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

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. 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.

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

    I am not for homeschooling, period! I was homeschooled by two very mentally ill parents. No one was there to save me or my brother. He left home early and has been on drugs since. I had to go out on my own and then take care of my mother after my father died. She left notes that she was going to kill me because I was the devil, I assure I am not. She took money from me and one day she just left and never came back. Her paranoia was so bad that she leftt anything that could identify her and so we were unsuccessful in every finding her. I tried to get her to doctors but she would not go. I grew up being told I was a bad person and that I was being locked up so the mean people on the outside wouldn't make fun of me. My education suffered as did my self esteem and my options for education. Kids are oinly going to get the education an adult can give based on their own knowledge. I deal with homeschool parents in my job and they are a very paranoid bunch on the whole abouth what the world might influence their kids to do but they are the first to try and beat the system when they have to pay for something. (I am generalizing but the vast majority of them do) Also, if you go through the last 10 years of parents who murdered their children you will find a large number of them homeschooled the kids. For the few who are successful I say great. But being a victim of homeschooling I fear way too many children who are unable to reach out for help and get away from abuse is a true threat. I know schools are broken and I know we love and want to protect our children and give them the best but not too sure this is a good idea overall.

    August 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • lilthinkr

      my heart aches for you elphaba,,,

      August 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • trl30215

      Sound like an awful experience but i would respectfully submit that you are a victim of mentally ill parents – not homeschooling.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • donna

      You might as well be against parenting altogether using that logic. Your parents were the problem, not homeschooling.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Mary G.

      Ma'am, your situation was not an issue of homeschooling, but of having mentally ill parents. I'd lay odds your brother would have left home early even if he'd gone to public school. Poor home situations happen all over the place, not just in homeschooling. Your story is the exception, not the rule.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Gaylene

      The VAST majority avoid paying for things and the like??? Really? I pay my taxes and don't see a dime of it returned from the schools that they don't attend. I homeschool my 4 children and we love being together day in and day out. My children are well rounded individuals who interact well with peopl of all ages. It sounds like your situation is a rare occurence and I feel bad that you endured that but please don't lump us all into any VAST category.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Jan

      I'm so sorry you did not have the loving attentive parents every child deserves. I really mean that. It does sound like you learned how NOT to be a parent from your parents. If you have children or plan to, I'm sure you will be a better parent to your child(ren), even though you will pretty much have to find your own way since you had such poor models. I wish you a peaceful future!

      August 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Phantom.exe

      Vast majority? Umm, no.

      August 30, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  2. Jimmy-James

    When a headline states "math," I actually expect math, and correctly used math, to be present. That is all.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  3. Xavier

    Anyone who has taken one decent statistics courese should know that quoting percentiles is worthless unless the norm group is specified, what tests were used etc.etc. Was the sample taken in Greenwich, Connecticutt or Selma, Alabama? What are the specifics of the norm group? Who is being compared to whom? What public high school, which group of home schoolers etc. etc. Poor/rich homeschoolers vs. poor/rich public school kids?? What about language differences? It goes on and on but this article addresses nothing and the percentile differential is what this article leads with!!! Frankly, this article is jumk journalism.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      No kidding. By the logic of this story I would say that it is clear that the students in the 90th+ percentile are to be found in regular schools, so home schooling is the way to go if you are not aiming for the upper 10%.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  4. Vidyasankar Sundaresan

    Carl Azuz, your math is not quite right. The homeschooling growth RATE is steady, not exponential. The numbers give a linear slope of 0.18 per year, with a goodness of fit > 0.98. Good enough to call it a linear growth in the rate at which more children per year are getting homeschooled.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  5. KW

    Any parent who is committed to teaching a child should be supported, not judged or restricted. I wish I had the schedule that allowed me to have this option. It's not a better vs. worse option. It is an option we should be happy about, not judging. Parents participating in a child's life, educating him/her, guiding her... this is a very good thing!
    Homeschooling is a great option to have. We should look at ourselves and be able to make these types of decisions without the government deciding for us. Want to homeschool your kids? Great, let's offer support and services to make sure you can do it well. Don't like it? Great, send your child to public school or the private school of your choice. If only every parent was so interested in his/her child.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • bob

      There definitely do need to be restrictions on homeschooling, KW. Religious zealots need to be held accountable for not teaching their female offspring. The nutjobs seem to operate under the thoughts of "well, they're going to be raising babies and cooking, they don't need no learnin". The male and female children must meet state minimums in mathematics, SCIENCE, history, and English, or they WILL be forced to attend public school.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
      • momof3

        Will we begin to require private schools to do the same? There are private religious schools that operate independently and aren't expected to meet those requirements.
        Part of the beauty of HSing is the inherent flexibility, and the ability to choose curricula that are simulating and rigorous. Many of the best curricula do not always match up neatly with what is taught in PS. That doesn't make them ineffective or not rigorous. It means HS publishers do not need to be locked into the scope and sequence that PS follows. I used the example of history in our HS in several places in the comments section. My kids are using a wonderful, meaty, beautiful history curriculum peppered with living books, works of literature from the time period studied, etc. We intentionally chose a chronological study of history, so our children have a very solid background in ancient history and history of the Middle Ages right now, but we've covered very little US history, other than what we've discussed informally or as part of other books they've read. That doesn't mean our history curriculum is inadequate; it means we aren't locked into the scope and sequence of history in PS. We follow a different path; one that is rigorous and challenging and delightful, but it wouldn't necessarily match up with what PS kids do each year for history. It isn't wrong, it is just different. When you remove those options, you kill a lot of the beauty and flexibility that makes HSing a success for many students. For what it is worth, many PS students in early elementary no longer cover much history or science at all, because the standardized tests don't cover those courses at that point. My children already know more about history than I did in high school, because we have a rigorous and enjoyable program that is far more interesting than the dry textbooks I used in PS.

        August 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
      • momof3

        Will we begin to require private schools to do the same? There are private religious schools that operate independently and aren't expected to meet those requirements.
        Part of the beauty of HSing is the inherent flexibility, and the ability to choose curricula that are simulating and rigorous. Many of the best curricula do not always match up neatly with what is taught in PS. That doesn't make them ineffective or not rigorous. It means HS publishers do not need to be locked into the scope and sequence that PS follows. I used the example of history in our HS in several places in the comments section. My kids are using a wonderful, meaty, beautiful history curriculum peppered with living books, works of literature from the time period studied, etc. We intentionally chose a chronological study of history, so our children have a very solid background in ancient history and history of the Middle Ages right now, but we've covered very little US history, other than what we've discussed informally or as part of other books they've read. That doesn't mean our history curriculum is inadequate; it means we aren't locked into the scope and sequence of history in PS. We follow a different path; one that is rigorous and challenging and delightful, but it wouldn't necessarily match up with what PS kids do each year for history. It isn't wrong, it is just different. When you remove those options, you kill a lot of the beauty and flexibility that makes HSing a success for many students.

        August 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  6. donna

    I think it's not helpful to talk about home schooling as if it's a singular form of education.

    Homeschooling includes those that do it completely on their own, all with varying education, methods and points of view.

    Homeschooling includes those who do it in conjunction with the school district- with as many different requirements and materials as there are districts.

    Homeschooling includes people who use materials and belong to any of the hundreds of groups online.

    Homeschooling includes people who do it because they oppose the material used by the public school system- and among those people, that includes those who don't want their kids to learn about certain aspects of science, and those who want their kids to learn more than what is included in public schools.

    Homeschooling includes families who do it because their children need different support than is offered in their local schools- and that includes kids who have needs ranging from remedial work to advanced work.

    Homescholing includes kids who work in isolation and kids who work with peers on a daily basis.

    It all depends on the student, the teacher(s), their methods, their materials, and their environments. There are too many variables to make blanket statements about whether homeschooling is good or bad.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • 300 years behind Age of Enlightenment

      Right, Donna. There are many reasons why parents choose to home school their children. But we all know full well that the VAST majority of those that do fall into your fifth paragraph: those that home school their children in order to prevent them from learning anything that might challenge their religious brainwashing. As a public school teacher, I can tell you that the students that I have had coming from previous home schooling tend to be extremely ignorant, rude, socially awkward, and extremely prejudiced. The real reason that most parents choose to home school is that they are trying to avoid the 21st century, and every single person reading this article knows it.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • donna

        Do we know that? Where's the research? Are the trends changing?

        And how do those stats fall by geography? I suspect you have more people home schooling for religious reasons in some areas of the country than in others.

        I taught high school and junior high, and every home schooler I had was a top performing student.

        I home schooled my daughter after NCLB changed her entire district to using a two-core curriculum (they were exempt from teaching the standards in science and social science instead spending 6 hours a day on SCRIPTED math and language arts). My sister began teaching her kids after they cut all the libraries from their district, and she belongs to a very high achieving network of home schoolers.

        August 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
      • momof3

        Secular homeschoolers are one of the fastest growing segments of the HSing population, fwiw.
        Parents who have extremely strong religious beliefs or are intolerant of others are going to most likely impart those beliefs to their children. Even if they attend PS, the kids are probably going to share their parents' beliefs. If a HSing parent is tolerant, open-minded, etc. they are most likely going to impart those beliefs to their children, regardless of where the child would attend school otherwise. Do you think taking the children of Christian conservatives and plopping them in PS would make those kids believe in evolution or a young Earth? It comes down to parenting style and beliefs more than where education takes place.
        For what it is worth, there is a section of the Christian conservative circle that discourages HSing because they want children to "be the light" for kids in PS and serve as a model of faith. I doubt attending PS substantially alters those kids' beliefs; most likely they continue to believe what their parents have modeled and taught them.

        August 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
      • momof3

        That should read, "make them believe that the Earth *isn't* a young earth?"

        August 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  7. zebra40

    My five children were homeschool by my wife and I. Four of the boys are Eagle Scouts. The girl has her Gold Award. They have got very good jobs. One is a mechnic, which he loves, one has his BS in Criminal Justice, one is a Second Degree Black Belt in Tae Kuon Do instructor, and my girl is studing Early Childhood Education while she is working two jobs. The younger boy is a senior. I would put their social skills against anyone.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Frank Mondana

      It scares me. Really, the errors in the comment make me wonder just effective your efforts to educate the kids turned out.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
      • JKB

        What about the errors in your comment? Perhaps you needed to be home schooled.

        August 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
      • jmarkdavis

        Frank, your comment criticizing the gentleman for his errors, er... has an error. Lesson learned?

        August 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Really???

      I would question how smart they are based on the number of grammatical errors in your comments. They obviously didn't have an educated person trying to educate them.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  8. WFW

    Need a babysitter? Public schools work just fine.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  9. benzuncle

    We live in a country where we have an abundance of options as to how our children, the future of America, can be educated. Each one works for some of the populace, so arguing which is best is a moot point. As for the potential social skills that the homeschooler may not be receiving by not attending a public school let me pose this thought:
    Name one good social skill that your child received from his/her peers.

    August 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Daniel

      A significant question is how well would these homeschooled chldren have done on those tests had they gone to public school? They are almost all from two parent homes where the parents care greatly about education. In public schools children from such homes score higher than the median on standardized tests. So how much of the gain is from the homeschooling and how much just from their home environment? Is the remaining difference worth the known sacrifices?

