My problems with homeschooling
04/24/2008 at 11:20 AM

  Hey everybody, I'm kind of new posting here, so first of i just want to introduce myself and say hello.  This topic interests me some, but just like many people, I have my doubts about its' credibility. 

  The first concern I have is teacher credentials.  I am part of a family of 3 teachers and understand the process that goes into becoming a teacher quite well.  Years of determination, practice and ongoing learning are required to perfect the skill of teaching.  For people to simply come up and say they are able to teach their own children without the proper training and education worries me.  What kind of experience do you have to make up for the credentials required of state approved teachers?  If that is in place, fine, start teaching.

  Besides the academic aspect of the school system, the social aspect is just as if not more important.  There is really only so much a child can learn from books.  Group activities, social networking and  peer to peer interaction are such valuable tools in today's society that I could not imagine someone being neglected of it.  I do understand when teenagers especially voice their freedom and talk about how their skills are not being met, but that is just an excuse for laziness.  There are several options for students to exercise their skills if they feel underachieved.

  I just find conventional schooling to be such a powerful tool for young people that home schooling just sounds so limited.  Sure there are temptations such as drugs and violence, but as long as parents raise their children to be smarter than the people who pressure them into it, they would be fine.  It makes them stronger individuals in the long run.  If anyone thinks I am wrong in what I have said, I would love to hear your opinion. 

Hello, I'm a homeschool mother of 3. I've made it a rule not to engage in DEBATES over my rights as a parent. Yes, that's right, it is my right as a parent, in this country, to homeschool my children.___ Never fear! My children are doing just fine, thank you.

My question to you would be this. Why do you feel the need to come to a homeschool message board and bash homeschoolers? Do you not have better things to do?

cid
4854

LOL, I would also like to address you saying that " There is only so much a child can learn from books." I find this to be both ironic and hilarious. It seems also that you feel homeschool children are deprived of social interaction. It is obvious to me that while you may know alot about formal teaching in a school setting, you know next to nothing about REAL homeschooling. Most homeschoolers are involved in lots of "after school activites" such as Boy/Girl scouts, 4H, sports, art/music classes, just to name a very few. And yes, I do have a pissy attitude about this. Because basically people like you feel free to make ignorant comments in public forums about my and others' parenting rights/abilities. Honestly, do you not see how rude it is to do that?

cid
4857

Teachers in classrooms do need a lot of schooling, not just to address the subject matter, but also to try to address moving 10 or 30 or 100 individuals through the curriculum and through the social dynamic of a classroom. And the 100--not an exaggeration, a high school teacher with five 20-student classes, that is a conservative estimate.
I think it would be worrisome to expect someone to teach in a classroom setting without the kind of training you delineate.
The purpose of that training is to address the deficiencies of scale that occur when the relationship between learner and mentor is diluted.
As far as the social aspect, the deficiencies of the classroom in socializing children are legion and well-documented. Removing children from the care of their primary care-givers for 900 plus waking hours a year is not optimal for the children, it is supportive of industrialized society. I learned that in my "Philosophy of Education" class, I think the Index in the catalog was a 2200 number.
One is not well-socialized by one's peers. Read "Lord of the Flies" as if it were just a story. The reason it is a powerful metaphor is because it rings true as just a story.
I have heard of bad home-school situations--third hand. The home-schools that I have observed and participated in are most like graduate level seminars. Statistically, home-schooled children do better academically, socially, and professionally than their peers in the classroom. Also, statistically they spend more time in books than their peers. Also, statistically, they spend more time in learning hands-on than their peers.

cid
4860

Alright, I agree that I may have come off a little strong, but a lot of the things you talked about, do not relate to what I said. I never said its "not your right." Go right ahead. The only point I was making is what kind of government/educational approval did you earn to teach your children? I don't ask that in a condecending way, but as a simple question.

cid
4912

Did I address your concern adequately? You are falling into the same trap as the others--it is not the government's right to approve who educates children, it is the parent's. This is acknowledged in that public schools are governed by elected school boards. (At least in my state, don't know about anybody else.)

cid
4917

Synergy, MY point was, I do not need Your " go ahead" to educate my children at home. As far as "earning" anyone's approval.... I don't have to. I have met my state's legal requirements to homeschool. That's all I HAVE to do. These are my children and I know what is right for them.

cid
4922

Synergy, my point was that conventional schooling is the system that needs to prove itself. Parents (even those with minimal formal education) who are willing to invest the time and energy in their child's education find that their child learns more, has better social skills, and better emotional development than do the children who attend the neighborhood public or private school. In my opinion, if you have left your child to conventional schooling for twelve or thirteen years, you have deprived your child of a valuable learning experience. It is particularly beneficial in the middle years, Grades Four through Eight.

cid
4937

You talk about teacher credentials, but I ask you ar you aware of all those teachers who do not have their credentials yet and are still teaching. What makes you or anyone think that they are more qualified than a parent to teach?

