is relevant to the homeschooling discussion. Each child deserves an education–something that doesn’t always happen in public schools. So, if I want to educate my child, I need to look at the range of choices, compare them, and make what I hope to be the best decision.

    Are there some homeschoolers who are just ignorant? Sure. The same as with public school kids and private school kids…it’s a problem that isn’t bound by the type of education one receives, any more then child abuse is bound by education or economic status.

    There will always be bad parents, misguided parents, ignorant parents, mean parents. In any type of educational setting. I will always dislike parents who abuse their kids, but I do not then generalize that, since one Xian abused their kid, all Xians do. Or all homeschoolers, or all stepfathers, or all priests.

    To generalize like that would be nothing but mindless prejudice and bigotry. And I’m homeschooling my son exactly so we can avoid those kinds of attitudes.

  40. #40 Cherish
    May 21, 2008

    We can draw the line and Nazism is not OK, you should not do that and it would be abusive and should be illegal. People who home school to raise their children as white supremacists or Nazis should have their children taken away from them.

    I don’t like Nazism, either, but I would certainly defend the right of a Nazi to believe and assemble and teach his or her children and speak about his or her set of beliefs, ignorant and bigotted as I think they may be.

    Why is it okay for you to say this about a group with whom you disagree, but yet you rant and rave about how some Christians say the same things about athiests?

    You’re basically saying you don’t believe in the Bill of Rights. You’re sure sounding like the thought police to me. And that’s really no better than the religious thought police because neither you nor the religious fanatics care about individual rights that are guaranteed in our constitution. You’ll happily take away others rights as long as your own remain untouched.

  41. #41 greg laden
    May 21, 2008

    Yvonne:

    No, no Nazis. There are a lot of us who will fight the Nazis. Please don’t go in that direction.

    Regarding the relevance of public school problems, you are now playing a game with me (because you are clearly not as dumb as what your statement makes you sound like). Of course it is relevant that you feel home schooling is a better option because you feel the public schools suck. This is one of the main reasons to home school, it is the reason I respect most, and it is the reason, for me, that I was homeschooled instead of attending high school.

    But that is simply not what we were talking about. And this is clear to anyone reading this, so I won’t bother to elaborate.

    Cherish:I would certainly defend the right of a Nazi to believe and assemble and teach his or her children and speak about his or her set of beliefs, ignorant and bigotted as I think they may be.

    Do you have even the slightest clue what you are saying here? You defend the right to a concentration camp being erected in which my relatives can be gassed? I don’t agree with you.

    You do not have the slightest clue as to what ignorance and bigotry can lead to, do you. I wonder when you were born. I wonder where you were raised. I wonder how you were educated.

    Why can’t you just say “No Nazis”?

  42. #42 Daryl Cobranchi
    May 21, 2008

    Why can’t you just say “No Nazis”?

    First they came for the Nazis and I said nothing…

    Same diff.

  43. #43 Mark Chandler
    May 21, 2008

    I am a father of a son with Tourette Syndrome, as well as a Special Education Teacher. I have on two occasions had home-schooling mothers ask me about the famous outbursts of Touretters, “if they had never heard that language, how could they say it?”

    These people really think they can insulate their children from reality in this culture.

    Amazing!

  44. #44 Stephanie Z
    May 21, 2008

    Same diff? Daryl, which group are you equating with the Nazis?

  45. #45 greg laden
    May 21, 2008

    Mark: Wow.

  46. #46 Becca
    May 21, 2008

    @Greg Laden-
    Cherish explicitly said she will defend the (constitutionally protected) rights of speech and assembly, as well as the right to educate one’s children… even for Nazis. She most certainly did not say she would defend anyone’s non-right to erect a camp and commit murder (indeed, I don’t think anyone here would).

    What you are apparently advocating is that Nazis be denied the right to speech and assembly and that Christians, Libertarians (and perhaps unspecified others) should not be allowed to educate their children.

    I can see why you would be passionately against Nazis, that is all to the good. However, you’ve erected a strawman (and an absurd one at that). More to the point, do you not see the problem with picking and choosing who the constitution applies to? Please go directly to the ACLU (do not pass go, do not collect $200).

    @Stephanie Z- thank you for that comment!
    1) Now I feel (even if only partially) that the self-control I exert in not just going *aghhhOMG*headexplodery* to these posts might be worthwhile.
    2) I also got some inspiring ideas on how to make a difference in my local schools.

    I think my most important points are getting across (at least to you), but I feel like there’s a big chunk missing. Maybe the “how to fix homeschooling” conversations just haven’t gotten sufficiently in-depth, but my other point is that many regulatory schemes would have made the type of unschooling we did difficult or impossible. l

  47. #47 greg laden
    May 21, 2008

    the belief that Nazism is protected by the U.S. Constitution is offensive and absurd, as well as incorrect. We are not talking about free speech here. (Which is conditionally protected.)