      August 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Frank

      Negotiation, bartering, and compromise. Standing up for yourself, self-confidence, leadership. Self defense, learning to recognize deceit and scams. All of these are very good social skills to develop, and it can be argued that a child can only realistically develop in a natural environment, intereacting with other kids.

      The primary point that I'm trying to make here is that it shouldn't be an all-or-nothing issue. Homeschooling has some advantages. Public schools have some advantages. Figure out what they are and work to give your child the best of everything available.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
      • C Baker

        Sadly, Frank, school isn't a natural environment where children are allowed to interact with their peers. They're still expected to spend most of the time sitting still and not talking to each other.

        August 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Petercha

      "Name one good social skill that your child received from his/her peers." Good question, benzuncle

      August 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • donna

      It's not actually true that home schoolers lack socialization with their peers. Many home schoolers work with other kids everyday in supplemental classes and activities.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  10. Marie

    If socialization is a concern, then I would question what type of socialization one is pursuing. If one is wanting one's child to learn how to survive bullies, drugs, snobbery, cliques, children of apathetic parents and all the issues that go along with that....then, I might say, one is asking one's child to basically learn self-defense interacting techniques.

    But, if a parent prefesr a child to learn positive interaction skills in a guided environment with healthy boundaries, then, homeschooling is the way to go. And that's the way I choose. Children crave guidance...and they really don't get that in the public schools which have no choice but to cater to the "squeaky wheels" in the system.

    August 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Frank

      "hen, I might say, one is asking one's child to basically learn self-defense interacting techniques."

      You say that as if it's a bad thing. It's not. I'm a skinny computer programmer, and I went to some tough public schools. I didn't come out so well in the short term a few times, but in the long term, the experiences served me well. I wouldn't change things even if I could. As an adult, I can smell a bully or a scammer in the office or on the street and I don't let them get away with anything. You have to let your child scrape their knees. You have to let your child encounter a bully. You keep close tabs on them and change things if they're being hurt more than they're learning about how everything works, but going overboard to insure that they never scrape their knees and never have to deal with bullying will hurt your child more than you know.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Lomez

      That's EXACTLY what I want my daughter to learn to deal with. If you've worked even a day in any job in corporate America it should be obvious that, unfortunately, your brains have far less to do with your success than your ability to work with and understand other people, to be social and positive, etc. etc. A good education is a good start but even a Harvard grad that's looked at as a "weirdo" and lacks coping skills isn't going anywhere in life.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  11. take it easy

    I had questions too about homeschool until I finally met homeschoolers that were not weird. All of it comes down to parenting. There are weird kids in school and weird homeschooled kids. Everyone knows very well that if cool people started wearing ugly pants, it would be in style – that means if you homeschool a cool kid, that kid will still be cool. If you public school an outcast, they will still be an outcast. One advantage to the outcast is that if they are homeschooled, they might keep some self-esteem.
    As far as some of the ridiculous comments about Republicans favoring homeschool because it dumbs us back down to the 18th Century – you must be out of your mind. Those who think that, did you not see that homeschoolers score much higher on the same tests on average? I would think that would prove that Progressive Democrats that are against homeschool would be trying to dumb kids down by indoctrinating them – and the test scores prove it.
    Again, social skills are learned in the home, not in public. Keep going back to your memories of nerdy kids and popular kids in school. The difference was their parents or the kid was just genetically weird every single time.
    I don't mean to knock public school or your right to do it. Homeschool isn't right for everyone. But WHILE SOME ARGUMENTS EXIST, there seem to be few arguments against homeschool that are logical.

    August 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Petercha

      Well said, take it easy.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • GaGal

      Perfectly stated.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • jhart13

      You had me in the first part of your post, take it easy, but lost me in the second part. Many of the people that choose to homeschool their children are motivated, in part, by their religious beliefs. If they are motivated by religion, they tend to be Evangelicals. Evangelicals tend to be Republican. So homeschooling is linked to Republicanism.

      Someone in this comments section did bring up a good point. The kids who are homeschooled tend to have a higher median score on standardized tests than their publically educated peers, which is most likely due to the fact that most children who are homeschooled have parents that are deeply engaged in their educations. At public schools, you tend to find a range of Parents, some who are neglectful at best, and some who are deeply involved in their children's education. I would argue that those kids whose parents are involved in their education score just as well, if not better, on standardized tests as those children who are homeschooled. Essentially, it boils down to parental involvement, doesn't it?

      August 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  12. shawn l

    Home schooling can work, but the parent has to be educated and have a vast amount of free time. If there isn't a commitment by the parents, it doesn't work and hurts the kid.

    August 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  13. SoCal

    My daughter was home schooled since age 5 and is now at her first year in college. She graduated from high school at top of her class and tested against the public school standards and other home educated students in our area. She has excelled at her college entrance exams and has gotten all the classes she wants because of her high GPA. At the same time she tutors public school kids and teaches piano to make extra money on the side. I really have to laugh at the ignorant and sometimes over educated liberal pessimists that bluntly complain how awful homeschooling is. Even funnier are the remarks about how unsociable your children will be if home schooled. My kids are probably the most educated and sociable on the block, a true testament at how wrong and utterly blind these liberal democratic are. I am so glad I did not leave my child's education up to the one way public school board!!!

    August 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • bczu

      Ahhh sheltered home schooled girls in college. Usually the loudest and drunkest at the party.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
      • Homeschooled

        bczu, seriously? That's your response? What a jerk.

        August 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • bfriends

        Wow, didn't realize your mom was homeschooled!

        August 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • donna

      You must not have the knowledge that you claim to if you think that liberals and democrats aren't successful home schoolers too.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  14. Liz

    In reading through the comments, I see repeated concern that homeschooling parents are not qualified to teach their children. Through a district alternative program, we were connected to about 200 other homeschooling families during the years we homeschooled. The most common parent in this bunch was a former schoolteacher (elementary-high school specialist), nurses with a Master's degree, plus a few paramdics. The nurses and paramedics were able to homeschool due to their flex schedules (ex: nursing with two 12-hour shifts and the rest of the week open, paramedics with 24 hours on, 48 hours off). The former teachers wanted to do a better job for their own kids than they had been able to in their careers in a large classroom. University professors as well, including a department chair. Not everyone, of course, but these were some of the parents who dared to take on educating their own children. As to the remarks on why not just put them into private school, homeschooling even with supplemental tutors was much less expensive than private school tuition, which we now pay. The quality of the family is key, the intelligence and education of the parents is a part of the equation, but the overall similar force will be the commitment of the family to the children and their education. This is what drives success for many students, whether they are in public school, private school, or homeschooled. It seems tiny-minded to assume that only your way will work for someone else's kid. Some people live in "big house" neighoborhoods in rich cities, and their public schools are often good. Some private schools are great, some horrible. You don't know for sure how the K-12 years have prepared a child until they are in their university education, so most parents do the best the can, and homeschooling is one option that people choose. Supportive parents will help their kids to make the most of themselves in whatever channel suits their kids the best. It's not right to do one way, and wrong to choose another. We try to respect whatever options people choose for their kids education, and don't imagine that we know what was the best choice for their family.

    August 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Homeschooled

      Well said Liz.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Not Homeschooled

      I agree, very well-said. Knocking one choice or the other is counterproductive. Energies should be spent on identifying the winning components of each type of program and working to advance educational quality in all arenas.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  15. 12th avenue, 50330

    I hope the writer of this article gets the literary education they need, in any format.

    August 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  16. moroncity

    Excuse me but I am enjoying my laugh as I listen to people talk out of both sides of their mouth. A politician says from the left side of his mouth that we need to add hours to a regular school day in a public school and from the right side of his mouth that we support homeschooling which amounts for about 3 hours a day. Duh..... All test scores outside of public schools are great. Duh..... Students with lower than average intelligence only go to public schools. And, they take the standardized tests while in school. Does homeschooling offer special education classes. No. Duh..... MoronCity


    August 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • moroncountry

      duh, 3 hours focused on one student is worth how much more than 8 hours spread across 30? obviously you were not home schooled.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • justathought

      1 teacher, 25 students, 7 hours ->.28 hours per day for each student.
      Homeschoolers get dedicated one on one attention – 3 hours a day for them verses the maybe .28 for a public school student. Also the parent/teacher doesn't have to spend so much time 'keeping discipline' and addressing behaviour issues,'which drains public school time/reserves. Just a couple reasons it takes so much less time for most homeschooled students.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • thesaj

      Actually, one of the reasons many are homeschooled is for special ed reasons. I have a number of friends who home school, because the public schools are very inadequate in teaching kids with autism.

      And the parents found they had far far better results than the public schools did with their autistic children.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  17. phk46

    I'm sure some parents do an excellent job of home schooling. And I'm equally certain that some parents do a terrible job of home schooling. I have no idea what the balance is between good and bad. The statistics in the article, such as:

    "students in traditional schools mark the 50th percentile on standardized tests, students who are “independently educated” score between the 65th and 89th percentile."

    are useless, because there isn't a good statistical sample. It could be that those kids that are home schooled are smarter than average. Maybe if they had been sent to school they would have scored higher than they did with home schooling.

    In my opinion there should be some fairly stringent standards for home schooling. If you and your kid doesn't meet the standard then you should be stopped from home schooling. Perhaps the same tests that are being applied to schools could be adapted for this purpose. There should also be some minimum curriculum that should be required.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Petercha

      "In my opinion there should be some fairly stringent standards for home schooling. If you and your kid doesn't meet the standard then you should be stopped from home schooling. Perhaps the same tests that are being applied to schools could be adapted for this purpose. There should also be some minimum curriculum that should be required." There are such standards and curriculum, phk46. See my response to Cindy.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • Sign of the Times

        If we apply these same standards to public schools, how many of them would be shut down?

        August 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • grist

      I have and MD and a PhD. I consider myself unqualified to teach school to my children. I have sat in on many of their classes. Professional teachers are better at teaching my children than I am.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
      • Homeschooled

        Then put them in school and let people who are qualified teach your kids. But don't tread on the rights of other people who may be qualified to teach their kids.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
      • thesaj

        Just curious what is your PhD in?

        Because I'd hope any PhD would be competent to teach basic elementary education to a single pupil. If so, I wouldn't hire you regardless of a white paper with a school name on it.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • thesaj

      Really, why is it so many people want stringent tests and assurance for homeschoolers. But when the No Child Left Behind Act mandates the exact same thing for teachers and public schools. They scream in opposition.

      Do you realize how stupid that makes the mainstream positions look?

      August 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      No, its not a valid statistical sample, its the result of a sample. We don't really know the methodology that was used, so we don't really have a basis to critique it.

      If we are shooting for the standard of the the 50%, then Homeschoolers are generally exceeding that by a comfortable margin. Even if their kids are brilliant (and I assure you, some are, and some are just normal, and some are children with special needs), it really makes no difference because unless they can get in the GT classes, the regular school system is going to shoot for that 50% result.... a result they are already exceeding.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • vforba

      Really strict standards and what strict standards does the school have to adhere to? Do they tell you why your child it not making the grade? Do they tell you why they suck at standardized testing. Does your teacher have to provide you the parent with a portfolio of work that must be accepted by an evaluator before your child is allowed to move on to the next grade? Do parents even know what their child really knows when it comes to what they are learning in school?