You talk about social skills, by this statement I can assume that you have not been around home schooled children. Home school children have better social skills than most public/private schooled children their age. HS children tend to hang around with children and adults of all ages where as P/PS children are put into classrooms with children their own age and very rarely have the opportunity to interact with other children of different ages.

Are you aware that colleges and universities are actively seeking out HS students due to their high entry exam scores and their ability to adapt to the university live.

cid
7588

I have been following this post and now I would like to voice my opinion. I would like to see the data that you have that states that homeschool schildren have beeter social skills that public/private school children. My husband's cousin's children were all homeschooled. They were socially different then the children that were schooled in public/private schools. You are incorrect when you say that private/public school children donot ineract with children of different ages. My daughter for instance interacts with younger children in our neighborhood, older children and children of hr own age in activites and church so unless you ha ve data to back this up I find that this is just our personal opinion and truly a fact. Again, you have me a little confused as to what point you re trying to make when you say that universities are trying to actively seek HS students due their high entry exam scores and ability to adapt to the university. Homeschool students and provate/public school students can have high entry exam scores but homeschool kids might have a problem dealing with a large campus of kids when they are used to be taught at home with maybe their sisters/brothers or a little group of kids. I don't know what schools you may be talking about about but in my school system, ALL of these teachers DO have teaching credentials, some have and are now going fortheir masters degree. Please show me the data where ALL of these teachers do not have teaching credentials. I personally donot believe that homeschooling is the best situation for MY child but this is a personal choice that each family has to make for their children.

cid
8526

Data that children who were homeschooled are better socialized than their peers who were in traditional schools.

http://www.indiana.edu/~reading/ieo/digests/d94.html

ERIC Identifier: ED372460
Publication Date: 1994-00-00
Author: Aiex, Nola Kortner
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading English and Communication Bloomington IN.
Home Schooling and Socialization of Children. ERIC Digest.

. . .

. . .

Stough (1992),looking particularly at socialization, compared 30 home-schooling families and 32 conventionally schooling families, families with children 7-14 years of age. According to the findings, children who were schooled at home "gained the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to function in society...at a rate similar to that of conventionally schooled children." The researcher found no difference in the self concept of children in the two groups. Stough maintains that "insofar as self concept is a reflector of socialization, it would appear that few home-schooled children are socially deprived, and that there may be sufficient evidence to indicate that some home-schooled children have a higher self concept than conventionally schooled children."

This echoes the findings of Taylor (1987). Using one of the best validated self-concept scales available, Taylor's random sampling of home-schooled children (45,000) found that half of these children scored at or above the 91st percentile--47% higher than the average, conventionally schooled child. He concludes: "Since self concept is considered to be a basic dynamic of positive sociability, this answers the often heard skepticism suggesting that home schoolers are inferior in socialization" (Taylor, 1987).

From the findings of these two studies, it would appear that the concerns expressed by teachers, administrators, and legislators about socialization and home schooling might be unfounded. Indeed, Bliss (1989) contends that it is in the formal educational system's setting that children first experience negative socialization, conformity, and peer pressure. According to her, "This is a setting of large groups, segmented by age, with a variation of authority figures...the individual, with his/her developmental needs, becomes overpowered by the expectations and demand of others--equal in age and equally developmentally needy."

Webb (1989), one of the few researchers who has examined aspects of the adult lives of wholly or partly home-educated people, found that all who had attempted higher education were successful and that their socialization was often better than that of their schooled peers.

That is just a partial quote from one paper, follow the link to get the references.
Not a lot of research gets funded because what research they do shows that students are better served academically and socially in home school (even with "uneducated" parents and self-generated study programs) than in institutional schools. So teacher's unions and public school administrators won't fund it, textbook companies won't fund it, and universities won't do it for free, because they get paid for teacher training, not for doing research.

cid
8540

My 15 yo daughter is having a hard time with high school. She had an incident happen in 7th grade that has followed her through the years and she can't seem to shake the stereotype people have placed on her. We live in a very small town. She went from a social, athletic young lady, to being extremely depressed and not wanting to participate in activities. She also has lost touch with a lot of her friends and has a very limited network of friends, due to "drama" and backstabbing, etc... She is so unhappy going to high school here that she is begging to be homeschooled. She is ocasionally suicidal. My question is how do I know if homeschooling is the answer for her, or if it is just a manipulation from dealing with her problems. On the other hand, if she is that unhappy does it really matter, or am I teaching her to be a quitter. This is no reflection on home schooling I think it is great we have the option. I just want to make sure if we decide to do so it is for the right reasons. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Any insight would be helpful.

Thanks!

Conderned mom

cid
8815

Okay now I loved Public School, I don't have some kind of weird ideal or reason for home schooling. Number 1, Data has also showed that class size is too big for ideal development. Number 2, schools and teachers are under funded. Why would I choose to be part of the problem? I also know that it is up to the student to succeed, and many do that in PS, but many don't. Number 3, If you are not capable of teaching your own child with today's recourses (this is not grandma's home schooling nowadays okay?)then you probably need parenting classes because all parents are the biggest influences on there children.

cid
9121

I Home School my 10 year old son and am planning on Home Schooling my daughter. No, I haven't been formally educated as a teacher, but one thing I do find that I have an advantage over a traditional teacher is this, if my son is having a difficult time with a certain subject, I can spend all afternoon working with him until he "gets" it. Can you say that you can work with one child in your class for hours at a time until you and he/she both feel confident in his understanding of a certain subject?

