Doing the math behind homeschooling
August 28th, 2012
07:51 AM ET

Doing the math behind homeschooling

by Carl Azuz, CNN

(CNN) – Public, private, parochial, charter schools: There's no shortage of options on where to send your children for their education.

But a growing number of Americans are choosing not to send them anywhere at all, opting instead to educate them at home.

The National Center for Education Statistics says that 1.7 percent of kids were homeschooled in 1999, 2.2 percent in 2003, and 2.9 percent in 2007. Today, that figure is at 4 percent, according to an article published at EducationNews.org.

So it appears that the homeschooling growth rate is more exponential than it is steady.

Most parents aren't certified teachers, so it stands to reason why some question the effectiveness of a homeschool education. But the Home School Legal Defense Association, an advocacy group in favor of homeschooling, reported in 2009 that homeschooled students averaged 37 percentile points higher on standardized tests than their public school counterparts.

EducationNews.org backs that up, saying that while students in traditional schools mark the 50th percentile on standardized tests, students who are “independently educated” score between the 65th and 89th percentile.

Of course, there’s a time commitment involved in homeschooling that many families simply can’t make. If a single parent has a full-time job – or if both parents do – setting aside several hours a day to educate a child simply isn’t feasible.

And the arguments against homeschooling – from varying state requirements to reduced social interaction among peers to a lack of student competition – can be challenging issues to address.

But if the number of kids who are homeschooled continues to rise, it may signal a noteworthy trend.

Posted by
Filed under: At Home • Carl Azuz • Homeschooling • School choice
soundoff (1,126 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    Shelli – well said.

    Selective anecdotal ammunition is the resort of the fool and the enemy of wisdom. For those who want unbiased evidence, there is ample available.

    Individuals who bring a prejudiced and hardened mind to the challenges of education currently confronting America bring no help at a time when the pace of change globally risks leaving our kids behind.

    Those who nurture the inquiring intellect of children and deftly guide them to master the pursuit of self-learning are equipping them for success in a turbulent and fast-paced world in which what I learned yesterday is not sufficient alone for what I must face tomorrow.

    Life-long learning is the door into the future. There are those gifted at incultating this in the classroom and the home.

    August 29, 2012 at 1:31 am |
  2. Doug J

    Many school districts certainly have problems, but it all depends on where you live. Does that score for public education students include all districts? Are inner city and poorer districts included? Even with a college degree, I would find it very difficult to teach my children subjects such as trigonometry. I suspect many home schooled children do not get as good an education as those attending public schools.

    August 29, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • thesaj

      Perhaps you should research how most homeschooling works today. Parents usually teach elementary/middle school materials.

      Then after that, when kids need trigonometry, chemistry, physics, calculus. They usually audit the courses at a local community college. (Usually between the ages of 14-16). And often they start their actual college career a year or two early. And usually take second year courses their first year. Allowing them to take more in field electives OR a minor. Or sometimes, they'll stay a 5th year to graduate with their age peers, just with a double BA/BS.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  3. Jon

    One interesting thing to look at is how grades (or standardized test scores) relate to family income. I'm betting that, on average, students with a higher family income have better odds of scoring better on standardized tests. Having the options of private tutors, paying to retake tests, etc. Home schooling by it's very nature requires having a higher income, having at least one parent home that can teach full time. My mother was working full time after my father died and there was simply no way I could have been home schooled.

    August 29, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Ara

      Actually, most of the homeschoolers that I've known have been of modest means. I don't know any that are affluent at all. And, many of them are single mothers. It sounds like you don't know of any to talk that way. People of means generally put heir kids in private schools. Homeschooling is an inexpensive way to create the same kind of education.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • MarylandBill

      Yes, homeschooling is easier if you have two parents and one can stay at home. But just because the mother (or the father) stays home, that doesn't mean the parents are well-to-do. Many of us are of modest means. We do okay, but we make sacrifices... no cable, limited vacations (camping instead of hotels, etc.)

      Then there are the single homeschooling parents... I am in awe of them. But they figure it out.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • mom25

      You must not know very many homeschooling families! I know many and most of them have lower than average incomes and many of them have higher than average educations. They do without the second income to teach their children. The studies have shown that income has almost no effect at all on how homeschooled students do on standardized tests. With a committed parent-teacher, even the poorest student can do very well.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  4. Chris

    Beginning approximately a decade ago I spent several years working within my local ISD, which was and is still considered to be a good district when compared to others of similar size. Although it would be years before I became a parent, I remember thinking to myself that I would like something better for my children. It also struck me how little actual educating went on in comparison to the time spent on managing the throngs of unmotivated and disrespectful students. Except for small pockets of excellent teachers and tiny bands of beleaguered students in AP courses, the various schools that I worked in seemed to be little more than government funded day care centers for tweens and teenagers. If motivated, even a parent of average intelligence and resources would have to be able to provide a more healthy environment and achieve better results in educating their children what I witnessed in my local ISD.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • Frank Beeckman

      I agree: "A little more than government funded daycare centers". That's best case scenario!!!

      It can be hell if you make an attempt to keep them accountable. Google: "Diary of a Dad Up Against the Four D's". I have similar experiences. Too many to mention. My child is still alive in special education. Will he be tomorrow? God knows? He almost got stabbed with a knife in school yesterday. Google "special education" and "strangling". See how educators can get away with murder and then continue to teach in another district. The child instead can't even defend himself agaisnt abuse from an educator or he'll get charged with a felony. "Public" Educators enjoy "double" legal protection. Misdemeanors easily become felonies....The double legal standard doesn't work the other way. The irony is that the child doesn't enjoy special double legal protection against the abuse of an educator. At least not in Arkansas. Is it any suprise parents will sacrific this much to protect their kids by home schooling them? Do your google search, they can't all be telling the same lies. Can they?

      August 29, 2012 at 1:24 am |
  5. John

    Perhaps the reason homeschooled children do much better is it is a more involved education, free from the political correctness/indoctrination so prevalent in much of our school systems.The parents are also free to teach a broader range of subjects such as ethics/morals which public school cannot teach due to anti religious nuts.

    Per capital the United States spends the most per student in public education and has among the poorest of skills among graduating individuals. Test scores have fallen since the implementation of a Federal Department of Education by Jimmy Carter. College Tuition rates have increased at more than double the price of health care in those same years. The average high school and college graduate does not graduate with the skills necessary to hold a job. Our system is extremely broken and needs fixing. I'd start by getting all the politics out of schools and concentrate on Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Viking Greg

      It's per capita, not per capital.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Bernard

      People who argue against religious indoctrination in schools are not "nuts". In fact, I believe they have eveyone's best interest in mind. Religion should be taught at home and in churches, not government run schools.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:21 am |
  6. lweba

    I live in a country where all kids have to go to school. I therefore cannot argue for or against home schooling. What I want to know is what kind of theories do kids who come from parents who are against some well established science theories learn from these parents in home schooling? For example, quite a good number of American parents are against theory of evolution, what do these parents teach their kids instead? Isn't it from this type of schooling that we get people like Akin with unscientific theories

    August 29, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Guest

      The whole point of homeschooling is to ensure that children are never exposed to any ideas except their parents' own until those parental opinions are fixed in stone. So, yes, they're taught religion instead of science.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:01 am |
      • Bernard

        That's a very broad a statement and I don't think it holds water. Sure, some people homeschool for religious reasons, but it is not so across the board.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:16 am |
      • Ara

        Lol, sorry, Guest, but that's not even approaching the truth. There are many, many reasons to homeschool, but avoiding an "exposure" to ideas certainly isn't one of them. What subversive ideas do you think school kids are being exposed to? One of my reasons to do it was actually to expand their education into subjects that weren't being taught in schools.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:34 am |
      • momof3

        Historically, many homeschoolers did so because of their religious beliefs. Today, the number of secular homeschoolers is rising rapidly, and homeschooling is becoming more diverse overall.

        August 29, 2012 at 8:28 am |
      • Dee

        Atheist here. I'm planning on homeschooling my son. But you are slightly right...there are are things I'm trying to prevent my child from learning about at such a young age while he's young and developing a sense of morality. I hope to keep him away from kids growing up in alcholic or drug abusing homes, I hope to keep him away from kids who grow up in families with no family values and have step and half siblings from multiple "parents", I hope to keep him away from any bad influence that I can so he doesn't grow up thinking that the current American normal is actually a good way to live.
        One day he will be an adult and see all the human selfishness in the world, but until then I prefer him to stay somewhat innocent. They grow up and learn the ways of the world soon enough, I'm just hoping that by then I will have instilled a good sense of right and wrong and he will have a better moral compass and better self-esteem than a majority of people.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • pubcentral

      The VAST majority of adults who believe the Bible is a science textbook were educated in public schools, and this will remain true in the foreseeable future, so I find condemnations of homeschooling on the grounds that it will lead to bad science a little unconvincing.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • Moses

      Parents teaching their children will have the opportunity of teaching theories for what these are: theories, non proven observations by people. It seems to me that public schools are taking the "words" of so called scientists that publising companies pay to write their books, that just because a theory is accepted by group of scientsts, it becomes a fact. I applaud the parents who sacrifice their time to teach their children what atheory is an what is not, and I applaud them if they also teach their children moral values, specially the value of human life from the moment of conception. These can be taught even without touching religion. Home schooling offers children the benefit of parents having time to also teach the children their religious values if they feel incline to do. This is one of the great diferences that I have noticed in this free American society and the society my parents sacriced their lives to take me away, my native Cuba. There theories are presented there as facts, including the one that it is better to live under a tiranny for fifty two years because it is the authoritative opinion of the tyrant Castro that it is so. Whether you accept it or not, education and politics go together.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:56 am |
      • MarylandBill

        If you want to understand the difference between a theory and a fact, you can start with the fact that the scientific term theory has a different meaning than the common use of the word theory. When (and many people for that matter) hear the word theory, what they think it means is hypothesis. In reality, in real science (as opposed to the psuedo-science that backs communism), theory is an hypothesis that has been supported by lots of observational data.

        The fact that many don't understand this distinction should not be taken as a strike against homeschooling since most people who receive a public education don't understand the distinction either.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  7. Josh

    In all honesty I was technically a school student but my parents made me stay up till 10pm doing extra homework THEY picked out. I was doing fractions by 2nd grade. Guess what, the teacher scolded my parents for advancing my studies beyond what they were teaching, emphasizing that they were hindering her ability to teach accordingly. As far as the social setting, I firmly believe a student that does not have distractions such as bullying, teasing, etc will surpass and succeed students his own age and beyond on an intellectual level. If i was home schooled throughout high school I'm sure I would have been a Dr. by now. Unfortunately, I only graduated college since I started slacking in high school due to those darned "social" interactions one is forced into. Thank God I never lost my intellectual ability to do for myself, which was instilled in me by my parents and not my teachers. Kudos to all home schooled children!

    August 28, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      So you are a slacker. Not the school's fault. I remember those slackers in my school too.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • S. Beasley

      Having worked both in public schools and in the private sector, I can tell you from my own observations that kids in public school may be getting A's in socializing, but some of these same kids are getting F's in academics. I have seen many kids have a great deal of apathy towards whether or not they pass in school or not. Generally speaking, I've seen more kids interested in who they will be hooking up with, where the next party is and who's going, as well as what will be served. To be fair, I have seen many students who are not affected by the world's standards in home school settings that are well versed, not overly sociable, but not hermits as some would believe. They are serious about doing something with their lives and changing the world somehow. Personally, I prefer the home schooled kids as it makes my job much more rewarding and enjoyable to work with a kid who enjoys learning more about the world of creation than the world's view of life and the way the world believes they should live it. Also, there is NO bullying, far less distractions, much more encouragement and supportive parents who are dedicated to raising their children to become positive role models, who care about other people with compassion and understanding, who have manners and respect both for themselves and for all others around them. Home schooled parents really know their children, who they are and where they are physically and emotionally. I give home schooled parent a lot of credit, and if I was raising my kids today, I would not hesitate to HOME SCHOOL!!

      August 29, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Ara

      Look, I know that they meant well, but that's just poor parenting. A kid staying up too late to learn things that will set him apart from the other kids in the class in such a pointless way is kind of sad and desperate. All kids start fractions in first or second grade, but most of them learn with their peers and get enough sleep to make their days productive. What was the point of learning it a few months early? Just to make school seem boring? To take away your play and socialization time? That was a sad situation.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • Dee

      Very well said Josh. I completely understand where you're coming from. I feel the same way, my school days were hell. I remember feeling so frustrated that I understood the material and other students just didn't get it. Teachers would go over the same thing time and again and I was bored out of my mind. I read nearly a book a day in school, just sitting at my desk reading while the teachers were going over things I already knew. Eventually it got to the point I started skipping all the time. I would have been much better off in a different setting. Even college was hard, the same thing...I would understand but always felt held back by other students. I learn best by myself, I just can't deal with a room full of students holding me back because they don't understand the material.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  8. The_Mick

    Yes, home schooled kids score higher than average because so many public school kids parents could care less about their education. When we had parent night at our public high school, I was exhausted by the huge influx of parents while many of my colleagues spent nearly the whole evening relaxing in the teacher's lounge. Why? I taught chemistry and physics and those colleagues taught low level classes. You can see from the parents WHY their kids are where they are. But I would also warn of two major problems with home schooling. Most parent/teachers are weak in math so their kids often begin public school in 9th grade behind in math compared kids at their ability level. Also, they often have trouble coping socially. They've never had to defend themselves from the kind of teasing and large-group fitting-in that occurs in high school. That's usually overcome within a year but too often never is.

    August 28, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Former Homeschooler

      While you're certainly on target with you comments with respect to parental involvement, your "problems with homeschooling" seem to be based on HSers who return to the public system for high school. Sadly, some HSing families think that once that start to hit the more technical or advanced subjects in high school, they have no choice but to return to the public schools.

      The choice we made, though, was to use the local community college system to provide the expertise that we couldn't offer. By the time my son entered university as a Computer Systems Engineering freshman, he'd already completed Physics 121, Calc I, Calc II, DiffEq, and Discrete Math Structures.

      This approach has two advantages:

      1) There is none of the social peer pressure/bullying BS typical of high schools. Of course, your comments suggest that students must be "socialized" to this type of environment. My position is that high school is in itself a social anomaly that should be avoided rather than treated as if it somehow represents real world adult behavior.

      2) They get used to dealing with professors who have no vested interest in their success. This has been a great advantage to our kids in making the transition to a full-time university environment. Think of how many public school students fall flat when they move off to college, and discover that those classes are nothing like what they were used to in their "social promotion" high school.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:58 am |
      • Ara

        In many communities there is also a homeschooling center where kids can take classes with other home schooled kids and benefit from the expertise of parents with experience in those subjects. We have two such centers in our area, and there were classes in everything from chemistry to Latin.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • Lolo

      Actually, the great blessing of homeschooling in 2012 is that there are several online classes or computer programs that aid parents in upper level education of our home schooled students. We actually have our high school aged kids in a couple of home school co-op classes taught by certified teachers in biology and foreign language. Also, my kids have much more time to participate in community service projects and serve at our local church fellowship, which has created a beautifully unselfish character in my kids. I thank God every day that we have the right to home educate our children in this country. By the way, my kids have the capability of socializing with people of all ages, and not nly their peers. The unsocialized arguement no longer holds water in this day and age. That was an arguement for 20 years ago.....

      August 29, 2012 at 2:28 am |
  9. farmerjeani

    I'm sure every situation is different. Many folks seem to be ignoring the fact that most home schoolers use a curriculum that is supervised by a teacher, take regular tests and interact directly with the teacher so she/he can be sure it is the child doing the work, not the parent. In the case of two of my grandchildren, their home is 70 miles from the nearest school, an hour and a half commute each way. They are my youngest grandchildren and the material they receive in this program far exceeds what my other grandchildren have access to in public schools. But they also have a stay at home Mom who devotes an average of 7-8 hours a day supervising their study. It IS a case by case situation but I am convinced these two will have a far better, in depth education than my grandchildren that already graduated from high school with honors had access to.

    August 28, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • mom25

      You aren't talking about homeschooling. What you are describing is online PUBLIC SCHOOL. I homeschool two of my children and they don't interact with any teacher besides me and have never taken a standardized test. We don't use any online classes at all and I choose and buy all the curriculum that we use. My first three children graduated from public school and I'm very confident that my homeschooled children are getting a superior education.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  10. Ryan

    What a classic example of getting correlation mixed up with cause and effect. Children from successful homes, with parents who are extremely involved with their education and who put strong efforts in education will always do better than children without those luxuries. Children from such homes exceed in public, private, charter, and other school environments as well; it is a product of their living environment not their educational environment. The benefits of getting an education in a school are very important for social development. One powerful lesson that school teaches is time management and working to get things accomplished through a bureaucratic process; which emulates what will likely be a typical work environment. Home schooled children will likely do just as well if not better in a school environment as long as their parental involvement is still maintained to a high degree.

    August 28, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • theseconddavid

      Luxuries? Perhaps people shouldn't be having children they can't afford. Perhaps rather than working to pay down an average of $20,000 in credit card debt, they could be taken care of their children. Home schooling is self selection. People who were not too dumb to have children they couldn't afford have smarter children. This would seem to be obvious.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
      • Ryan

        Well, of course they shouldn't but the simple fact is that they do. No matter how much we complain about it, it still is what it is; a fact of life. So, rather than sitting around and pointing fingers and saying "you shouldn't" let's try to do the best we can for those kids to help prevent this seemingly endless cycle. It is certainly not their fault they were born in the situation they find themselves in.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
      • Guest

        So only wealthy people should have children?

        August 29, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Max

      In my opinion, your answer is spot on. Our country would be much better off with parents that are more involved with their kids' education. Too many parents simply trust the school system to ensure the proper effort level is given.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I agree that the home schooled kids would probably do just as well in a public setting. However, there is little to no evidence to support your assertion that a public school setting better prepares kids for the real world.
      And time management is more critical in a non-structured setting. I would argue that home schooled kids are probably better than average in that area.

      BTW, I am VERY pro public school. I just think the discussion goes to places that are completely irrelevant. To many personal agendas being affected I think.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
      • Ryan

        Thanks Mark!

        You're likely correct on pointing out that my assertion doesn't have a great deal of research behind it. I perhaps should've made it more clear that I was stating my opinion rather than any grounded research on the subject and I thank you for reminding me to be more careful. It is an opinion formed on personal experiences which, of course, contain sample errors and likely a bit of confirmation biases. I would, however, not be surprised that any research will show a similar correlation as this survey if it was a straight comparision to publically educated children. I think a more apples-to-apples comparision where you look at things like parental education attainment, marriage status, income levels, etc.. That's where I believe (though uncertain, a simply hypothesis at this point), you'll find that children in a school enviornment are as likely if not more likely successful, especially in a work environment.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Sean

      you are correct sir, good catch!

      August 28, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Violet Weed

      The writers of this article didn't do any research or they would have explained –and thus you would have known– that homeschooling is overseen by each state. More importantly, homeschooling has been around for a long long time now and is quite sophisticated in this day and age of computers.. the homeschooled kids are not 'isolated' and without social interaction because the kids interface with other homeschoolers via skype, AND there are situations where there might be 3-5 families whose kids may meet in one home or another - together... AND there are group trips and athletic teams... it's almost like 'regular school' in some ways... but the difference between the homeschooled kids and the run of the mill kids who go to regular schools is how INVOLVED the PARENTS are... too many people live beyond their means or have put themselves into a financial situation where both parents have to work to maintain a lifestyle... a lifestyle that ultimately is detrimental to the family unit... one doesn't need cable tv, for example, or private piano lessons for the kids, etc. etc. etc.... I have friends who homeschool their children and by choice it is the wife who stays home with the kids (the WIFE's choice was to homeschool her children), I think of myself as a feminist but I have no issue with such decisions... the homeschooled kids I know are polite, mature, educated and well-balanced individuals and their family units appear to be very strong. That's the important thing. Do those families live in the biggest houses or drive the newest cars? No. They live on ONE income but have a family life beyond compare. It's a lifestyle choice not everyone is willing to make, but it comes with great rewards too.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
      • Violet Weed

        P.S. The other thing I have noted about homeschooled kids is that they tend to become very entrepreneurial in their teen years too... probably because they are part of a cohesive family unit... consider that most homeschooler parents are not only VERY involved in their children's education, but they aren't stupid people, either, because to be accepted as a homeschool 'teacher' they have to jump through some state hoops too... it's so much easier to do a small family business if the family is 'together'... the children following the leadership of the parents, and without the influence of the devil (real or symbolic) trying to tear apart the family structure. My own kids were homeschooled, in a way, because I had my own business when my (adopted) childrent were small so I worked from home and brought in a 'governess' (retired teacher) who actually did the schooling for the kids... I adopted an entire family (children of friends who died in an accident). Those kids are adults now with kids of their own... two sons have PhDs and my daughter is a concert pianist... they all own small businesses too, because they had ME working from home as an example of a successful small business owner. My grandkids are being homeschooled too.
        \

        August 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
      • MarkinFL

        What about the kids in public school with highly involved parents? All evidence show those kids doing as well or better than home schooled. The statistics above just point to the importance of parental involvement.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
      • dx2718

        Maybe you don't need a big house or a fancy car, but those piano lessons are important! Especially if your kid practices every day and shows any sort of talent. Excelling at something extracurricular like piano can not only enrich a child's life but also help them get into college. And unlike school subjects, a parent who is not an expert at an instrument cannot effectively teach their child to play beyond a certain level. Even a parent who is an expert cannot effectively teach their child as well as someone else. All the private instrumental teachers I know hire a colleague to teach their own kids.

        August 29, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • ChicagoRob

      I agree with the problems in this study. Not only are they not factoring in parental involvement, they are not comparing the grades of public schools to home schools so the averages of lower failing schools will bring down the average of all public schools. My family is lucky enough to live in an excellent school district with scores being at the top of the State. The teachers have all been excellent.
      As well they don't factor in a great number of public school students speak a second language at home..this will also drag own standard testing scores. Add in a good number of home school kids have a 1-1 or 1-2 teacher ratio and it is simple for the kids to be" taught to the test" to achieve high standard marks.

      For myself i loved the social interaction is public school system and needless to say if i was home-schooled my first teacher crush would have been awkward to say the least!!!

      August 29, 2012 at 12:37 am |
      • dx2718

        Right. Homeschooled kids are a biased sample of the general population. Parents' decision to homeschool may be based upon an understanding that their child will not do as well in the public school system, either because they live in a bad school district, or because their child has special needs or is gifted. In any of these cases, you will get better performance for that kid if he or she is homeschooled, but that doesn't mean that an average kid taken at random from the public school system will do better if they are homeschooled. Probably most children will do worse.

        August 29, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • thesaj

      My experience from public school. Those claiming to be "to poor, and unable to type a report because of it", also sported gold jewelry, and $250 outfits. I got two pairs of new jeans and a new shirt (if I was lucky).

      That said, most of those I know who are home schooled. Their families are not rich. They subsist on one decent income, sometimes a part time income. They have a few tendencies. They don't have big screen TV, new cars, and usually lack cable TV.

      Now that I think about it, that last one might be the reason for their success.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  11. Craig

    Whatever works for your kid. The tax base is the same, and student population at local schools decreases. Win win.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Sharug

      Agreed. I have two young daughters and I would be doing them a disservice by homeschooling them...I believe I'll leave it to the experts and be as involved as much as the teacher will let me...

      August 28, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
      • GPC

        Leaving your kids education to the experts is a big mistake. Look online for a free ebook called Is America Falling Off the Flat Earth? by the National Academy of Sciences. The education stats in this book are shocking.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:29 am |
      • Homeschool Mom

        Do you hear yourself? As much as the teacher will let me? Who do your kids belong to? You are responsible for your child's education no matter what avenue you choose.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:29 am |
      • Gord

        Really? You think someone earning $45K is an expert?

        August 29, 2012 at 5:36 am |
    • Mel

      That depends on your state, many require you to file a Declaration of Intent to homeschool and submit monthly attendance so your child can be counted as a student in that county. In Georgia we have to submit attendance so they can collect money for all those homeschoolers as well.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:58 am |
  12. pldahammy

    I was homeschooled. It was great, finished my work by noon and surfed the rest of the day!

    August 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • thesaj

      10 to 1, I bet you learned more about topics when you were surfing than studying. ;-)

      August 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  13. MarkinFL

    There is nothing wrong with home schooling if it is done correctly. Just as there is nothing wrong with public schools when done correctly.
    The primary indicator of success for ANY student is level of parental involvement. Home schoolers by definition have that going for them in spades. However, a huge number of public school kids have that as well.
    The statistics above say nothing bad about public schools. Guess where most of the 90th+ percentile kids went to school?
    And since half of ALL kids must be below average (OK the median), then whatever system has the majority of kids will also have most of the below average kids. Oh yeah, did I mention parental involvement?

    This says more about parental involvement than it does about anything else.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  14. EasyEase

    "white flight" is very real in my area. We are running out of places to run, and failed school districts follow us like fallen dominoes.