    It is true that something like the Nazi party can last longer in the US than, say, in France or Germany, where there are more explicit and easily enforced laws against groups that promote violence and hate as their primary docterine. The difference in how easy/difficult this is has to do in part with the constitution. But in my view, it also has a lot to do with the willingness of Americans to adopt political “views” that are really little more than mental masterbation and have very little thought put into them.

  48. #48 Cherish
    May 21, 2008

    I never said I believe people have the right to build concentration camps. But Nazis, just like everyone else, have constitutionally protected rights, and the government does not have the right, nor should it, to take those away from anyone.

    I’m horrified that you think the Constitution should only be used for the protection of people/causes you like or can tolerate. That is just as bad as Nazism because, just like them, you want to be able to limit who should and should not have freedoms and rights. They may choose based on skin color, but it is no more morally or ethically acceptable to choose based on political stance. By attempting to limit the public discourse, you are advocating the destruction of a democratic form of government.

    Of course, this summarizes it fairly well (from the wikipedia entry on the ACLU):

    In his February 23, 1978 decision overturning the town ordinances, US District Court Judge Bernard M. Decker described the principle involved in the case as follows: “It is better to allow those who preach racial hatred to expend their venom in rhetoric rather than to be panicked into embarking on the dangerous course of permitting the government to decide what its citizens may say and hear … The ability of American society to tolerate the advocacy of even hateful doctrines … is perhaps the best protection we have against the establishment of any Nazi-type regime in this country.”

    You, sir, are being just as ignorant as the people that you rail against.

  49. #49 Daryl Cobranchi
    May 22, 2008

    the belief that Nazism is protected by the U.S. Constitution is offensive and absurd, as well as incorrect.

    Wrong-o Greg. Perhaps you’re too young to remember Skokie? Nazism is protected by the First Amendment (Freedom of Assembly and the implied Freedom of Association).

  50. #50 Greg Laden
    May 22, 2008

    Daryl and Cherish, as I said, I’m not talking about free speech and assembly.

    This conversation started with the question of is it OK for people to train their little ones to be nazis.

    To make it more understandable in a modern context, change the word Nazi to Terrorist. a terrorist is not someone who says stuff you don’t like, or that the government does not like. A terrorist is someone who, for example, acquires illegal materiel, builds a bomb, straps the bomb to one’s self, enters a full day care center, cries out “Rigatoni rules” (or whatever) and presses the button, blowing everyone up.

    Doing any one of these steps, training to do any of these steps, training or inciting someone else to do any of these steps, is illegal and not constitutionally protected.

    Now that we understand that, replace “terrorist” with “Nazi” and re-run.

    Training the little kids to be terrorists or Nazis as part of your home schooling program is not protected behavior.

    What is disturbing here is how very quickly people have assumed that “being a Nazi” equals “being a loudmouth bigot like Oliver North” and then jumped into the frey to protect that practice. I suggest, rather, that when you hear the loudmouth biggot shouting about white supremacy (or whatever) you have a look at what the person is doing before you lay yourself down (you not being Daryl specifically … the general you, including me) to protect them from anti-Nazi, holocaust hating liberals such as myself.

  51. #51 Stephanie Z
    May 22, 2008

    Becca, have fun writing the textbook. :) One word on mentoring. If you decide it’s for you, be prepared to be held at some distance from the students, with pretty regimented interaction. It may not happen, depending on how the program is set up, but it can be frustrating when it does. For instance, there was an exchange student from Uzbekistan who I worry about every time political news comes out of there. It drives me nuts that I wasn’t able to exchange enough information to be able to reach out and make sure he and his family are okay, even though I know the decision was made to protect him and I support that.

    To give you a little background on where I’m coming from on the issue: I hated almost everything about school except the academics and some teachers. I was threateningly smart and socially phobic before there was a term for it, and I was committing the crime of being poor in an affluent suburb in the eighties. I skipped about a third of eighth grade because I couldn’t make myself go. Homeschooling would have been a perfect option for me–except for one thing. Spending the time with my parents would have been worse.

    Between the teachers who literally saved my life without knowing they were doing it and the research on resiliency that says I’m not the only one, I’m pretty passionate about kids having access to and regular contact with adults other than their parents (or parents’ chosen proxies). I also have less sympathy than I could for parents who say they know what’s best for their children. My parents weren’t villains, just wrong about what I needed.

    And yes, I’m pretty sure there are ways to meet my goals and yours for nontraditional education at the same time.

  52. #52 Cherish
    May 22, 2008

    as I said, I’m not talking about free speech and assembly.

    No, you did not explicitly state that.

    Draping yourself in garments of moral fortitude makes your arguments no more defensible than what the Nazis themselves advocate. Just because you aren’t Gestapo doesn’t mean you are any more morally justified in being the thought police. Everyone thinks their belief system is the best one, and you are no different. You are no more justified than anyone else in advocating state-mandated views on what is acceptable or not.