These kids fail to learn because they may not understand what exactly is going on in class. Then they get bad grades and are in parent teacher conferences with everyone wondering why little Johnny just can't seem to grasp his studies.

I'm not knocking you as a teacher or your profession, but I, as a parent, feel as if it is up to me to make sure my child gets the most out of his education. And that doesn't include sitting in a classroom for 6-7 hours per day and depending on someone else to make sure he learns his ABC's.

cid
14320

I just attended a presentation by a teacher at a very prestigious private school in Pittsburgh. She does not have a teaching credential. I asked one of the other attendees who told me that few of the teachers at private schools are credentialed. The private schools tend to hire people with advanced degrees in their subjects.

cid
14321

Normally, I only read these boards, but this particular discussion is one that I felt the need to weigh in on.

First, just let me say that the debate over homeschool versus traditional schooling is, undoubtedly, a debate which will likely never cease. To homeschool a child is a parent's personal decision based on their opinion of what is best for their child. No one really has the right to question that decision, just as those of us who homeschool really do not have the right to question the decision of those who choose to send their children to public or private school. This is a debate where, in the end, all of those involved should simply agree to disagree.

That being said, I have been on both sides of the debate. My two oldest children attended public school for 9 years (oldest) and 6 years (youngest). They are both now homeschooled.

Our youngest never had a real problem with public school. He was well liked, made good grades and was excited about learning. Our oldest, however, began having problems in the 5th grade. We were called to the school by her teachers to have a conference. In their opinion, she was having reading comprehension problems. The teachers informed us that she would be placed into remedial reading classes so that she could "catch up". She barely passed the 5th grade. In the 6th grade, her grades continued to suffer, despite hours of helping her with her homework at home. We had numerous conferences with teachers at her school trying to determine what the problem was...why wasn't she learning the material? Then, during the 3rd nine weeks of school, her grades suddenly went from C's, D's and F's to straight A's. I praised our oldest for the wonderful grades, but was a bit skeptical. Our time with her at home wasn't showing any improvement. We would informally test her on her knowledge of the material and she couldn't answer our questions.

After a couple of weeks of this, I requested a conference with her teachers. At this conference I was informed that when our daughter would fail a test, the teachers would give her an open book test along with several extra credit "projects" which usually amounted to copying from the book or looking up definitions. This was why her grades improved so dramatically. The school administrator even had the nerve to tell me that they had simply given up on her, but the school could not afford to retain her...plus it would not be socially healthy for her to be retained while all of her peers progressed through the grades!

At this point, I had never even heard the word homeschool. I didn't know that it was an option.

When our oldest reached the 9th grade, she was at a 3rd grade reading level, a 5th grade spelling level, and hated doing anything related to schoolwork. She failed the 9th grade.

After only a few months of homeschool, she is now testing at what the government says is "normal" for 10th grade. Beyond that, and more importantly, she loves to learn now, which is something that I had almost given up hoping for when she was in public school.

My point to this story, and the reason for the response, is simply to say that not every child is suited to a public school environment. Our youngest would likely have progressed through 12 years with no problems. Our oldest, however, was well on her way to either flunking out of school, or dropping out. Not because she didn't want to learn, but because the school (in their own words) had given up on her, and as a result, she felt "why should I even bother, what difference will it make?"

There are pros and cons to both public/private school and homeschool. In the end, whether to homeschool or send a child to public/private school is a personal decision, made for personal reasons, and suited to the personal needs of the child or children involved.

Synergy, perhaps you should simply agree to disagree. In has been my experience that mothers and fathers who homeschool their children may not have a teaching "certification" but they are very intelligent, resourceful, dedicated, and above all passionate about their child's education. Who, after all said that a person needed a government certification in order to teach? Why....the government of course.

cid
14513

That few private school teachers are credentialed is a blanket statement that is false for almost all of the private school teachers that I know. There are two exceptions that I personally know: 1. A medical doctor who teaches anatomy/physiology and chemistry to high schoolers. 2. A Doctor of Divinity who teaches Bible classes to high schoolers. Just my 2 cents on the subject...

cid
14610

I agree, there is only so much a child can learn from books, I also want to add, Have you SEE The PUBLIC School teahers now a days, Some do not care if one child (Or more)is behind the rest of the class, they will push them off to next grade with out batting an eye.
I find that HS are far better off because us HS Parents KNOW where our children are and if need be work on something that they are having trouble in.