    If one cannot afford to flee to a white area, the only options are to home school or let your children go to school with socially promoted animals that slow the other students down with low intelligence, disruptions, and violence. Worse yet, there is an epidemic that is ignored in the media where schools become majority black and the white boys are beat up and the white girls are pressured to date gangster criminals.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Racist much?
      I went through a 40% black public school system and SOMEHOW managed to muddle through.(\extreme sarcasm off\).

      August 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
      • daniella

        Well- 40% is not a majority so you didn't even learn 3rd grade math!!!

        August 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
      • MarkinFL

        Oh dear, I do not recall saying it was a majority. However, something tells me that the flight in question begins long before 40% and people that think like this would assume such schools would have major problems. Whites were less than 50% of the school and yet no one felt threatened.
        It's not the race its the home life.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
      • daniella

        3rd grade English. It's=it is. No apostrophe for posessive=its.

        Sorry you had to go to public school in Florida with blacks.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
      • MarkinFL

        Oh dear, an internet grammar checker in the flesh. Pleased to meet you.

        I'm not impressed.

        I would rather have imperfect blogging skills than spend one minute with your racist state of mind.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Arug

      You are disgusting, and the only place you should be running back to is the filthy hole you crawled out of. I am not Black, but I think I should speak up against when disgusting racists like you make comments publicly. Keeping your mouth shut, and putting in work to help the situation will make the world a much more happier place

      August 28, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
      • daniella

        You should live in a majority black neighborhood. Wake up andface reality- you won't be very happy when these people are raping, robbing and kiling your children. You can't make wild animals go to school with humans and expect good results.

        This is reality, not utopia. You are torturing white children by ignoring reality.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
      • MarkinFL

        It all sounds better than having Daniella as a neighbor. I feel disgusted just reading her posts.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:09 am |
      • Michelle

        I have to agree. I wasn't at all racist until I moved to the city and what they say about blacks are true...they are idiots and act like animals. They just don't act normal.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Hans

      Wow. I think this thread here is perhaps the most troubling and petty in this entire discussion. Danielle, go take some medicine for the paranoia!

      August 29, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Barbara

      Shame on YOU! I am not black. But I love my black friends. And I hate what you wrote and what you smear around as though your comments are acceptable or even common place. Please learn to keep such hatred to yourself.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  15. Rick Springfield

    The good side of home schooling is that is shows the amount of outright waste in public education. Waste of time, resources, and people. A home schooled kid studies for half the time of a public school kid. That's because there is a lot of waste at public school. Public schools use the "one kid" rule. It means that instruction is broad based in order to be able to reach every intellect and ability. Home schooled kids get highly targeted insruction that is geared to their level of intellect and ability. Most public schools in the U.S.A. by way of the USDOE get outcome based education. This means you gear the instruction to standardized tests. Home schooling is geared to the success of the individual student.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Which is just grand if you have the inclination and can afford to home school your children. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not the solution for most families. Also, far more than 4% of students in Public School are getting an excellent education.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  16. Stacy

    Why can't we give parents the right to make what they believe are the best choices for their children? Why must we assume we know what is best for others' children when we would never allow another to decide what is best for our own? Why do we constantly think in terms of "either this or that"? Why can't both options be good for different people? Why does this issue have to be so adversarial? Certainly there are far more important choices we make for our children each and every day with much more far reaching ramifications than their education–food, medical care, caregivers–yet we don't feel the need to draw up sides and go at one another in those areas. Why is it so in this area of education? I am puzzled by all the animosity on this topic. I homeschool because I believe it is the right decision for our family. I have friends who have their children in both public and private school, and I am equally convinced that they have made the right decisions for their families. I simply trust them to make the best decisions for their families. Why is that so difficult? Forgive my confusion, but as I read the preceding comments, I was overwhelmed with the "Why" questions.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  17. Phil

    "Reduced social interaction"? Ha -tell that to my homeschooled kids who spend 3 days a week doing group work with other homeschool friends between piano lessons, soccer team, gymnastics lessons, group language lessons, and the extra hours every day they spend simply playing because they're not spending an hour on a bus, and countless other time wasters from school.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Hans

      I'm with you, Phil. School is always in session at my house, and my kids are constantly around other children in a wide variety of settings. I need a day off! But, this "lack of socialization" thing is a myth. When my oldest daughter was 6 years old, she used to do something we called "working the room." she would move from one group of people to another, introducing herself, catching up with friends, shaking hands. Once, a school teacher asked us where she attended school. "oh, no, you shouldn't home school!" she said aghast. "she will never get socialized." "what's she doing right now?" I asked. "ever seen another 6 year old do that?" No response. What could she say?

      August 29, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Bill

      I think you're reinforcing the underlying concept that most readers have grasped, and that is the level of parental involvement seems to be the biggest determining factor. You obviously are focused on ensuring you children still maintain a high level of social interaction, but that may not be true of all parents who think that simply using homeschooling will solve all the issues. From my experience, I know of a homeschooling family who are now facing problems with their older son not being able to socialize and interact with anyone outside the home, and I believe it is because they did not have other activities like your children do.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:27 am |
      • momof3

        I agree that HSing parents need to be aware and make an effort to have their kids socialize. However, that is really a non-issue unless the parent wants to make it an issue, because there are so many opportunities available that provide time for kids to socialize. The parents who do not want their kids socializing much and make an effort to spend more time isolating them would probably not give their children that many social opportunities even if their children attended PS. It comes down to more of a parenting and lifestyle thing vs. a home/public school issue. Kids in school don't always get all that much time to freely socialize anyway, so if kids aren't allowed to hang out with other kids much socially outside of public school, etc. they may be socially awkward even if not homeschoooled.

        August 29, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Bernard

      Indeed. I'm a piano teacher and several of my students are homeschooled. I can state unequivocally that they are not wanting for social interaction. It can be a challenge to schedule! I would also like to say that my homeschooled students are a delight. They tend to be very outgoing and cheerful. It could be my imagination, but they seem less bogged down. IMO, this is something hopeful for our world.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  18. FactChecker

    It might just be that the parents are willing to spend hours studying one-on-one with their children. Those children score higher on their tests. Given equally interested parents, how do the test results compare?

    August 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Quite well. Students can thrive in either setting given parental involvement and encouragement. I would assume that the extreme majority of home schooled kids have high parental involvement. Even self-directed kids need proper parental support to make it happen.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • thesaj

      Actually, most home schoolers I know seem to say that their parents had a very hands off approach. They'd often be cleaning the house while the kids worked independently.

      Mostly, the parent was involved in grading, and assignments. And fielding the occasional question. Which usually merely was responded to, well see if you can find the answer yourself.

      The most time consuming period is when teaching reading & math basics. As building the basics requires more effort. After that, they can teach themselves. Children naturally want to consume knowledge and learn. They're wired for it.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  19. Gadflie

    Here's the problem as I see it. Is home schooling or public schooling better academically on average? Well, that's pretty hard to determine. Home schooling performance is tracked poorly at best. Some of them take the standardized tests? How many? There is no good way to know. States don't track nor regulate it well at all. Even those that have regulations requiring testing on the books seldom if ever actually enforce it to any significant degree. So, when you compare standardized test scores between the two groups, you are comparing a group where everyone takes the test (the public school kids) to one that is basically self selected (the home schoolers). And,when it comes to data, garbage in, garbage out.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Madison

      Hear, hear. It's the same with any group that brings up a small set of selected instances and claims that the results show that the entire approach is superior. No it isn't. One can pick a selected set of anything and prove any point you like.

      Instead, let us hear about the cases where home-schooling doesn't work. I'm guessing that is more common than the successes. And if you hear that there are absolutely no failures...well, you know where that nonsense comes from...

      August 28, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • old golfer

      I have three grand daughters that were home schooled. All want to college on scholarships. But, this number isn't large enough for you folks. I, today, would not let any kid attend a public school. Whenever cops are needed it must be a very dangerous place. Wasn't that way in my day and let me assure you that the teachers and coaches handled us with no problem. But then, that was in the days of the paddle.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
      • Gadflie

        Old Golfer, actually, statistically speaking, children are MUCH less likely to be hurt in a public school than at a home. But, I'm sure that reality doesn't influence your opinion much.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Charlie

      Gadflie,

      Public schools are essentially "Lord of the Flies".

      The lowest common denominator, what a great way to get an education.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
      • Gadflie

        Interesting opinion. What facts do you base it on? Bear in mind my original post.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
      • BB62

        Our entire society has adopted the motto of LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR. We are so doomed...

        August 29, 2012 at 12:23 am |
      • Don De

        Well, that is how you add fractions...

        August 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • grjane

      American K-12th Grade statistics (sources included below)

      – 70% of 8th graders can't read proficiently, and most will never catch up.
      – By the end of 8th grade, U.S. students are two years behind in the math being studied by peers in other countries.
      – American students rank 25th in math and 21st in science compared to students in 30 industrialized countries.
      – Seventy percent of eighth-graders and 79 percent of 12th-graders fell short of science proficiency on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/25/AR2011012506976.html

      http://broadeducation.org/about/crisis_stats.html

      August 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
      • Gadflie

        Exactly how well is the average home schooled child doing per those same standards? Oh, that's right, we have no idea...

        August 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Dave

      Actually there are sctrict regulations on homeschooling. They have to take MANY tests throughout the year that go to the state education system for validation. Many are at specific locations.

      There are so many resources in todays world for homeschooling. They have online stuff, organized outings and activities with other home schoolers in the area, course curriculum, etc....

      All that said, I could never do it, alot of work and time I don't have. BUT, I stand by those who want the right to do it.

      Just like I stand by the voucher sytem to allow everyone else the CHOICE to send their kid to any public school they choose and have their education tax dollars follow the child, instead of going to a failing school

      August 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
      • Gadflie

        Yes, there is strict regulation in some states. But, what is lacking is enforcement. In the vast majority of states, prosecutions under those regulations are totally or almost totally lacking. So, the "strict regulation" is in effect, no regulation at all.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • GPC

      Google "Do Homeschool Kids Really Rate Better on Standardized Tests?" It compares how public, private and homeschool kids do in academic contests like spelling bees, math contests and science contests. All kids who do these kinds of things are self selecting and likely come from similar backgrounds. Public school kids are seriously underrepresented in these contests. Homeschooled kids are way overrepresented.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:34 am |
      • Gadflie

        Yes, specialization goes a long way towards success as a speller etc. And, spelling well is such a sought after skill set in the real world...
        That being said, I'm afraid comparing the top 1% of both self selected groups isn't a very valid approach either. The problem remains. There are damned fine home school parents. And, there are some like my aunt Dawn whose idea of home schooling was to sit her kid in front of a TV all day. Just how are we supposed to determine how that curve shapes up without good data?

        August 29, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Homeschool Mom

      Your post shows your lack of knowledge about homeschooling and testing. You say that those states that require testing don't enforce it. What do you base this claim on? Where are your facts. Having been a homeschool mom for 25 years, in three different states. I actually know what I am talking about. One state required testing. All homeschoolers were tested by certified testers. Those scores were sent to the Educational Services District. These are actual verifiable facts. I now live in a state that does not require testing. Most homeschoolers " choose" to test their kids. Again this is done by certified testers. If anything, they are stricter here about testing than the state that required it. So before you start spouting garbage data, check the facts. The reason many states have quit tracking, is because they test so well. If it's not broke don't fix it. Wish I could say the same about the public school system.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • thesaj

      I think the fact that so many graduate and go to college is kind of the proof in the pudding.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  20. Jason

    If there is a direct coorelation between family income and a kids performance in school and they tell us homeschool kids(not from poor families, so expected to do ok in school) are doing ok in school, then what is the point of this article?

    August 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  21. Dee

    Everyone here has such black and white views of public schools and home schooling. "Home schooling is bad. Public schools are good." "Home schooling is good. Public schools are bad." When everything is taken into consideration, the biggest input into a child's success whether home schooling or public schooling are parents and socio-economic status. You have to make the best choice for your child. I chose to put my child in public school where he has benefitted from engaged, influential teachers. He would not be the high-achieving student he is today without the brilliant 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Formby, who lit up a love of writing in my son, or 4th grade science and math teacher, Ms. Brown, who convinced him he could be anything he wanted when he grew up, or 5th grade social studies teacher, Ms. Whitley, who brought the American revolution alive and got him dreaming about being the President. Although I have a Masters degree in Education, all of these teachers had gifts in subjects that I don't have. We are so fortunate to live near highly successful schools. I wish all students had the opportunity to be exposed to the wonderful teachers that my son has had. I think there are many of these teachers and schools out there, but we are so focused on the negative in the world that we miss out on all the goodness.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Bill

      Dee – I think your assertion about parental involvement is right on the spot, especially when you rattled off the names of your child's teachers. I wonder how many of these readers could do that?

      August 29, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  22. erinkathleen

    While I am sure there are successful home school situations i can say that as a teacher who has had many previously home schooled students in class I have not met a single one who was behind either socially, academically, or both.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • erinkathleen

      My mistype – who was NOT behind.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
      • Mrs. B

        Sounds like a canned NEA response!

        August 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • rach

      Perhaps because the formerly homeschooled students entering schools are typically the ones for whom homeschooling was not working?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
      • jewelofthecrowne

        thats a good point. i think just like transfering between any other two school, there can be a curriculum gap too, which is a product of the transition, not necessarily a product of the homeschool experience the student came from.

        August 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Autumn

      I think you're getting a very poor cross section of homeschoolers if you're only counting the ones that end up in your classroom. My equivalent would be saying that public education must be poor because of all the ill-educated public schooled kids I met as a homeschooler.
      I was homeschooled K-12 and have continued my education with a BS and am one quarter of the way through a Master's degree. I own my own home, have a great job, and have no trouble interacting with my peers and co-workers. Homeschooling was a success for me, and I have many friends and siblings with similar stories.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Mark

      Well then you are probably a failure. Live with it.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • thesaj

      Funny, most of the experience I've seen, have been teacher's who get offended when the home school students prove their answers were grammatically correct and that the teacher was wrong.

      Teacher's don't like that. (Kind of like that article a while back on the kid who was punished for correcting the teacher. Mind you, the kid was right. But that shouldn't have been justification for him to correct the teacher. Nope, it's more important for a teacher to be viewed as the correct authority than to teach correct knowledge. And that's the problem with public schools. 99% of the curriculum is focused on making an individual a non-creative, conforming individual who won't speak out, who will sit in a desk 8 hours a day, and do what authority tells him or her to do)

      Thank God or the Spaghetti Monster that the system is failing. Perhaps we'll see a resurgence in innovation when kids aren't told "No, you can't do that."

      Which was exactly what I was told when I inquired what happens if you subtract 5 from 3? Oh, you can't do that.

      Why stunt a kids own discovery. Formalized education sucks except for formalizing the masses.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  23. ssanibel

    We have utilized private schooling, public schooling and charter schooling. My husband and I are both educators, and I have spent the last 10 years as the principal of a high performing charter school. Our own three children are gifted, and have distinguished themselves in all arenas, as well as the engineering department of a large research university. What have we found? There is NO ONE "RIGHT" answer when it comes to schooling! Parents must balance such factors as: age of the child, available area schools, parental time, parental education, exceptional schooling needs and high level educational goals. While we have chosen public traditional for most of our own children's education, only an involved parent can truly decide. We should respect each family for the decisions that they make!

    August 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Sean

      This comment is to well written and open-minded to appear on the internet. Please remove it.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
      • Julian

        Best comment ever

        August 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • erinkathleen

      Agreed! Rational and well written response!

      August 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Exactly! Agendas aside, there is no good reason to be against any successful form of education. Whatever works for you and your children is the right choice.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Sadly, Sean may be correct. This post must now be buried under a continuous stream of prattle....

      August 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Madison

      Well, all that is fine. But the article made a comment that "homeschooled students averaged 37 percentile points higher on standardized tests than their public school counterparts." Even though the remainder of the article waffled on effectiveness of home-schooling, that one statement left the belief the homeschooling is somehow "magical" – 37%-ile points higher!

      Of course, any parent should make their own choice. But this article gave the (mistaken) impression that homeschooling is magical and the support for it is growing. That is totally irresponsible. Most parents have no training or skills in teaching anything to anybody. Teaching is a very tough task – it doesn't take a teaching degree (indeed, lack of such a degree may be beneficial), but it is not easy for anyone.

      I am a private math tutor with an M.A.T. from Johns Hopkins. I have been tutoring for over 30 years. The skills required to make mathematics accessible to a student aren't common. I assume the same is true for other subjects. Anyone who tells you that even a majority of parents could magically succeed where professional teachers couldn't ... is feeding you a total line.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
      • old golfer

        In todays world, what with computers, there is access to most information, including your precious math. Home schooling works and works well.

        August 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
      • twinsfan318

        I really have to reply to this comment because it contains such a common false argument against homeschooling. For the record – parents do not directly TEACH their kids when they homeschool them (usually). Most homeschoolers use an accredited curriculum with textbooks and assignments that were prepared by professionals. Thus, Madison's comment that "Most parents have no training or skills in teaching anything to anybody" is not a meaningful argument against homeschooling. It's a favorite argument of the teachers' union (NEA) though.

        August 28, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Homeschool Mom

      Hear! Hear! Well said. The root issue is that the parent is responsible for the education of their child. Whether it is public, private or other. The parent must be involved. Blaming others is a cop out.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:16 am |
  24. t3chn0ph0b3

    My n3ph3w is b31ng h0m3sch00led. H3's int3llig3nt @nd is r3ad1ng f@r b3l0w grad3 l3v3l. 0utl@w h0m3sch00l1ng b3f0re 1t d3str0ys 5% 0f 0ur gl0bal c0mp3t1tv3n3ss.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Allen

      I was actually home-schooled, and am now in the top 10% of my class at Duke. If you have intelligent parents with time, homeschooling really does work for a lot of kids.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      I went to Duke as well. You'll find too many professors there who don't care if you're a creationist.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Sassy

      Maybe you should learn how to spell properly, perhaps you should have been homeschooled. Such illegible writing is a contributing factor preventing kids from reading and writing English.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  25. t3chn0ph0b3

    Test post. Sorry. My posts aren't getting through and I'm not using any banned language.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Weird. I'll try again with a bunch of modifiers.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  26. m123

    I work for a public school district.
    Just recently they had a meeting where everyone decided how to spend the surplus left over in the budget so they could cry for more money next year.
    They decided on new computers (even though the existing ones were more than adequate), and leather $800 chairs (at a group discount, even) for everyone.
    Yippee, free money

    August 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Michelle

      Really???? disgusting...

      How about more resources for Special Education or for Honors, Advanced Program, etc....things that can really make a diference in the learning and for the kids...that is what's supposed to be happening at school. Isn't it...our kids are supposed to be served. The money is never FREE....

      August 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • M12345

      What district? I have serious doubts about your post. The anti-school people in our district spread lies to pit people against the schools.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
      • ticktock

        Yes, I would love to know what "district" this happened in. Sounds like a total lie to me... I work in a school district and there is no way that any district would buy "leather chairs for everyone." What a crazy lie to make up. You could have at least said "iPads for everyone" or "new Astro-turf for the football fields." What a liar.

        August 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      This reads like a a complete fabrication, unless s/he works for a uniquely affluent district or maybe has a personal axe to grind because the budget did not go his way......
      Extra money like that exists in VERY few public schools systems....

      August 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  27. lifeinforsyth

    I began homeschooling my 10 year old, George, the week before last, though his older brother will remain in his fantastic public middle school. Homeschooling was not my dream, and a great deal of consideration went into this decision. Ultimately it came down to what was best for this child at this time balanced against what was reasonable and fair to expect the other students to give up - George has some special needs physically that have grown distracting to other students and costly to accommodate.

    I do worry that my state's (NC) homeschooling standards may be low, that some children may have doors shut to them due to decisions in which they had no say. That said, I have not yet personally met a homeschooler by whom I've been less than impressed, so that may be more of a theoretical concern.

    In the name of transparency and also because I have many friends who are current or former professional educators who have kindly offered to advise and assist me in this venture, I log our daily work on a public blog: http://schoolinggeorge.blogspot.com , where respectful recommendations and/or feedback on what we're doing is welcome.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Jake H

      Good for you....go for it! Will check out your blog.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • jewelofthecrowne

      I appreciate your choice and your deliberation. If you have not already explored this, might I suggest that you investigate if your state will provide direct support for your homeschooling? I dont mean they will pay you for it, but if your child is not well served in a traditional class environment, in part because of his physical needs, you may be able to get resources at your home, such as tutoring in certain subjects that you have less expertise in or transportation support to extracurriculars outside your home. I dont have specific knowledge about your state, but I know these opportunities exist in mine and a few others. Good luck to you and your son in his new school.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • FifthGeneration

      Another option I've not seen addressed, here, is a co-op - that is, a group of home-schooling parents who get together to share their experiences & assist in educating one-another's children. For example, Jon's father may be great at tutoring math, but can't write a well-crafted sentence. Mary's aunt is a dragon with a blue-pencil, & can assist the child having trouble with written forms. Sue's mom may be a native French-speaker, willing to share that with those children in the group who are old-enough, & willing. It's like organizing a play-date, but with a more serious purpose. And, it may give each parent a little time 'off', in turn, for other essential activities - a personal dental appointment, grocery shopping, or ...? All would have to remain as committed to his/her child's education, but it might offer a little bit of a break, just now-n-again.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
      • momof3

        My kids participate in a co-op like this. One mom is private music instructor, and teaches the kids recorder class, which is something I certainly would not do well! Another mom teaches art history, and the kids go home and paint their own painting that incorporates certain concepts like symbolism or mythology, for example. The kids participate in a literature circle, so they get an opportunity to engage in discussion with their peers and share ideas. Another mom does science experiments with the kids that actually require some critical thinking vs. being purely a demonstration. We have a poetry writing workshop, a class on Greek and Latin stems and vocabulary, etc. I have a biology background and would be happy to host classes on dissection, anatomy, and other biology topics. Two of the fathers hold doctoral degrees in chemistry and can teach that to our children as they get older. While one mom is teaching, the other moms help out with toddlers or work with preschool aged kids on age-appropriate skills.

        August 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  28. Russ

    Home-schooled kids have issues in the real world. There are a few exceptions I guess...but I've seen mostly very awkward social behavior from them.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Bill

      As a homeschooling parent and a JR high teacher, I see awkward, anti-social kids everyday in our schools.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • chinaman03

      agree, and there are a couple of skills that are required in the real world that homeschooling kids lack; namely lock picking and test cheating.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
      • brillow

        i learned how to smoke cigarettes in public school

        August 28, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
      • Jo Ann

        Just can't ignore this one. The biggest cheater in my daughter's class (caught on more occasion) was formerly home-schooled. I don't think most home schooled students cheat, but let's not make blanket statements about students in any one type of educational setting.

        August 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • John Rgood

      My home schooled son is courteous and polite with adults as well as children and kids his own age. Multiple home school children I have met personally surpass public school kids in manners as well as self-esteem. Your statement is baseless.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Michelle

      I don't believe I've seen much in the way of homeschooled kids shooting other kids. My experience with several homeschooled kids has been how polite, well mannered, and conversational they interact within social settings.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
      • brillow

        i agree

        August 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
      • Pennygirl

        ."I don't believe I've seen much in the way of homeschooled kids shooting other kids." No, they haven't shot "other students" because they don't interact with "other students". Does the name David Ludwig ring a bell? http://macaronies.blogspot.com/2005/11/news-david-ludwig-reveals-dark-side-of.html. He killed his 14 YEAR OLD girlfriend's parents and ran away with her. Great basis of fact. Good research. Kudos

        August 28, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Jim

      Most kids have those same problems Russ. All studies (including a 20 year long study) shows that homeschooled kids score far higher in K-12, do better in college (http://www.ahem.info/JournalofCollegeAdmissionFall04.pdf), and are ready for life in the world which is not segregated by 1-2 year age brackets. Most volunteer without requirements (which means it isn't volunteer work, it is required) and continue to serve the communities of which they are involved.

      If you want a good source of brief information with all the source works to check, this site (http://www.brighthub.com/education/homeschooling/articles/107107.aspx) is a good start.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Keith

      I worked at a private school that took many homeschooled children for their last few years of primary education, 9 through 12. I found most homeschooled children more mature and more ready to enter adult life than their peers who had been in public school their whole primary experience.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Homeschooler

      You should look up a popular althlete named Tim Tebow, who was home schooled. WIth one-on-one teaching, the progress is amazing, the student does not have to wait for the other 25 kids to catch on.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Paige

      No Russ. You are misinformed. Homeschooled students outshine all other students in the Real World because they were brought up in the real world. Not the artificially created world of only interacting with people of their own age and maturity level, doing work that everyone does and not being able to research deeply and prolongedly into subjects and areas of interest. They live every day with multi age and a vast variety of interactions. You must learn not to comment on something that you know nothing about. People might think you went to public school.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Charlie

      Prisons are filled with public school kids. That's about as anti-social as one can get.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      So many people posting here make both sides of the argument look foolish. So many posts trying to paint everyone with one brush. Public school kids are destined for prison??????? Homeschoolers outperform all public school kids?
      Homeschoolers are all social misfits???
      Its all a lot f twaddle......
      Reality is that ANY kid with goo parental support can be a great student in either situation. Homeschoolers by definition have high parental involvement. But homeschooling is not required for the great results of parental involvement.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Mark

      A least my awkward home schooled child will not be shot in a public school by your superior awkward anti social kid.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • thesaj

      Seriously, every homeschooler adult I've seen has exhibited one sole trait I envy. A self confidence and acceptance in which the words of others have little affect on them.