      August 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  18. Cindy

    Higher standardized test scores aren't EVERYTHING in life. If homeschooled, there's no marching band, drama club, chorus. Homeschool parents have to find ways to incorporate the ENTIRE education of a child. It's so much more than books, facts, and test scores. I'd rather send my child to public school and STAY ON TOP OF WHAT THEY ARE DOING, enhancing what they're teaching wherever possible, and help my child deal with social issues. How can a child become independent when they're with YOU all the time? They need to learn how to deal with OTHERS because that's how real life is. Sorry for the random thoughts, but this issue just bugs me very badly!

    August 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Petercha

      Cindy, you need to educate yourself on what homeschooling entails. Homeschooling parents still have to meet local, state, and federal requirements for educating their kids – and part of that is physical education and social interaction. Homeschooling parents often form organizations to meet those needs – for example, one group I know of has all their kids meet and do phys ed every Friday.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
      • Daniel

        Once a week their kids get to meet up? That will be really helpful for the 8 hour a week job they have. The reality of it is that school is about more than just learning the 3 Rs. We learn so much from socializing with others on a daily basis and how to handle all of the stresses that come along with that. I have met a few too many adults that were home schooled and now don't know how to properly interact with other adults. Eventually they may catch up as they deal with people every day, but it is a terrible thing to retard that growth at a young age. And before you say that plenty of public and private schooled kids have no social skills I am speaking in terms of percentages,not just straight numbers.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • docdeb

        Sorry. Most states require only that you are doing a subject-PE. 1x a week? It's a minimum of 2 in NY. There are no quality controls and many parents simply form groups that zerox their "curricula" and "lesson plans" handing them out to all, but no one knows if they are ever even used.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
      • Homeschooled

        docdeb, do you have any evidence behind your assertions other than you're own pre-conceived notions? If all these parents are doing is "zerox their "curricula" and "lesson plans" handing them out to all," but "no one knows if they are ever even used," then I would encourage you to read the article above and discover the significant difference in standardized scores. Apparently kids at home are learning more from those "zeroxed curricula" then they are in schools.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • momof3

      In some states, HSers are eligible to participate in PS extracurriculars, including sports. My own state changed the laws on this several years ago. Previously it was up to each individual district, but now those extracurriculars are open to HSers. In the state I was residing in previously, there were large numbers of HSers and they had things like their own marching band and so forth. One mom in my area is setting up a Lego class through a local place that teaches robotics using Lego Mindstorms. My kids participate in extracurricular activities like baseball, dance class, etc. with children who attend PS and private school. In my area, there are homeschool gym classes that meet at the YMCA a few times per week, which gives the kids time to hang out. There are park days, academic and non academic co-ops with a wide range of offerings, etc. I have no background in music, but one mom in our co-op is a private music teacher and is teaching the kids to play recorder. We also cover things like art history, science, etc. in our co-op. My understanding in talking to friends who teach PS is that with the current focus on standardized testing, many schools are devoting the vast majority of their teaching time to reading and mathematics. Subjects like history, science, etc. are going on the back burner in the early years in some districts.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • thesaj

      One, a homeschooler in most states can participate in band, football, etc. This was determined because they are paying taxes into the system for those. So most court decisions have said they needed to be provided access to extra curricular activites.

      Second, as one who endured the horrendous nature of an elementary age playground socialization. I can say I'd be far better off if I never experienced that. And much to my chagrin, such behaviors do not appear in the adult workplace. So had I skipped that whole immature socialization age, and went right into adult workplace lifestyle. I'd never have suffered the abuse I did.

      In fact, many homeschoolers are able to work better with adults than their public school counterparts.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Dee

      "Higher standardized test scores aren't EVERYTHING in life."

      Absolutely agreed! Test scores actually mean NOTHING in real life!

      " If homeschooled, there's no marching band, drama club, chorus."

      Because all public schooled kids do all that? And actually, there is a marching band here and I know that there are many homeschoolers a part of it. There is a drama program aimed at homeschoolers and those passionate find things superior to just a school drama club to participate in. Chorus? Doesn't even exist in our public schools here, so hardly something that is so important in life!

      "How can a child become independent when they're with YOU all the time?" Is that what *you* would do? Just stay home with them all the time?

      "They need to learn how to deal with OTHERS because that's how real life is."

      Well, most homeschooling families have more than one child and we all know that learning to live with your sibling provides LOTS of opportunities in how to deal with others! As well, most homeschooling families do not hide at home all day and prevent their kids from having activities outside the home. Would you honestly do that? Just stay at home, not find outside activities? If not, why would you assume that that's what most homeschoolers do?

      Btw, do you know how many US presidents were homeschooled? How about Thomas Edison? Homeschooling was a way of life until not too long ago. The idea that a parent is incapable of teaching their kids at home or that there is something detrimental to spending a lot of time with one's family flies in the face of historical facts.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
      • Natasha

        Just because US presidents were home schooled does not make it a good thing. Most of these arguments here for/against home schooling are remarkably poorly constructed, involving mostly conjecture and claims such as "I know so-and-so who was home schooled and they're not a complete failure so HA!" Do you know what else is a historical fact? Women used to wear corsets that constricted the waist below 20 inches. That actually happened and was commonplace, just like homeschooling. You know what else went on during that time? No eduction for females, racism was taken as scientific fact, and people didn't know what subatomic particles were.

        So should we all strive to emulate this worldview simply because IT HAPPENED, and the WORLD DIDN'T END, so OBVIOUSLY IT'S GOOD? Honestly, you argument for home schooling is completely baseless. I'm not an advocate for the deterioration of the public school system currently, but surely there's another solution to this than "UH-OH, SCHOOL SUCKS, LET'S WITHDRAW ALL THE STUDENTS AND JUST GIVE UP"? Home schooling is even less regulated than the public school system and is even less refined and tested. I don't believe we should leave the education of the children–a fundamental part of their development into a thinking individual–up to the hands of one or two singular people. I don't believe it's right to allow one or two people such absolute control over the child.

        Children should be allowed to form their own thoughts and opinions (which sadly, is a rare thing even amongst publically educated kids), not just regurgitate every last conviction held by their parents. When you, the parent, extend your role beyond the boundaries of the home and into the school, you have complete control over the child. While it may result in "higher test scores," it can also result in backwards thinking and illogic like the Creationist theory being taken for fact because the parent's beliefs are taken to the classroom in lieu of fact. One person simply should not have that much influence on the child. It not only hampers intellectual growth but it is an entirely selfish and petty way to behave on the behalf of parents. Just because they are too young to really have a say in what's going on does not give parents a license to mold their own clones–and too often a child's rights are ignored because of an adult's inability to think about anyone but themselves.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      Lets keep in mind that Drama Club, Marching Band and School Chorus are not activities that every kid participates in. In fact, I bet quite a few students participate in no school based activities outside of class. But lets consider for a moment that there are lots of ways kids can be involved that don't involve school directly. Some HS kids form band on their own (rock, country, whatever) or get involved in community music. I know several musicians who were probably the best ones in their school but since they played Irish Trad, they probably were not involved in school music.

      Likewise the home school student, with a more flexible schedule can take advantage of opportunities for activities and volunteer efforts that are completely impossible for the average HS student. Maybe your kid can volunteer at the local soup kitchen or food pantry during the day... or if they are science minded, maybe at the local zoo, museum or aquarium.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • C Baker

      Wasn't homeschooled, and the kids aren't either.

      When I was a child, if we ever attempted to talk to each other outside the half hour lunch period, we were told firmly that we were "not here to socialize". We had no recess. The kids in my local school get 15 minutes of recess twice a week, and they aren't allowed to talk in class either.

      So school provides, what, three hours of socialization a week? Well, fine. They – and the homeschoolers! – have the rest of the day from 3 – 8 to play, and weekends. Well, except when they have two hours of homework to do every night first. But that's a problem with schools, not homeschoolers.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • donna

      Where in the world did you come up with that? The kids in my family who are home schooled are part of a major performing arts group- with about half of them being home schooled. They also take art classes, participate in sports and belong to science clubs.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  19. Petercha

    I am impressed – CNN has written a relatively unbiased article! Good job!

    August 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  20. MyTwoCents

    School principals play politics and cover for underperforming teachers that they personally like . Principals lie on teacher evaluations and give a pass to their favorites while persecuting teachers they dislike. One teacher would regularly have 10 or more parents at a time complaining about failure to do the basics but because the principal and the teacher have the same religion and ethnic background the principal repeatedly lied to the parents to protect the teacher. BAD PRINCIPALS do more to harm schools and education than unions do. But unions should step up and at least give underperforming teachers a warning letter that lists the requirements of the job when the union is called in.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  21. ELacey

    I like that, Homeschooling is a regressive plan to destroy the school system....
    so question, Who discovered North America again..... well the public schools teach that is was Christopher, or Amerrigo,..... but in all truthfullness the Vikings discovered and established settlements 200 years before.....
    In Texas we where forced to take Texas history, I didnt even see a Text book on American History until college.
    Boy its a good thing my grandfather bought a travel trailer and every ummer I spent all over the US and Canada touching and learning about factual things. oh and now the public system is teaching that the Jewish Holacaust never happened... interesting.... so pics of mass graves and actually visiting the Stalags all over Europe is a Lie....

    August 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • MyTwoCents

      Really? What impact did the Vikings have on NA verses the game changing impact CC had on NA and SA when the Spaniards returned to colonize. Public schools simply DO NOT deny the holocaust, but they probably don't emphasize it either. You seem to be grasping at esoteric straws.

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

        Actually some historians speculate that Columbus was sure he could make the voyage across the Atlantic because he had knowledge of the Viking settlement of almost 500 years earlier. So there might well have been an impact. Though it seems likely that the America's would have been discovered sooner rather than later anyway. European Sailing vessels were getting too good; sooner or later it would have happened.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Lou

      That is mis-information, home school is not a regressive plan to destroy the school system. Home schooling was in existence prior to public education. Wise up, wake up look around and learn for your self before you promote mis-information and say things that you don't know what you're talking about. I'm the father of four home schooled adults who are doing very well in contributing to the GNP. One has a double BS in global economics and business, the other is a concert pianist, and one is a English major, and one is a professional photograher and free-lance writer. None of this was done any part of a plan to undermine the educational system. It is the right of every parent to home school their children if they want to. The general criteria is to not be a felon, and to have the equivalent of a HS diploma or GED. There are various guidelines and laws that vary from state to state. Remember that many of the our founding fathers were home schooled, so was Moses and Jesus, look at their accomplishments and then ask yourself; what's the problem. Have a nice day.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • SmileySarah

        Lou –
        I want to say Amen!! Also, God Bless you and your children and family!! I am starting my 3rd year of homeschooling both of my children and it's stories like yours that let myself and my husband know that we are doing the right thing!! I pray for health and many blessings on you and yours!!


        August 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Hellscreamgold

      Funny. I graduated high school in Texas back in 1987....Texas History was in 7th grade, I believe, and American History was either 8th or 9th grade....My son graduated a bit more than a year ago, and I know he has American History before graduating, too.