Happy HS Ya'll

cid
15276

Ok I have several problems with this post. One the author noting that PARENTS have no rights parenting/teaching, What the heck is our job as parents? Do we not teach our children or what? Let me ask you author, Do you think my job as a parent is to raise my child and teach my child only to a set age and then it is the Governments job to raise them the rest of the way? or heck the teachers right to raise my child the rest of the way? HECK NO!

My last post disappeared so maybe it is on here somewhere. AT any rate, to the author, I have family who are teachers in this system and I know many teachers and they all agree on the same thing. THIS TEACHING SYSTEM IS THE WORST IN THE WORLD. THEY DO NOT APPROVE OF OUR EDUCATION TODAY AND THE CHANGES THAT HAVE BEEN MADE. THEY CERTAINLY DO NOT WALK AROUND ACTING LIKE BECAUSE THEY HAVE A TEACHING DEGREE THAT THEY ARE BETTER THEN ANY PARENT. MOST TEACHERS I HAVE TALKED TO AND KNOW STAND BEHIND ANY PARENT WITHDRAWING THEIR CHILD FROM SCHOOL.

How is it you can sit there and bash HS parents and HS period. Usually the ones who are not aware or familiar with homeschool are the IGNORANT ones! I think we all agree on this. If you are not willing to educate yourself on HS then do not come to an HS forum ignorantly bashing HS and Homeschoolers.

How can you sit there and say that because parents do not have a degree in teaching we cannot teach our children. I have been to the school system all be darned if I am going to send my child in to it facing the crap I did and what many face today.

God gave all parents the gifts they need to raise their children. Just because someone went to school for the job does not make that person smarter or better for that position. A college degree means nothing, it is just approved by the government. I dont need the governments permission to tell me how to raise me child. I will gladly tell them where my hiney is if they would like to bend over and kiss it.

United States has gone from the best schools in the world to the worst schools in the world. Look at the statistics. Not only that, look at what has been said about HOMESCHOOLING. Right now there is over a million homeschooling and climbing at children withdrawn each year now 26,000 a year to be homeschooled. Homeschooled children are more successful in schooling then any child in the public school system.

You tell me how that is possible when as you noted, parents have not been educated enough to teach their children? I will tell you why, the teachers with a college degree are molded to teach the children what the Government wants them to teach. Eliminating Morals, Values, TRUE beliefs and FACTUAL INFORMMATION, to replace them with poorly encouraged things like experiment Homosexuality, handing out condems and providing birth control to girls with out parental consent. Replacing True Evidence with Theories.

Pardon me for not approving this for my child. God blessed me and my husband with the responisbilies of our children, All be danged if the Government thinks they will step in and re form my child in a direction I do not want them to go in.

My children are more educated, socialize, manner raised then most in any public school. I will educate my children on Sexuality when need be not when the Government says it is time.

To you Author, You and your small amount of uneducated, inconsiderate foul mouth teaching staff who continue to bad mouth Homeshcooling need to take a hike in a new direction of education. Every teacher I have spoken with from several states at that stands behind the rights of a parent and homeschooling. Many encourage it and support it although for job security can not stand up publicly stating it unless they are willing to take a job loss.

It is extremely rude of you to come to this forum.

LET THE RECORD SHOW : TO THOSE WHO DO HAVE A DEGREE DO NOT TAKE THIS FOR YOU, MOST COLLEGE DEGREE LEADERS TODAY DO NO HAVE THE HANDS ON SKILLS NEEDED TO DO MOST ANY JOB OUT THERE TODAY. THE ONLY THING THEY DO HAVE IS THE BOOK SMARTS. I DONT NEED JUST A BOOK TO BE SMART. ALOT OF THINGS YOU LEARN ABOUT TODAY DO NOT ALWAYS COME FROM A BOOK BUT DO COME FROM EXPERIENCE. THAT IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE HAIR BRAINED COLLEGE DEGREE PEOPLE LIKE YOURSELF!

By the way while I am at it, When I pulled my daughter out of public school at the end of her 4th grade year I tested her to see what she knew and didnt know and diagnostics When I got my test results back I called and chewed out the Public school system for passing my daughter in to the 5th grade when she had a 3rd grade learning level.

But you teachers have more smarts in your tiny brains then us parents do.

cid
15282

First of all to homeschool you do not need a teaching degree.

Second my children are involved in more groups being homeschooled then if they were public schooled. Since we have more time to participate in those activities.

Third it is shown that children learn more and faster with one on one education. So who is going to learn more a child in the class of one or in the class of 20 to 30.

Fourth people homeschool or a variety of reasons. Not just religious, we homeschool or medical reasons.

My children attend virtual classes with children all over the world. We also attend activities with many homeschooled children all over our state. I believe they social network just fine.

cid
15292

Hi
There are some good points made here.

Home schooling has been a big issue for me.
My son started secondary school after a year of traumatic events for the family. He was missed with friendship groups and in spite of our raising concerns with the school became completely disaffected. His school are well known for inaction to the point of not returning phone calls, replying to letters etc.(there is a long story here).