      I think this is because they did not have to go through the social torment of school.

      Frankly, I am amazed by the fact that so many public school kids I meet these days seem to be at 3-4 years less maturity than they should be for their ages.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  29. Dan in Texas

    I say God bless you if you want to home school. I'm sure many of these kids are even pretty well educated. However, every teenager I've seen at church that has been home schooled is socially awkward–period. I can't imagine if I didn't have the experience of going to high school and interacting with all the other kids...even though I am pretty outgoing, I would have felt isolated and not been forced to face matters of dealing with others. I suggest help you kids study, tutor them, etc. but let them go to school. Still, it's up to you.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Misty

      Cutting is the new teenage epidemic. Of course psychologists are quick to say that this is an "illness". Want to guess how many home schooled kids participate in this "epidemic"....less than 1 percent...along with less issues of depression, alcohol abuse, drugs, and teenage pregnancy.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • momof3

      Some parents who HS for religious reasons may restrict their child's social contacts no matter what the educational setting. As someone who attended PS, I can think of many, many socially awkward kids from fairly awkward families.

      HSers today have many social opportunities, if the parents are interested in their child engaging in them.

      I think it comes down more to parenting style and the belief system parents pass on to their children, rather than where the child's education takes place. Do the parents hang out with diverse groups of people? Do they socialize outside of their comfort zone? Do they live in a diverse area? Do they live in an area with socioeconomic diversity? Lots of things can shape social skills and a child's exposures; it isn't just a matter of where education takes place.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Jim

      Most kids have those same problems Dan in Texas.. All studies (including a 20 year long study) shows that homeschooled kids score far higher in K-12, do better in college (http://www.ahem.info/JournalofCollegeAdmissionFall04.pdf), and are ready for life in the world which is not segregated by 1-2 year age brackets. Most volunteer without requirements (which means it isn't volunteer work, it is required) and continue to serve the communities of which they are involved.

      If you want epidemics of cutting, violence, shootings, drugs and alcohol abuse, you can go to the public schools. Our kids do well throughout life from school to career to relationships. Are there exceptions? Of course. Unfortunately, the results speak for themselves and they are 180 degrees away from your beliefs.

      If you want a good source of brief information with all the source works to check, this site (http://www.brighthub.com/education/homeschooling/articles/107107.aspx) is a good start.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Paige

      Every teenager that I see at church, in public and at schools are socially awkward. Unable to converse outside of their peer group and rarely able to carry on an intelligent or mature conversation with an adult. On the other hand, every homeschooler I have met excels socially and is usually years above their "age maturity" which is gauged by a schooled society, and can easily converse on multiple subjects as their private tutorship taught them.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • thesaj

      Dan, this is normal.

      The reason, home school teenager's maturity is at a higher level. They have a lot of trouble relating to their fellow teenagers. However, once they reach college, this disparity usually disappears. Especially latter end of undergraduate studies.

      Think of it this way, you're 20 years old. I put you in a class of 13 year olds who are laughing whenever the word breast is mentioned in class. Do you think you're going to relate to those 13 year olds? Do you think you'll fit in?

      Probably not...

      And is that a bad thing? No not really...

      August 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  30. Mike

    Most of the ones home schooling are the religious nubjobs that don't want their kids questioning anything that isn't in the Bible.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Bill

      False! You're no better than those that rely on faux-news for their information.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
      • brillow

        j dahmer was a democrat

        August 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Michelle

      Again a baseless comment. Many parents make very personal sacrifices in order to home school or online school. It is often because the individual student is being way underserved by the current school system and/or curriculum. As is with any school there are positives and negatives to taking the student out of the brick and mortar building for their education. Enrichment in learning and experience is almost always gained regardless of "religion".

      August 28, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Cookie Monster

      I wondered what was wrong with me. Thanks for clearing that up.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Keith

      Most of the parents that I met who homeschooled wanted a quality education, it wasn't avalilable in public school.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Jim

      aaahhhh...the ignorant making foolish comments in order to try to make others look smaller than he by trying to bring them down to his level....typical. This is where home education comes in handy, our kids (with few exceptions) spend their time improving on their gifts and help others do the same versus people such as yourself who are just ignorant and bigoted and try to bring everyone else down to your level. Your hate doesn't help you or anyone else.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Paige

      No, we want to protect them from being indoctrinated by ignorant people who are closed minded and bigoted. We homeschool them to develop their ability to think for themselves. Something that someone obviously neglected to teach you i gather from reading your intolerant, bigoted remark.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Kevin

      I not a smart man Mike, but I know'd what dumb is!! (My best Forrest Gump voice) And what you said was DUMB!!!!

      August 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  31. etm

    I hold 3 diplomas and 2 certifications but where we decided to buy our home has an excellent good school district. I cannot afford to spend a lot of time to home school my kid because I work 12 hours a day so home schooling is out of the question, but I can afford a private or catholic school. After we moved I asked families around for the best private or catholic school in the area. The answer I got is, why look for private or catholic when you live within the best school district in California. For 1 day I attended a class in one of the elementary school and I decided that my daughter would be better of if she is in Poway Unified School District than if home schooled.
    My point, if your school district could not even teach your kid how to do simple arithmetic consider home school only if you have the education. Parents know how much they are capable of teaching and if they are not qualified to teach, the school district does not care about the kids then your only choice is private catholic school and pay the piper. If not you will just be creating another generation of welfare kids.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • iammeyouareyou

      Home schooling makes no sense to me. Why would you do the teaching job yourself when you already paid for your kids' education through your property taxes? On Long Island, school taxes are a fortune. And if you are not a licensed teacher, all the more reason to let a trained person teach your kids. What's next.... home brain surgery??? This alleged "education" should be outlawed. It is always bad for kids to not have peers, friends and enemies in their life and not learn how to get along with other kids and other adults.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
      • Keith

        Half of the kids that attend a public school in a school distric near me can not do grade level work, It doesn't seem to me that the qualified teachers are doing a good job.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
      • Jim

        Your comment betrys your selfishness "i" We home educate our kids because it is the best option FOR THEM. We love our kids so we don't look at them as something to pawn off on "paid staff" but gifts that need to be nurtured and loved.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
      • SATAN CHRIST

        Because teaching by itself is not hard to do at all. It's classroom management, administration and discipline which make being a school teacher a pain in the asterisk.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
      • EasyEase

        Long Island?? yeah- send your kid to hempstead, bay shore, wyandanch, freeport, central islip, amityville. that's child abuse

        August 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
      • momof3

        My husband is a PhD scientist. He would not be qualified to teach in public schools, although he could teach at a university or private school. We have local programs here who will give adults with any bachelors degree a teaching certificate via a one year program. The reason for that is that a large focus in education programs is classroom management. Learning about how to reach children with different learning styles, educational theory, etc. As a HSing parent, I have read many, many books on educational theory over the years. I don't have to deal with classroom management issues, because I have three children. I applaud teachers in that I simply could not deal with the classroom management issues inherent with 20-25 kids in a classroom. I think they provide a valuable service, and I simply don't have the skills to manage the behavior of 20-30 kids while teaching. As a homeschooling parent, I don't have to.

        August 29, 2012 at 11:42 am |
      • thesaj

        Because, all that money spent, doesn't equate to results.

        That's why many of my fellow high school students could barely read. I found this out trying to tutor a friend in a science class. Discovered his problem was science, but that he was reading at about a 4th grade level.

        August 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  32. Kevin

    After reading a number of the posts here, the homeschool haters do not understand homeschooling. They are going by hear-say. What is sad is some of the haters are public school teachers. But what else should be expected, these teachers are taught the children are the states kids. The parents are out of the equation. Having education choices is good. I like having a choice greater than mediocre.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      And the pro home schoolers have an equally distorted view of public education. The reality is that BOTH systems can deliver an excellent education. However, only ONE of the systems is tasked with educating EVERYONE. A solid public education system is the only way to ensure broad access to education. Instead of trying to tear it down we need to build it up and support it.
      On the other hand, home schooling a a completely viable option that should also be supported.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
      • momof3

        As a liberal, home-educating parent, I agree with you. I think public schools are important. It isn't what I chose for my children, but I think they are vital, and I happily pay my tax dollars to support them.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:54 am |
      • thesaj

        Actually, most of those advocating home school, in fact, experienced public school. So no, we're not talking out our anuses.

        August 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  33. Truth Being

    I simply don't want my kids at school with other dirtbag's kids. The only people that dislike homeschooling are those who hate the fact that we will not particpate in your social experiment. My wife and I are far more educated than probably most any school teacher, and run our own businesses, and have the time between us for our kids. They do not lack social interaction, and each child is at least a two grades ahead in proficiency. Better yet, they don't have to mingle with welfare parasites and let teachers take their school supplies and distribute among those who don't pay. Forget seperation of church and state,. I demand seperation of school and state.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Rob

      That's good... I wouldn't want my kids around a prejudiced a***ole like you anyway....

      August 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Janet L

      Hello "Truth Being",
      As for you and your spouse being more educated than teachers – you need to do some research. I think it would be difficult to find a teacher that 1. uses the term dirtbags and 2. cannot spell separation. Send your kids to school so they can have a good chance in life!

      August 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Pearl

      If you're so smart, why can't you spell "separation"?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
      • thesaj

        Because she was taught by public school. Now you know why she wants a better education for her kids.

        August 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Really

      I feel so sorry for your kids...

      August 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Ollie

      You are a sanctimonious twit BUT I applaud your diligence in educating your children. They benefit from your undivided attention. They benefit from learning in a safe and emotionally secure environment. They obviously have good teachers in you and there is no disputing that. In my DIRECT experience, not all homeschooled students are so well educated; the majority are not prepared for the rigor of my freshman classes. They have ALL been ideal students and wonderful beings – courteous, hard working, and bright. But I have also had students enter my classes performing far below 'standard' in critical thinking skills, both as readers and writers.

      The socialization issue is also real, in varying degrees, for every homeschooled student who has entered my classes. How do I know? I've worked hard to maintain communication with the parents and the students so I can help smooth out those bumps. I WISH students who come to me were as well prepared as I am sure yours are. Sadly, that has not been the majority of my experience.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
      • grjane

        @Ollie: Sorry to say, but most of the public-schooled kids aren't prepared for your rigorous freshman classes, either.

        American K-12th Grade statistics (sources included below)

        – 70% of 8th graders can't read proficiently, and most will never catch up.
        – By the end of 8th grade, U.S. students are two years behind in the math being studied by peers in other countries.
        – American students rank 25th in math and 21st in science compared to students in 30 industrialized countries.
        – Seventy percent of eighth-graders and 79 percent of 12th-graders fell short of science proficiency on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/25/AR2011012506976.html

        http://broadeducation.org/about/crisis_stats.html

        August 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
      • Ollie

        @grjane

        Awesome that you have statistics!! I can only address my own experience in my classroom with my students. The students who come to my classes from the preceding grades ARE prepared because my district works hard to do that. Incoming homeschooled kids are much less predictable.

        The trouble with statistics? It makes everyone believe the that they are completely true. I can produce data in my specific time and place that says otherwise. I do understand your data, but I believe what I have seen with my own eyes more – and THAT is what I KNOW is true. Data . . . you know what you can do with data. I hope you know.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Mrs b

      I feel very sorry for your children. They will learn that they are better thanks others and a lack of compassion for those who are different. How sad......I would hope they do not become bullies, but the values you are teaching them are scary.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Cookie Monster

      Ahhhh, out come the hypocrites in response to your comments. "I shall make hateful comments in response to your hateful comments." Gotta love the do as I say, not as I do mentality.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Hans

      Please don't generalize this guy's lack of civic awareness and any sense of social responsibility to all home schoolers. My kids are giving, thoughtful, and logical kids. We teach them that society is a privilege, and we are all responsible for caring for each other in it. One cannot read the Federalist Papers (I mention them because I'll bet this guy talks to his kids about the "framers and founders") or really any much political philosophy without having to think about one's relationship to others through social interaction. My wife and I use home schooling as a springboard to teach the value of public service as a calling. This guy clearly is educating his kids to become good little consumers, and creators of goods for the consuming classes. That's too bad. It sounds like they were smart kids who might have contributed something vital.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  34. Chris

    "So it appears that the homeschooling growth rate is more exponential than it is steady."

    It most certainly does not appear exponential. The percentage of homeschooled is *linearly* increasing (with a correlation of 0.99, very well indeed!) which implies a constant growth *rate*. The growth rate is very, very close to constant at 0.177% a year from 1999 through 2012.

    Too bad the author isn't math literate.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Nursdoc

      Thank-you for the lesson in both math literacy and media literacy!

      August 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Mark in Montana

      I think he was publicly schooled.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Bjorn

      you beat me to it, I'm guessing that the author may have received mathematics education in a home school environment from someone who wasn't competent to teach it.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
      • jgorozco

        Actually, the exponential model also works here, with a 99.999% of correlation. The model varies, but it basically states that the number of kids homeschooled this year is 6.8% more than the total number of kids homeschooled last year. And that is definitely an exponential model.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  35. Veronica

    Love my 2 boys dearly, but you could pay me ten million dollars and I could have not stayed home and educated them (and I have an advanced college degree). I needed to work and they need public schools where they thrived. To each his/her own- the homeschooling parents are the ones who make or break their child's success.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  36. Bill

    I offer a unique perspective as I am a public school teacher and our two sons were homeschooled through high school. One is finishing at Penn State, our youngest is at Dickinson College. The biggest fallacy is the socialization issue. Rather than trumpet our son's successes(an easy task), I'll point out the fact that I run into plenty of anti-social students in my public school. On the other hand, in response to True Word below, your perspective of public school is way distorted. You need to turn off Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, et al, your mind is getting soft.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  37. Mama and teacher

    Did you know that these home-schooled children get to take their standardized test at home... and I'm sure none of them get any help!

    August 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Kathy

      Not here....they take them at a local public school, just like everyone else.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Bill

      My sons NEVER took a standardized test at home, always with a group.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Misty

      LOL...um, no! Not at all, not even a little. Also, maybe you are a little paranoid. Yikes.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Kevin

      I usually bring in a few PhD students, NASA scientists, and a few others from Ames Lab to help my kids take their standardize tests. AND sometimes I buy a test key for good measure.

      Seriously!!!! I can believe I wasted my time on this answer.

      And I just saw Big Foot run across my front yard!!!

      August 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Gadflie

      It depends on the state. Some allow the tests to be taken at home, some do not. But, honestly, none of them track homeschooling very well at all. Those with laws regulating it seldom if ever actually use them.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • TJ

      You're too used to the ethics that pervade public schools. And don't understand the motivations of home school parents.

      Most home school parents I have known for the past 20+ years are so determined to see that what they are doing is working that we would absolutely not want to help on standardized tests - we want to be able to see that our kids get those above average results on their own – the hard way, the fair way. True story: When my oldest son started college (on a Presidential scholarship) and had his first take home test assigned, he took the test with all his books closed thinking that it would be cheating to refer to any class notes, text books, etc.

      I am not surprised at your cynicism because probably all you know is public school environment and colleges where professors routinely know and accept that blatant cheating is going on - often even witnessing it without expressing any disapproval. However, don't impose your low expecations conditioned by public education on home schooling families that in the majority are principled.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • momof3

      And there haven't been cheating scandals in public schools nation-wide?
      In my state, the test can be administered at home, but the parent cannot administer it.
      Testing settings and requirements vary state to state, but I do not think most HSing parents have an incentive to "cheat" because in many cases, the test results can't be used against the parent anyway. In my state, the benchmark is "sustained progress in the overall program" and test scores are just a small piece of that. In and of themselves, test scores cannot be used to force a family to stop homeschooling. We provide a portfolio of work to an evaluator and then the entire thing is evaluated by the district superintendent. If there is progress in the overall program, the test results can't be used against the family. There really and truly isn't much of an incentive to cheat. In many states, the parents testing their kids aren't obligated to do so by their state at all, and they simply test for their own knowledge, so they can assess their child's progress year to year and work on any gaps.

      Compare those scenarios to public schools where standardized testing has become the Holy Grail, and numbers are very important. You don't think there could possibly be an incentive to cheat?

      I HS and have friends who were public school teachers before becoming HSers. They have stories about colleagues leaving up content related to the tst on bulletin boards right next to students, answers being changed (look at the data on erasures and irregularitiesin some of the large school districts in this country), and some kids being given "help" during the test that is outside of the testing protocol.

      Not all public schools cheat, but not all homeschooling parents are feeding their children answers to standardized tests either. If anything, I'd say the stakes are much higher for many public schools, thanks to NCLB.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  38. Sparky

    The More I Learn.. the Less I Know....

    Home Schooled Children will only learn as much as their Parents. If the Parent is good at researching so will the child will learn the same.. If the Parent is Lazy or uneducated – the child will also learn the same traits.

    Some will learn well Some will suffer for life and perpetuate their Parent's limitations for another generation.

    The more I learn – the less I know..

    August 28, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Misty

      You are insinuating that public schools are responsible for "parenting" and not just educating. Before I home schooled, I was very involved with the school and in almost every case where a child struggles, it is because the parents were either lazy or uneducated. Public schools are supposed to for educating, not parenting.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
      • Sassy

        Such bigotry to say a child is struggling because parents were either lazy or uneducated. There are many uneducated parents out there who make sure their children succeed in school and get the education they could only dream of. You will also find many educated parents who for one reason or another, perhaps being career minded, just do not give their children the attention they deserve and these children end up falling through the cracks.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • thesaj

      Seriously,

      My wife, and her two siblings who were home schooled. Know 10x as much as their mother. Kids want to learn, you just have to provide the basic building blocks (reading and arithmetic), provide them new resources to consume, keep it fun, and they'll learn on their own.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  39. Lena

    It's is funny how many people wave the socialization flag, when we homeschooled our kids- we ctively considered it- and between learning coops, neighborhood free time, school sports and activities– we probably had the most socialized kids in the area.

    People also like to wave the 'crazy conservative' or 'wacky religious' flag- statistics show that the largest growing group of homeschoolers are secular families looking for a more child-centered education. More families from all walks are becoming homeschoolers as or educational systems try to cram more kids into a one size fits all mold.

    Homeschooling has come a long way from something on the fringe to something that should be considered a valid alternative to public and even private education. But it does require active and involved parents.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  40. True Word

    But if you home school how will your child get nuggets about "fairness" and "tolerance" and alternative lifestyles? Where will they get their free birth control and learn that only liberals keep the world safe and America is a terrible country who abuses the rest of the world? That government has all the solutions to our problems, they just need a few trillion more in taxes from "the rich" who didn't really make their money, someone else did it for them?

    August 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Frank Beeckman

      Great observation. I couldn't have said it any better.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Sick & Tired

      I especially love it when commenters take an article on homeschooling and circle it back to politics. Because, you know, we don't have nearly enough space to air our political views on CNN.com.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Me

      Idiot

      August 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Hans

      Is there any topic that these knee-jerk (emphasis on jerk) reactionary conservative lame brains will not pervert to fit their Neanderthal worldview? You are as bad as the liberals. No wait, you're worse.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Chaz

      Well, they won't get that at public school either. I'm guessing the source is some right wing media outlet that claims that sort of stuff is taught in public schools. Although, I would accept that public schools espouse the idea that equality (aka tolerance) is better than bigotry.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  41. ManWithThe1000PoundBrain

    It's really simple. Kids that are the most motivated and intelligent are the ones that are successful at home schooling. Parents may try to home school their children and when it is clear that it's not working out, they give up and send their kids off to either private or public school.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  42. oldteacher

    I've seen good homeschooling and unfortunately bad homeschooling. The difference? Parents who recognize their own limitations and invite a qualified adult to help with, for example math, or foreign language AND allow opportunities for their children to socialize (sports, arts, scouting, etc.). The bad homeschooling? I wonder if they're even included in the statistics because their kids come to public school years behind – typically in math. Don't know anything about fractions, poor thinking skills, afraid of their own shadows and find themselves in an algebra class without even the most basic of skills. We've also had parents that "home school" but WORK full time! How is that even possible? I realize the public schools have problems, often societal ... not to mention that the higher ups think schools should be run like a business... I mean really, if you expected a business to take damaged parts (sorry to be insensitive) absentee workers, and minimal funding and expect them to make the same airplane (for example) that private industry does, with top of the line, parts, equipment and workers that show up everyday.....well....that's just crazy. That being said, based on my experiences, parents that home school should have to provide some proof that they are doing what they claim they are doing... otherwise we are left with damaged children.... too far behind to catch up.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

      I've known good home-schooling too that would fall in line with the higher scores result. I also know bad homeschooling and math is definitely a weakness. One group of kids has been working on a model project for 3 years now - the idea is to apply math in the scaling. But 3 years and still going? That's typical of this one 'school' - no time limits, no incentive to follow a schedule - weeks with nothing but trips to the beach and the weekly 'capture the flag' social time and then a last minute half-4assed effort to complete some work. They avoid standardized testing as much as possible. I'm not sure what they do to get around it, but they do somehow.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • momof3

      Well, the kids returning to school are a self-selected population. HSing may have worked for their family and they are returning due to economic issues necessitating two parents working, for example. But a significant percentage of those returning are going to be kids for whom HSing was not working out. That may be due to learning disabilities (diagnosed or undiagnosed), the parent feeling unable to keep up and provide an adequate education, etc. Teachers often reference the kids returning "behind" but they are unlikely to encounter many kids who continue happily HSing because it is working for them and for their family.
      Public schools vary in the education they produce, as do individual teachers. So yes, the same is true of homeschooling, but we can say the same of other educational options.
      In terms of homeschooling with two parents working, yes, it is possible. HSing parents do not always deliver all of the instruction themselves, but are responsible for overseeing it. Some parents include private tutors, some have their children participate in co-op classes one or more days per week, some children do concurrent enrollment at a community college when they are teens. Parents may work alternating shifts, or the parent assigns independent work to be completed during the day and some additional instruction occurs in the evening or on the weekends. HSers are not obligated to follow the traditional school clock or calendar, so they can be flexible in when the instruction is delivered. Because they can work at their child's level, there isn't as much time spent on review, there are fewer classroom management issues taking up time, there aren't assemblies, pep rallies, etc. I can accomplish a lot with my kids in 4-5 hours time, and they are well above grade level. I provide probably 3 hours of direct instruction per day, but they live in a home where there are great books offered to them. The books I suggest often match up with what we are studying in history, for example. If my son is reading wonderful literature for an hour before bed, that hour is educational even if I'm not delivering instruction. We'll talk about what he read, etc. when he's completed the book.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Karola

      I was a single parent who worked full-time and homeschooled my children. For years I worked second shift and weekends at a hospital, whatever it took to make it work. It was a wonderful experience for our family. We traveled the country on family vacations throughout the year, a learning experience they could never have had in a public or private school setting. We grew very close as a family, but also had many social opportunities that were only available because of our flexible homeschool schedule.They all scored exceptionally high on all standardized tests, were accepted into good colleges, two of four with advanced degrees, all successful in their careers and marriages.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  43. richellelj

    The problem with those numbers is the vast majority of standardized tests taken by homeschoolers are given AT HOME, BY THE PARENT. I know this because I home schooled for 2 years when the military took us somewhere with terrible schools. The tests or a portfolio of the work we did was required to be submitted each year. All of those tests are available for purchase to be administered by home, then the companies send out the scores in a way that you would never know it wasn't taken at a testing center. I don't buy those statistics for a hot minute.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Gracie

      I researched homeschooling for a graduate education class five years ago, and there seemed to be a lack of independent peer-reviewed research in this area. The largest study that HSLDA was citing then was not based on the general population of homeschoolers, but on those who had self-selected to take a college entrance exam. There is a need for more research to understand the pros and cons of homeschooling, done by independent researchers. It is a bit difficult to rely on statements from the Home School Legal Defense Association because they have a very strong religious-based bias against public schools, just as professional educators tend to have a bias against homeschooling. It is clear that not all homeschooling is created equal, just as not all public or private schools are created equal. It may be a good fit for parent and child, or it may be a terrible fit. I think it's best if each family thoroughly researches all the pros and cons for them, and be sure not to let anyone pressure you to do something that is not a good fit for you.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  44. carl

    I had a girl who was homeschooled and she came into school to take th NYS regents exams in Global studies and American History. She failed them badly. The next year she came to school as a regular student, took both courses and did very well in both courses. Most parents are not qualified to teach high school level courses in history, government, economics, chemistry, biology, physics, languages, English literature, algebra, trigonomrtry, geomentry, intrermediate and advanced alegebra, and technology and computer science.