      So you're full of it.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • MyTwoCents

      And you don't need a travel trailer and a cool Gramps to study America. That's what books are for.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  22. dd

    The US public education system has dropped the US kids from 1st to 28th in the world. If you can't afford a private school, homeschooling is the only way to educate a child. The teacher unions and the liberal Democrats are making children dumber by the minute. It may be time to eliminate the Liberal Arts degree from US colleges. Liberal Arts majors are dumber than High School grads from Private Schools in terms of Science, Math, and Language Arts.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • gjamesokc

      The reality is that a teacher has to teach to the dumbest kid in the class. Very few teachers are capable of teaching different levels to different students within a class. The class goes at the pace of the slowest kids. The result is that most of the kids are bored out of their minds. Most home schoolers can accomplish a day's worth of instruction in two or three hours.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
      • MyTwoCents

        I would say classes go at a pace for the average of the kids in the class, certainly not at the pace of the slowest.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
      • MarylandBill

        But if it goes at the pace of the average kid, that means roughly half the students (The ones below average in the subject) are getting left behind.

        Regardless of whether the lessons are geared for the average student or the slowest student, I think we can agree that the current classroom leaves some students bored and others struggling to keep up.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Jim W. Statesville, NC

      What a load of HS! Obviously by your standards you must have attended public schools because that is about as stupid of a comment as one could make. For your information people who are liberals and are Democrats are not stupid and we aren't leading this country down a path of degeneration. We simply have a difference of opinion from you and others of your ilk. Come on, man... quit blaming liberals for this country's woes. Blame the people who have closed their minds to anything other than their narrow-minded beliefs. They're the ones who are selling this country down the drain.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
      • gjamesokc

        If you took the average IQ of all Democrats and compared it to the average IQ of all Republicans, which do you think would be higher?

        August 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • Hellscreamgold

        @gjamesokc – Donald Duck?

        Because ALL politicians are dumb as rocks.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • lifelong student

      Your first few sentences were good, but don't generalize for everyone. I enjoyed my balanced LA education because it made me far more rounded than the geeks with just a science degree. I still kicked their ass in physics class, AND I have the social and writing skills to manage them.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • platypus

        I'm homeschooled, and what you just wrote is generally-correct; perhaps the best summary of this debate, from either side. If I hadn't joined the military at eighteen, I would have been behind the proverbial power curve in social skills for (probably) the rest of my life. For social reasons, alone, I'm leaning toward public education (with home backup). Oh, and I married a public school teacher. :) We just painted her classroom.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
      • thesaj

        Really, painted the classroom in a public school. That would get you sued by the unions in my school. We know, we tried to paint water damage after it went unfixed for over a year.

        They had a 4 year backlog with painters. Only way they got away with it was calling it "educational" and having the shop class students paint.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Jared

      Really? You think kids should be educated by Conservative Republicans? I'm sure we'll finally ace those science exams....

      August 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
      • Dolores

        Liberal Democrats also homeschool. Homeschooling is done for myriad reasons and situations.

        August 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • tim

      Wrong, the parents of today's kids have dropped the us from 1st to 28th. 2+2 = 4 still. Most parents just don't sit down and check that their kids have done their HW and work with them.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • donna

      Actually it was the Republican's No Child Left Behind that did a considerable amount of damage to our education system.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  23. reality check

    How do you expect your child to engage in open thoughtful debate with his/her peers when all hope to teach critical thinking skills is extinguished by your control methods? Impressionable minds require an open forum environment in subjects such as composition, social studies, reading and yes, recess.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Apachecav

      Why do you insist that fifteen 12 year olds in a room equals thoughtful debate ? You must be a teacher to even think like this because common sense says otherwise...

      August 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
      • Misty

        In most classrooms, you see that same 1 or 2 kids who always participate, the same 12 kids who have to be called upon and may/may not struggle with the answer but won't retain an ounce of it a week later and of course 1 or 2 kids who just struggle either way. What completely kills me is that there are so many people out there who believe the only way a child can succeed in the world is through a public education? I think in NYC, public education is often referred to as the "white trash" part of society. Meaning public education is a complete joke. Many, and I mean many of the public school teachers end up homeschooling their children because they know exactly what type of hit/miss education awaits them in public school. As a parent who home schools, I know exactly what my child knows/learns/limitations/strengths are, but rarely will you find a public school teacher be able to do that as they have too many students in their classroom to individualize.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Dolores

      Ever hear of home school associations? Oftentimes, home school students travel from home-to- home for varios classes. Most homeschoolers that I know have lots of contact with other students. And in some cases, they participate in public school extra curricular activities such as band, choir, sports, debate, and the arts. I graduated from college in 2010 along side a dozen or so students who were homeschooled k-12. These students were all campus leaders, respected by both faculty and students, and were high achievers. That convinced me that something is right for some homeschoolers.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  24. reggiemcveggie

    Show me a home schooler who gets an "F" and I might take it serious. Until then, I know it's just like the Special Olympics or YMCA Soccer; everyone wins.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Dad of 5

      The article is about homeschoolers testing 37% points on STANDARDIZED TESTS that are written and administered by professional educators. No special treatment there.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Homeschooled

      Check with your local teacher what the "No Child Left Behind" act means for grades at a public school and they'll tell you that public schools are pretty much the same way.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Milton Platt

      Not sure why you think a program is only successful when the kids are failing.........makes no sense to me. But I do know that on the whole, home schooled kids tend to test out above those in public schools.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Apachecav

      When was the last time you ever saw a public school kid get an F? Wouldn’t want to hurt their self-esteem now would you ( Here is the deal, in home school they master a subject before they move on, we just happen to set a higher standard, no A no move, pure and simple... The SAT and ACT scores prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the superiority of Home Schooling. So put some thought into your response before you speak then maybe somebody might take YOU serious ….

      August 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • Breck

        I taught high school science for five years in three different schools, and I always had a couple of students who earned an 'F', and I certainly never had a problem putting that on their report card.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
      • momof3

        Yes, in HSing there is no hiding. It is very obvious whether the kid gets it or does not get the material. You can back up, you can review, you can pull out a different curriculum to see if that helps the concept click. That isn't always possible in PS. You can speed up, or slow down as necessary until mastery is reached.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • momof3

        I had a chem and physics teacher in HS who rocked. He was tough, but he was good, and he prepared me well for college. In fact, my high school texts were the same I used in college. He preferred simplifying the content of a tougher book to using a dumbed down book. The administration and parents did not like him because he gave Cs to average students. He was eventually fired for wearing a lab coat to lunch duty on a day there was going to be a cafe food-fight. He felt he was targeted because he was not a union member (I'm not anti union, just to be clear). So an excellent teacher was axed because he wore a lab coat on food fight day, and because he wasn't popular with administration or parents due to being a tough grader.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Misty


      If you paid attention to the trend, many states will or already have moved away from grading A-F and instead are basically getting a pass/fail in the subject and objectives. This is going to be a nightmare for college entrance requirements in the beginning, however they feel that they will have to rely more heavily on ACT/SAT scores. As you already know, most colleges, at least state colleges already rely on those scores and not so much on graded transcripts. I think you must have to be very ignorant to believe that grades show intelligence. Thomas Edison had only a few months of formal school. Henry Ford only had a couple years of actual schooling, his knowledge of machinery was intuitive. The list goes on and on. My favorite of course being Albert Einstein who also was a drop out. My home schooled son is tested in 4th, 8th, and 10th grade. I think I can just assume that as long as he is testing fine, he is exactly where all his public counterparts are in terms of "learning standards".

      August 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  25. Youmakemelaugh

    Go watch this, it explains a lot.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  26. sir_ken_g

    So called home schooling is part of the regressive plan to destroy public education and assure education only for the rich and the fundies. Home schooled victims end up socially warped, instilled with crank "science" and generally unprepared for society. I have an Ivy League science PhD and am not qualified to teach some HS subjects – very very few parents are. Those who thing they are are usually the least qualified – stupidity breeds stupidity.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Youmakemelaugh

      I was homeschooled, I am not, nor ever was, rich.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • sir_ken_g

        So you are a fundie – yawn.... or just a tool of the plan.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      Can you tell me where I can read about this plan? We are considering home schooling and it seems no one ever filled us in on the "Plan". I never figured anyone needed to do anything to destroy public education in this country; it was doing it to itself where teachers are forced to teach to a standardized test (I know of a school where kids were drilled in answering math and reading comp questions in french class).

      Someone also seems to have neglected to tell you that Homeschoolers are not just limited to fundamentalists anymore. People of all political persuasions and income levels are doing it. Some of us want our kids to get a more extensive background in science and math than is taught in the average school day, others would like their children to be grounded in a classical education, still others just feel their 6 year old boy is not ready to be seated in a desk all day.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
      • sir_ken_g

        Open your eyes – the Plan is all around you. On line learning is part of the plan too – watch the regressives flog it.
        Kill public education and enrich the providers – how handy.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • MarylandBill

        And the biggest evidence that such a plan exists is the total absence of any such evidence (The Regressives have hidden it all!).

        You know there are probably professionals who can help you, but you need to go see them.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • lifelong student

        The problem with your precious public education is that it's broken beyond repair. People who don't use it are paying for it. (Far more than people who don't use roads are paying for those, etc. It represents the majority of your property tax bill every year.) The system that IS in place is failing the majority of students in large cities. And it's failing American students overall. Look how far we've fallen compared to the rest of the world. I'm willing to fund an education system with some of my income, but not one that doesn't compete with the rest of the world and give this country hope for the future.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
      • lifelong student

        (That was for "Sir" Ken G, by the way, not you, Bill.)

        August 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • gjamesokc

      The exact opposite is actually the case. The government wants kids in public school so they can fill them up with propaganda promoted by the Teacher's Unions. Have you taken a look recently at a History book? They are full of revisionist history that is promoted by the Unions. Let's be real. I have a degree in mechanical engineering, and I would be the best teacher at one of my kid's high schools. Most of the history teachers are nothing but football coaches who can't even complete a sentence. There are a few good teachers at any given school, but the majority are not.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • lifelong student

      Way to show off that PhD with some fact-based statements.
      I know several colleague whose home-schooled children are far more skilled in science and everything else than the average child their age. All their parents are Democrats, too, you snobbish, liberal educated elitist. This has nothing to do with politics. Some people don't live in areas with quality public education and can't afford private schools. I find it ironic you think it has to do with only the rich being able to afford it when you have an Ivy League degree and the people I'm referring to home school because they can't afford a private education (that's not religiously affiliated).

      August 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
      • sir_ken_g

        What you have lost the argument start calling names – right. DUH.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • lifelong student

        You are right. I apologize. I lowered myself to your standard.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
      • thesaj

        Sir Ken,

        You went to Yale didn't you?

        But in your case, perhaps I should refer to it as "Yell"


        August 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • LIz

      "Stupidity breeds stupidity." Excellent point, please spare the world, and do not reproduce yourself.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • lindalockwood

      Obviously your Ph.d did not include english grammer. How did you write your thesis? The whole world is wrapped up in science and math, science and math, science and math. What about Communication, Leadership, Economics and Social intelligence.?

      August 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • lifelong student


        August 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Milton Platt

      Nice of you to worry about the poor recieving education. How many of them were admitted to your Ivy League school???

      August 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Apachecav

      Talk About being a tool or should I say troll, the only degree you seem to have is a PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper) You have been indoctrinated into the lie that Public School is the only qualified place to teach someone. For your information parents are the most qualified to teach their child anything. It was the parent who taught their child to stand, walk, and run. It was the parent who taught them their first foreign language. It was their parent who taught them how to read. You DO NOT need a degree in education to teach anybody, that lie is proven wrong over 4 million times a day….