His social life at school was nil, bullying, disruptive classes, insufficient time to eat lunch after 20 minutes queing. He was diagnosed with mild Aspergers and socialising can be especially difficult. We also know of several children at the school whose life is unbearble, they dread going to school, the parents are constantly worried and no action is taken after serious bullying.

He started school a happy friendly child and after 2 terms he just refused to go to school, no tantrums just emotionally very broken. I started teaching him at home with the agreement of the school and LEA to help him back. The authorities were a waste of time as there only efforts were to try to talk him back to school, including threats that his parents might go to prison. (another long story).

I had to home school for a year and a half. It was a very difficult time, I was unable to work, I had to cover years 8 and 9 subjects and try to rebuild his confidence. The school were also unable to supply curriculum or schemes of work. Fortunately I had some teaching experience after my PGCE. A point here, there are thousands on teachers who are let lose without proper guidance after 1 years PGCE, and do not have the real skills of a teacher.

He may be classed as lazy but I think particularly, Aspergers children are motivated in other ways and the physical and emotional challenges of conventional school can be unbearable.

Home schooling was the only answer left, we tried, unsuccessfully, to link up with others in the same situation. It would have been ideal if successful.

My point is that school is the best environment for most children if there are good teachers, sensible discipline and inclusion. However, there are significant number of children for whom school is very negative. Although intelligent, they learn very little, they may be bullied and isolated. If they have no prowess at games they are picked on in PE. It comes to a point where their confidence and self belief is lost.

I enjoyed the time with my son although it was very stressful. He worked very well and now has a place at grammar school, I hope this will be a different story.

cid
15305

I home schooled my son grades 3-8. He now goes to a private high school.We did more activities than he would have done in public school.His education is without a doubt much better.I hate the school system.It was on parent's day,that I realized how much time was being wasted.I know home school works!

cid
15373

To the OP: What did I do to "earn" the right to teach my children? I gave birth to them. They belong to me, not the government. Compulsory schooling is unconstitutional at best. Parents have the right to decide how their children will be educated, be it public school, private school or homeschool. I found your whole post to be condescending and ignorant. Any person who graduated high school themselves can homeschool their child through high school. Any parent who graduated college with ANY kind of degree can homeschool their child through high school. Contrary to what many public school educators want people to think, teaching isn't rocket science. I probably am not qualified to teach a class of 30, nor would I want to, but I can work one on one with my children and make decisions about their education, ie: will I teach them myself, put them in a co-op or pay someone to teach them privately.

If you aren't going to homeschool your children because you have concerns, that is your right, but don't come online and be condescending to a whole segment of society that you don't understand.

cid
15628

I agree 100%

cid
15631

I am new to the board but I had to jump in my son goes to a public school which is fine and dandy but to be bluntly honest i feel he isn't getting a full education math and reading seems to be the only thing that is taught regularly, he is 10 years old and don't know his tables yes I could take over and do it myself but if it wasn't for me taking the time out to figure out what he is having trouble on and having him review the homework I could be teaching him his times tables and History?? well other than what the school board picks and chooses they will teach I am unable to pull him from school as i don't have the qualifications to home school him myself,I would jump at the chance to home school my child.

cid
15635

Alchemy;
What State are you in?

cid
15639

There are no specific "qualifications" that I know of. I homeschooled my daughter for high school. We joined a homeschooling group and she got a good education without having to deal with the peer pressure and all the filler classes that she had no interest in taking. Read the other posts by homeschoolers. Your child will probably get a better education from you than he is getting now.

cid
15648

I agree with 2X.
Your Child if he/she is lacking in school, I think with one on on with you ,your Child will do alot better and will catch up. Be worth looking into :)

If you need any help just yell at any of us :) We are here to help :)

Blessings;Renee

cid
15649

Not difficult to see where you're really coming from. As a PARENT, I DON'T NEED GOVERNMENTAL OR EDUCATIONAL APPROVAL TO HOMESCHOOL MY CHILD. THAT RIGHT WAS A GIVEN FROM THE TIME OF CONCEPTION.

Lack of parenting, the public school system, and our "wonderful" governmental leadershiip is what's wrong with the public school system now.

BACK OFF

cid
15778

Ren Jac Pgh,PA

cid
15861

I agree with you here. As a homeschooler myself I have experienced first hand the problems with non-certified teachers trying to teach.
My parents were terrible teachers who relied on a poor, low-quality and heavily politically biased computer program (which was spectacularly unusual). They tried to lecture me on things I knew better than they did as a freshman. I'm not bashing their enthusiasm or homeschool as a concept. I'm not crazy for the numb, complacent American public school system's processes, but they are FAR, FAR better equipped than any home school I know of.
I ended up spending more time explaining to them the concepts in the lesson that I had learned from teaching myself (google, library books, youtube, wikipedia, and correspondence with intelligent people on forums).

I had NO social life until I was put into a private school for junior year, which was connected to problems with depression I had that had cropped up during the homeschool years.
As to be expected from a self-taught student, I performed atrociously in some areas (such as higher mathematics, chemistry and of course biology) and excelled beyond high school-level skill in other areas (physics, computer science, philosophy).