    I completely understand the desire to home school to escape the very real negative aspects of public school. It all boils down to student motivation with strong parental support. Give any teacher a motivated student with strong parental support and a well rounded and educated young citizen is the result,

    August 28, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • momof3

      Remember that as a teacher, you are seeing a self-selected population returning to school. For many of these students, HSing wasn't working. You are less likely to encounter students for whom HSing was a successful experience because they go on HSing and often don't return to PS. With the economy the way it is, yes, there are HSers who are returning to school even though things are going well at home, but overall, I think teachers are more likely to encounter the students for whom HSing wasn't working well. That could be related to the parents' skills and ability, it could be because the child has learning disabilities, it could be for a variety of reasons. Also, HSers do not need to match their scope and sequence to that of public schools. For example, I HS my children, and we've completed a lot of world history as part of a chronological study of history, but we've done very little US history so far, other than what they've encountered in read alouds and their own independent reading. That doesn't mean they aren't knowledgeable about history; it means our sequence for studying history may differ from the sequence used in PS.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
      • momof3

        And to add to that, when students transfer from one public school to another as the result of a move, etc. they often experience a different scope and sequence, and may have gaps, etc.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • thesaj

      Hmm, kind of weird. I thought state exams were administered in schools. But my recollection is that the results were usually mailed directly to the student's families.

      Also, there is a class of home schooler, who usually falls into this category. School hopper. It's a student who's family life is unstable, they're moved a lot. And often the case is that they run into difficulties getting into a new school system.

      In order to get in, the parent testifies that the student has been home schooled. When often, they were just watching TV, while mom worked. And had not schooling being done.

      It's very common for divorced, struggling families, that are forced to relocate often due to life's situations (ie: repeated evictions, etc)

      As such, it is extremely hard for these kids to succeed well until stability is brought into their life. And yes, I've got neighbors who fall into this category.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  45. BJL

    I homeschooled my two sons, both gifted, until 9th grade. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. When they finally went to public school, they were far ahead of their peers intellectually and emotionally. The best thing was that they had more fully formed self-esteem and had no trouble saying "no" to peer pressure. Hands down, the most important things I taught them were to be critical thinkers and to be self-disciplined about their school work.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • dmmd

      What is "critical thinking" and how do you teach it?

      August 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
      • Kathy

        It's teaching kids to think for themselves....to analyze what they read/hear and come to their own conclusions as to what it really means, and how to apply it to other situations (vs rote memorization of facts). There are several companies that produce curriculum aimed at promoting critical thinking, in formats that are easy to work into a well rounded plan of schooling.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Molly1

      You would be one of the rare homeschool teacher/parent, who knew what she was doing. Too many of the home schooled students we took into the middle school were ill prepared for advanced learning.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
      • momof3

        Again, it is important for teachers to recognize they are seeing a self-selected population of HSers. They tend to see the students returning to school, and that is because HSing may not have been working well for that particular family. The parent may not have felt qualified to continue teaching, the student may be struggling due to diagnosed or undiagnosed learning disabilities, etc. There are certainly HSers who return to school even though HSing was working well for them (due to the economy, etc.). However, those returning to public school are only a snapshot of the entire HSing population. Teachers are less likely to encounter homeschooled students where HSing is working well for the family and child.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
      • GPC

        A lot of homeschool kids start out in public schools. The schools fail them, so the parents pull them out to try to fix the problems. Some parents can get their kids up to grade level or beyond. Others can't, so they send the kids back to school. A lot of the kids you see were probably failed public school kids before they were failed public school kids.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Karola

      This was true about my homeschooling experience also.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  46. MO

    A better statistical analysis would be to compare homeschooled children's test scores with those of children of relatively equal socioeconomic means. Children who live in poverty (whose parents would lack the ability to homeschool–due to working 1 or 2 jobs) typically score lower for myriad reasons and therefore bring the statistical average down. I would imagine homeschooled kids would disproportionately represent a higher socioeconomic status and therefore start out with many advantages in terms of learning environment (more books, vocab, etc.)

    August 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Dan

      I agree, but the flip side is that homeschoolers are not exempted from paying their taxes and their absence from the public classroom leaves more money to assist those with fewer resources.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Meh

      you make too much sense!

      August 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Also, most states don't track whether or not home schooled kids took the tests very well if at all. So, you run into the problem of "self selected" test takers vs "everyone take it" test takers.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Jay

      If people would research and then come to conclusions the world would be a better place. Unfortunately pride exists and people will determine truth and then argue why their thoughts are right. If you do some research you'll find that the Department of Education did an in-depth study and concluded that educated children's test scores were equally as high even when the parents had no college education. Watch out for pride... it leads to destruction (often misquoted as "pride comes before the fall".

      August 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  47. Will

    People homeschool their kids for one reason and one reason only: religious brainwashing. It's awfully hard to brainwash your kids when the public schools keep teaching them blasphemous things like science and math and racial tolerance. Homeschooling is creating a parallel society of Americans who live in an alternative reality and who want to tear down our society rather than contribute to it. By allowing the existence of homeschoooling, we allow this problem to fester and grow. We will have to deal with these people one day...

    August 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Stephanie Allen

      I do agree with you...somewhat. Most parents do have the religious intention in their homeschooling, but I am not one of them. I encourage my kids to dig into science. I want them to ask "Why?" I don't always know the answer, but I do try to find it, and I learn something new in the process. Even though it is against the law, there is much religious endoctrination in the public school system here in Mississippi. At least if they are with me I can keep a handle on that. I homeschool my kids because our local school has been deemed "failing" and I can't allow that for my kids.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
      • Meh

        Out of curiosity – who grades home schooled kids?

        August 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
      • Jay

        Meh, you are incredibly missing a big point... parents test the grades... of tests taken at home... studies are based off of standardized test scores.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
      • Meh

        Jay, that answers my question – it wasnt sarcasm – it was a question.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
      • Monarch's Poison

        Actually, not all home school programs are graded by parents. Not all of them are 'religious brainwashing', either. My best friend is in a home school program where he does the books, takes the tests, sends them to the people running the program, they get graded, and he gets new books to take. He gets straight A's, and unlike your obviously stereotypical 'observation' he gets those grades honestly. He works for them, just like any kid in public school.

        Also, in homeschooling, female students can't... bribe the teachers with low-cut shirts and short skirts- which is how the majority of the girls in my year manage to pass.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Stephanie

      I homeschool my kids and we're not religious. There also hasn't been any brainwashing. My daughter is gifted. (I know everyone says this about their kids, but she actually is.). My son has autism, dyslexia and severe food allergies. The public school in the area isn't equipped to properly educate them. There aren't any private schools in my area. I don't want to send them to Catholic school. Homeschooling is the only reasonable option for us.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Louisa

      Hi Will, I read your post and do agree that the majority of home-schooled children bend towards religion; however, I am agnostic and home-school my child because the educational system could not (public and private). He is 5 academic grades levels above his chronological grade level. He is 10 years old and learning Algebra II and Chemistry this year, considered 10th grade academics. By the way, I am a public school teacher, a single Mom, and pay quite a handsome fee to educate my son each year. I am sure my son will be in college soon and believe me it scares me, online courses more likely. I shirk the religious undertone of the home-school realm and I am raising my son to be what he was born to be... Thank you for listening through reading this...

      August 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
      • GB

        We home-school and are not religious in the least bit. We go through a school district and our son is independently tested by them every year.

        He's 9, and is often mistaken for a teenager. We chose homeschooling because we wanted to tailor his education towards engineering, something he has a knack for. Don't judge us all as nuts! We wanted our only child to be a truly productive member of society.

        We are accomplishing that. Thanks for reading.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • jammatmil

      Will...
      Do you honestly believe the BS you're spewing? Parents homeschool their kids because the school system sucks in this country, nothing more. I think you're the only one with dogma issues.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Lisa

      Will...you obviously haven't researched this much. While many home educating families do teach the Bible, there are MANY who do not. One of the ladies in our homeschooling group teaches her kids that creation is a myth. Deal with "these people?" Really? How about having to deal with close minded people lke yourself?

      August 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • xcskimom

      I homeschool my children and we're not at all religious. None of our homeschooling friends are religious, and of all the homeschoolers I know, less than 10% are religious or cite religion as a reason for homeschooling. This is a completely outdated notion and simply displays ignorance regarding homeschooling.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Ron

      Obviously, you are ignorant and uninformed about why people homeschool. Thanks for exposing your stupidity to the world.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • steve

      gotta say i disagree with you bud, my kids are home schooled, and it has nothing to do with religion at all. I just do not have faith in our public school system anymore. You have teachers cheating on tests just to get more funding for the school, if a student doesn't get something then they just keep going so as not hold up the rest of the class, bottom line most teachers just don't care anymore. I would rather my kids be taught at home where I know that they are gonna learn what they need to learn, which includes math and science, and if they have trouble on a specific item then we will keep working on it until they get it and move on. I even had my two oldest take standardized tests this year just to see how they hold up against everyone else, they both ranked in the top ten percent in the entire state on all subjects, and one of them was in the 99th percentile in language arts and math. I honestly don't see where I could be going wrong with those numbers.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • rcyoder

      While I will agree that there are a portion of the homeschooling population who do so for religious reasons, it is by no means the *ONLY* reason – and my experience in California is that religion is pretty far down the list of reasons why people homeschool. Many homeschoolers think that they can do a better job than mainstream schools (public or private). They certainly bypass a lot of the 'sit straight, walk in a line, be quiet until you are called upon, be a good little widget' mentality that mass education requires.

      Homeschooling allows kids to move at their own speed, to be able to ask questions when they are stuck, and to bypass a lot of the waiting around / childcare that is education in this country today. However, it requires a stay-at-home parent who is willing and able to devote significant one-on-one time – that is a significant commitment of resources for a family to make and one that very, very few living below the median income level can make.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Leif

      Not true in all cases; I schooled mine to teach them my values re touchy subjects & to protect them from the bad influences. Religion? I'm an atheist.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • tkjjz

      Will....It is obvious you do not know anybody that homeschools.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Ryan

      My wife and I are professionals (architect and engineer) who are decidedly nonreligious. We are contemplating homeschooling our son because we feel that the problem with the public education system is that it is a SYSTEM. It moves kids of varying interests and abilities through the same unispiring curicullum at the same rate. I remember being very bored with school and wasn't a good student until college when I was able to choose my classes and explore my passions. I think that you may find that many homeschoolers today are driven by their reservations about the current factory sytle education system and not so much by religion.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Jim

      Sir, I must disagree. We homeschooled our son from beginning to end as we felt it was the best option to ensure a broad education, especially with the wide array of on line courses and the network of professionals available as tutors through home school associations. As an example, one member of our association was a biologist for game and fish.
      We also learned to make everything from grocery shopping to home repair a lesson. In addition, home schooling provided us a less restrictive environment for teaching about the contributions made by various world religions, crafting a wide array of field trips from Colonial Williamsburg to Indian resrvations, from cave exploration to political rallies, and we were also able to provide expansive social interaction seldom available to students in traditional schooling.
      In my personal opinion educational evolution is being held back by vested interest groups and as a result teachers, students, and the nation suffer as a result.
      I should also note that my wife and I are merely high school graduates. Moreover, our economic level would fall in the lower middle calss range as my wife quit her job to concentrate on education for our son.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • dave

      That is complete h o r s e s h i t. I know a bevy of home school parents. The vast majority of them are God hating liberals. Get the facts straight. It goes both ways, and not being home schooled doesn't mean you can't have a deep religious affiliation.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Pappy

      Baloney! We homeschooled our three daughters who have grown to be very successful women, wonderful mothers, and loving wives. When we were being hauled into court and summoned to the state legislature thirty years ago in Tennessee, we fought this same inane argument about "religious brainwashing". I certainly don't recommend homeschooling to all parents, but we fought for the liberty to educate our own children. You will find that homeschooled kids come in all flavors, just like the ones that attend public or private schools. I wonder if you are pro-choice. Pro-choice to me was choosing to homeschool our children and we have never regretted that decision. The option for them to attend public school was always theirs and they each made different choices at different stages of their upbringing. I admonish you to choose whatever path of education you desire for your children. I gladly paid (and pay) my taxes for public schools because the viability of our democracy depends on an educated populous. We now have the joy and privilege of participating in the homeschooling of our grandchildren. I get to do astronomy with my g'kids this year and "no" I'm not going to brainwash them into believing that the cosmos is only 6,000 years old. By the way, I do have a B.S. in education, but some of the finest teachers I've ever known were not professional educators. So, stay out my bedroom, stay out of my computers, and stay out of our homeschooling classroom. How about a little tolerance for my "pro-choice"?

      August 28, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Bill

      Your comment is ignorant.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Dorothy

      I began homeschooling my child this year after dealing with 2 years of incompetent teachers and administrative staff and bullying. By the way, my child is in 2nd grade and excels in every academic subject. For two years, we never received a communique from a teacher that was grammatically correct. During two years of public school, she learned to hide her high grades from her peers, because she knew they would make fun of her. For two years, she was hit, ridiculed, kicked, and threatened. We spoke to teachers and administrative staff who told us that they could do nothing. We saw our happy and outgoings child become more withdrawn and develop a fear of getting in front of people. For the last year, she could tell us what she watched on television at school, but not what she learned. She is now being challenged far more than she ever was in the system by so called highly qualified teachers. Her only complaint has been that it is a lot more work. She now looks forward to school. Seeing my child happy again, learning, and growing in confidence is more than enough for me to teach her at home.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Kevin

      Will,
      You must have been brainwashed at a public school. In regard to intolerance, you learn that at a public school too? Everything you spouted in your rant is textbook propaganda. Homeschoolers test higher and can as a whole communicate better with the adults in their lives. There will always be exceptions, but fewer than the public school system. Homeschool kids are generally morally grounded too. What are the chances kids learn that in the public school system. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but everyone should be able to choose.

      Also, Christianity is very tolerant. More so than most world religions. True Christianity, not religion, is a personal decision, not something forced on you by a government. That is what our Founding Fathers had intended, hence the separation of church and state. The initial colonists came to this nation to avoid religious oppression. And the intent is we will always have a choice. In today's America, you have a choice as long as its not Christian.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Misty

      WHAT?! Our family home schools without religion as do many families in our area. Also, even for those that do base home school on religion, what difference does that make to you in any way?

      August 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • jewelofthecrowne

      while I dont agree with your conclusion, I do find it odd that this issue was not really addressed in the piece. It is my understanding from considering this option in different states, that a major factor in tolerence and sometimes down right lack of standards enforecement is this nexus with religion for so many families and the state's reluctance to impose standards that may tread (or be perceived to tread) on those beliefs. For me, like so many posters, our failth was not a determinative factor in weighing this decision. However, this historical "fact" - real or imagined - has certainly shaped the curricular offerings, the public support and the public perception of homeschooling. I also think that this has corrolated with the idea that children raised this way are not socialized. In truth, as another commentor observed, this is probably a reflection on the reclusiveness of certain families who selected homeschooling to avoid religious or other cultural elements present in their public school environment, rather than a failure of the home school model.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Hans

      Will, there is quite a bit of that, certainly. But, the liberal, alternative living, and un-schooling movements are a huge part of the home schooling movement in the U.S. Let's not paint everyone with the religious zealot brush.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • GPC

      I'm agnostic and I homeschool. About one third of homeschoolers are fundamentalists and another one third are secular.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • thesaj

      Really?

      My wife was homeschooled, yes for religious reasons. She is now an atheist. She still wants to homeschool.

      Because she believes it does provide a better education for the investment of time.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  48. JanetMermaid

    The biggest problem I've seen around here with home schooled kids is socialization. They are so insulated that they don't have good social skills and find it almost impossible to deal with "exceptional" situations - even typical teasing from other kids (not actual bullying). They aren't used to taking turns, sharing, cooperating, being made to wait, etc. They are going to be serious problems for employers when (if) they finally grow up.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Jared Saltz

      This, of course, is predicated on the concept that school children are good at these skills–a postulation I think to which many a school teacher would object. Sociology has proven* that the majority of socialization occurs before the age of six or seven, which has little to no impact on what is being discussed. That said, most homeschoolers these days play sports, join clubs, and interact with others in their group and are often far less dependent on age parity to make friends, often spanning several years in both directions as well as having a greater ability to deal with adults than their public-school peers.

      NB: "proven" and "socialization" as defined by sociologists, which probably does not equate to the common usage of either term.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Gillian

      Wow, you must have very limited exposure to homeschool kids. There are a lot in the area I live and they are by far the most polite, well-mannered and mature kids. Where I work, we dread public school getting out for the day because of the rude, immature, destructive swarms of kids. We'll take those homeschool kids any day! In my book, I wish more families homeschooled their kids. We don't know what they're doing, but at work we all agree they are doing something RIGHT!

      August 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
      • Louisa

        Yes, Gillian, I agree, my philosophy is that as long as you have one really good friend, then that is all you need. My son is home-schooled, he goes to P.E. once a week with many other children that are home-schooled. Also, he attends Drama classes which in turn puts out a play at the end of the school year that has a huge production of the play and hundreds attend. He goes on field trips too. I think home-schooled kids are not understood, and that's okay, we just need to expose others to what occurs and the myth will diminish.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Stephanie

      I've seen people who grew up attending public school have some pretty odd social skills. The problem isn't isolated to children who are homeschooled.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • social

      Homeshoolers I have had the pleasure of meeting were very nice, well mannered, members of society. The weakness I think they have is gullability and street smarts, generally a little sheltered.

      my 2 cents.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Lisa

      So...is school supposed to be all about socialization? I hope not! My daughters have church on Sunday morning, a Bible club on Sunday night, Children's Choir on Tuesdays, Homeschool group on Wednesdays, and Gymnastics on Thursdays...all with other children. They also play with the neighborhood kids. My children are 2 of the most outgoing kids I have ever been around and I get compliments frequently when about how well they can interact with others. Quite sure we don't need to add anything else to our "socialization" schedule.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
      • jewelofthecrowne

        Yes. Socialization is a critical component of education. I dont mean socializing, I mean learning to communicate, negotiate and cope with others. Repeatedly posters here have commented not on homeschoolers curing cancer or founding their own businesses, but on their maturity and politness. I think this evidences that socialization is absolutely and expectation of education.

        I dont think that being social (or properly socialized) is really a problem for homeschool children; save for those who are homeschooled for the purpose of regulating their children's social interactions. In that case, you might have some kids that are never able to effectively communicate or navigate a world outside that bubble. Or not. its really much more personalized then where you went to school.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • xcskimom

      Perhaps you haven't met many homeschoolers. Placing a child in a room full of people the same age does not a well-socialized individual make. Homeschooled children are generally far more involved in their communities than their similarly-aged counterparts and able to socialize well across all age groups. They are (generally) well-spoken and polite. Yet another ridiculous myth!

      August 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • tkjjz

      Janet....Every homeschool child I have met are outgoing, happy, content, and very well rounded. They go to school dances, play sports, and have friends. It is obvious you do not know anyone who homeschools.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • thesaj

      Thank God or the Spaghetti Monster, whichever you prefer,

      We need more folk who are going to be serious problems for employers. If employers continue having their way without any problems. We'll see us all be contracted workers, with no healthcare benefits, putting in 60 hour work weeks for 40 hours of pay.

      And really, what do you define as bullying? Oh just teasing...

      You know what that means my Dear Ignorant Stupid Lazy Slothful Teacher?

      If you are seeing teasing, it means the bullying is going on constantly behind your back. And I wager, you're just like the dumb !@#$% teachers I had in 5th and 6th grade. To lazy to be bothered. Rather, you'll publicly criticize the person being teased. As I wager you have already done to these and other students.

      If you're seeing that, realize you're a !@#$% failure. And it's happening to the kids a lot worse than you think.

      ***

      Oh, am I bitter, darn right I am. Because I was one of those teased kids. And if I was being harassed, or attacked and tried to seek refuge (ie: move my desk somewhere safe, etc, etc) I was the one who got punished.

      It was truly fun when my 6th grade teacher made fun of my speech impediment in front of the whole class. I bet you can imagine how much that elevated the teasing, and bullying that the dumb teacher just like you, never saw.

      I am sorry to be so harsh. But if you're allowing that crud to happen in your class. Than you're part of the problem. And YOU Mrs. Janet Mermaid are the VERY REASON that I will be home schooling my kids.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
      • thesaj

        And please, never tell your kids it takes two to start a fight. If you do, I so hope someone punches you smack dab in the face. And then blames you for doing so.
        :-P

        August 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  49. John

    Home schooling can be successful if the parents are normal, well adjusted, intelligent people. Unfortunately, the majority of people home schooling their children are none of those things and are simply trying to keep their kids immersed in their perverted, twisted religious dogma. You can immediately tell the difference between the two: the former will be a typical kid, the latter will be a little weirdo. Every time...

    August 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Jerry

      John – did you go to public school? What's your level of reading comprehension?

      Homeschoolers have tested well above other students ever since measuring began in the 1970s.

      "Normal" is a setting on your clothes dryer. That said, I was an officer in a statewide homeschool association and we had members from every conceiveable vocation/profession, every 'religious' tradition, political party, and spanning the income continuum.

      However, you may be the best argument for not homeschooling your children.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  50. Professor Pepperwinkle

    Home schoolers are a cult!

    August 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • jammatmil

      You're an idiot.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
      • JDBJDB

        Thoughtful and eloquent. OK, concise.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  51. DT

    I have a graduate degree and two young infants. I have also taught classical guitar for 10 years part time.
    I would be very hesitant to homeschool. How would you map and master many years worth of an enormous volume of topics and lessons to effectively prepare them for college. Obviously it is being done, and my hats off to the parents that are doing this. It is a huge and complicated task that requires big, ahem, a lot of courage.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Holly Peterson

      DT- thanks for the kudos! See, most of us homeschooling now simply use a quality curriculum, or an eclectic mix of curriculum by subject. Forty years ago the home education pioneers made their own and went to the library for all the books- they deserve the major honors! I just listened to two first year public school teachers tell me how overwhealmed they are and afraid they are doing a terrible job. And these ladies have teaching degrees! No matter who you are, it is a major learning experience. But once you do your planning and figure out your curriculum and get a few months under your belt- it's not that bad. In fact, I'm teaching two elementary schoolers, one pre-schooler, and a toddler in tow. Our "lesson" hours are our most fun. Diversity? Socialization? We do co-op classes with our homeschool group once a week- 60 families just in our county (and that's not all the families educating at home in the area). Plus there are dance classes, sports, horseback riding, all kinds of neat field trips, 4H...need I continue?

      August 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Jerry

      DT – you're making the mistake of most teachers. Successful homeschooling is not based on an approach to pedagogy in which the teacher must be the learned expert who in turn regurgitates everything to the student. That creates enormous barrier to learning. Homeschooling is about creating the incentives to learning, establishing a caring and facilitative environment that nurtures and rewards discovery, provides the necessary resources, and gets out of the way. It's a proven recipe. By the way, by vocation, the group that has the most difficulty in homeschooling their children? Certified teachers. They almost invariably bring all the restrictions and constraints of the corporate classroom into the home. Homeschooling is not school at home.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  52. real american

    homeschooling has worked out great for our children(6)-they were among the most sought after by schools of higher education-their act and sat scores were in the top of the state ,two being the top-no problem with socialization–we joined with many other home school families for sports and other activities-we have a vested interest in the outcome and employers looked very highly at their education when considering hiring

    August 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  53. Mexi

    What is the explanation, the parents.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  54. Melissa

    As a teacher, I've noticed that groups of students are much more influenced by the negative, unruly children than the successful students. As we continue to try to integrate and diversify the schools, the majority of students gravitate towards the "hip-hop" kids, and the classroom becomes chaotic.

    If we put these children in special education where they belong, it's called racist. Prsident Obama jus signed an Executive Order banning a diproportionate disciplining of african american students. If we couldn't control them last year, the coming school year is going to be very interesting. And for those that think this is racist- I'm not a racist. All teachers feel this way after our idealism is changed by the reality of afrivcan americn behavior. If you've never tried to teach them mind your own business!!!