      August 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  27. Liz

    Sad that people think because they met one or two homeschooled kids, that they know everything about it. Our son was homeschooled through 8th grade, and was enrolled in private high school as a freshman. His GPA over three years has since ranged from 3.7 to 4.0, with Honors classes, sports, and active involvement in his school and activities. He was two years ahead of his classmates in math, played a musical instrument, two high level sports, and is a personable guy, driven towards success, a leader. He loves not being looked down on any more by public and private school kids, whose parents as well questioned our every move (as did our own family members) during the years we took charge of his education. Did we know it would all turn out right? Not really, but neither do parents of kids in public and private schools during the years that we homeschooled. Home schooling is not for the faint of heart, and it has to match both the parent and the child, but clearly it can lead to success. Most of his friends who were homeschooled entered college at age 16 (which we don't agree with), and most of them graduate from college by age 20. Several are headed on to grad school immediately afterwards. Just because it isn't the same as your choices for your kids, it doesn't make it crazy. And there are plenty of bad examples in public school as well, including the high dropout rates for most states. Public education fails many students, and homeschooling is just one option that can make for a better match between education and the individual child. I agree that the one common factor among homeschooling parents ithat we know, is the deep dedication to their children, to their education and to their future success at university level and in the workplace beyond the school years. Are there some whack jobs who homeschool? Yes. There is everything from the "we will learn from the trees" clear out to the most rigid structure of a military school, all carried out under the banner of homeschooling. There is also an increased view that the public school system is not doing a good enough job for all of our children, and we can at least opt out our own kids and make certain that their education meets our requirements. We are over-educated academic snobs, and think we did a better job of it all during the years we took on education as our responsibility. The evidence is bearing this out, as our child succeeds in the college prep high school environment.

    Seriously, not everyone who chooses to opt out of the existing educational system is crazy, keeping their kids in a closet, religious nutcases, or beating them into submission while they use 1920 primers as their sole textbook. Some of us just wanted to do what seemed best for our kids, to launch them into the world in a successful way, and hard as it was, as much work as it was to take on the tasks and role of the school within our home, it seems to have been worth it. Do you feel the same about the educational systems you chose for your own children? If so, you've done the best to give your kids a chance at a bright future.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  28. Amy McCamly

    It is interesting the argument that home schooled children are "behind" or socially awkward. We here all the time that our children are graduating not knowing basic math or how to read at their level. As far as socially, awkward again a child can go to "regular school" & still be socially awkward. I want my children to have a mind of their own & be creative. The school system tells our children only think about what"I" feel is important – no time to question anything. Stand in line, be quiet, the bell wilol tell you when to eat or go to the bathrooom.

    Working parents & sat home families if you are looking for a way to homeschool in North Orange County, Ca. check out Discovery of Learning Homeschool Center

    August 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • ES71

      > Many parents are also asking their kids to make some compromises when it comes to their college experience

      You can work with them on that at home after school. That is what I do, plus, I enroll them in classes. But how are you planning to teach them geometry, chemistry, physics. foregin language is frankly beyond me.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
      • sir_ken_g

        Don't try to figure it out – they can't.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
      • Youmakemelaugh

        Just because the parent has finished their schooling, does not mean they are finished learning. I was homeschooled, if my mom did not know something, she would learn it with me, albeit, a few steps ahead, but in the end, homeschooling was beneficial to her too.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
      • Liz

        This is a common concern, and homeschooling families often use tutors for advanced subjects, and in our home both parents have graduate degrees in advanced subjects, and we have sometimes used our other well-educated adult friends to help out with questions in subjects that are not our area of expertise. In an area with universities, graduate students often tutor to help with their own education costs. One former math tutor is currently wrapping up his PhD program. There are experts available everywhere, some homeschooling families also enroll their kids either in community college classes for advanced class material, or in their local high school for these types of classes, as they are residents of the city and eligible to pick off some classes at their local schools without full-time attendance. Some of the homeschooled students that you don't consider out there are actually high achieving kids with other things taking up their time, including these kids we know: hockey players, basketball and baseball players, two runners preparing for the 2016 Olympic games, actors, musicians who practice 5 hours a day, and anyone with a big talent that is already earning them money/endorsements. But taking on Chemistry/Geometry/Calculus/Trig – it's really no big deal, you just find a class or an expert if it's not something that a person can learnfrom a book or an interactive learning process like the math available through Teaching Textbooks, which includes CD lectures, workbooks, text, and tests. Once you commit to providing and directing the education of your child, people find that there are many resources, most at an expense, but it's less than private school.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
      • ES71

        > This is a common concern, and homeschooling families often use tutors for advanced subjects

        Is that not the same as private school then? Why not enroll the kid in private school instead? Then you'd be able to utilize your graduate degree by working and earning for your retirement and kids college, and paying off your own college loans that you took to earn that advanced degree.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • momof3

      It comes with very different options than private school. There is more flexibility; the ability to accelerate or slow down and review as needed. If a student isn't getting a concept, we can backtrack, we can try a different curricula, etc. until something clicks. We can travel and go on business trips with my husband to see museums, historical sites, architecture, etc. in cities like Boston and Washington, DC. We choose to school year-round with breaks as needed. When the grandparents visit from out of state, my kids can take time off and spend a week with them, which involves my dad usually doing electronics projects or something anyway, because he's that kind of guy and my kids learn a great deal from him. We don't lose family time with our young children in the evenings to homework. Because we don't have to deal with classroom management issues, the kids can have time for free play (so important for young kids, and so many children are losing out on this with overscheduling and piles of worksheets for homework). We don't have to rush to do homework before and after extracurricular activities. My kids have time for themselves...quiet time to read, engage in hobbies, etc. They have time to play outside.
      Private school can be a wonderful option, but HSing definitely offers unique flexibility to us as a family, in both academic and non academic ways.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
      • momof3

        That should read, "we can try a different curriculum," obviously.

        August 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  29. Richard

    For parents who are really serious about it, I think home-schooling is a great idea. It reinforces the information for the parent, while teaching it to the child – both are winners, if they do it right.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  30. Popcorn

    Not all Union teachers were certified teachers. Don't try to run away from problems.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  31. ES71

    Homeschooling should be limited to elementary grades only. Beyond that unless private teachers are hired for each subject it shouldn't be allowed. A single parent cannot be an expert in everything beyond elementary level. In addition homeschoolers should pass state exams each year on each subject to make sure they are progressing as they should,

    August 29, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • momof3

      Read through the comments, please. Parents do not have to deliver all of the instruction. They supervise the instruction. There are many ways to address teaching more advanced subject matter. Homeschoolers participate in co-op learning opportunities, parents who are experts in a given field sometimes teach a class and open it up to other homeschoolers, there are online courses available, and a child could then use a tool like Khan academy to work through areas he or she is struggling with. Perhaps the parents hire a private tutor one day per week to go over those areas the student isn't comprehending. Many homeschoolers take community college classes in their teens, which also serves the purpose of having the child transition to learning from someone other than the parent.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
      • momof3

        Also, in many states HSers do have to take standardized tests. In most cases, they can't be used as the sole reason homeschooling cannot continue. Other folks have expressed concern about homeschoolers cheating on standardized tests. I consider that unlikely, as in most states standardized test scores alone aren't enough for a school district or state to tell the parent they must stop homeschooling, as long as the child is making progress overall. Additionally, we've seen public school cheating scandals pop up (look at the news pieces on test "irregularities" in terms of erasures). While I don't believe all public schools engage in cheating on tests by any means, they have tremendous pressure on them and high stakes connected to their test results. Whereas HSing parents typically are testing for their own knowledge, in order to suss out their child's weaknesses and strengths, and the test results in and of themselves can rarely be used against the family. I'd say the stakes are very high under NCLB and therefore it is obvious why some districts engage in forms of cheating.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • ES71

        > Read through the comments, please. Parents do not have to deliver all of the instruction. They supervise the instruction.

        Who delivers it then, Khan academy? Does Khan academy also provides test and grades the work? I think you are in denial.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
      • momof3

        ES-not once did I say Khan should be a child's sole instructional material. What I am saying is that the child can take the course in person at a community college, they can take an online course and use Khan as *one* tool to supplement their learning, parents can hire private tutors to teach all of the class or just check in with the student weekly. My goal as a HSing mom is to gradually prepare my kids to take instruction from others, to learn how to independently manage their time, to navigate social situations, etc. Right now we participate in a co-op as they are only elementary aged. As they get older they'll take more courses outside of the home, with other HSing parents, or at a community college as teens. That serves several purposes. They learn to navigate a college campus, to learn from someone other than the parent (which they will have been doing from an early age anyway), to learn how to deal with time management skills, etc. before they leave for a 4 year college. We'll encourage them to have mentors and spend time shadowing in their chosen field of interest. Those connections are valuable, and their contacts may choose to write letters of recommendation, etc. that provide legitimacy to parent-generated grades (although not all HS parents give A-F grades to their students). The focus is on mastery. The kids will have SAT and perhaps ACT, AP, or CLEP scores, etc. to back up the parent's assessment of their performance. They can take online classes or attend a community college where they do indeed get grades from someone who is not a parent.

        August 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      With modern materials, how often do you need experts anyway? I am reasonably confident that I could teach my chile H.S. level math (though Calculus and Probability and Statistics... which most H.S. students don't get), History (I have a Bachelors in it), and I could cover most of the literature classes. My Chemistry might be a little weak, but I can bone up on that relatively quickly, but I am sure that H.S. Bio and Physics would pose no problems either.

      So essentially other than foreign languages, I am pretty solid. And lets be honest, most High Schools don't take foreign language that seriously anyway.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
      • momof3

        And you can outsource content that you aren't comfortable teaching. Kids can take courses outside of the home, through community college (while they are high school aged), co-op classes, other homeschooling parents, private tutors, online courses supplemented by a once weekly private tutor, etc. The parent supervises the instruction, but does not have to be the sole person delivering the instruction.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • MarylandBill

        Spelling alas is not always my strong suit :). Fortunately my wife is a good speller :). chile should be child :).

        August 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Apachecav

      The responsibility to teach my child rests with me and NOT the State. Who the hell are you to tell me when I can and cannot teach my child? You don’t like home schooling then go ahead and place your kid into that cesspool of pervasion and violence. Just go ahead and try and make me do the same for mine.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • C Baker

      I'm confused. Genuinely, legitimately confused.

      If my high school and college education is insufficient to teach the same subjects I learned in high school, using textbooks, why do we bother teaching them to kids in the first place? It can't be that important if all that education left me totally incapable of transmitting it. (And really, what does that say about our school system in general?)

      Even if it's the case that adults generally forget, um, everything they learned in high school, why is it impossible for one adult to be really good at teaching math and so teach two families of kids math while the other family handles, say, history and they get a tutor for science?

      August 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  32. thebroodychick

    I know plenty of homeschool families, and the more I know the more I am against it. I have taught many of these young people at the first-year college level, and they often stand out for two reasons: 1) they have excellent spelling, and 2) they have much more trouble than most developing independent ideas and following assignment criteria.