I'm in college now because the principal and asst. principal of that school were so impressed by my determination and hunger for real education. I wish I had gone to normal public school where I could have had much better learning resources (real pianos for music, libraries on campus, actual teachers with certification, homework, computer labs and contact with other people). Homeschool does not offer these resources. Unless you have a chemistry lab at your home (no, not your kitchen), you're going to be limited.

If the parents are not certified, and if they are unwilling to help their children go to the library like my parents were, then they should not teach their children solo. You will only make their future very difficult.
Homeschooling carries with it great risks and horrendous shortcomings that I think are being ignored far too often. Granted, I may have just been a rare case: getting the proverbial "short end of the stick."
Thanks, Synergy! I'm glad you raised this VERY important issue.

cid
18990

Homeschool is not a catchall solution to the bad state of the public school system. If you can't teach your kids anything useful, then you'd be amputating their chances of going anywhere in life.
I think homeschool is a great option if you know what you're doing, but far too often ambition eclipses common sense and then you have a "great" home-school student who is failing the ACT and SAT. I've met these kids before. It's sad and it's because the parents didn't take into consideration their lack of an education.
I do not like the idea of a government able to pry into families, but then again, I do not like the idea of a government powerless to stop child abuse or simply terrible education.

cid
18991

Anonymous homeschooler.
You seem to be able to write a coherent, grammatically correct essay with words spelled correctly and to find the resources you need in order to learn everything you want to know. You also seem to be motivated to learn--what the professionals call a self-directed learner.

If you are representative of home-schooled students . . .

I'm sure the stylistic reliance on parenthetical phrases can be excused. I'm a public school product, and I like--dashes.

You provide a point-of-view that is refreshing. I'd be interested to see more of your opinions on this issue and on others.

Congratulations on your admission to college. Good luck with your efforts!

cid
18992

Synergy would not be giving you a "go-ahead," it would be boards of certified experts. It would be consulting people who are trained experts with years and years of education under their belts. If they feel that you cannot teach, you should reconsider homeschooling.
I'm glad that your are ferocious in defense of your children, but never forget that parents are liable to error and mistakes. Homeschooling is a very problematic response to "traditional" public education (itself a very problem-ridden approach).

cid
18993

Thank you very much for your kind words.

I felt compelled to respond since I saw no homeschool students talking about their experience (that and things were going political...).

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18995

The available research suggests that while homeschooled children develop at or over societal norms, the critics point to their ABSENCE from public education as a problem for the students left in public schools. My question is, where were these critics when children are being bullied, harrassed or ignored? Having a rule is all well and good, but when enforcement falls short, it is the parent's duty to step in; I'd rather teach my child to learn for herself than learn it for her, anyway.

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There was a comment made a few posts ago about how homeschoolers participate in more clubs and social events and so forth. While that's probably a fair point, I'm not sure if that necessarily leads to better social development. At my school, we have a lot of clubs and after school activities and such. I go to them, talk to people, do activities and generally have fun. But one of the things I've noticed is that the people I talk to and hang out with there are usually not the people I consider to be my closest friends. The people I do consider to be my closest friends don't necessarily have the same interests as me, but they are still people I enjoy spending time with and talking to.

It's for this reason that I don't really think that a bunch of clubs and extra-curricular activities is the same as a regular public school experience. On top of that, I think that what constitutes a good social experience is not just having friends, but also having enemies. In the real world, you're going to have to deal with people who annoy you and piss you off. Part of being well developed socially is knowing how to deal with these kinds of people in a healthy way. I really don't think that participating in a lot of clubs and extra-curricular activities adequately prepares you for that. It's a good way of meeting and becoming friends with people who have the same interests as you, but relationships with people who don't have the same interests as you are also vital to proper social development.

But as a side note, I will say that if your child has some sort of severe mental or social issue, homeschooling might be a better option(at least until the system drastically improves).

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According to our state's statistics (Maryland), over half of the teachers in the public school system do NOT have degrees in teaching. Therefore there are engineers teaching English, accountants teaching psychology, etc... So many states just want warm bodies with at least a bachelor's in SOMETHING! If this is the situation for Maryland (as well as California from what I gather on another forum), then it could be safe to say this might be a trend in other states. While these facts are 'hidden' and most principals have 'gag orders' on what to divulge to parents regarding the educational background of their staff, it shows that to teach in the public school system one must just show up.
I homeschool, but I also am a substitute teacher for our school district, and no, I do not have a degree in teaching or education. But I can legally substitute for a whole year in a public school and not be state certified. Which is the case for Illinois, where my sister substitute teaches and she is a CPA. She does not have a teaching certificate but is on the permanent payroll for Cook county as a substitute teacher. She has never subbed in a Math class (which one would think she would be in line for, with her math background) but DID sub teach for 6 months in a British Literature class, teaching about books of which she never read, for one year. Go figure...