    August 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • John

      Oh sweetheart, yes you ARE a racist.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
      • Austin

        Sometimes facts are racist. It doesn't make the person racist. You are possibly more racist than the fact itself by coming to the conclusion so quickly that this person is a bigot.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
      • John

        And you have entered into a logical fallacy. I certainly hope you aren't home schooling anyone.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
      • Holly Peterson

        A lot of white people we have talked to are racist directly because of the black gangs in our public school. That terrifies me because I was raised in the north and had perfectly normal black friends. I didn't know any racists. One good thing about keeping my children out of public school is that we can give them good experienced with good people of other races and avoid the rampant racism (and beatings, and rapes) at the public school. And yes, I wish we could move. Hoping that time will come soon.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • ALAN LOPES

      I HAVE TWO FRIENDS THAT ARE TEACHERS AND THEY HAVE OBSERVED THAT AFTER PRESIDENT OBAMA CAME TO OFFICE, THE AFRICAN AMERICAN KIDS BECAME MORE DIFFICULT. I SEEMS TO ME THAT THE RACIAL PROBLEM STARTS WITH THEMSELVES. BY THE WAY I HAVE VERY GOOD AFRICAN AMERICAN FRIENDS THAT HOME SCHOOL THEIR CHILDREN AND THEY ARE DOING PHENOMENAL.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
      • jewelofthecrowne

        this is the most racist, illogical and inappropriate comment. are you suggesting that the children got out of place and acted above their station because a black man was elected president? that they were riotous because the president somehow endorses bad conduct? that this is a base instinct, evoked by black leadership?
        by the way, mentioning your black friend does not cure the fact that your comment is ignorant and racist. nor does it make it on topic. my understanding is that homeschoolers are porportionately mostly white. guess what. so is this country. big deal the race issue seems highly collateral. your comment underminds the integrity of homeschooling by suggesting that it be undertaken as an act of white flight - (did you know that the homeschooling movement in VA in the 50s started to support the counties that closed their schools rather than intergrate them?) - not as a well considered option of carring parents who seek excellence for their children in today's society.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Andrea

      Wow!!! Negative, unruly children come in all races. I agree that it is no longer "cool" to gravitate towards being smart and making the highest marks. But, when has it ever?!?
      Special education is what it is...placement should never be determined based on race or unruly behavior. That comment comes across as ignorant and racist. You may not think you are racist, but obviously the bad behaviors of your students have traumatized and marked you into a state of thought that is difficult for you to escape.
      I cannot offer you a solution to controlling your students. I've been there, as a teacher in an urban environment with students who are African-American and very unruly. I've seen the teachers crying on a daily basis from the stress, disrespect, and lack of support. I was one of them. Yet, I knew enough to check myself and any thoughts that may generalize their behaviors for an entire race. Or, to think placing all of them in special education was a solution. Are they all mentally disabled in your mind?

      I suggest you find another career. I would hate for my children to have to be placed in your classroom and be judged based on their skin color. Yes, I am black, a little "hip-hop", and have two Master's degrees.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
      • EasyE

        Thank god for affirmative action- huh?? Only 1 race in history needed a lower set of standards to run parallel to the rest of the population. Proof of an inferior species.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Meh

      You write like a third-grader and you are supposedly a teacher? Ive changed my mind... Im all for home schooling now.
      Any teacher who uses the term "them" to refer to an entire race has no place in front of a classroom.
      I feel sorry for any african american kids that end up in your class that are truly looking for an education – apparently you already have them all figured out as a lost cause.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Jerry

      Sadly racists do end up teaching in the classroom and the home. It would be nice if no child had to be subjected to such a distorted worldview.

      But that's why have 'adult education' isn't it. Even bigots get converted. Hating bigots is still the same problem though.

      I'm lucky my life path took me from my ranch in Montana, to living in 6 countries around the world with my family, and traveling to and working in more than 100 countries.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Marissa

      Well said! It is brave of you to speak such a truth, one that is forbidden to be spoken about by those in power who seem intent on causing trouble with these realities we are not allowed to speak about.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  55. Elizabeth

    I think there should be some qualifications necessary for the parents who wish to home school their kids. I've had several kids show up in my classroom and these kids can't spell, read, do math... and the problem is, in each of the situations, the parents had mental retardation and were trying to teach their kids at home. When the kids show up in school and can't pass the No Child Left Behind state test, their scores count against the school eventually. We cannot 'catch them up' fast enough. Parents have the right to educate their kids at home, but in the cases of parents with mental retardation in review, I think there really should be some kind of competency test to make sure these parents can provide grade level instruction for their kids. I also realize these are not the norm, but with NCLB requiring 100% proficiency very soon, this concerns me.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Prefer Anonymity to being flamed

      I think there should be some qualifications necessary for the teachers who teach our kids. I don't buy the argument that parents are "unqualified" because we don't have a degree in education. I regularly find myself correcting what the teachers do wrong (Spelling anyone?) or teaching my sons what the teacher doesn't (Algebra, Calculus), but then I have a BS-EE and a Masters degree also.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • ALAN

      YOU ARE RIGHT TO CERTAIN DEGREE. I PERCEIVED A FEW PARENTS THAT SHOULD BE BETTER EDUCATED THEMSELVES. THE MAJORITY OF PARENTS HAVE SUPERIOR EDUCATION THAN SCHOOL TEACHERS. AND I THING THE PROBLEM IS THE REGULATIONS AND THE LIMITATIONS TEACHER FACE WITH THE SYSTEM.
      KIDS ARE WILD AND NOTHING IS DONE TO IMPLEMENT DISCIPLINE AT SCHOOLS. THE PROBLEM IS NOT WITH HOME SCHOOLERS. THOSE PARENTS ARE TRYING TO DEFEND THEIR CHILDREN FROM THE WILD AND UNRULED AND IN THEIR DESPERATION THEY TRY TO EDUCATE THEIR OWN.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
      • Meh

        ITS HARD TO TAKE YOU SERIOUS WHEN YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPS LIKE A CHILD.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Cheryl

      Wow. One thing I taught my homeschoolers was not to call people mentally retarded...

      August 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • xcskimom

      You should be more concerned about school children if you're worried about NCLB. In Vermont, only something like 22% of children were considered proficient in most subjects. 77% of schools were failing.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  56. Jt_flyer

    If given the choice I'd pick homeschooling over the public school system.

    In the 70's we spent billions busing students across town in an attempt to integrate schools.

    Today we have Afrocentric schools and we wonder why our society isn't integrated.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  57. SokrMom

    I'm very skeptical of the statistics offered here, given the sources. But home schooling certainly deserves a great deal more attention than it is getting. These people are opting out of the melting pot; of the shared experience of being an American. And many are doing so because they do not share mainstream religious or social values. This is certain to result in a next generation that is even more extreme. There can be little doubt that in the next several decades our Country can expect a wave of extremist violence perpetrated by home-schooled children whose parents deliberately raised them to be dogmatic and have closed minds. Our society is already too divided, and home schooling is going to make things worse.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • givemeabreak

      Sounds like typical alarmist propaganda to me. Everything is dogmatic, schools teach to a curriculum decided on by closed minded individuals such as yourself. The truth is that schools are not getting the job done. The drop out rate among high schoolers proves my point. The future is dependent upon those who will have the creativity to overcome the new challenges that are posed every year. if violence is the trend for "dogmatic" home schooled kids, please supply the statistics that show home schooled children insight violence today. I think the highly educated home schooled children of today will be the highly educated doctor's and scientists of tomorrow.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
      • mucyk

        Love your argument, but please, it's INCITE, not insight

        August 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
      • jewelofthecrowne

        i dont know that I entirely agree with your conclusion, but you make a good point that people are fedup and opting out. my question is, is this better? As discussed above, may families cant opt out. From difficult challenges with state's permiting acreditation for homeschooling diplomas to parents who lack the skills or other resources, including time, is it okay to solve the education problem by permiting people to opt out. Dont get me wrong, I actually strongly support homeschooling options; however, I dont see that as a solution to what ills the public school system nor should it be a last resort for families who are fed up with alternatives. we cant fix that by simply directing everyone to walk away.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • ajk68

      This has nothing to do with opting out of the melting pot; it's a matter of getting the education each child needs. My wife and I have sent our kids to public schools of different sorts, private schools, middle college programs, public college, private college, and we've home-schooled. We decidedly recently to take one of the kids out of public school and start homeschooling him (we had home-schooled some of the older kids years ago); it's what he needs. This time it is a cooperative-type program with 2 days a week taught by a teacher and 3 days at home.

      The goal of our education is to make our kids capable of engaging in society in a positive way. This is the farthest thing from getting out of the melting pot – unless you define the melting pot as the lowest common denominator and mediocrity.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
      • jewelofthecrowne

        i think your story demonstrates the difference between opting in, and opting out. you picked the better choice for your child. that is where (I think) the judgment should lie, not focusing on a condemnation of alternatives. choosing from the many is a melting pot sort of outcome. homeschool, as you have described it, is a diversity element unto itself.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Holly Peterson

      Hmm, do I want my children to spend time with the kind of cruel people who drove me to despair in public school (and let them play shootemup video games), or do I want to educate them myself and surround our family with kind, loving friends.....which approach will produce a more peaceful child...that's a tough one.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • LBW

      When my second oldest home-schooled neice started taking night school classes at a local JC to get her pilots license, she commented that the just out of high school age stuck together and the more mature students stuck together. She had the social skills to interact with both groups. She is now a charter pilot flying Gulfstream jets. Her older sister passed the California state bar exam first time out. Neither is at all socially isolated or at all awkward with persons from a different background.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • ALAN

      SokrMom... YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM! THERE HAS NO REPORT OF HOME SCHOOLING SHOOTING. THE HOMESCHOOL COALITION OF FAMILIES ARE VELL EDUCATED PEOPLE THAT INSTIGATE ON THEIR CHILDREN THE MOST NOBLE VALUES OF SOCIETY, RELIGION AND PERSONALITY. THE WAY YOU WRITE APEAKS FOR THE WAY YOU THINK.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • xcskimom

      Are you serious? Some of the "opinions" put forth in this comment section are appallingly ignorant, but yours certainly stands out among them!

      August 28, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Kevin

      Yea, I want my kid open-minded so their brain falls out.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Marissa

      Actually, it is the people with mainstream views that home-school. They are fighting against the small group of people in power that are using their position and control of the education system to alter the mainstream views by brainwashing children in government run schools.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • C Baker

      Opting out of the melting pot? That's exactly, word-for-word, what they said about parochial schools back in the 20s, that Catholics were being unpatriotic by not sending their children to public schools.

      But now, behold: Catholics are assimilated just as well as everybody else! I guess your schooling is NOT the be-all and end-all of your education!

      August 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  58. rab1944

    Some of our five children were home schooled and the others traditionllly educated. All are successess. One of the home schoolers had been placed in an LD class in middle school, We took him out for home schooling and he is now pilot for a major airlines and another successfully runs his own business. Another who was left in traditionsal schooling received a full scholarship and degree from a major university. Keep your options open. Pardon the gramatical and spelling errors. Their father was strictly tradionally educated.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  59. JDBJDB

    Socialization aside, it important to consider the intrinsic limitations that a home schooling parent faces, especially at the high school level. This seems almost completely overlooked in coverage and conversation of this topic. No parent can offer a comprehensive college prep curriculum in subjects such as trigonometry, calculus, physics, or even a sophisticated comparative literature/survey class. By definition, children will not be able to exceed the academic achievements of the parent instructing them, especially in technical areas. In order to succeed in college classes in the hard sciences or even pre-med, a strong comprehensive foundation from high school is essential to get any traction. Kids without this background will face insurmountable challenges; kids not presented with a complete menu of technical preparatory curricula (by being at home) may inadvertently not even consider technical career paths for which they might otherwise be well suited. Limited options and limited potential.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • rev101

      Ditto!

      August 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • JJ, Iowa

      You should certanly be careful about using "no parent" since I could certainly homeschool in the subjects that
      you named, having taught math at the college level, and having a BS in physics and a minor in English and Computer Science.

      Our state allows partial home schooling, and despite great schools, we have many home schooled kids.
      Our town is probably not typical being a small college town witha research University, with many professor's
      spouses being certified teachers on their own, but it is possible to home school.

      We did not do so since both work, but I did most of the Math/Science well ahead of the schooling.
      One reason for the home schooling is that the disruptive students get most of the teacher's time,
      learning is not individualized, but is geared toward either state/national tests or towards the bottom
      of the class, so as not to lose a percentage of the class. Average teacher time per hour per student in a 30
      student 60 minute class is only 2 minutes. So in a 7 hour day, the average student can get no more than 14 minutes
      individual time. That is why I augmented my kid's studies at night and on weekends.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
      • JDBJDB

        As a PhD and college faculty member at MIT (and formerly Harvard Medical School), I can attest to my own limitations in being able to offer the kind of curriculum to which I would like my child to be exposed. More power to anyone who can- just don't think it's possible, even with all of the great on-line resources now available.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Kathy

      I may not be able to teach those classes, but I sure can find them offered online....or find a tutor locally to help my child through things that are beyond my experience. Homeschoolers are only limited by their parent's willingness, and ability, to find ways to meet their academic needs. But then kids in public schools are similarly limited to what the local school system offers.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
      • JDBJDB

        I can certainly understand and empathize when parents feel the public schools available to them do not offer the kind of resources idealized in my statement, especially when any sort of private school is not an option. In that case, I agree that it's up to the parents to do what they can- whether supplementing or even homeschooling. My disappointment is for the kids who do have access to AP classes and other comprehensive quality instruction, but are shortchanged.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Cheri

      Sure they can.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Emma

      And this theory is based on what research? Do you have empirical facts or are you just spouting your personal opinion? I am not a physicist but I taught my children basic physics. And yes, my daughter IS pre-med, thank you...

      August 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
      • JDBJDB

        And hopefully will get into medical school.......

        August 28, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Justin

      I am a homeschooling parent with a master's in engineering. We do not overlook these things, there are options available through almost every homeschool group that address the issues you speak of, from co-op classes to enrolling students in college for high school credit (allowable in California, I'm not sure about other states). I graduated from the public school system, but my younger siblings were educated at home and have been successful in technical industries. One works in the medical device industry and has a master's in engineering, while the other works in aerospace and has a bachelor's in aerospace engineering. These issues are not a surprise to those who choose homeschooling and are easily addressed.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
      • JDBJDB

        Perhaps not a coincidence that they ended up strong in technical areas. Good for you. However, can't help but wonder if they missed out on exposure to sophisticated curricula not associated with your expertise.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
      • jewelofthecrowne

        your course is outside my homeschool experience. can you share anything more about your choice to agument your child's education with these enrichments as a supplement to home instruction vs. public or private school instruction? until recently (the last few years) this was not part of what I thought of as homeschool so I am curious how familes who rely on these resource arive at the educational model they are using?

        August 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
      • momof3

        Jewelofthecrowne-
        My husband and I did a lot of research into various curricula, examined our own educational experiences in science fields, and examined our choices carefully. We have friends who are academics. My husband was a TA at university when he was pursuing his PhD, and we were both flabbergasted at student writing. These students expected to write a lab report devoid of a discussion section and receive an A or a B. They couldn't write. And these were students in upper level chemistry courses, not freshman in a gen chem class where perhaps it would be slightly more understandable. We have a close friend who taught gifted middle schoolers, and when NCLB went into place, she was told she could no longer give essay tests in her science courses, as this was not the format used in standardized testing. My husband and I feel that integrating subjects like writing with science, knowing how to make a well-reasoned argument and support your point of view, etc. are critical skills. We realized that was not a major area of focus any longer in schools. Real life is not a multiple choice exam. That helped crystallize our goals a bit.
        In my area, there are science camps, co-op science classes, parents who are experts in a field who offer science classes within their homes, a local place that offers robotics courses (using Lego Mindstorms) and a robotics team. Kids can be set up with mentors. In some states, HSers are permitted to participate in school clubs and extracurriculars like Odyssey of the Mind. There are many, many opportunities available today.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • tomsmail

      Uhh, excuse me but my two homeschooled children have two parents with three engineering degrees between them. I've seen the curricula and they are excellent. The teachers guides are excellent too – I would say it's not necessary to have a specialized degree to homeschool effectively. Besides, just how educated do you think my high school Trig teacher, or Chem teacher were anyway? As far as literature and liberal arts, pffft. We got the kids interested in reading early on. They now read more than most adults. It's almost like autopilot. Language? No problem with the self-teaching yellow boxes (except for Latin).

      August 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
      • JDBJDB

        High school teachers are almost universally required to have BS degrees (or more) in the area in which they provide instruction.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Holly Peterson

      Entirely untrue. Many universities seek out home educated students because, on average (according to the study by the US Department of Education) home educated students have higher GPA's their freshman year of college than their public school counterparts. The proof is in the pudding, honey. All this nonsense about high school being impossible for a parent to teach is myth, smoke. It has been working for the last forty years, which is why home education is increasing exponentially.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
      • JDBJDB

        Can't help but wonder how what proportion of these students are interested in the humanities, etc.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
      • momof3

        JDBJDB-are you suggesting that homeschooling parents can't provide an adequate education in science and mathematics? My husband and I both have advanced degrees in science fields. I have a healthcare/biological sciences type of masters degree, and my husband is a PhD chemist. We feel we can provide an excellent science and math education for our children. We also believe that homeschooling parents without our backgrounds can do so as well. Today, students can enroll in co-op classes taught by other parents who are experts in a particular field. For example, my husband might teach a weekend chemistry or physics course for homeschool families. Another parent might be qualified to teach a course on writing an excellent essay or term paper for older children, etc.
        Additionally, parents who don't feel qualified to teach math or science have options available like online courses, community college classes, etc. for their kids. Perhaps the kids engage in self-directed study of something like calculus, and use a tool like Khan Academy to work through areas they find difficult. Maybe the parents hire a private tutor one or two days per week to fill in any gaps or answer questions that remain for the student. There are many options available to parents who don't feel qualified to teach higher level coursework to their homeschooled students. The parent supervises the home education program; they don't necessarily have to deliver all of the instruction personally.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • JLS639

      There are ample resources available. Wisconsin in the 1990s, in any case, teaches a few classes to most home schooled kids when parents cannot handle it. In more recent years, home schooling organizations have put out more educational materials.

      Also, there is no evidence that home schooled children have higher rates of social problems than non-home school children in properly conducted, non-anecdote studies on the subject. Confirmation bias seems to be at work. Ones with social problems are cherry-picked and held up as if they were typical. Shy in a new situation and went to public school? Perfectly normal. Shy in a new situation and home schooled? Obviously you never learned to get along with others.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • JDBJDB

      Actually would make one clarification in addition to the comments I have made. It is clear that a parent with a strong math background (for example) could offer good instruction in that area. My reference was intended to cross between and include both technical and humanities areas. I think it could be universally stipulated that Einstein would probably not have been a very effective art history instructor (exagerating only to make a point). I would also reiterate my understanding that some parents have limited options if not fortunate enough to have access to a school system with quality instruction. Mats off to the parents who do step in to fill the void- at great personal effort and sacrifice.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
      • Kathy

        But being a smart guy, Einstein would most likely know his limitations and make alternative arrangements for those areas of study. I have a BS in computer science, but have limited knowledge when it comes to fine arts, so I found a co-op that offers both music and art appreciation classes, and have made a habit of finding age appropriate books about various artists to read with my son. In my opinion, the success or failure of both public and homeschooled children has more to do with how engaged and motivated their parents are than where, or how, they are getting their instruction.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
      • Homeschool Dad

        @Kathy

        Well said: "...the success or failure of both public and homeschooled children has more to do with how engaged and motivated their parents are than where, or how, they are getting their instruction."

        One of my favorite quotes (although I'm likely butchering it): A teacher can't be paid enough to do what a parent will do for free.

        August 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
      • Doreen Duggan

        I would like to point a few things out to you. If you have have looked into textbooks you would find that many are made to tailor different states requirements. Some states have opinions on what information should be presented, how it should presented, and at what age. So text book makers have editions to cater to those states and their requirements. So depending on what state you live in you could be learning different material. Now add in school districts and their individual needs. Add to that the ability level of the kids moving through the grades. You will find education varies greatly in the U.S. Transfer from Texas to the northeast and you may have to learn more(or just different material)just to meet the standards of this region and vice versa. There are attempts to have a Common Core(check out their website) it's meant to help regulate what is taught so that everyone has some of the same basics(this is important when choosing a college as well). Locally we had our curriculum revamped(at taxpayer exspense) only to drop it in favor of common core. So there is the ever changing (frequently based on a hot new teaching trend) curriculum guide lines. There is so much more I could point too. Like howyour state government and the religous beliefs the majority holds can affect curriculum(creationism vs. evolution here). Religon isn't just in homeschools. Man I keep thinking of things I want to say in responses to some of your other comments. THere isn't enough room. Also pardon my errors my dislocated ribs are aching and I'm trying to concentrate through it. Curious to your thoughts on my post though.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
      • momof3

        JBD-
        My husband and I have science backgrounds. He has a doctoral degree in chemistry, fwiw. We use a highly respected math program known as Singapore Math. If you speak to academics in the mathematics field, many feel it really does an excellent job of working on conceptual learning, and not just rote memorization of algorithms. It is a highly respected curriculum.
        Also, many public schools choose math curricula that are not exactly known for being outstanding. Ask math professors what they think about some of the popular math curricula used in public schools today.
        I attended public school, learned most of my math by algorithm, and have thoroughly enjoyed exploring mathematics in a more conceptual way with my children, using programs like Miquon along with Singapore. When I was in school, I knew how to borrow, but by rote. I didn't have a deep understanding of what I was *actually* doing. It got me through calculus, but the depth of knowledge could have been better. In contrast, my children are learning math in a way that has a depth to it that I never experienced until I went back and learned along with them.
        Moreover, as I stated above, the parent supervises the instruction. Some parents feel they can deliver it well, even at a high level. Other parents may choose to have their child take classes at a community college, take courses online and then use tools like Khan Academy. Parents may pay for private tutors, or have their child take a course through a co-op where another parent with a background in the subject teaches the class. There are many options available. Homeschoolers have an overwhelming number of curricula from which to choose, and that allows them to customize their kids' education. The vast majority of homeschooling parents do their research and determine what is the best fit for their family. There are some outstanding curricula available today that are rigorous and fantastic. There are public schools doing some amazing things, but there are also public schools with poor curricula that lack rigor and depth. The issue of quality curricula is not just related to HSing.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • xcskimom

      Not that I believe it's necessary, but I am certainly prepared to provide such an education to my children. Saying "no parent" is absolutely incorrect.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
      • JDBJDB

        I salute your intellect.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • ALAN

      HELLO JDBJDB,
      HOME SCHOOLERS WORK IN A GROUP SETTING CALLED SUPPORT GROUPS. PARENTS WITH DIFFERENT SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE SHARE THEIR EXPERTISE WITH THE GROUP AND QUITE OFTEN WE INVITE SPEAKERS AND LECTURES OF DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND YOU SHOULD ATTEND ONE TO SEE THE DIFFERENCE.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
      • JDBJDB

        Interesting. I like the all caps...

        August 28, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Homeschool Dad

      You're missing several important dynamics of Homeschooling. First, homeschool parents teach their children how to teach themselves. This is one of the reasons they excel over their peers. They learn early on how to read a textbook to gain knowledge. Even when parents don't know the subject at the level they should, the textbook paired with the child's experience at teaching themselves is frequently sufficient. You also underestimate another important dynamic of homeschooling: When the parents don't know the subject, they learn it alongside the student from the textbook. This benefits the entire family, and reinforces the child's ability and thirst to learn.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
      • JDBJDB

        An important aspect of instruction is curriculum- a strategy for instruction based upon a comprehensive understanding and mastery of the subject. The extent to which construction of these carefully balanced and nuanced intellectual houses are built (forgive the metaphor) is pretty fascinating. (I'm thinking particularly here of the regimented introduction of mathematical concepts, but this surely applies generally.) Unfortunately, I still contend that it would be beyond the capacity of any parent to develop highly effective curricula in a complete cross-section of study areas that would be available to a child in a decent public high school. Maybe a lack of respect for high schools in general is the real issue at hand here. Based in various peoples' experience, perhaps that is justified ( but a different conversation).

        August 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
      • JDBJDB

        Put better, it's the difference between having a tour guide vs. two tourists trying to read a map together. Not trying to be argumentative, just clear.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
      • Homeschool Dad

        JDBJDB,

        You are absolutely correct concerning curriculum. And I agree fervently that a homeschool parent who doesn't research and carefully select a good curriculum is taking significant risk. Nevertheless, it is often other factors that have a greater affect on a child's education: the child's inherent abilities, the teacher's ability to teach, the time involved in studying, aid provided by parents and peers, etc. Even if a school has the best of curriculum, it can not guarantee the best of educations.

        JDBJDB: I appreciate your thoughtful insights.

        BTW, My wife and I spend between $1500 and $2000 each year on curriculum, and I believe we are at the low end of most homeschool families.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
      • Kathy

        JDBJDB....but you are kind of missing our point, homeschool parents don't develop curriculum. In most cases, they either buy a complete curriculum from a single source (like K12 or Seton), or they piece together the various elements (language, math, science, etc) based on their child's ability level and learning style...after very careful research of what is available. If you do some research of your own, you would see that the options out there for homeschoolers are diverse, and for the most part very high quality. If you do some more digging you would even find options that are very low cost, or free if your local library has a decent collection of books. All it takes is a motivated parent who is willing to spend some time researching the options and carefully choosing what's best for their child.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Jerry

      JDBJDB

      Yes, you are articulate, and well educated. But you are still ignorant with respect to homeschooling. You are a textbook example of academia's widespread failure to provide America's young people with requisite knowledge and competencies to equip them for success in today's world.

      My wife and I do not possess academic degrees, and we homeschooled our children who went on to be valedictorians of their respective high school classes, received full-ride scholarships to private universities, and graduated magna and summa cul laude.