    I am aware of the standardized test results–these kids often test higher. I have also heard this, multiple times, from homeschool mothers: "oh, yes, they have to take standardized tests, but you do that with them." It is easy to out-perform your peers on a test when your mommy is doing it for you.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Bob

      I was homeschooled through sixth grade. When I got to public school I was way ahead of the other kids in just about every subject. It only took a couple of years for me to fall back down to their level (because I had to move at their pace).

      Also, I wasn't very socially stunted, as many homeschoolers are, because there were kids on my street that were about my age that I played with after school.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
      • thebroodychick

        It sounds like it was a good experience for you. I'm sure it is for many. My experience in teaching homeschooled kids at the college level showed both positives and negatives. Every family is different, but I've had a large group to observe.

        I do feel for families who are plagued with poor-performing public school districts. I have concerns that those families who can afford to homeschool are not in these school districts, though. I think we need to focus on strengthening public schools and on parents who are disengaged. It sounds like your parents were very engaged, which I applaud.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Apachecav

      Really broody? Gawd another ignorant troll, most homeschool kids have no trouble socializing, They can carry on an intelligent conversation with ANY age group, when talking with their peers they just have to remember to slow down and use smaller words…

      August 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  33. Sherri

    I dated a 20 year old who was homeschooled. He had horrible spelling, grammar, and couldn't do simple math. After visiting his home I learned that his four siblings were being homeschooled as well, but not in a proper way. Their mother has a home business, but leaves the children to teach each other and will sometimes leave for days with their father. The only education they had were books and hoping to depend on each other for understanding. It made me very sad to see how they were learning and that really they were not learning it the right way. As their 20 year old brother them too were doomed to not be able to do simple spelling and math.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Richard

      Even more sad is that many of them are being taught that everything in the Universe was created by their imaginary friend who watches everything they do, hears everything they say, and knows everything they think.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • Homeschooled

        Even more sad is that they will grow up to be haunted by people like Richard who openly mock and belittle their beliefs in a free country.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • C Baker

        Sadly, there are accredited "schools" that teach just that as well. Sheesh.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • C Baker

      The plural of anecdote isn't data. One lousy homeschooling family carries as much weight as that one kid who graduated high school without ever learning to read. (I know that one kid too. Doesn't mean I think every single public school is atrocious, although I avoided their elementary school like the plague.)

      August 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  34. Green1955

    Most home schooled kids are socially inept. My college roomate was home schooled and he ended up taking his life because he was a complete recluse with no social skills. When it comes time to go to college and then enter the eventual work force most home schooled kids can't handle the social pressures. Many end up with psychiatric disorders such as social anxiety or depression. The degree of success of home schooling also depends heavily upon the parents knowledge of high school subject matter. If the parents are not well educated then that will strongly reflect on their kids ability to actually understand the subject material being studied. Home schooling in my opinion is very detrimental to a childs future success in society and should be banned.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • wowzer

      your reasoning is flawed. You provide no proof other than you knew a homeschooled person. You cannot make the leap that "most" homeschooled persons follow after this one person you knew. I have met TONS of non-homeschooled people with HORRIBLE social skills.You are assuming way too much in that being homeschooled was the reason for this persons reclusiveness, completely ignoring bilogical or other issues hat could have caused this problem.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Homeschooled

      Umm, if you are basing all of your beliefs about homeschooling on your college roommate, then how can you make statements like that? I don't care if you have a different opinion about than I do, but how can you honestly say that "most homeschooled kids are socially inept"? You've only known one. I happen to have been homeschooled, and I know many, many homeschoolers. While I do know a couple that are awkward and lacking in social skills, this does not apply to "most". Yes, it is very possible to do homeschooling wrong, and sometimes it lends itself to kids unused to social settings, the numbers don't lie.And you know what? Because I don't see the same set of people everyday, I have to actively go and seek out my friendships, so in this way you could say I am more socially active.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • MarylandBill

      Wait, I am trying to figure out how you get from one to most. Is your late room mate the only home schooler you have had experience with? Perhaps you have had contact with others and never realized it.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Kristy

      WHAT? I have heard of many school shootings but haven't heard of any homeschooled kids shooting up their maybe you have your facts opposite of the truth!

      August 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Liz

      Most college-educated people are aware that a single college roommate is not a sufficient sample size on which to base your decision.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • lifelong student

      "my college roommate" != "most"
      #mathfail #logicfail #publiceducationfail

      August 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • michael

      The socially inept kids in public school usually commit suicide before they make it to college because they are constantly bullied. At least your friend was spared this pleasent experience by being homeschooled.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Apachecav

      The trolls are out in full force today, I have seen every cliché in the book used and "proved" by an anecdotal event against homeschooling... complete and total B.S.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • momof3

      In some cases, there are special needs, learning disabilities, or mental illness that are reasons the child is removed from school in the first place. HSing didn't necessarily cause the depression, etc.
      In terms of your anecdote, I attended a small public high school and had 3 kids commit suicide in my high school while I attended. They were well-liked jocks, etc. but all of them experienced family issues, and in one case there was also substance abuse and perhaps depression/mental illness. I would never extrapolate and say that public school caused them to commit suicide.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  35. ray

    School in western cultures is more of a social structure than one of education. It is 'what one does' betweeen the ages of 5 and 18. It had it's place when there was a need to integrate all children into a literate society.

    Today? Public schooling is just one of many ways to learn. Society is going to evolve more to a hybrid system of home/ public/ private teaching. There is no real need for a 14 year old to physically go to school anymore to enhance their education. School at that age is a social and not educational setting.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  36. MyTwoCents

    Home schooled students who return to public schools at the elementary level are BEHIND their classmates. In these cases, the parents, or grandparents were not qualified (lacked enought education themselves) to effectively home school. As for home-schooled students scoring higher than the average, it is a case of the home schoolers being children of smarter and more educated parents, and the average scores are weighed down by underperforming (don't study, disrupt the class, answer "C" on every question on standardized tests, frankly are unintelligent) underperforming students that the public schools are saddled with.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Homeschooled

      Your opening assertion flies in the face of the facts clearly presented in the article. HS kids are scoring higher. Is there a source that you're drawing your assertion from?

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

        I said "AT THE ELEMETARY SCHOOL LEVEL". I have eye witnesses to these cases of home schooling failures at the "ELEMENTARY SCHOOL K-5, USUALLY 3 OR 4 LEVEL. It takes only one example to prove that the assertion that ALL homeshooling is a wonderful success to be false. I'm not against homeschooling because it aligns with principles of freedom, etc. I'm just providing info so we have the whole picture. You need to read better, and BTW, using phrases like "flies in the face" is usually a giveaway that an arguement will be weak or mis a important detail.

        August 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
      • MyTwoCents

        Do you deny that public schools are saddled with underperforming students that don't study, disrupt the class, answer "C" on every question on standardized tests, and frankly are unintelligent. Comparing homeschooled students test scores as a group to the average scores of public school students is like comparing the scores of public school advanced placement students to the average scores of the public school students. You are selecting out a higher performing subgroup and comparing it to the whole. Only if ALL students were homeschooled for one year and scores compared to previous year would you have a valid comparson.

        August 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
      • Homeschooled

        MyTwoCents, I meant Homeschooled by HS, not High School. The article does not differentiate between elementary and high school students and I am not either.

        If you really think the only way that you can get a good test to compare the two is by having everyone home schooled for a year then comparing with the results from everyone being in public school, I really hope you put all of your kids in school at least to learn some statistics and read a research article.

        August 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • C Baker

      Well, that's not really a valid sample, is it? Homeschoolers who go to public school and are behind are those whose parents decided to no longer homeschool them. Why? Well, I can only imagine that for some it's because they realized they weren't doing a very good job at it. It's akin to those who realized their local school is very bad and pulled them out to homeschool – you can't go from their experience to "all public schools are failing their students" because it doesn't work that way.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
      • MyTwoCents

        They are real examples base on fact. The conclusion to draw from these actual cases, however small the number, is that HOMESCHOOLING DOES NOT WORK IN ALL CASES, especially when the parent-guardian is uneducatied, stupid, and crazy combined with a slow, lazy child-student. Educators see these types of people every year. Actually, you could extrapolate based on the percentages of students and parents that fit this profile the potential failure rate of homeschooling at the ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LEVEL.

        August 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • Homeschooled

        MyTwoCents, your assertion would require some pretty intense extrapolation...

        August 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  37. Rachael

    If 5% or less of the population is homeschooling, we can expect good results because there are educated parents that can do a good job of it and kids thrive with the individual instruction. However, as the numbers grow, I expect you will not see the success rate grow because there are also many parents that have no business educating anyone. There is also no reason to think all parents could do a good job home schooling at all. Also my experience with public schools is they are good and the teachers are fine, but a child's success depends on how involved his parents are and how much they promote education. Any child whose parents are involved and promote education will do well in with their education – home schooled or not. Likewise, uninvolved parents or ones that are abusive or discourage learning are going to have a child that has problems in school – home schooled or not.

    Most of the problems in our schools are really problems with parents. We need to be more respectful to our teachers. They are not well payed and have to work with every child in over crowded classrooms. The number one way to improve education for all public school kids is to reduce class size and to volunteer at the school yourself. That is another problem I have with homeschooling – it is selfish and self-serving because you are only involved with your own child, not other children in the community.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Laura

      Excellent post!

      August 29, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • MyTwoCents

      EXACTLY. The problem students usually have problem parents that should not be educating anyone. The outstanding students usually have outstanding parents that could easily handle K-12 subject matter.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Michelle Thomas

      I don't think I'm selfish for home-schooling my 5 year old. I looked into all the public school options here in Wichita, KS. We didn't win the magnet school lottery, and the regular school my son would have gone to told me, "we discourage parents from being in the classroom". The magnet school had told me I would be welcome. I'm not sure my son is ready for school to begin with. He has a summer birthday and is on the less mature side for his age. His pre-school teacher said he was "more than ready" for kindergarten. However the private school we tried to get him into (they have financial aid) asked me if we would consider pre-school again for him. So I was left with the choice of sending him to an over crowded public school or home school him. I chose home-school and have not regretted it. By the way, I'm not robbing my state of any funding for public school. We are part of the public school system thru the K12 online school we're using ;)

      August 29, 2012 at 11:40 am |
      • Mary

        I would have had him repeat pre-K in the private school, especially since his birthday is in the summer. Boys do better when they start school a little on the later side, and you wouldn't have missed the scholarship.

        It depends on the child, but I have found that my 5-year old (who is in public school) does better if I am not watching her do her homework. If I am there with her, she expects me to do it for her, and I also feel her anxiety level rise a little just from her feeling like someone is focusing on her too much. I think kids get stressed when we focus on them too much, too much attention can be a burden as much as too little attention. I am still struggling to find the right level of parental involvement.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Joe T

      some of what you said makes sense, but self serfving?? Isn't my job as a parent to take care of my own children, not someone else's?? If you don't like it, don't do it. But please don't criticize what people do are free to do with their own children. We pay our school taxes and don't use a dime of it.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • CG

      I would agree that some people shouldn't homeschool. Like those who think paid is spelled "payed".

      August 29, 2012 at 11:45 am |
      • wowzer

        Her grammar was atrocious as well. It is hilarious to see the lack of basic understanding of the English language from these opponents of homeschooling. Would I really want my children to be educated at the same place as these folks?