In regards to Anon's situation..
While there is a small percentage of homeschoolers that are taught by deficient and/or negligent parents.. the percentage is miniscule. I have been involved in homeschool groups that number over 100 and out of those 100 parents, probably only 1 or 2 I can see should not be teaching their kids.

As for the peer social aspect.. when you go to college you will be in classes where your classmates will range from 15 years of age to 88. You will have lab partners that are old enough to be your mom/dad. That is how the real world is. That is what the average homeschooler encounters on a daily basis. My boys, ages 14, 12, and 10 are able to converse with anyone in any age bracket. They volunteer at our local library and veterans home. They are being raised as citizens. When I sub teach at an area high school I am appalled that a Junior in high school cannot sit with an 80 yr old man and carry on a conversation for more than 5 minutes. They only know how to converse with their peers because the teachers just don't have the time and energy to sit one-on-one with these kids to teach them conversational etiquette. And with texting now, when do they learn how to carry on a conversation? OR spell a work correctly instead of phonetically?
When I was in school we had a whole semester in middle school on how to write a letter, carry on a conversation, proper way of addressing an adult, how to conduct a phone conversation, etc... So many parents do these things for their kids, like call the 800 number of Nintendo or Apple to see what is wrong with something. My 14 yr old son just called Apple yesterday to talk with customer support about a software issue he was having on our computer. The rep there was floored that he was talking with a 14 yr old all the time during the call (I had to get on to verify ownership of the computer).

It was stated that one has to know how to deal with enemies in society. I just don't see any healthy teaching of that art in the public school system. I've taught at city schools and suburbia as well. It is either fight or flight when there is conflict and usually a teacher has to intervene.. What is learned here? We as parents teach our children not only how to deal with conflict in a healthy, mature manner; but also through example. Being a hoemschooling parent, we are frequently, publicly questioned and sometimes chastised by strangers for our right to parent our children. Our children see this and learn how to behave gracefully (hopefully) and address the situation respectfully.
I encourage you to seek out a homeschooling group to observe how things are done and the balance you will find in the children. If you are unsure of how to find a group, most children's librarians in public libraries are in touch with homeschool groups.

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Legomom,
Would you post the website where you got your information... According to our state's statistics (Maryland), over half of the teachers in the public school system do NOT have degrees in teaching. I'd like to read the article, thanks.

only2boys

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This will be my 1st year homeschooling but I grew tired of my son being bullied and coming home upset.He is a good little guy and doesn't like to fight.The teachers don't have time enough time for extra help and I do.

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Hi to everyone.
As a mum who teaches her children at home age for and age six I would like to post my comment on this subject.
Homeschooling is not for everyone and you only really find out the facts when you actually undertake it yourself and the reasons for parents homeschooling are all different.
Firstly homeschooling is not the right word as my children are shown at home how to read, write, listen and learn, no school involved.
We visit regular outside classes where we meet children of all ages, fortunately children never judge so we never need to explain why?,how? is that legal etc. etc.
There are many reasons for homeschooling, poor teachers, bullying, religious beliefs or if a parent simply feels they have the time and interest to invest in a home learning environment.
Who taught us to walk and talk, our parents so why is it so difficult to teach anything further if that is what you want as a family.
I was not homeschooled and knew nothing about the subject until I felt it suited my family.
It is impossible for some families to even consider homeschooling with the fast pace lifestyle today even used in schools, i.e. year one should be reading...........if they are not they probably have learning difficulties, this is nonsense it just means there is not enough time to invest in a class of twenty five children with different learning ability.
I feel for myself we can learn at our own pace and I would not consider anything else.

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Since you did not feel the need to white wash what you had to say, I won't feel the need to either. I have a teaching certificate. The classes I had to take, a post-bac program, only taught some classroom management skills. It taught nothing about learning styles, learning theories, cognitive development, etc. In my first job, despite being a math teacher, I was placed with almost a full schedule of science classes. I had to learn along with the students. Back to college though, as I said, I only went for my teaching cert post bac. You see, when I was in college, it was the low level students who majored in education. Sure, there were a lot of nice people going in to education. But fact is, most of them were catty prissy sorority girls.

After teaching for a few years prior to having children, and finding myself shocked at how a bunch of so called professionals behaved, you know..the teachers and administrators, I happily left teaching. I had my own children by then and settled in to being a stay-at-home mom. Oddly though, I guess I just was not thinking as I went ahead and enrolled my children in the public schools when the time came.

I should explain, I do live in Texas, where public schools are not required to hire certified teachers. In fact, they are not even required to be accredited. A lot of people like to think that the state education agency, called Texas Education Agency, is an accrediting agency, but it is not. The federal government does not recognize it as such. And if you call them, they will admit they do not accredit schools, they simply are the state agency. Every state has a state department of education.

For the first few years I watched my children being taught nonsense in the schools. I drew the line when extreme bullying was going on in the local schools and I pulled my children out. I could not stand that the schools were barely bothering to educate the children, and stood back while children beat the daylights out of each other at recess and in the classroom. For the record, we do not live in the innercities. I hear those schools are even worse. We live in a wealthier area with "exemplary" schools. Yet, by the end of 4th grade, they still had not started division or taught the children what a noun was. Forget handwriting, spelling, or grammar, they just did not do it.