      One of the greatest frauds perpetrated on America is the hoax by the NEA that only professional teachers can teach. What nonsense. Look up on wikipedia the luminaries of history who were homeschooled.

      Homeschooling is a wonderful option available to committed parents, and the achievement statistics of homeschoolers across the nation for the past four decades substantiate this. I wish those parents considering homeschooling to do their due diligence, investigate what is required, and equip themselves for success. And not be dissauded by naysayers.

      Especially if those naysayers come from within a profession demonstrating such a high failure rate. Professional teachers on this discussion board should come to the discussion with some measure of humility. All my students completed with honor degrees. How about yours?

      August 28, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • ajk68

      @JDBJDB: Just because you aren't qualified in those subjects doesn't mean others aren't.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
      • Homeschool Dad

        When a person is being self effacing, there isn't a need to harp on him. Instead, be honest in two ways: acknowledge that you know many homeschool parents who aren't qualified. And then tell him of the many school teachers you had that were even less qualified. :)

        August 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • thesaj

      That's because home schoolers usually don't learn those courses at home. They take them at local colleges.

      Yes, while your kids take high school chemistry, the average homeschooler is taking college chemistry. When they actually enroll in a degree program. Rather than taking Chemistry 101. They often skip and take Chem 102 or 201 equivalents.

      Rather than take high school algebra, they take algebra and pre-calc at community colleges. Then freshman year they take Calc 1 (or higher).

      The truth is, that homeschooling merely teaches the student how to learn and teach themselves. Then as long as their given resources they succeed.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  60. M&Moors

    Home school kids do so well because their parents are willing to devote their own time and money for their kids education. The state run schools aren't "failing" students. Its just that state schools cant compete with parents who are willing to devote most of their time and energy into educating a single student.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Homeschool Dad

      I believe you are right in your thesis that a successful education is directly tied to the parent's involvement, except that I have six homeschooled kids rather than just one. :) I believe my kids would do very well (if not better) in public school since their parents would continue to be involved (please forgive the shameless self promotion). In fact, the primary argument against homeschooling is this: it deprives the schools of the parents who would normally be very involved in a positive manner. Remember, a teacher can't be paid enough to do what a parent will do for free.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
      • jewelofthecrowne

        i appreciate your comments. I had an excellent (truly excellent) public school education. I have been less pleased with what has been offered to my children. that being said, how do you view your investment in curriculum and co-curricular activites as different than private school options? isnt this just another curriculum choice? I dont mean to sound argumentative, I just want to understand this process better, as it appears to have many more options than when I considered several years ago. (or i just know about more now, ah the internet is grand).

        August 29, 2012 at 12:12 am |
      • momof3

        Jewel, I'm not the person you are addressing, but I hope you don't mind my comment.

        If you are asking how it compares to choosing private school, there are several reasons. One, I can provide a personalized education for my child. I can choose the curricula that is the best fit for each child. Our curricula are rigorous and fantastic, but another child may do better with another program. Even private schools don't typically offer that degree of flexibility. We can also be very efficient as homeschoolers, since we don't have 20-25 kids in a class. There aren't the same types of classroom management issues that teachers run into. You always know where your child is, and it isn't necessary to review over and over again if the child demonstrates mastery of a topic. It allows us to challenge our children thoroughly, while still allowing them to be little kids who need to move and wiggle. My kinder aged daughter can go out and play for 20 mins to burn off steam when she needs to. We aren't eating up valuable family and freetime with worksheets for homework every night on subjects my kids have already mastered. That gives us time to enjoy one another, for the kids to engage in valuable free play (which studies show is so critical to developing self-control and knowledge, even if not "formal" learning). I have friends with children who are accelerated learners in public school, and their "differentiation" consists of nothing more other than additional, more challenging work in their homework packet. They aren't given instruction on those things during the day, so my friends end up teaching the content on those worksheets to their kids. While some teachers and schools do a wonderful job of providing differentiation, you cannot match the differentiated learning that can take place in a home environment. Homeschooling gives us time to pursue travel. Sometimes my husband has business trips to various cities and we can go along and study architecture in Boston, visit important historical sites, museums, etc. That flexibility is priceless.
        Private schools have many benefits and are a great fit for many families, but we chose to homeschool for some of the reasons above.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  61. John Burningham

    The only problem I see with Home Schooling is it isolates the children from peers in other ethnic/social/religious/economic groups. Compared to many poorer public schools, Home Schooling may be a better choice. I do feel that in order to home school your children the parents need to have some formal education or training. The students should also have to perform at acceptable levels on standardized tests at least every two years to be allowed to continue in a home schooling environment. I do have a concern about how home schooled students will perform in post-secondary education where they will encounter traditional classrooms.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • MikeyQ

      Why so convinced other ethnic groups is such a good thing? Asian countries don't need "diversity" and they do just fine. All of the best school districts in the world are NOT in black neighborhoods. You are sacrificing your children for the sake of "diversity".

      Political correctness has run amok. I guess learning how to flash mob and crip walk is a good, diverse thing????

      August 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
      • Ben R

        I'm more than a little confused at your implication that "flash mob" is a minority thing (and even more confused that you think its a verb).

        August 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
      • jewelofthecrowne

        you are correct. we dont really need diversity. so does this mean we can count on you to move away?

        August 29, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Holly Peterson

      The Department of Education already studied that one. Home-educated children's test scores were equally as high even when the parents had no college education. You can look up the study- it we very detailed and students were above average in socialization also. The home school socialization "problem" is an urban legend.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Homeschool Dad

      You make excellent points. I agree that the ethnocentric nature of homeschooling groups and co-ops has a detrimental effect. But the age-diversity of homeschooling has a very positive affect. My 14 year old daughter plays very well with children of every age (including only two to three years younger than her), and she holds intelligent conversations with adults. Schools frequently encourage kids to only associate with others their same age. Unfortunately, there are many other negative "socialization" effects of schools that are highly undesirable. If I had to state the primary reason to homeschool, it would be this: to have a much greater influence in the character of your child. A child's character is set by example, and is most greatly influenced by their parents and their peers. A good parent will set a good example, and attempt to find peers for their children that do the same.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • mbee

      I always think that it is interesting when people who do not understand homeschooling believe that "someone" should monitor these families. And, if this homeschooled child is NOT an academic superstar, the parents should not be allowed to continue homeschool (implying again that the children belong to the state...not the parents). I wonder what you believe should happen to the teachers/schools when "their" students perform poorly on these tests? Should their schools be instantly closed as well? How about schools that have high levels of violence, etc? (poor socialization?).. The public would go nuts if teachers were fired or schools were closed based on the performance of their students! And yet....this is what you are suggesting for homeschoolers. I have seen such poor social behavior (teens unable to speak to adults, isolating themselves instead of socializing in large group settings including adults, disrespect, etc) and the behavior is always excused as "typical teen behavior." I am 100% certain that if my homeschooled kids acted that way, it would be assumed that they didn't know how to interact publicly, were socially awkward, etc. It's crazy.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:18 am |
    • thesaj

      This, is the first real argument I've seen with validity.

      Home schooling does tend to limit exposure to racial diversity. And I believe that is because there is so much discouragement and countering of the home school philosophy by teachers, public school systems, etc. That many blacks and minorities NEVER consider it as an option for their own kids.

      And no, you don't need a parent home all the time in order to home school. If you think you do, you don't understand home schooling. And are falling into a conundrum because you're trying to follow the public school system.

      You work, 9-5. So does your wife. How can you ever home school?

      Easy, instead of the 9am-3pm traditional school time. You make school, 6-7pm through 9-10pm. Instead of kids doing homework in the evening, you leave it for them to do in the morning.

      In fact, this is what I mostly did the 6 weeks I was home schooled. Parents reviewed and left me assignments in the evening (took about 20 minutes to be honest), answered any questions I had (0-20 minutes). And I worked independently in the morning.

      And you know what, I didn't even have internet back then. Now, you can send you kid off to learn about so many topics.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  62. Nancy

    I am a retired public middle and high school teacher. I had 5 to 6 classes with as many as 35 students per class. Sometimes those classes were only 42 minutes long. That makes it really hard to have a meaningful give and take with any one student. If I had taught 1 or 2 students all day, I'm sure I could have worked wonders.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • ALAN

      NANCY,

      WE UNDERSTAND THE TEACHER LIMITATIONS WITHIN THE SYSTEM AND WE UNDERSTAND THE DIFFICULTIES YOU FACE. I ALWAYS APPRECIATE THE SACRIFICE AND DEDICATION OF TEACHERS AND NURSES. WE WERE EDUCATED IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS, MY WIFE AND I JUST CHOOSE SOMETHING BETTER FOR OUR KIDS. WE HAVE THE HONOR TO EDUCATE THEM OURSELVES.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • thesaj

      Very true, teachers have been given a broken curriculum and model. Why do you think that is? Because the real goal is not for you to accomplish your goals. Which is why you're so burned out.

      Their goal is to have you train for submission. Your goal is to educate.

      How do you educate 20-40 kids in 45-60 minutes. 5-10 minutes to sit and calm them down. And 5 minutes at the end of telling them time is not up yet. 5-10 minutes lost due to misbehaving obnoxious kids. That leave you with around 20-45 minutes of teaching time at best.

      Frankly, classes should be "daily or 1/2 daily". So much more can be accomplished this way. If you could focus 3-4 hours as a block. Furthermore, than the kids don't have to lug around a backpack full of 5-10 textbooks. Just 1-2 for the day.

      And math, no you don't sit in class all day. Teach them the area of a circle, then go outside and find circles for them to measure the area of. Hands on...

      No way to do hands on or effective teaching in a net 20 minutes of time.

      And while I seriously attack the public school system, I don't attack most teachers. There are really good teachers out there who are given very little tools or good environment to work in. (There are some really bad ones, who never seem to get fired or layed off either.)

      August 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  63. Jeff

    I have no strong opinion for or against home schooling. I'd just like to point out that either this study is seriously flawed, or the reporting of this study is flawed. As someone else noted, there is no control for eduction, income, IQ. I would guess that children who are homeschooled typically have 2 active parents with a strong desire to educate their children, and are typically of higher than average IQ, as are their kids. These kids would do better than average if in public school, or if home schooled. The study isn't proving that home schooling CAUSES kids to be smarter. For all we know from this study, these same kids might have done better if they went to public schools.

    That said, I think, like most things in life...different strokes work better for different folks. There seems little question that many kids either have issue specific to them (learn in different ways, etc.) or in their environment (bad public schools available; great parent available to teach) that make homeschooling a better option. I don't think there are any broad based conclusions to be drawn. As a parent of two school age children, I do applaud the effort of anyone willing to take on the challenge of homeschooling. Very impressive and good luck.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • TIO

      Teachers like the comment after yours, are commenting that students would likely do better in a 1 on 1 learning environment.
      No wondering or guessing needed: it's a historical fact. All the wealthy and upper crust get private tutoring for their kids. If mass education is comparable to private, why don't they send their kids to public school?

      August 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
      • jewelofthecrowne

        i would suggest an alternate conclusion. the investment by the well-to-do in their child's education represents a monetary investment in developing a culture of learning and expectation. many other industrial nations have very large class sizes and limited if any personal instruction and their students still out perform ours on many objective measures. somewhere as a society we are not collectively conveying the message that learning is important enough.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • TIO

      Also read Justice Law's comment (further down)

      August 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • BrianZinOak

      Bravo Jeff! The best written comment on the board. We homeschool our 14 year old son and we face the same challeges that the teachers faced when he was in public school. We decided to home school simply because we felt he would do better with 1 on 1 attention (and my wife works from home) I'm not opposed to Public school, we were part of the public school system from K-5th grade and may return him to public school for his High School years.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Jerry

      Jeff – you're right.

      Homeschooling parents aren't arguing their kids are smarter. We just want our kids to have the best chance of success in life, beginning with education.

      We have no interest in our kids being part of the controlled study if that means pulling away a single advangate. I'm only interested in prejudiced results. I'll tip the playing field as much in favor of my kids as I can.

      And we did. And it worked.

      And don't look to recruit my grandkids into a controlled study either. Neither of my kids are interested. They're going to do all that they can to stack things in favor of their kids.

      And if you put my wife and I in a public classroom with all the constraints and limitations it poses, well, we might not do as well as the 'professionals'.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  64. Colleen

    The socialization argument has been disqualified again and again over the years. Let it go. Robert Wayne Gladden Jr.'s socialization via public school didn't do him a lot of good now did it? The bottom line is that while there are many parents who pull their children from school with good reason and good intentions, many end up failing their children by not being prepared or committed to getting the task done. However, those parents who do prepare well and commit to educating their children at home often do reap the reward of well-rounded, academically advanced children. No special degrees or certificates are necessarily needed to school your children. The foundations built in prior years' work (for instance in regard to math) is sufficient to successfully complete the more advanced academics. Some parents are capable; some are not. But sweeping generalizations about home schooled children are baseless.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • elisesez

      I agree. My son's social experience as a special needs kid was to be isolated or bullied when 'integrated'. By choosing to homeschool him in a secular manner he has friends, field days and is overall happier. Not something I planned but I was frustrated with the school system. He was depressed and borderline suicidal. Not now.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
      • Holly Peterson

        I was severely depressed/ suicidal from the fourth grade on. My husband had his own problems with the public school system. So, we home educate our children. Worked for many brilliant men and women throughout history- home education has only seemed odd for the last forty or so years. All the thousands of years before that it has been the norm.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  65. dick gosinya

    Home schooling is a great idea. You don't have to worry about your kids interacting with the trash people of the world. There are some things in this world that you really don't need or want your children to experience first hand.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      They don't get to interact with the great people in the world either.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
      • TIO

        What's the ratio of trash/great students in any given class?
        From my experience, 20 to 1.
        Children also usually gravitate to the negative more than the positive (any parent would agree).
        Else ask yourself this litmus test: "Would I intentionally send my kid to a school that has a higher trash/great ratio?"
        Obviously not. Then just extrapolate out and you'll naturally end up with the lowest ratio possible.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
      • dick gosinya

        The likelihood of my children meeting anyone truly "Great" in life is about as good winning the lottery.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • joe

      Sounds like there is plenty of trash at home.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
      • dick gosinya

        II make them take it out daily. .. especially newspaper ads showing interracial couples or Mexicans.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
      • ALAN

        NOT FOR HOME SCHOOLERS THOUGH. THEY ARE TOUGHT TO CLEAN FOR THEMSELVES.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Denise

      A parent cannot completely shield their children from "trash" and eventually these children will have to enter the workforce and interact with people from different backgrounds. I personally choose to teach my children that there are many different people, and some make bad choices, but we can make the world better by working together rather than simply removing ourselves from society. Perhaps I am a bit naive, but I believe in my ability to set a good example for my children so I don't have to remove them from public schools to keep them on the right track. I have nothing except homeschooling except when the reasons are to shield your children from others.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
      • dick gosinya

        You are naive. I suppose you tell them the stork delivered them to you. Might as well feed the ignorance.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  66. Christie

    We've been educating our kids at home since 1992, when the public school told us that 2 of our children had learning disabilities and a third son could not learn at all due to his Cerebral Palsy. We were told that our gifted son could not read what he wanted in the older grade section at the library and that each of them needed an IEP....

    I went to all those meetings, working with my children at home in my spare time. Finally I went to work in the district to see what a special ed Jr. High was going to look like. I was horrified not only at the incompetence, but at the bullying I saw each day NOT just between students , but by teachers.
    We pulled OUT! I have never looked back.

    So, our first son who had "learning disabilities" is a professional musician.
    Our second son, who had "learning disabilities" is a CPA with a Master's degree.
    Our third son, who everybody said would never learn to read or write, is a PUBLIC school teacher with an advanced degree.
    Our 4th son who was gifted, just graduated with a masters and is seeking a doctoral program.

    I am their mom. I taught them to LEARN HOW TO LEARN. I do not have an advanced degree myself, but I intend to get one after I finish schooling our last 4 children who are all at the Jr. High level now.

    It would have been totally irresponsible to keep my children in a public school where they were being passed off as "Special"..... when in fact each of them were gifted in their own way.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • dick gosinya

      You obviously never learned to keep your legs tightly closed so as to avoid producing all these freaks of nature.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
      • Christie

        What a HORRIBLE thing to say to a person.
        Children are a blessing. Our children came to us the natural way and through adoption. But you didn't need to know that. The truth is, 8 people didn't act responsibly, and because of them, we were blessed with 4 more children.
        Not only do our children volunteer and mix with the general population, a few of them could most likely be your boss!

        August 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
      • Steve

        ^^^ We see the product of public schools above.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
      • Dawn

        That rudeness was really uncalled for.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
      • Honestly

        What an incredibly heartfelt and thoughtful comment. What I find most telling is that even in your feeble attempt to show everyone how clever you are with your childish pen name, you at least got something right... "dick".

        August 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
      • jimbo

        You come by your first name naturally

        August 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
      • TIO

        Obviously your parent tried but failed.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
      • dick gosinya

        He he. Phukk you all.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
      • Christie

        You obviously didn't get a good education. That word I believe starts with an F.... Phonics is very important! :/

        August 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
      • dick gosinya

        They'll flag the real word. You sound hot. Would you like to pfhuck?

        August 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
      • Meh

        Im gunna say what the other good people here are too civilized to say.
        Dick... eff – off, I think your mommy and daddy are home, time to stop playing on the computer.
        Although your mommy and daddy are probably brother and sister too, which would explains a lot.
        No run along and play with a plastic bag or some scissors.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
      • ALAN

        YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN HOME SCHOOLED INSTEAD!

        August 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
      • thesaj

        Seriously evil comment..

        Christie, adopting is one of the most gracious, and beautiful acts anyone can do in this world. More power to you..

        August 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Frances

      Amen
      I led a homeschool group called SUSPENDERS for several years and my sons have excelled in college and life in general. Not everyone who home schools is rich or high IQ, but they do have a desire for a better education system even if they have to create it.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • elisesez

      Christie
      You are an incredible example others should learn from. I hope you write a book!

      August 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
      • Jerry

        Kudos to you Christie! What good fortune that your children were blessed to have you for a mother. I can't imagine how much they love and admire you. You personify the love and dedication of most homeschoolers and what many sacrifice out of love for their children. If I knew your address I would send you flowers!

        August 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • jewelofthecrowne

      @Christie, if your adult children havent told you yet, let me: thanks!! as an adult who has a learning disability (and the parent of a child who does too) I cant imagine how much less rich my life would have been if my parents had let people treat me like an illness and not taken control of my education. my mother taught me how to read - in four weeks - when my school said I couldnt learn. I went on to a successful mostly public school education, but not without the foundation for learning I got from my parents. one definate failing of mass education models is the need to label children and then use that as a cop out to teaching them. l have multiple advanced degrees and a sucessful professional career. that all could have turned out differently, if my parents had accepted that condemnation of me when I was 5 and not decided to make me a learner anyway. Like you, my mother later went on to even higher former education. she's now a retired teacher.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:39 am |
      • Christie

        Jewel, that is just wonderful! I figure by the time i get my degree it will be time to retire! LOL
        We have 4 special needs daughters at home now. 2 are from Ukraine, one from Russia and another from America. If I sent them to school they would be labeled and that would be it. No real education. Everybody we know says, "Don't EVER put them in school!" These are public school advocates.
        I am very curious what the girls will do. So far one wants to be a teacher, another a scientist, one a vet and one wants to be in the military. :)

        August 29, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  67. Lia

    I started out homeschooling our 4 older kids and sent them to public school where 3 of the 4 have graduated. We have two more children who are home schooled and will never go to public school. With all the resources available these days, it is easy to give our children an accredited diploma, and stay close to them in the process. The reason I sent our older kids to public school is because we moved from the city to a small village and people kept telling us what a great school district it was. Having a new baby and a 5 year old, it was hard for me, but we went ahead and sent them. There are pros and cons to each group, but home schooling your children helps them see how much you care about them, and lets them thrive to be their own individual instead of being in a cookie cutter group.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  68. Jim KIng

    What socialization do schooled kids have that makes them so great? The type that leads to a 60% divorce rate? 8 year olds cursing on the playground? Texting kids who never make eye contact? Sheep that sit like drones 35 to a class? Kids that peak at the prom and then wear that same hairstyle at age 40? Every other suburbanite being on some kind of prescription to make them happy? Give me a break. If traditional school was socializing us so well then society would not be such a mess.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Brian

      I shouldn't have laughed, because all of it is true.. but I did.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • davedarby

      Bravo Jim, you beat me to it.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Steve

      Yeah, but homeschool kids are...weird, apparently.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
      • TIO

        and she didn't describe weird?

        August 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • BJ

      I can't speak for the majority but I'll give my two cents. I work heavily with the BSA so I'm constantly working with youth of all different age groups. I think the socialization argument has some credibility. If you spend much time around kids, it becomes fairly obvious who the "home schooled" kids are. Some traits are good, some not so good. Home school kids tend to be more polite and responsible. They rarely talk back and tend to have a "maturity" that others don't. On the other hand, they are also extremely naive. They don't laugh at the jokes but I think it's because they don't understand them. It's like that really nice CPA you went to dinner with last night, but was so friggin' boring you were begging for the date to end. I WILL be home schooling my kids. Every evening when they get home from PUBLIC schools, I'll do what every responsible parent should do and be involved in their life, this includes discussing homework and what is being taught at schools. I can't argue that public schools are TERRIBLE. I don't, however, think it's the best thing to home school either. There needs to be something in between. Perhaps private schools that require testing for admission to ensure "smarter" kids get to move at the pace appropriate for them, and "not so smart" kids get a smaller classroom size where the teacher can spend ample time to make sure they understand concepts before moving on. My $0.02.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
      • Dee

        Yeah, how terrible for homeschooled children not understanding perverted jokes. Now there's an argument against homeschooling...

        August 29, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • dick gosinya

      They don't learn to phuck like most teenagers do...unless they're mom is really hot.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Chris Webber

      Jimmie King....great comment. I am the father of three that are homeschooled. They are polite, smart, patient, and serve their community. They respect each other and others respect them. The school system is broken in this country. The haters are the parents of the prom queen and quarterbacks.....laugh at my kids now....but my kids will be your kid's boss some day....

      August 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
      • Jerry

        Chris – spot on. And on top of that homeschoolers have the ability to relate to any age set. At 10 they can sit and have a conversation with someone 50, 60 or 80, or go play happily with children age 3, 4, 5 if that's what they need to do. They can relate to popular people, or 'odd' people. This is one of the reason that homeschool kids are highly recruited by universities.

        And that workplace stuff. Already happening. My son is a senior manager at one of the globe's largest companies, with lots of jocks working on his team (nice kids and smart kids too by the way).

        August 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
      • jewelofthecrowne

        I take your point, but I think it might be a bit overstated. Part of the failure of high schools, for example, is reflected in the comments about prom queens and whatnot. whether your send your children there or not, you have lowered your expectation of all of those children. children will generally live up to, or down to, our expectations and you have just reduced public school educated students to shallow stereotypes. I know that its just the grown ups talking here and some comments are said a bit tounge in cheek, but I would caution that holding too fast to those generalizations risks influencing your children - who dont have our experience - to make snap judgements at arms length. I dont know that you necessarily meant it this way, but I am reminded of a comment by a teacher when I was in the fifh grade. our teacher opted to change her acceptance to play punchball with another class one afternoon, in favor of continuing test prep. when my class groaned, the teacher of the other class turned to us and said "no, stayin. listen, my kids are from the islands, you guys will own the islands." people laughed. I was offended, and even at 10 I questioned why we werent all studying the same for the same test. any way, my point is, be careful what you wish for; if your children's success is only leveraged against another child's failure, that seems like only half as good of a win to me.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:00 am |
  69. SilverQ

    A concern should be whether each state has any oversight or requirements for home schooling; too often, there is nothing to keep any stupid, barely literate housewife from home schoolingl her kids. A fundamentalist Christian neighbor of ours, who had only an 8th grade education, home-schooled her kids, and it was a disaster. However, it can work well if the instructor is well-educated. Given the violence in public schools these days, I see why home schooling would look appealing.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  70. Justice Law

    I am a public school educator and i will be the first to tell you that home schooled students, when educated correctly, are brilliant compared to those who attend public school. Many parents in our county home school until grade 9, at which time the math and science becomes too complicated for most parents to teach. These kids come into our classes with fresh and beaming faces, confident and friendly. They are somehow untainted by many of the things kids in public school are exposed to. Every student I have taught that was home schooled until grade 9 has gone right into the advanced placement courses, been successful and become very popular as well as participated in sports. There is NO socialization problems that I have observed in 28 years of teaching.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • ALAN

      BINGO

      August 28, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Jerry

      Justice – thank you!! Hopefully some of your professional colleagues will be as fair and objective.

      We were fortunate in the are of Montana where we commenced homeschooling our kids. We approached the local school and both the principal and the early grade teachers were excited that we sought resources from them, and they were very supportive of our homeschool. They even included our kids in some of the extra-curricular opportunities, field trips.

      I hope you are still teaching. I'll bet you're very good at it.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • jewelofthecrowne

      "when educated correctly" that is answer and the question for all of these choices.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • thesaj

      Thank you for being so honest...