        August 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
      • Kristy

        Funny! I bet she is a product of the public school system!! At least she is trying to give her child a chance of learning something!!

        August 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Dan

      I know of several families that homeschool. The reasons are as varied as the families. Some for academic reasons, some for religious, some due to employment or other unique situations that limit their ability to participate in traditional forms of education. While there is some truth to the idea that some parents are more educated and that this will impact their childrens' education, when parents take an active and personal interest in their childrens' education, the results go far beyond academics.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Shawn

      I find your post narrow minded. I was an involved parent and my son did not do well in the public school. I had to suppliment much of his education. My daughter did fine, however, my son's combination of a high IQ, ADD and learing disabilities frustrated many of his teachers. I had to do the research and educate myself on the best ways to teach him. The public schools that we experienced either did not have the resources or the inclination to do what was needed for my son.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • JoJo Deengulberree

      Selfish and self-serving to raise MY children the way I see fit? I suppose it's selfish and self-serving to pay MY bills with MY money as well, huh? A perfect illustration of the backwards liberal mindset.

      Never mind that my physically and emotionally healthy children are ahead of their peers socially and academically, and will CONTRIBUTE to society rather than rely on it for support–yes, they're out there doing it NOW. You can certainly find counter examples, but the vast majority of those home-schooled are doing quite well, thank you. And the misinformation and total FEAR being displayed in the opposing views in this thread are proof that home schooling is an effective bullet against the liberal agenda. Be afraid–be very afraid that public school is not the blanket tool of indoctrination for your left-wing ideas.

      Go ahead and shout from the rooftops that home-schooling doesn't work. You're wrong–very wrong, and I've personally seen the proof. But then again, you'll refute any proof that doesn't validate your own conclusions. I've seen that many times as well.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
      • faith


        August 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Apachecav

      OK this gets back to WHO THE HELL ARE YOU to force me to do anything with my child? Are there bad homeschool parents yes, how many? Damn few! Are there unwanted busy bodies that can’t stand the thought that people are doing things outside of government controls? Absolutely! Way to many! How about a bit more of MYOB, go back to screwing up your own kids by forcing them into cesspools of debauchery and perversion and violence, I will continue to teach mine at home thank you very much.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • christy73

      Rachael your closing statement made no sense at all! Homeschooling is the opposite of self serving- my parents sacrificed their time and energy in Homeschooling my siblings and I from K-12th grade. It was one of the most selfLESS things that have done for me. Not only that, but on top of that they both invested in others children's lives as well- whether it was coaching, tutoring or really anything they have been and continue to be huge supporters of parents and students in our community. Before you make a blanket statement like that again, maybe you should actually talk to even a few homeschooling parents. You'll find that their reasoning for homeschooling has nothing to do with self interest.
      My parents have found a unique way to expose us to education.They don't hate schools, teachers or other children.
      I'm forever grateful for them both.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • faith

      SELFISH???? My husband and I sacrifice ALOT to homeschool our kids!!!! Most homeschool families are one income families. It would be very easy for us to throw them in school and become a two income family who can afford all those nice clothes, cars, homes, vacations, etc etc. But we choose to set those WANTS, not NEEDS, aside and strive for what we feel is a better overall education for our kids. And once again, here's another comment that is based off of an ASSumption! If you did your homework you would find that most homeschooling families are very involved in the lives of those in their community through volunteering. Maybe CNN should take this story a step further and see which families are more involved in their community. You'd be hiding your tail between your legs and walking.......

      August 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  38. SomeParent

    Home schooling is not a bad thing at all. It's good for some kids, not so great for others based upon a large number of variables (quality of local education, skills and resources of parents, social needs, etc.). People bring up perfectly valid reasons both for and against, but one thing that never seems to get touched upon is the hidden cost of home schooling for a DIY parent: the lack of a second income. Twelve years of income, to be more precise. If you can get full time employement (a big "if" these days, to be sure), even if you have an $8/hour job and you never get a raise, that's over $16,000 per year and over $200,000 over the twelve years (minus taxes, of course). You want to weigh any perceived benefits of home schooling against quantifiable benefits of turning all that money over to your child once they're ready to go out on their own. Imagine you grew up never having to pay rent or mortgage because your parents saved up a second income to buy you a house once you turned 18? Assuming it was in a modest area and you aren't looking at going to a really expensive school, they could have also saved up enough to pay for your college tuition. The tradeoff? You had to go to school and your erstwhile parent/teacher had to go to work outside of the home.

    That's no small tradeoff, but it's something huge being balanced on either side.

    So consider home schooling if you think your situation is right for it, but don't get hung up on just the philosophy or even the test scores. Make sure you're not leaving other opportunities on the table. Look at the big picture in order to make an educated decision when it comes to the eduction of your child.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  39. Rachael

    I think homeschooling can work for some parents and some kids. Kids do thrive on individual attention and many parents are good teachers. However, I also know people that claim they are homeschooling, when they are really not schooling, and I think the government should be making sure that homeschooled children are getting an adequate education. Homeschooled children should have to pass standardized test and the local school district should approve & supervise their curriculum, and see the kids on a regular basis. Also authorities must keep an eye on homeschooled children and make sure the parents are not keeping them out of the public eye to cover up abuse. There was a horrific case of this in Ohio last year.

    Overall, I think public school gives a better education and teached independence. I think it is good for school age children to be away from there parents a little each day. My daughter's public school is top rate and she listens better to the teacher than her parents.My husband & I still spend 15-30 minutes a day each on on reading & math skills with our 6 y.o daughter, so she is actually homeschooled and publically school which to me is how you create a well educated young lady.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  40. Matt

    Personally, I would like to see how Home School stacks up in figures against GOOD public schools, like the school district we have where we live. Our public schools rate high, they are good, and part of the rating I know is due to the number of terrible public school evaluations out there. So is this number for test scores higher or lower compared to where we live? I would like to see a local study.

    August 29, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • lifelong student

      Why do you want to see this? Are homeschooled children only successful if they compare to your ideal school? For some, the home education need only be better than the public alternative to be a success, and as you've pointed out, some of those are far less than ideal on anyone's scale.

      The statistic simply states that the average home-schooled student scores higher than the average publicly-educated one. Apples and apples. It simply indicates that, on average, home schooling is not producing less than the results expected of the public education system (based on how that system evaluates itself). I don't see a benefit to what you're asking for except to put your school on a pedestal of some sort.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  41. G8r

    The readers should do a search for "Marva Collins", who had tremendous success teaching ghetto children in Chicago. There are a couple of good stories on her on 60 minutes. I taught Junior High Shop classes back in the 70's at a so called good school. I had to teach enough math for my 7th graders to figure up their shop bill. The administration did not believe in discipline of any sort, and not just physical. Teachers were never supported; parents were always right. I loved teaching, I loved children, and constantly battled the administration. After 5 years I gave up teaching when I was forced to accept a child into my shop class who was high on drugs, a danger to himself and the remainder of the class, and who was a constant disruption. I wasn't allowed to remove him from the classroom, nor to discipline effectively. I asked that class at the end of the year a loaded question as to their opinion of the class. A full 2/3 took me to task for not removing this individual. Sadly, not much has changed.

    August 29, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  42. EaglesQuestions

    So what if they're not certified? If a certain individual is effective at a certain task, then lack of a government-given Certificate doesn't change that, and a Certificate doesn't make someone good at their job.

    I've had some teachers that were clearly in the wrong line of work.

    August 29, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Bazoing

      I have both taught in the schools and home schooled and I agree. The certified teachers are experts in making from 30 to 44 children sit still in a crowded room. That is not education. While controlling them very little education gets done. Short of a prison there is nowhere else in our society where you will have to interact with such a cross section of society. There are children who are violently mentally ill and children who have just arrived from the brothel where they were born and intend to spend their lives. No adult , who is not in custody, has a a work place like a public school. If you can somehow home school, it is the best.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:03 am |
      • KAC123

        Just wondering if you've ever worked in a manufacturing industry- way more diversity in some of these factories than in a public school, and yes people of all types have to work together, sometimes even in large groups.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • doug

      So.... let's follow your logic that we shouldn't require people to be qualified by the government to perform services. You'd go to a "brain surgen" for treatment of an anuerysm even though he/she has no certification that they have received training for that procedure? Your wisdom concerns me greatly! I'm going to the one who has been recognized by the governmet that they have satisfied some kind of achievement in their education. The same goes for a teacher, fireman, police officer, lawyer, architect, engineer, nurse, and on, and on, and on. I would like there to be a governmental litmus test for anybody who's work is important to the community's future and public safety. Might be a good plan for future politicians!

      August 29, 2012 at 11:28 am |
      • lifelong student

        The government does not certify brain "surgen"s (I'll let the irony speak for itself here). The medical community does. And I can choose which doctor I go to based on their credentials, including but not limited to, their accreditation.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  43. FranceH

    Homeschooling is not for everyone. I never understood it myself until I discovered I had a twice exceptional 4 year old. For those who do not know, a 2e child is one who is both gifted and challenged by a condition like autism, ADHD, etc. My son has ADHD, possibly Asperger's, and is incredibly bright. He was doing significant math like adding stacks of numbers in the millions at age 3-4. His issues are he is hyperactive, quite verbose, and is so much a rule follower that seeing rules broken angers him. Those traits that make him who he is just don't work in a traditional classroom. We tried for pre-K and I refuse to use meds with major side effects for the sake of a teacher. So we chose to homeschool. I primarily teach but my husband helps in the evening or weekends when my approach just doesn't work. My 7 going on 8 year old is now doing 3rd to 4th grade level work depending on the subject. And no, not all states require standardized testing. Here in Florida it is an option as either the FCAT or other national tests, along with an evaluation by a certified teacher or psychologist, or you and the school district can agree on other measures. For these first 2 years I have chosen the teacher evaluation but may choose a test as he is more able to sit still and quietly.

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

      I want to encourage you to stay the course. It's so worth it and your kid will be so much better off. There are some services that you can apply for to get assistance for kids in that situation, but keep up the good work!

      August 29, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Jennifer P.


      I was inspired to explore the option of homeschooling before my kids were born. Both of my kids are twice exceptional, so homeschooling is an option for me that is currently in my back pocket. I am concerned with the social impact of Middle School for my son especially. He is on the autism spectrum and has a host of health issues. As for strengths, he can read at the high school level but has yet to accomplish cleaning himself during toileting - a major social issues as he becomes older. I am Aspie myself and dread the cruelty kids can dish out. My daughter, on the other hand, is 7 with a brain that just doesn't stop. She is constantly churning out ideas and strategy, so my concern is that she will find the limitation of the curriculum boring. Overall, we are taking it a year at a time with both kiddos.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • Homeschooled

        @Jennifer P.: Very smart. Homeschooling isn't for everyone and may not work well especially when they get older. I loved being home schooled because it allowed me to excel even though my reading and spelling was significantly below average for much of elementary school. Take it a year at a time and your kids will thank you for it and do a lot better as a result.