I did think to return my children to public school for high school. That did not work out. You see, by then, my children, after being home educated for five years, were so far ahead of everyone that they tested out of all the Freshman and Sophomore level courses. Some of the scores were even at 100%, but all the scores were above 90%. The credit by exam tests are know for being much harder than can be passed by students actually in the schools taking the courses. Those students only have to earn 70% and are given opportunities to repeat the tests until they pass.

Now my older children are in private school and my younger children are home schooling.

But I want to add about the wonderful mass produced borg like social environment of the local public schools. My children had to sit in class next to kids doing ecstacy. Kids were having sex in the bathrooms. And my daughter was being ruthlessly sexually harassed and threatened while the boys club, AKA principal and assistant principals, just responded with "boys will be boys" and "that is just how they are at this age." No wonder our local high school has been in the news as having the highest teen suicide rate and teen death rate in the nation. I find it seriously disturbing when children are raped at the local elementary and middle schools or a child hangs himself in the nurses office after being bullied. He had told everyone who would listen if they made him go back to that school, he would kill himself. They sent him anyway. Many parents had gotten together and had a petition to have that principal removed well before this little boy killed himself. Administration never cared.

SO, to sum it up, the education in the public schools cannot possibly compare to home education. Teacher certification programs are mostly full of mass management of children skills. I do not want my children on an assembly line. The social environment in a public school is more like a prison than anything positive. There are actual studies to back that up. Home schools kids score way higher on standardized tests than brick and mortar counterparts.

I bet you didn't love hearing my opinion. But these are the facts. You cannot ignore how horribly schools are failing.

One note though, talented teachers cannot teach anymore. They are so micromanaged by administrators and state offices and out-of-touch curriculum directors that the good teachers leave the profession only leaving behind the bad ones.

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And for the kind of government approval, we like to call that the law. See, the same law that handed you a certificate to teach strangers childrens gave me the right to teach my own. Government approval? You sound like an advertisement for Hitler. Seriously....you are the exact example of why many people home school.

Your teaching certificate is nothing more than a peice of paper. It was easy to get. It took little work. It was just a bunch of books read by you, assuming you were able to read them and did, as I know many education majors stuggle with this. But I also know the books tend to be written on a very basic level that an average 7th grader can read. Of course, I cannot exactly tell what courses you took or grades you received in college, nor do I even know if you went to a decent school. But an el ed degree did not even need any math or science that went beyond seventh grade average track level. Regardless, you did not even have to do well in those courses to receive your degree at the end.

I used to think that the real degree people were cruel to the education majors to point out how simple their degrees were. Ok, it is still cruel to make fun of someone who is of lessor intelligence, or lessor effort. Again, there are SOME intelligent people in education. But an elementary education degree is no proof of that. "Basic math for education majors" and in the course description, no one can take this course for credit except education majors because it would be deemed remedial for anyone else.

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Let me ask you this- why does anyone need government approval for anything ? Do we need government approval to have children to begin with ? To educate them outside of school ?

I feel your line of questioning is quite offensive and we are currently using a public school- though, it is FAR from the ONLY educational tool we use!

Loving Wife & Mom of 3

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My children and their homeschooled friends get accolades and kudos all the time for their maturity and ability. My 18-year-old was recently heard to say that homeschool has benefited him because he views 'learning as a way of life'. When you get to learn what you love and do more hands-on educational activities, you learn more so than public schoolers to figure out, research, investigate, and find the answers. When my youngest took an achievement test at the end of 3rd grade, he was post high school on all english/reading/ comprehension parts of the test and high and everything else. Home provides a better learning envirnoment as children are safe with their parents and free of the pressure that comes with public school. But yes, if public schooling parents get involved, their kids can do well too. We just chose different. Interesting to me, that my sister-in-law, who frowned on my homeschooling, her sons are difficult to talk to, don't converse well, are more into material things and don't do the ministry volunteer work that my sons do. My sons are more mature and in tune with people. There is something to homeschooling.

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I was just looking over this board, and found this comment noteworthy:

"But as a side note, I will say that if your child has some sort of severe mental or social issue, homeschooling might be a better option(at least until the system drastically improves)."

In other words, if your child is typical, have a professional do the educating, but if your child is challenging, you are better off doing the educating yourself.

?

I always thought you called in the professionals when you had a problem you couldn't solve.

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I think it is possible that there is some sort of learning disability that is interfering with your son's education. I would ask the school psychologist to do an evaluation.

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get some rest.

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Just a bit of information. There is a study, cited in a recent US NEWS article, that found that home schooled students who enrolled in college had a 4 year graduation rate that was 8% higher than conventionally schooled students. The conventional schools included public, Catholic, and private high schools. Google "Home schooled teens ripe for college" to see the article.

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