      And please don't blame yourself. As another teacher pointed out, classes in public school are about 45-60 minutes in length. Minus 5-10 for getting kids to sit down, another 5 minutes of telling class isn't over yet, and 5-10 due to student behaviorial interuptions. The avg public school teacher is trying to provide a learning experience in about 20-30 minutes of time.

      I think schools would greatly improve if there were only 1-2 classes a day. My high school actually had a rotating schedule. We had six periods, but only four in a given day. And the first period was 2 hrs & 10 minutes in length. Which allowed a LOT more in depth hands on activities.

      I seriously believe that a public school teach could accomplish so much more if they had two 3-4 hour classes.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  71. Sneakypete

    Public education is built on three governing principles: more pay, more pension, less work.
    With that you get people that can't read, can't write, can't spell, and can't count. Graduates of public education get along very well socially, because most people they socialize with are equally dumb. Trust me, third world countries like Kenya have better education systems by any education measurement.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Ben R

      Not to totally burst your bubble, but the US' educational system, while average relative to developed countries in primary and seconday education, is vastly superior to any 3rd world system by any measure. Also, post secondary education in the US is the envy of the world, which is why there's a massive number of foreign students at basically every college and university in the country

      August 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
      • ALAN

        THEY ARE HERE FOR ENGLISH ONLY.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  72. Jim KIng

    Homeschooled kids are higher achievers on average than traditionally schooled kids. Notice how many opponents are either teachers or parents of kids who try to compete with homeschoolers.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  73. TruthnRoses

    As schools become more racially integrated home schooling will gain in popularity. Mixing children with genetically lower IQs, poorer impulse control and a propensity for violence into a successful school district will end in failure every time.

    No child left behind is being quietly abandoned because a national map of failing school districts is a mirror image of african american neighborhoods and economic status does not explain the difference.

    It is not politically correct- it might even seem mean- but we need to honestly address the genetic academic deficiency of african americans before they destroy thousands more school districts.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • katie

      But what about the african american kids that are doing great. For example, my children and now my grandchildren do well in schoo. Additionally, my children have never, ever been in any type of trouble. Please do America a favor and quit pushing hate and trying to paint all of us as unequal.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
      • MikeyQ

        kate- they were probably socially promoted or have some european genes. Some black children can keep up, but studies show that their progeny will regress to the mean- and destroy school districts.

        Please name any successful black neighborhoods in the entire world. There aren't any. It's genetic. Please stop destroying schools of the same race that built your country- parasites will destroy this race eventually.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
      • ALAN

        KATIE,
        CONGRATULATIONS... FOR YOR EFFORTS AND MANY OTHER AFRICAN AMERICANS THAT VALUE THEIR KIDS AND OUR COUTRY.
        JUST LOOK AT AFRICA AND THE REST OF THE WORLD, COMPARE AND UNDERSTAND.
        BRAVO AGAIN FOR YOUR KIDS EDUCATION.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • CEEJ

      TruthNRoses: Please define racism for me if what you just said isn't it. There is no evidence to support the claims you just made. Your filter is really jacked up. You haven't met the same African-Americans I have, obviously. The MBA who works as a project manager for a major avionics company. The advertising exec who manages multiple million-dollar client accounts. They are not genetic exceptions. They are just average people who had decent opportunities and chose to take advantage of them.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • xeno

      Wow. Your ignorance is astounding, truthnroses. I could list ten flaws in your argument generally, but specifically, let me give you this example. My family fled a nearly all white and very conservative school district because it was a failure, about to be taken over because it was so bad. Instead, we went to a much more racially diverse district, and my son learned more in the first week than he did in a semester of the other school. It's not about race, it's so many things in life that make us who we are. I'm sorry for you that you've had so many things that have made you so hateful and ignorant.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
      • MikeyQ

        Name the district you "fled" from. You're lying to try to prop up african americans because you feel guilty (about slavery???get over it!!!). You can't use facts because the original comment is correct- just not polticslly correct.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • jess k

      TruthnRoses and MikeyQ are the poster children for not homeschooling. Racist A....holes teaching their kids to be racist A....holes. Do us all a favor and crawl back under the red neck rock your crawled out of!

      August 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
      • Marissa

        Reality is racist. Teaching what you call racism is simply not attempting to hide reality from children. My children will not be making decisions based upon an incorrect ideal. They will be making them based on reality.

        August 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Ben R

      As a white man from outside the district who works with DC Public Schools, I can tell you that you are incredibly wrong in essentially every point you've made. You can try to blame the students, but when the district doesn't have enough money keep the classroom dry, much less to hire quality teachers and buy new textbooks, computers, and other supplies, then your "its not economics" argument begins to look painfully ignorant. The schools that receive increased funding have test scores that are far beyond the other schools while having identical demographics. When it comes to education, providing the best teachers and the best tools will raise the general level of achievement of the kids every time

      August 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
      • BigJohn

        Maybe african americans have less money and are arrested at a rate 10x the rest of the population is genetic- not racism?

        If parents have lower IQ they'll be poor, and they'll have lower IQ poor children.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • thesaj

      Totally disagree...

      In fact, I think if black parents caught onto the home schooling movement. Pulled their kids out of these horrible environments with poorly designed curriculums. They would find their kids would excel greatly. And they would lose the stigma that people like (un)Truthnroses holds too.

      They would find greater economic success and not view the court and field as their only escape out of impoverishment.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  74. Otherick

    "students in traditional schools mark the 50th percentile on standardized tests, students who are “independently educated” score between the 65th and 89th percentile." Of course the average score of all students is the 50th percentile! And if you test a small sample of students –excluding disadvantaged kids who most need trained, professional educators– of course they are going to have higher scores compared to all students. This article doesn't really say anything useful.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  75. Rhoda

    I am a math and statistics teacher, both in a public high school and a local university. I have had quite a few students who were formerly homeschooled in both venues. The vast majority of them come with an inflated sense of what they know and are capable of, and the first time they come across an area of mathematics where their background is weak, they often panic. Having said that, I think homeschooling is a fine option for educated parents with time to devote to the job. But the higher averages on tests is at least partially because it is a self-selected group to begin with. To state any benefits or gains from homeschooling would require a well-designed longitudinal study matching students with a control group matched by IQ, economic level and home environment (one-parent, two-parent, etc.). Only then could you determine if it was the homeschooling that made a difference.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Jim KIng

      Translation, they think outside the box and are not robotic drones like your other students.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
      • Conrad

        2nd Translation: Rhoda is intimidated by happy confident people.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Sue

      said only like a statistics teacher can : )

      August 29, 2012 at 1:39 am |
  76. Jessica

    I Graduated from a typical High School, as did my Husband. I have a BA in Fine Arts (Theatre) and work as a Property Manager for a Multi-Family Apartment Community, where I also Live. My Husband holds an MA in Psychology and is a professor at a Local Junior College, where he teaches Night & Distance Learning Courses 1 day a week. Our income is sufficient to sustain our household – we're not impoverished or wealthy either way. I happen to work where I live, and because my husband is home during the day, he is in charge of the home care and the Education of our daughter, who has been homeschooled since she was 7 1/2 years of age. We removed her from Public School due to the constant failings and shortcomings in the system. She is also active in Girl Scouts and takes Taekwondo; she swims avidly, and also rides horses. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with Homeschooling.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  77. 23 from Texas

    Homeschooling has a failure rate; that much is true. I have seen some home schooled children turn into poorly educated adults... but the stats don’t lie. Far more kids are let down out of our failing public school system. The schools teach whatever the government wants them to. They are no longer teaching to excel, but rather to test. Far more children will drop out and be uneducated in any other atmosphere; so the most reliable education system is home schooling. This is not the only reliable, or 100% reliable but if homeschooling works for a particular family, it will give their children the best chance to succeed in life.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  78. jimranes

    Home school may be acceptable for students who are near the 50th percentile. But how can a parent without a teaching credential or technical expertise teach advanced calculus, physics, organic chemistry or other AP courses? How can these kids compete with excellent public or private schooled students. They can't. My son went to a elite public high school in Pennsylvania and tested out before his freshman year in Vector Calculus. Most parents have some difficulty with differential equations. My three children have a BS and Phd in Applied Mathematics, a BS, MS, Phd and MD and a BS/MS in reading and ESL between them. They are all gainfully employed.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Jim KIng

      Silly post. Elite Math is one tiny slice of educating a person. My kids were educated at home and one is CEO of a $35 mil company and the other is at Harvard,

      August 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Ed at Home

      This is a baseless argument. My mother was a Kansas farm girl, and although she had no formal education, she was quite capable of teaching us chemistry, algebra, geometry, ect. You don't have to hold a degree to be an intelligent person. Now she can proudly say one of her children is a pediatrician, one is in higher ed and the other is a teacher and we were all educated at home. Not bad for a woman who only holds a high-school diploma.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Kathy

      There's this lovely thing called online classes. I don't have to be an expert in all the areas my child needs to study, I just need to have the sense to find the right classes to enroll him in. There are MANY high quality online programs that are out there.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Keith G.

      My 8 children have been homeschooled since day one (28 years now). The key is not in what you can teach, but in teaching them to learn, then they can achieve anything. After all, who taught Einstein the theory of relativity?

      August 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • xeno

      jimranes–really? Did you post just to brag about your kids? I'm glad you're proud of them, but it sounds like you could use some lessons in being humble, something they don't cover at school.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • adh1729

      I was homeschooled until college. In the fall of my freshman year at the state university, I placed in the top 100 in the US in math (Putnam exam). I think I would qualify as a counterexample to your beliefs. No, my parents were ignorant of advanced calculus, differential equations, number theory, linear algebra, abstract algebra, calculus of variations, etc; I learned these subjects from BOOKS from the LIBRARY. (We were dirt poor.) Children can go far if they are self-motivated and interested in learning.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
      • Jerry

        adh1729

        Bingo. Exactly what any credentialed educationist in the field of homeschooling would demonstrate from research.

        As homeschoolers we help our kids master 'self-learning', and then get out of their way. Consequently my kids were able to investigate and master many things I couldn't begin to explain.

        There are those who argue there is no such thing as 'teaching', only 'learning'. My experience as a homeschooling parent prejudices me toward the latter. And as a global director in a large multinational it's where I focus in developing future leaders across my team scattered across the globe.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • ALAN

      YOU DON'T GET IT... MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR COMPANIES EMPLOY PEOPLE THAT WORK AT HOME BECAUSE THEY ARE BETTER AT HOME.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • thesaj

      They don't. They take those classes in local colleges. Usually around 15-17. And they wind up like my brother-in-law. Working for Goldman Sachs and others. Doing special internships and such because he was the ONLY one who had taken certain maths beyond calculus. They were almost at the point of hiring an engineering/physics major instead of a finance.

      I've seen this comment a dozen times. Home schooling teachers a child how to learn, then the parents simply provide resources. Be it a book, video, webinar, or local university.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  79. lealorali

    I teach high school and I have to say these poor kids who shift into our system from being homeschooled are just plain WEIRD. So unaccustomed to life outside their homes. I feel bad for them, I really do.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Jim KIng

      Total, utter BS.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Dan H

      You're absolutely correct. It's a real shock to the system when home-schooled kids face the real world which they eventually will have to do.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
      • xcskimom

        Homeschooled children LIVE in the real world, as opposed to children who spend their days in a room full of similarly aged peers.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • katie

      I am sad to hear that you are a teacher.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Ed at Home

      You're assumption is the socialization they receive at school is healthy when that is the furthest thing from the truth. IF you have actually worked with homeschooled children, I think you would find that most of their parents go to extraordinary lengths to ensure their socialization. I was homeschool and had a very active social life. I also homeschool mine and between a community gardening club (which is all donated to local homeless shelters) , swimming and horseback riding....they get plenty of socialization. Healthy social engagement.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Bruce

      Teachers like you are a good reason for people to home school their kids.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • ALAN

      WEIRD... IS THE MOST COMMON WORD FROM PUBLIC SCHOOL CHILDREN I HEAR EVERY DAY IN MY OFFICE (PEDIATRICS). NOW I KNOW WHERE THEY GET IT FROM.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • momof3

      Many homeschooled children who return to PS are kids where HSing was not working. It is a self-selected population. Most teachers aren't going to encounter homeschooled kids where HSing was working well, because many of those children will never return to PS.
      Yes, there are homeschooling parents who socially isolate their kids. But if they were in PS, many of those same kids would be fairly isolated socially anyway. They may have a different belief system, or their parents may not allow them to socialize much outside of school. I doubt many of those kids are going to blend in seamlessly with their peers just because they are in PS. Again, it is more of a parenting style/family belief issue vs. where the child is educated.
      THere is a perception that HSing parents keep their kids chained to the table at home. In reality, most are actively involved in their communities. They are usually involved in extracurricular activities, they may take classes outside of the home in co-op classes or at a community college, etc. They likely interact with the kids in their neighborhood, cousins, etc. My kids have friends from sports, friends at the local pool, fellow HS friends at co-op, neighborhood friends, etc. We value those experiences and love having our kids involved in our community. Yes, there are people who choose not to have their kids spend a lot of time with peers, but some of those kids would be socially awkward even if in PS.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  80. LynnethAnn

    Want your homeschooled child to get the socialization they'd get in public school? Just take them into the bathroom, beat them up, and steal their lunch money!

    August 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • mdbill

      now that's funny

      August 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • hawkechik

      Besides, what kid actually gets "socialization" these days? They've all got their eyes and thumbs glued to a 'phone!

      August 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • bill

      umm excuse me, but that type of socialization is not just limited to public schools. Parochial school and private school students get the same thing.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
      • LynnethAnn

        Definitely. When I said 'public school' I used it as a generic term for anything that isn't homeschooling. :-)

        August 29, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • ALAN

      GREAT... TRUE REALITY.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  81. oldguy68

    My take on the evolution of home schooling (at least in this area) is that say 15 to 20 years ago it was mostly the domain of what I would call religious extremists. Because of many reasons – prominent among them are bullying, lack of educational rigor and dissatisfaction with school administrators- it has become much more mainstream. It's pretty hard to argue with the successes that I've seen. The lack of opportunity for contact with students' peers used to be a hurdle, but they now have sports teams that compete against private schools put on plays and pretty much the same activities as traditionally schooled students. A look at the students on the US Math Olympiad Team this year shows a higher number of home schooled students than would be expected from the number in the system. (Exeter did rather well too)

    August 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  82. Rick

    I'm not against home-schooling 'per-se' but against the distorted world view home-schooled children can get when being taught be parents with social biases. Racist parents raise racist children – in public schools, they at least get a chance to make some observations away from parents; homes chooled children are brainwashed every minute of every day. Dangerous...

    August 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Citizen

      Sounds like you just hate it when they are not indoctrinated to your world view.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
      • Ben Jordan

        being indoctrinated to any world view is a bad thing. The OP is saying that if they are let out of the home daily for school, then they can come up with their own world view...

        August 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • drinker75

      Agreed. Kids are exposed to many more points of view when they go to school. I think that's very important. I always say that I want my kids to have the same values as I do but I want them to figure things out on their own. Of course I know I have influence but I'm glad I'm not their only influence.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • JRitchie

      I would not let you home school my kid, your views are dangerous. BTW, I have seen on the news time and time again; teachers not acting in accordance with policies - this is also dangerous to children. I have very few warm memories of my childhood schooling, the rest are filled with pain. My wish is for my daughter to avoid this crap. There are still some people (kids and teachers), that I would like to look up and go and smash their skulls in for the torment they put me through in school. These are memories no kid needs to carry for the rest of their lives - American schools are crap and getting worse. One last comment, I can count on one hand the teachers I had through school that were worth something and made a difference, the rest were just bodies filling space!

      August 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Steve

      Yeah, these kids should be in public schools where they'll learn to hate education and learning like normal kids do.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Marissa

      State educated children are brainwashed into the self-destructive worldview imposed by the small group of power elite that control things and want the peons to be dumbed down and self-destructive in nature so that they do not pose any threat of overthrowing the parasitic power elite.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  83. Mike

    That's all well and good so long as the parents are educated and intelligent. What our country needs is more engineers and scientists. If children are taught english and basic math, that's fine, but they need higher math like alegbra and calculus. Unless the parents are college graduates, they can only go off of what the book says and hope the kids get it right. Most parents that are college educated are both working so they can send their kids to a good private school. If parents are setting their kids up simply to go to college to get a communications major or liberal arts degree, they're going to be unemployed like the thousands of kids getting out of college now.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • oldguy68

      My first introduction to home schooling was an article I read in the Minneapolis Tribune over 30 years ago. It was by a parent whose children had struggled in the public school system-and IMO the Minneapolis public school system was and is of very high quality. Both children entered home schooling. One became a doctor, the other earned a PhD in
      Engineering from MIT

      August 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • momof3

      Mike-
      My husband and I both hold advanced degrees in science fields. We feel qualified to educate our children. However, even if parents aren't experts in a particular field, or struggle with science and math, there are many options available. The HSing parent does not have to deliver all of the instruction personally. They supervise the instruction. Today, there are so many options available to HSers. They may participate in co-op learning situations where a parent who is an expert in a field teaches a course related to that field. They might take community college classes as teens. They may enroll in an online course, and fill in gaps in understanding with tools like Khan academy. They may self educate using tools like Khan to help them through gaps, and then the parent may hire a private tutor one day per week to flesh out areas the child is struggling with. There are many, many options available that do not require the parent to be an expert on every single topic. That's the beauty of homeschooling today. I realize why some people think HSing parents can't possibly educate their children adequately in every subject, but I think many of them are unaware of what HSing looks like today. There are many options available to a parents who don't feel capable of teaching higher level coursework to their children.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • thesaj

      No Mike,

      Let me put it this way. I know about 20 home schoolers. Married one. Her brother and sister are too. Every single home schooler I know has taken higher math, and some went very high up into the theoretical ends of math.

      Do you think their parents teach them this? Nope...

      They use the university system. Often auditing the courses at a local community college. Where if a student is loud, obnoxious and disturbing the teaching environment. They're kicked out of class to never return.

      Parents don't need the knowledge of advanced studies, just the knowledge to get them up to remedial college. You see, so many public school kids are at remedial levels when they graduate. That a home schooler can practically do their whole high school experience in college.

      And that's usually the case. Around 14-15, they take the remedial classes (precalc, etc). Then 16-17 the freshmen courses. Usually around 17-18 they start paying for credits rather than audit.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  84. joanna

    http://www.salon.com/2012/03/15/homeschooled_and_illiterate/

    August 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  85. RK

    I've never posted on CNN, but some of these posts really struck a nerve. I'm a product of homeschooling going back to the late '70's. I'm 40 now. In the good 'ol days, there weren't a lot of charter or satellite schools, so I graduated with my GED (which I aced). After community college, I went on to get my bachelor's degree in computer graphics at a top design school in NY. I've since gone on the have a very successful career making six figures. I'm happily married, have two beautiful children and lot's of friends. I'm not socially stunted and have a very happy, normal life. Homeschooling works.
    Just know what you're getting into and be prepared to dedicate a lot of time and energy into your children. I'm pretty sure I wore my mother out. :)

    August 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • wa2go

      @RK – did your mother teach you to put that incorrect apostrophe in the word "lot's", or did you pick that up later in life?

      August 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
      • dannyketon

        The comma goes inside the quotation, not out. Mind your own grammar before you correct others, retard!

        August 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
      • thesaj

        Grammar is over rated. It is a construct of the last 100 years or so. And in fact, if you go back two hundred years, you will find so much of what we bicker over did not even exist.

        Best of all, if I wrote "I loue yov" most would consider my statement full of typos. When in fact, if you look at many older manuscripts, yes those ancient ones, like oh...the American Revolution period (which really is not that far back). You will see U's and V's commonly switched. Perhaps that's why this "W" is a double U and not a double V.

        Furthermore, we had a stagnation of the evolution of English which existed for about 150 years. Blame Webster. It did help consolidate many aspects of the English language. However, it left some repugnant issues. Like a useless "C" that makes no sound of it's own.

        Since the advent of the Internets, people have expounded on what it's doing to the English language. Meanwhile I rejoice, because it's evolving again.

        Truthfully, we need some changes. And silly nuances like , ; : – ) ] } aren't even understood by most college graduates. If you think you know the differences, please list them (without Googling).

        We like Lording over people. Truth be told, if you can't tell me why we switched the letters U & V, then I really don't care about your grammer nazism.

        Rather, I'd like to see our language become more consistent. Why is it that it's is written as its? But John's, Jane's, dog's, America's, etc ais all written 's.

        And why use C?

        City Cat

        Well, we already have constanents for those sounds. So we should write it as "Sity Kat". But then what to do with C? Ironically, we have a sound that is exclusive to "C", but in a very stupid fashion, we always stack other letters onto the "C"

        Which, catch, itch, witch, twitch, etc.

        So why not make the "C" character exclusive to the "(t)ch" sound. Then you can write:

        wic
        cac
        ic
        twic
        bic

        Granted, this could pose problems for one particular brand of pens and pencils. But they could just change their logo to Bik pens.

        August 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  86. jbmar1312

    we homeschooled, worked, played soccer, did boy scouts, oh yes, we kived in a neighborhood where there were other humans. No socialization issues I could see. kids put their contemporaries to shame on their test scores. Not because we or they were brighter. They were learning instead of texting or watching a movie while their teacher worked on their coaching game plans

    August 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • lealorali

      Working on our coaching game plans? Really, is that what we teachers do? I got my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction so I could working on my game plans, brilliant! Ignorance is so prevalent in this country, it's revolting.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • ibemarkv

        Well lealorali, you may be dedicated but I have to say that while in high school my biology teacher did just that. He was the basketball coach. He would come in, tell us to read xx chapter or put on a film, then disappear until the bell while he reviewed game films and did other coaching related activities. I am not really pro home school but the coaching comment did hit a nerve.

        August 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
      • 23 from Texas

        So is your grammer...

        August 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
      • Jim KIng

        Amazing....our brilliant teacher can not even type a coherent paragraph!

        August 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  87. JJC

    I am tired of the "socialising" argument. While my home schooled kids are playing at the park, or observing my wifes interactions with other adults in the real world, or when they are learning with groups of other homeschooled kids, the public kids are being marched from one class to another while not being allowed to talk to each other and are placed in artificial age groups that are not reflected in the real world. Once you get out of public school you have to deal with people that are not in your age group. So it is really the public school kids who are not getting realistic socializing. Just an artificial age segregated group where they are not allowed to talk to each other anyway because it disturbs the class.

    August 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Kate

      I was homeschooled, and I am really tired of the "homeschoolers are as socialized as anyone else and can relate to adults to boot!" argument. My parents did a great job with homeschooling (yes, the stats on test scores don't lie) and encouraged me to be involved in sports, music, etc., but the plain fact of it is that you are NOT going to be able to relate to the majority of the population (kids or adults) when you're at home most of the day. My brother and I have compared notes about how we felt as though we had to "study" our peers in college in order to learn how to relate to the larger world (not just other homeschoolers). Yes, homeschooling breeds precocious kids who can carry a conversation with adults, but it also breeds awkward kids and eventually adults who cannot connect with their peers. Reading social situations and learning how to respond takes practice, and homeschooling strips kids of the ability to practice. So please, stop arguing the socialization thing. There are good reasons to homeschool, especially if the quality and intentionality of education is important to you, but becoming a socialized individual isn't one of them. Homeschoolers would have a lot more credibility if they'd stop rejecting as untrue the criticism that is so obvious to the rest of the world.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
      • Kathy

        But that is just your experience, and it's hardly fair to claim that your experience is the same as every other homeschooler...or even the majority of them. If parents are willing to make the effort, there are many opportunities for social interaction out there for homeschoolers. In the area that I live in there are so many homeschool groups and activities that I really need to pick and choose what we participate in, so we actually have time to school.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
      • Bruce

        There are plenty of public schooled kids that have trouble in social situations as well...

        August 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
      • thesaj

        If it's any consolation. I was not home schooled. Attended public school for years. And I still need to study my peers to try to have any understanding.

        So let me tell you what your socialization would have entailed. The fact that you don't as readily pick up on those social cues would trigger a cascade of negative attention. You'd have been picked on. Teased. Had your stuff stolen. No matter what you did, you wouldn't have fit in. Your brother would have been chased or forced to fight regularly. If he defended himself, he'd be suspended for fighting. Even if he never threw a punch, he would be told why was he causing so many problems.

        Trust me....if you're not picking up socialization as an adult. There is probably a factor involved, be it mild asperger's or low grade autism, or other brain function aspect.

        And when you have that, it's far far far worse in public school.