    About a hundred years ago, Native American children were taken from their families and put in boarding schools by the the US government. Because of this, the language and culture of my great-grandmother has been decimated. The justifications they used were exactly the same ones you are using to justify taking children away from white supremicists. “It’s for the good of the children! We can’t let those barbarians raise their children to have the beliefs and misconceptions of their parents.” While I’m sure most of us would agree that it would be better for children to grow up in a different environment, it’s not our choice! Nor should it be. It is not and never should be the government’s decision to determine how children should be raised. That is the right of the parents, and just because we may not agree with it does not mean it’s abuse.

  53. #53 Willa
    May 22, 2008

    Greg wrote:

    Of course it is relevant that you feel home schooling is a better option because you feel the public schools suck. This is one of the main reasons to home school, it is the reason I respect most, and it is the reason, for me, that I was homeschooled instead of attending high school. But that is simply not what we were talking about. And this is clear to anyone reading this, so I won’t bother to elaborate

    It wasn’t clear to me. Are you saying that you think parents DO have the right to make the decision that their home educational methods are better than the school ones? What if they are wrong according to your lights? I thought that was exactly what you have been talking about.

    People who home school to raise their children as white supremacists or Nazis should have their children taken away from them.

    How would you frame the law and enforce it?
    How would you decide who was transgressing the law?
    Who would “guard the guardians” and make sure that the law and its enforcement didn’t become worse than the evil it was designed to prevent?

    How much of a problem is it, really?
    How many grown homeschoolers are strapping bombs around themselves or commiting crimes? Evidence, please?

    I have no problem with discouraging Nazism and white supremacy in our society, but most of the Ku Klux Klanners I’ve heard of are products of public schools.

    Interestingly, it was the Ku Klux Klan who spearheaded the Pierce vs Society of Sisters case in Oregon with the motive of forcing children to go to public schools.

    The case was decided by the Supreme Court thus:

    The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations. Pierce vs. the Society of Sisters (1925)

    I think this is where you get mixed up in the limbo between seeing a possible problem (children being indoctrinated or miseducated by their parents) and proposing a solution. The cure could possibly be way worse than the disease. (I don’t really see a disease existing with homeschooling — the bad outcomes, defined as you are defining it in terms of criminal behavior, are extremely limited)

    Mark wrote:
    These people really think they can insulate their children from reality in this culture.
    Amazing!

    I think some homeschoolers AND some anti-homeschoolers fall into this error. But the fact is that, short of locking in closets (a rare aberration not causally or consequentially related to homeschooling) children can’t really be prevented from participating in reality. Children learn all the time. Sure, they can be brainwashed to some extent, but that’s definitely not a problem limited to homeschools.

    They can also move away from brainwashing. Children are humans; they grow up and make their own decisions. I think the “children as pawns or pavlovian dog” theories are problematic whether it is homeschoolers OR anti-homeschoolers making the mistake.

  54. #54 g
    May 22, 2008

    It wasn’t clear to me. Are you saying that you think parents DO have the right to make the decision that their home educational methods are better than the school ones? What if they are wrong according to your lights? I thought that was exactly what you have been talking about.

    I do not assume that a parent saying they know better means they know better. Why would I? Does my distrust of of what people claim mean that homeschooling is not an option? No, why would that be?

    How would you frame the law and enforce it? How would you decide who was transgressing the law? … How much of a problem is it, really?

    Yes, this is difficult. But I do not believe in responding to difficulty by closing one’s eyes, or closing off options. How much of a problem is it? I am certain that the vernally liberatarian and/or insular attitude of home schoolers (not all, but many) makes questions like this unanswerable.

    The cure could possibly be way worse than the disease. (I don’t really see a disease existing with homeschooling — the bad outcomes, defined as you are defining it in terms of criminal behavior, are extremely limited)

    This is a statement that fully supports your perspective. It is also a statement that is utterly without foundation.

  55. #55 Willa
    May 22, 2008

    This is a statement that fully supports your perspective. It is also a statement that is utterly without foundation.

    “Utterly without foundation” — a universal, almost dogmatic phrase, surely??

    By that do you mean you have airtight evidence to the contrary, that shows that homeschoolers do commit crimes out of statistical proportion to a control group? (if so, perhaps that could be the topic of your next post).

    Or perhaps you mean it more restrictively — that there is a lack of evidence on both sides. In that case we are both equally in “utterly without foundation” territory. The difference is that you are concerned about a problem even with no foundation, while I am more focused on the (statistically and experientially verified) possibility of a good outcome.

    But I do not believe in responding to difficulty by closing one’s eyes, or closing off options.

    Me neither, actually. But there’s a balance between closing one’s eyes, and hmm, seeing unsubstantial forms out of the corners of one’s eyes, that don’t seem to have a definite shape when you actually turn your head to look. The second seems a bit occult — like ghost-busting.

    How much of a problem is it? I am certain that the vernally liberatarian and/or insular attitude of home schoolers (not all, but many) makes questions like this unanswerable.

    Well, again, homeschooled children become adults and their lives are more or less public record, especially in the social climate of close scrutiny of homeschool results. Crime statistics in particular are presumably public record. I don’t want to be bothered to do that research, and the burden of proof isn’t on me. But if you come up with anything verifiable it would be good reading, I am sure.

    As for the “libertarian” and insular attitude, that could be more easily explained in the words of the Supreme Court decision I quoted above, than by imagining some sort of conspiracy of silence. Most people don’t like busybodies; it doesn’t follow they are hiding a dark secret.

    Why should it seem strange that people don’t like to have Auntie Greg making negative comments about their home life? Sure, you *can* do it but should you? Is it the best? ;-).

    Personally, I don’t necessarily want you to stop though because it’s always interesting reading these combox conversations.

  56. #56 Elizabeth
    May 22, 2008

    Willa: You are so eloquently making Laden’s points for him.

  57. #57 Willa
    May 22, 2008

    Elizabeth:

    And vice versa, of course….. that seems like a given. In that way, everybody wins.

  58. #58 Yvonne
    May 23, 2008

    Greg: No, no Nazis. There are a lot of us who will fight the Nazis. Please don’t go in that direction.

    There is a large difference between teaching a political or philisophical idea, and raising mass murderers. The US Constituion says I can go in any direction I wish. There are those who claim that atheists are evil and dangerous. Should you be allowed to take away my child because you think I’m teaching them something wrong?
    ——————–
    But that is simply not what we were talking about. And this is clear to anyone reading this, so I won’t bother to elaborate.

    I have shown you research that supports homeschoolers scoring higher in both academic and social testing:
    Academics

    A nationwide study (Ray, 1990), using a random sample of 1,516 families from one organization’s membership, found home educated students to be scoring, on average, at or above the 80th percentile in all areas on standardized achievement tests. Note: The national average on standardized achievement tests is the 50th percentile.

    Wartes (1989) found that home school students in Washington consistently score at the 66th percentile on the Stanford Achievement Test, with their strongest scores in science, listening, vocabulary, and word reading.

    Home education students in Montana scored at the 72nd percentile on standardized achievement tests (Ray, 1990).

    The State of Tennessee (1988) reported that the home educated in that state averaged about the 83rd percentile in reading and about the 77th percentile in math on standardized achievement tests.

    The state of Oregon (1988) found that 73% of the home school students who were tested scored above average. Note: The national average is for 50% to score above average.

    The research findings are consistent that the home educated do equal to or better than conventional school students on achievement tests.
    Social and Emotional Adjustment

    Dr. Johnson (1991) concluded that home educators carefully address the socialization needs of their children in every area studied (i.e., personal identity, personal destiny, values and moral development, autonomy, relationships, sexuality, and social skills).

    Studying actual observed behavior, Dr. Shyers (1992) found the home educated had significantly lower problem behavior scores than do their conventional school agemates. And the home educated have positive self-concepts.

    Dr. Taylor (1986) found that the home educated have significantly higher self concepts than those in public schools.

    The home schooled are well adjusted socially and emotionally like their private school comparison group. The home educated, however, are less peer dependent than the private school students (Delahooke, 1986).

    Dr. Montgomery (1989) found that home schooled students are just as involved in out-of-school and extracurricular activities that predict leadership in adulthood as are those in the comparison private school (that was comprised of students more involved than those in public schools).
    http://www.nheri.org/Fact-Sheet-I.html

    Dr. Gary Knowles, of the University of Michigan, explored adults who were home educated. None were unemployed and none were on welfare, 94% said home education prepared them to be independent persons, 79% said it helped them interact with individuals from different levels of society, and they strongly supported the home education method.
    http://www.nheri.org/Fact-Sheet-III.html

    Show me anything that says otherwise.

    —————————-
    As far as “oversight”, which seems to be the one thing you are focused on, why? Even states that have oversight of curriculums have religious exemptions. And you’ve shown me no reason–besides paranoia–that I require oversight. Also, considering the oversight would be from the public schools–who have a vested interest in making my life difficult and seeing me fail as a homeschooler, and who have managed to destroy their own educational systems–I can’t see how it would help anything, and would probably only hinder my efforts to educate my child.

    I see no reason why the state needs to step in, unless there is evidence of abuse or imminent danger. Those child abuse laws cover homeschoolers and public and private school kids. What else do we need?

  59. #59 the real Holden Caulfield
    May 23, 2008

    and next thing yaknow, they will come for the homeschoolers GUNS!!

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