        August 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  88. TexDoc

    Home schooled children should recieve some of the money they are not using in the public system, for books, computers etc.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • evan

      no they shouldnt recieve funding, if they want to benefit from public funding then they should go to public school

      August 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
      • Jim

        Public money? My kids are homeschooled and I pay city ISD taxes that help educate other people's children. Part of that 'public money' is mine, and I sure could use some to help defray the expenses of educating my children. Instead, it's spent on football stadiums and who knows what else. 'Public education' is training for the assembly line and learning to be satisfied with being bored. While that may have 'worked' 60 years ago, it doesn't quite equip our (as in America's) children to meet the demands of today's job market. Once teachers had to answer to 'administrators' instead of parents, the whole thing has gone in the trash can.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Shannon

      I know in my state the money I spend on school supplies can be claimed on my state taxes. I call that a win as a homeschooling mom.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • 23 from Texas

      Even people that dont have kids pay to the public school system. I dont have a problem helping families that need the cheaper option... thats what public schools were created for, either the family was short on time, or short on cash. Its not cheap to homeschool, and it sure isnt cheap to send kids to private school.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • SG

      I have to disagree!
      The norm of a home school parent is just that a "parent", not a state certified teacher with the skills needed to teach. There are far too many things to count that benefit a child in a school environment than not. And to suggest that those kids that are homeschooled are smarter than 'regular' school kids is questionable. There is a reason teachers go to school to be a teacher or there would be an open field day for just the average Joe/ Joan to step into a classroom.
      If you decide to home school your kids, good for you but you pick up the tab for those supplies as well. Your choice, your cost.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
      • Steve

        Homeschooled kids aren't necessarily smarter than public school kids, they're just better educated. The test scores prove it.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • bill

        Wrong....Teachers don't go to college to learn to be able to stand in front of a classrom and teach to a mass audience (classroom). Teaching one child or two of your own is not that difficult.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
      • ALAN

        WE TAKE THE TAB WITH PLEASURE, AFTER ALL THE FUTURE OF OUR KIDS IS AT STAKE. THEY ARE AND WILL BE REFLECTION OF OURSELVES.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
      • thesaj

        Few suggest home schooled kids are smarter. I'd wager they're in fact often dumber. But the fact is they are more successful. So if home schooling can take a dumb kid and put them to the upper end of the statistics. Maybe we need to re-evaluate the publik skool sistum.

        August 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • momof3

      I homeschoo and I'd rather not receive any money toward materials. It always comes with strings. And no, I'm not anti government...in fact, I'm a liberal homeschooler (yes, we exist). I prefer to choose my own curricula, my own scope and sequence, etc. and think that if we are ever offered money toward curricula, it will come with unwanted strings attached.

      We happily pay our taxes, as I do feel PSs are important. They just aren't the right fit for our family.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  89. Truthbetold

    Too bad you still have to pay taxes to the school even if you home school your children. I think its a fine option as long as you make sure your child gets ample time to socialize with peers so they don't end up awkward. Social skills are very valuable in the real world. Maybe the reason these children perform better is because independent study typically improves critical thinking and problem solving skills.....these things lack in public and even private education.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      You pay taxes even if you sent your child to private schools (and don't use a school bus system)

      We never reumbursed parents for that in the past. Why do it for homeschooling now?

      August 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ryan

      I have to pay school taxes even if I don't have children, which I don't. Public education is and should continue to be the backbone of our educated workforce. Now I think we spend too much money on primary school and that spending per pupil in America, is certainly too high and we don't get a sound return on that investment.

      School districts achieve economies of scale – it is far more expensive per pupil, to provide an education to one student than it is to provide an education to 10 or more likely to 2000+ per school district.

      I believe that text books should be provided to home students along with any materials – but if you want the rest of the benefits of a public school, you should attend that public school.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • ALAN

        RYAN,
        YOU MENTION PUBLIC SCHOOL AS THE BACKBONE OF "EDUCATED WORKFORCE". FINE!
        WE HOME SCHOOLERS EDUCATE THE LEADERSHIP OF TOMORROW.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • scb

      You pay taxes for public education because having an educated citizenry is a Public Good. It benefits you even if you never have children. This is true in the same way your taxes pay for an extensive highway system, even though you may never drive on most of it, or an army, even if your house is never bombed. If you want to educate your own child in another system, that's fine, but it in no way diminishes the public good your taxes support.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • 23 from Texas

        well said SCB.

        August 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • rep

      homeschooling might seem to have some inherent advantages. but I think the strongest advantage is simply the parents' involvement in the child's education. these parents obviously care and are involved every step of the way. they can spend more or less time on any given subject and teaching/learning is never limited to "class time"; it's ongoing. other school children can get the same advantages, but it takes some extra effort on the part of the parents to increase their level of involvement. i suspect that many parents try to put too much burden/blame on the schools themselves if their children aren't as successful, when (for better or for worse) the parents just need to be more involved. just my opinion.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
      • Cory

        Shelli has hit on the real correlation between homeschooling and higher test scores....ACTIVE PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN EDUCATION. If one were to conduct a study of public schooled children who have academically involved parents compared to home schooled students, I would bet the results would be astonishingly similar.

        August 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  90. After HS, then what?

    Homeschooling has its place, but I work at a large state university and many of the home schooled kids who come here are simply overwhelmed. Going from one-on-one time in high school with a parent to a 300 person class at college is too much for them to handle. They cannot fathom not having a teacher who is there to help them on an individual basis, but are instead confronted with someone who has to ask them for their ID number first just to see if which section of class they are in. Or worse yet, if the faculty member in question speaks English as a second language and they haven't been exposed to many non-native speakers before. So many of the homeschooled students seem to drop out within the first year, if not the first semester

    August 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • kmburdette

      Your observation. Doesn't appear to match studies:

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-37242551/can-homeschoolers-do-well-in-college/

      http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/201008030.asp

      http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000000/00000017.asp

      http://www.usnews.com/education/high-schools/articles/2012/06/01/home-schooled-teens-ripe-for-college

      Home-Schooled Teens Ripe for College
      Myths about unsocialized home-schoolers are false, and most are well prepped for college, experts say.

      ....Students coming from a home school graduated college at a higher rate than their peers­—66.7 percent compared to 57.5 percent—and earned higher grade point averages along the way, according to a study that compared students at one doctoral university from 2004-2009.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
      • john

        Thanks, Kim. Folks who claim that homeschoolers struggle in college, aren't reading the many, many studies which clearly show that they tend to excel after high school in whatever area of life they choose.

        August 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Lulz

      You definitely have no idea what you're talking about. I'm not sure where you heard that homeschooling was a one to one study group with our parents but rather- it has been for myself and my peers a near independent study. When I was homeschooled, I was given assignments and deadlines but because I didn't have as many lectures- I did significantly more homework than public or private schooled peers I knew. And when I got to college, it was like repeating the 11th and 12th grade of school, at best. It was hard to remain motivated while being taught subjects and lessons that I did as a high school student at home for much less the cost than college is.

      I know of exactly zero homeschoolers who were crippled or overwhelmed by college but rather I know several who struggled with an inflated ego by walking into most classes as the smartest and best prepared in the room. I also know of several who flew through college with multiple scholarships because of their academic talents. :-P

      Thank you for playing.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
      • evan

        i also would bet you were a loser in college

        August 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • grasley2

      Since we are bandying about anecdotes that may or may not reflect the mean in any way, I am an engineering professor at a top 10 engineering program (and one of the largest universities in the country). The top student – by far – that I ever tried to recruit for grad school was a home-schooled kid. He finished his undergraduate with a 4.0 and scored perfect on the GRE. He could have written his own ticket for graduate school, but decided to take one of the several high-paying job offers he received. Oh, and he was a very well-spoken individual who did not seem socially awkward in the least (at least compared to other engineers...;-) )

      August 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • momof3

      Today, there are many co-op courses and groups that children may attend. Sometimes parents who are experts in a particular field teach a course like a dissection, or run writing workshops, etc. Many, many HSers today avail themselves of these types of opportunities. Many homeschooled kids take community college courses while in high school, which is part of our long -term plan for our children. It provides a nice progression toward the parent not being the primary instructor, the child gets to learn how to navigate a few buildings on a small campus, etc. Really, there are so many ways to address this type of thing that it is a complete non-issue.
      As they get older, my kids will be encouraged to spend time in the community volunteering or starting a non profit of their own, to develop relationships with mentors, to shadow professionals in fields of study that interest them, to forge connections within and outside of their community. Those are valuable experiences and can provide a nice transition from "parent as the primary instructor" to a loosening of the reigns that prepares kids for life in college and beyond.

      I think that is a more natural progression than being 12th grade where you must carry a hall pass and have permission to use the rest room in May, and then in August you are dropped off at college.

      The preparation for the real world has less to do with where the education takes place, and more with the parenting style. There are plenty of helicopter parents of high school children who flip out when Johnny gets a C in an important class.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
      • jewelofthecrowne

        thanks for your observations. the diversity of options that you mention had not occured to me.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • thesaj

      Sorry, I don't buy this. 80% of the home schoolers I know did not have the one on one time you think they did. That's what makes me laugh. When I read this, and knowing that most parents simply provided lessons and graded according to marker resources with very little to none of the type of instructional teaching used in most schools. I always find it laughable when someone makes this claim.

      Because I have yet to meet any home schooler who was doted on or really received lots of one-on-one time (at least not after basic elementary reading/arithmetic..

      August 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  91. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Home schooling produces socially inept naïve drones that worship whatever their parents and only their parents want them to.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • kmburdette

      I hope you're just trolling now....

      August 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • jbmar1312

      yup, he is trolling. Just can't stand the thought of his liberal castle being made of straw.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
      • JJC

        His "liberal" castle? Please explain that comment to me, as I am a social liberal atheist who homeschools. I though this guy sounded more conservative and closed minded. But please educate me why you think this idiot, who is only trolling, is a liberal.

        August 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
      • Bruce

        LOL, yes, where did you get liberal from? I too am liberal and an atheist and prefer home school over public.

        August 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • TexDoc

      You seem to be the open minded type government schools put out.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Marissa

      As opposed to rational thinking inept drones who only think what the state wants their slaves to think?
      I'd rather be socially inept than a slave to the parasites running this country.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  92. john

    We've almost completed the homeschooling of 7 children. There have been moments where we utilized the public and private school options for short periods of time. But overall, homeschooling turned out to be one of the best decisions we have ever made as parents. This is not to say that homeschooling is for everyone. It is much easier to do, now with homeschool Internet options. Simply saying that homeschooling is one decision that this set of parents got right. (P.S. 6 of the 7 have attended and excelled at college. The 7th is still in high school.)

    August 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  93. BzyMomof3

    We do not homeschool our children because of religious reasons or because we want to "shelter" them from the outside world. We do it because we feel the traditional, brick and mortar public education system in our state is failing the children. We are homeschooling in two different ways... two elementary ages students are "traditionally homeschooled" with curriculum we purchase on our own and one high school student is enrolled in a virtual charter (state funded) public school.

    Our oldest attended public middle school for 8th grade and made the decision to return home for high school. 99% of her school year last year was "review" work for her. More time was spent by the teachers dealing with classroom disruptions and behavior problems than was spent actually teaching the students. Learning at home, she can concentrate on her lessons, work at her own pace and use her free time more productively.

    We provide plenty of opportunities for our children to "socialize" via homeschool groups, field trips and extra-curricular activities. In school, they are segregated into same aged peer groups and told that school "isn't a time to socialize". Our children have the opportunity to talk to, engage and spend time with people and children of all ages. They can have intelligent conversations with just about anyone.

    This is what is working best for OUR children. Do I think homeschooling is for every family? No; absolutely not. It's a huge commitment on both my part (stay at home mom) and my husband's part (works full time outside of the home) for us to educate our kids this way.

    Believe me, I never thought I would ever homeschool my children. As a product of the same school district we live in now, we thought we'd just send them off to school just like we had done. The times, they are changing.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • VLM

      Your statement about kids not being able to socialize in school is so right-on. My eldest grand-daughter is in a traditional early elementary school and these kids don't even get to talk to each other at lunchtime! They have about 10 minutes to eat, and silence is the rule so that the kids get their lunches scarfed down within that time limit. And back when my kids were in school, our public school system had already done away with recess, so there was no socializing that could be done even on the playground.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Concerned Parent

      I agree 100% about the socialization issue. My son has just started high school, 9th grade, and one of the first things he said was that they were allowed to talk and sit where they wanted during lunch. He didn't know what to do. I am seriously considering home schooling as I have been out of work for over 2 years and there is not much chance that I will find work in my field, in my area, in the near future. My spouse earns a reasonable salary. Public schools are charging outrageous fees for registration, per class and all electives. My cost this semester was almost $1200 and that was only AP classes and band. So much for a free public education paid for by taxes. He does not learn in class but does get to listen to the teachers fuss and threaten the students with behavioral issues daily. Nothing is ever resolved and the good kids are falling further and further behind. I figure if I am already doing the teaching and paying those crazy fees I might as well dive right in. My biggest concerns revolve around the electives and looseing those experiences. Hard to be a team all by yourself.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Ryan

      I think yours is a great example and something we are going to see more off.

      Technological advancements and programs like Kahn academy, are going to mean that students can learn effectively at their own pace and ensure students master concepts before moving on. There are going to be algorithms in these programs (already are) that adapt to the way that individual learns and can provide material in the best suited way for that pupil.

      I went to a public high school in a middle class area a decade ago, and there, I was held back because of issues with students who simply couldn't keep up and behavior issues. These issues continued even through the point where they instill levels like basic, academic, honors, gifted, accelerated, etc – those things were issues until AP classes.

      Much of the 6+ hour day in school is wasted and many of the alternative classes weren't worth more than reading a newspaper or listening to NPR for classical music, certainly technology can in many cases, improve the learning experience.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Misty

      I agree with the so called "socialization" argument. I have 4 boys, one of which went to public school through graduation, and the other through 2nd grade and if there was an argument for homeschooling, I would be first in line to say it is because of the "socialization" learned in public school. My real socialization skills were learned from adults, my crappy behavior was a product of public schools.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Jerry

      It's incredible the resources and opportunities available to today's homeschoolers. Back in the 70s and 80s we had to develop our own curriculum, mobilize a homeschool association, work with legislators to create balanced legislations, liaise with department of education to understand homeschooling and support parens, etc.

      It is wonderful to see how this 'discipline' and approach to pedagogy has matured over the years, and the science and evidence that affirms it. Resources are abundent, and most communities offer multiple groups that provide healthy socialization and cater to the specialized interests be it academics, arts, athletics, etc. It's the best time in history to be considering homeschooling.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  94. kmburdette

    We are in the process of home schooling our 4 children (15, 12, 8, 4). Better said – my wife works tirelessly to home school our children and I help when/as I can, such as helping with evening homework or having political-based discussions with my 15 year old daughter. Every one of the arguments against home schooling is based in ignorance. My 15 year old attends a home school co-op a half-day twice per week for supplemental classes Geometry and Spanish (taught by a native Spanish-speaker passionate about teaching); two of my kids attend a "home school academy" for enrichment classes once per week, and my wife teaches physical science at that academy. My oldest is involved in a home school debate club that competes with other teams from a six-state area – she qualified for Nationals in her very first year, at only 14 years old. The desire to succeed and excel comes from within and from our passion and commitment, not from sitting in a classroom with other students, probably half of whom aren't passionate about learning at all. Between home school groups, extracurriculars, church groups – my kids get plenty of social interaction, in various different social settings, not just from the same school every day. Every one of my kids is – by societal, private and public school standards – advanced in reading, vocabulary, grammar, etc. Yes, it is a huge commitment, and costs money – we pay taxes to support the public school system, and get ZERO tax credit for our home school expenses. But the bottom line – we were NOT ready to turn our kids over to the world at 5 years old, and we wanted to have the focus on their education – a full and complete and life-preparing education, with a solid foundation in God.

    We didn't have children to turn them over to the world to raise from age 5 onwards. Whether home schooling continues to increase in popularity or not – scores and accomplishments by appropriately home schooled kids will continue to be and continue to grow beyond public schooled kids.

    I say "appropriately" home schooled because I'd be a fool to believe or try to convince someone that there aren't home schooling parents who shouldn't be home schooling. As my wife and I agree – home schooling takes PARENTS ready and able to home school as much as it takes the children to teach.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Jack

      I just hope your kids don’t become too religious. Kids in a school environment learn to deal with the kids with different faith. If you are so eager to enforce your religious belief on them without letting them form their own views, you are not helping them to cope with the real world.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
      • kmburdette

        Jack – I just wrote a post essentially agreeing with you and explaining that we work diligently to teach our kids the variety of beliefs – in terms of both faith and politics. But apparently the reply disappearing into the nether regions. Anyway, I do agree with you that *teaching* a very narrow focus is not the correct methodolgy – even if we as parents do stress what we believe and why.

        August 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        @ kmburdette
        You can work as diligently as you like but you can’t replace the social structure of piers. You are essentially handicapping your kids.

        August 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
      • kmburdette

        Just not true, Tom Tom... or their peers.

        August 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
      • kmburdette

        Tom Tom – you completely fail to grasp that the social interaction available to most home schooled kids is robust – assuming the parents pursue it. No offense – remember ignorance simply means a lack of knowledge – but you are ignorant of the facts on home schooling populations – home school families seek each other out, there are many extracurricular activies – sports, debate, specialized courses, etc.

        August 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
      • Jack

        kmburdette, I mentioned religion because religion is the one of the most intricate topics for the parents to stay neutral. It is very difficult for most people to acknowledge validity in different faith. I was able to understand your stance on homeschooling from your reply. I do not think you are handicapping your children.

        August 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
      • Jerry

        Jack – wow, are you out of bounds..

        So where did all the bigots either occupying office or running in the current election cycle get their education? Where did they learn to be so sensitive and inclusive of others' religious beliefs/preferences? You know, people like Michelle, Rick, Newt, ad nauseum who've spoken so elequently of late about America's founding on the principle of religious freedom – while throwing red meat at their evangelical base stirring up all the prejudice against Muslims and Islam as they possibly can for political benefit.

        Are you implying that all the politicians pandering to such prejudice and seeking to conjur up fear are all products of homeschooling, because the public classroom is the vital vaccine against hate?

        Hmmm. I know homeschooled kids are overachievers, but didn't realize they had taken over congress.

        How about we just agree that bigotry is imposed on impressionable young minds by bigots, regardless of the venue or lecturn from which they spew their bile and venom. The evil resides in the individual and contaminates those that come in contact with the noxious agent. It's not the building structure that poisions young minds.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  95. Oakspar

    What do teachers constantly request in order to better be able to do their jobs?

    (1) Smaller class sizes
    (2) Better student discipline
    (3) Parents who are envolved CONSTRUCTIVELY in the student's learning

    Homeschooling answers those three things.
    (1) Class sizes are, obviously very small allowing for better feedback and pacing
    (2) Discipline is not an issue, because parents can enforce discipline in ways that would put a teacher in prison
    (3) The parent is envolved, constructively in every step.

    So long as the child is given oppurtunity to socialize, they are getting all that they need. If the 80% education, 20% socialization of homeschooling (as opposed to the opposize 80/20 split in public school) was all that harmful, would all of public education be so unified in their attempts to move their percentages to more education and less socialization?

    August 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Tonya

      involve* not envolve

      August 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        LOL

        August 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
      • kmburdette

        Sort of like peers not piers....

        August 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
      • Langor

        Sweet retort, Kim.

        August 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
      • Jerry

        Tonya – you wood excel at rote lerning, whair spelling and purfect tieping are prised abuv criticul thinking skills.

        However, on my team, success (and employment continuity) depends on your ability to 'envolve' Maslow's full peeramid.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Tony

      Another aspect of homeschooling is the ability of a child to learn at their own pace. An intelligent child, who "gets" the subject matter the first time, is not hindered by another who needs more tutoring, for example. This is often the case in school. "Self paced" schooling WORKS. I have experienced this first hand. And since the public schools are NOT self paced (but homeschooling IS), it is only logical that homeschooling would naturally produce a better educated person.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Crepes

      I homeschooled my children and then became a teacher. If I were to homeschool again I would, even more now. The unions are so corrupt. They are not there for the best interest of the children and because of them, we can't get rid of abusive and sloppy teachers. There is also so much waste and abuse when it comes to monetary and personal resources. My program was funded $30,000 per child and we, (my staff and I) had to purchase necessities out of our own pocket because we were told there was no money. Teachers complaints are valid. Parents can do a better job. With as little as $1000 a year for each child, they would have AMAZING resources, including tutors!

      Families are truly the experts with their own children. They should have the rights and privileges of deciding how to "brainwash" their own children more than the government regulated teachers in the schools push their own personal value systems upon our children. The public education system is pretty corrupt, in and of itself. Hence, more homeschoolers. They got my support.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • thesuddenscribe

      "Discipline is not an issue, because parents can enforce discipline in ways that would put a teacher in prison"

      This statement concerns me...

      August 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  96. jaijai

    I wouldn't want to have home-schooled my own kids but I think it is perfectly achievable and effective. The downside of lack of "socialization" could be easily balanced by allowing the kids to freely interact with others in routine neighborhood play, community sports or other activities outside of the home. There might be a little stutter when they have to enter another level of education or the workplace where a more rigid structure and less flexible set of expectations could be disconcerting but in time adjustments could be made.
    The real concern comes when the education includes some form of indoctrination to a stringent set of social or cultural beliefs accompanied by active restriction from interaction with "others". Of course, adults voluntarily choose to pursue that kind of existence all the time and it usually has little or nothing to do with how they were raised or educated.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  97. Future admin

    I think that homeschooling can be a great choice for families. But I think this article only skims the surface a major component. The social interactions that a student would otherwise gain ore often eliminated. During childhood that might not seem like an issue, but once that student goes to college or into the work force, they are often lost because they did not grow socially at the same rate as their new peers.
    I am not saying this happens 100% of the time, I have met people who come from homeschooling who do great. However, for the majority, it is hard to avoid having a conversation with them that isn't a bit awkward.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • momof3

      I think some families do choose to HS because they don't want their kids exposed to the social aspects of public school. However, in those families, I think the child could be potentially awkward whether schooled in PS, private school, or home. Families who don't want to interact with others who don't share their beliefs may or may not raise kids who have social difficulties. As someone who attended PS, I can certainly think of kids like that from high school. I homeschool my children, but they have neighborhood friends, friends from extracurriculars and sports, friends from the pool, friends from co-op class, family friends, cousins, etc.
      I attended a smaller public school, and we had very little diversity. So PS in and of itself does not guarantee a child will be exposed to diversity. Parents who socialize with diverse friends, coworkers, etc. are probably a more powerful influence over a child's views on diversity and so forth.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Homeschool seems to work better

      Why does homeschooling imply less social interaction? The kids I know went to other homes for different classes. There were lots of kids around.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Sue

      Families teach socialization. I have met many an awkward homeschooler, but also just the opposite, many homeschooled young people are very capable socially; looking you in the eye and speaking with a confidence that is admirable. Those same kids are able to hold an intelligent conversation with adults. Those people who are awkward would likely be awkward if they were publicly educated. I have homeschooled for 20 years and counting. It takes effort from the parents and the ability to not fear the world around you while being confident in the values you hold.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Ed

      I went to a very large public high school. As an adult I have found that I have hundreds of contacts around the world that come from the many friends and acquaintances I made in high school. If I had been home schooled and shuffled around the neighborhood to meet kids I might have a handful of friends and acquaintances from that era in my life...I am very glad that my parents did not "shelter" me from the outside world by home schooling me.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  98. virginiaknowles

    We have graduated four of our children from home school. All of them dual enrolled at a local college starting at age 16 or 17. Our fifth child entered public high school as a sophomore and has excelled with high scores on AP classes. Yesterday, she started college at age 17, dual enrolling for her senior year. Of our five younger children, one is in public elementary school and the other four are in a home school co-op with classes once a week and assignments for the other four days.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  99. Lori

    "[S]etting aside several hours a day to educate a child simply isn’t feasible" — This is not how homeschooling works for the vast majority. Public-schooled kids are in school from approximately 9–3:00 and within that time they have meals, recess, transitions, etc. The actual *instruction time* is a fraction of that six hours. Parents who homeschool are focusing on just a few children with no transitions or lost time. It doesn’t take that long.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • momof3

      Exactly. There is less time spent on review as you are only reviewing what your child needs to brush up on. Quality bedtime reading for 30-60 mins can still be part of the educational day even if it doesn't happen during school hours. In a home where education is valued and kids have access to enriching books, educational materials, etc. education is happening all of the time. My son and I can listen to Science Friday on NPR in the car and have a wonderful conversation about it. Education really isn't tied to certain hours and becomes integrated into life.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  100. shelli

    I think most of the arguments against homeschooling have been debunked by thousands of homeschoolers who are thriving in this atmosphere. Anyone willing to do some real research can see that. Though I think it's inevitable that there will be cases where homeschooling doesn't work for a child, and as homeschooling grows, there may be more problems because as homeschooling becomes more mainstream, there may be more people who think they can do it when they really haven't thought it through. I think it'll be interesting to see what happens. For now, every parent I know who homeschools does do a lot of research and really considers what's important: their child's education and well-being. As I begin homeschooling my boys, I have found many diverse people to socialize with, and I will continue to seek out more friends. I don't think they will lack anything, but they'll gain a better and more well-rounded education.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:08 am |
1 2 3