        As for having all kinds of ideas, one of the best things about being home schooled was that I had time to work on my own projects outside of the curriculum. I developed a concept for a laser-based missile defense system when I was in 7th grade on my own time and just had so much fun! Now I'm a doctoral student in a STEM field and happily married. God is good.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  44. 1980's homeschooler

    My parents began homeschooling in the 1980's, I did not attend public school until 11th grade when my mother was too ill to continue teaching me at home. My mother was a teen mom who sought what she felt was best for her two children, she and my father made choices out of love, not fear of what their children might learn in a public school setting. My brother and I were always given a choice to attend a public or private school if we wanted, I however had seen a few too many "Saved By the Bell" episodes and did not want to be pigeonholed into "jock," "nerd," etc type status'. I enjoyed my years being taught at home, by a mother without a high school degree, and I enjoyed my 2 years in public school, which I might add was not a difficult transition socially or academically. I went on to college, graduated with two majors and a minor and graduated from grad school with one major and two certifications and a 4.0 average. Homeschooling is not something to be fears, it is a different way of teaching/learning that works for most individuals. It does not create socially inept or radical extremists anymore then those taught in a public or private school.

    August 29, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  45. Jeff

    The only problem I foresee with homeschooling is at a later age (11th, 12th grade or so). I would find it hard to believe that most parents could provide their children with help with advanced calculus, as I was able to do at that age. Granted, I suppose, if the kid is that smart they can probably learn on their own.

    Until then, especially at an elementary and middle school level, I don't see why any educated parent couldn't do as well of a job as most teachers.

    August 29, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Jeff

      That should not just be limited to Calculus, but all of the advanced sciences and maths, where specialized degrees start to come into play.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:22 am |
      • FranceH

        That issue can be resolved by dual enrollment at a local community college until they reach the statutory age for their state to be considered schooled. That will be the path we take with our son who is particularly gifted in math.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:32 am |
      • Julie

        By the time our kids reach higher level math, they are allowed to enroll at local community college for those classes.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Homeschooled

      I totally agree Jeff. I switched to a private school for 11th and 12th grade to get experience in Biology, Chemistry, and advanced mathematics as well. Home schooling at the earlier stages is much easier and can help kids with different challenges to still excel.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Rick C.

      Yes, community colleges. Many home schooled students start at 14, and have transferred by 16 to a four year. I had my engineering degree wrapped up before I turned 18 and toured Europe for four months before coming back and 'settling' in to a job.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Van Gogh can teach that, and probably better than most public school teachers—all for free.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:58 am |
      • Homeschooled

        It's super-helpful for things to like biology and chemistry to have hands-on experience and not just instruction. Does Khana have kits and such for advanced science courses?

        August 29, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  46. ELacey

    OK, we have covered all types of information here but what I have failed to see is this, My two brothers where home schooled.... Matthew scored above genius at 6yrs old on the Gifed and Talented IQ testing, but the school refusesd to put him in special classes because "They" the teachers and what not said "We don't know how to deal with how he learns" he is now 23 yrs old he recieved a full scholarship to MIZZOU but had to pass it up due to me being a single parent in the mlitary and having to send my daughter home to be raised by my family, he still takes college courses as he can afford, but he is also the Athletic Director of our Athletic Program in our church which Runs Soccer(fall), tball, softball(spring) and is about to open a roller hockey ring for INLINE Hockey, under him is 3 program directors, each with there own secretary, consessions manager, and financial manager and about 5 other board members....

    My other brother Joseph 24 now, was a SOCIAL BUTTERFLY, he was too busy making friends in JR High and how he looked and everything that he was failing every class....NOW, he has a ful time job in Communications, and volunteers eavily at a local Fire Dept, and Coaches my daughters 3-4yr soccer team as well as being the director for the soccer program , My mother did research heavily before deciding to pull them out and homeschool them.... and SHE Worked a full time job from 10pm to 6am she taught them class in the morning and then when I got home from work she slept..There was no father figure involved we both took it upon ourselves to make sure they got everything from use they needed....... ALSO the Home Schooling League does sponser several programs where the children can get out and "SOCIALIZE" with other children there ago, SOCIALIZATION is not the responsibility of the school system, thats the parents daughter is now 3 and she is already being Homeshoold by my mother she is currently in the Kinder program through "A Beka" because she is already beyond what is NORM ....

    Here is a little hint for those that don't know or refuse to except, We live in Texas, if you ever get around to actually looking at a Texas School book, on the inside Copywrite cover it says "TEXAS EDITION ONLY" the books are made from the same company Harcortt blah blah as all the other school books in the Union... EXCEPT... the school books that say "TEXAS EDITION ONLY" are 18 months to almost 2 years behind all the other education curriculum in the united states...... NOW TELL ME with that kind of faulty education what is better for our children.....

    August 29, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • truebob

      It's better for you children to be taught by educated professionals.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:20 am |
      • 1980's homeschooler

        Can you expound upon that comment?

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

        So my brother Matthew scoring perfect on his SATs was because he was taught by a professional......NO, my brother Mathew scored perfect on his SATs because my Mother KNEW her children and how to better reach them then a retard with nothing more than a Certificate in TEXAS..... Teachers in TEXAS dont even have to have a freaking college degree..... all they need is a certificate in Teaching......Do your esearch before you bust my mothers chops, who buy the was has a Masters degree that she has struggled all her life to achieve do to being a single divorced parent to myself at 19.....

        August 29, 2012 at 10:36 am |
      • Ken

        Reply to 1980's homeschooler – – Did you read her post? Did you happen to notice the grammar and spelling?

        August 29, 2012 at 11:02 am |
      • Bazoing

        It used to be that most educational professionals had mindsets that included ideas such that professionals were magic. Thank God there are less of them now. When I went to college students who were flunking out were advised by the other students to change their major to education. The result was almost always the same. Their average went up one full grade. The teaching majors were also consistently at the bottom of the Graduate Record Scores, year after year.

        August 29, 2012 at 11:14 am |
      • Liz

        It is best for children to be taught by educated professionals. It doesn't mean that these teachers have to reside witih a school system. We both have graduate degrees, borrow friends with Master's and PhD's as supplemental instructors, and did not hesitate to tap any expertise we could find when our own knowledge fell short. I taught university-level courses prior to parenthood, and when we began homeschooling at kiindergarden, I anwered people who questioned us that since I had taught college seniors, I thought I could handle some aspects of kindergarden, etc. Don't assume all homeschooling families are ignorant, or generally uneducated.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • Apachecav

        You have no backing to prove that statement, just another shill for the NEA

        August 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Skeptical

      ELacey, your mom should maybe have worked a little more with you on your English grammar, spelling and punctuation.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:56 am |
      • Homeschooled

        Skeptical, your logic teacher should have worked a little more to help you not use argumentum ad hominem.

        August 29, 2012 at 11:07 am |
      • ELacey

        I appoligize, when my fingers get to typing my fingers sometimes move faster then my brain is telling them too or vise versa....... and as they took spelling out of the Texas Public School system when I was in Grade school.... I am a horrible speller I know my faults.... but while my mother was working two jobs and getting herself through college, I was unfortunatly required to attend public schol otherwise I would have been homeschooled pardon me for my fingers and their lack of typing ability or keeping pace with my brain.......

        August 29, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  47. MotorCity53

    Anyone who is involved in public education knows that statistics involving standardized tests reflect the fact that public schools are required to teach all who attend. This includes immigrants who cannot speak or read English, students with learning and physical disabilities (special ed), students who don't want to be there, students who come from broken homes, students who are homeless, students who are being abused at home, students with absentee parents, etc., etc. Homeschooled students do not include students from these groups. Therefore, using statistics to compare these 2 groups is worthless and IDIOTIC!!!!

    August 29, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Homeschooled

      What alternative method of comparison would you propose?

      August 29, 2012 at 10:14 am |
      • Schooler

        A comparison matched for social and economic factors. If most homeschooled kids come from families which are affluent enough for one parent to stay home, compare their test scores to schooled children of affluent two-parent (one stay-at-home) families. I don't know if there is a bias towards or away from choosing to homeschool kids who have special needs, but that should be adjusted for too.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:22 am |
      • Homeschooled

        Schooler. I totally agree that the study you propose would be worthwhile. It would also use statistics :). I think the problem is not the use statistics but the lack of available data to do such an in-depth comparison.

        My personal experience was that when compared with a friend of roughly the same age, gifting level, and learning style, they were put on drugs for ADHD since 3rd grade in public school and I was home schooled but didn't learn to read until 3rd grade. They struggled through school and are having a hard time finding a job and I am a doctoral student in a STEM field. We both had two-parent homes and reasonably intelligent parents.

        Given that I am only a single data point, I would love to see a paired-t test done to see what the contrast is (or if it's statistically insignificant).

        P.S. I'm married to a schooler and she is pretty bright :).

        August 29, 2012 at 10:28 am |
      • gmilewski

        A t-test would need a minimum of two people in each group because it requires comparing the means and standard deviations of the two groups. I am in a doctoral program in educational research and measurement. This study could easily be run if someone is willing. There should be plenty of data available to sort and analyze. It is not, however, the direction that I am going with my research, but I would be very interested to see the results.

        By the way, I went to a traditional school. My high school had no AP or other similar advanced classes. It was a small, rural school. I scored in the 99.5% range on my ACT and received a full, academic scholarship to college. I worked for about 15 years as a teacher. I've left teaching to pursue a doctorate, but I think that I did a fine job of teaching. Many former students gave me positive feedback after attending a year or two of college.

        Personally, I would find some of the comments more credible if the grammar and spelling were correct. Please don't tell me how intelligent you are or how strong your educational experience (home-schooled or traditional) was if you can't spell or write correctly.

        August 29, 2012 at 11:07 am |
      • Homeschooled

        I'd be interested in the study as well. Enjoy your other doctoral research topics while spell-checking your posts on random CNN articles.

        August 29, 2012 at 11:11 am |
      • MotorCity53

        That's the point... You can't compare the two!!!!!

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

        MotorCity53, I think you completely missed the point of the conversation on statistics.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  48. David B

    In my school district the public schools spend $12,000 per student per yr. There would be a lot more people able to home school if the schools paid these costs to successful homeschoolers.
    This might even lower the rate of unemployment since parents would be staying home to homeschool. This would reduce the number of public school teachers, but would generate a lot more homeschool teachers. So an estimate might be one homeschool teacher per 2 students, rather than one public school teacher per 30 students. This would be replacing one public school teacher with 15 parents. If 100,000 public teachers were replaced, you'd produce 1.5 million homeschool teachers.

    August 29, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Ken

      Yeah, but you forgot all of the extremely important bureaucrats at the DOE and local school systems who would lose their jobs and have to go find something useful to do. $12000/student * 25 students/class = $300K/class. How much of that goes to the teacher? How much of that goes to nonsense?

      August 29, 2012 at 10:13 am |
      • David B

        In addition the cost for buildings, utilities, school buses, and overpaid administrators would be reduced. All pluses in my book. But yeah, you'd also replace some guidance counselors, nurses, and clerks.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • truebob

      The school doesn't close because you decide to go it alone. The $12,000 is still spent whether your kid is there or not. Kids get a lot more than book learning by attending classes. I really want to see these statistics about homeschoolers in college and the job market. As an employer I would give more consideration to traditionally successful students than one who had only dealt with his parent.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:18 am |
      • Ken

        When you write something like that you sound like a bigot.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:59 am |
      • Really?

        That's just plain stupid. You would hire someone because they came from a public school and not a home school? How about hiring the best person for the job? EVALUATION PROCESS? Every comment you are making is just dumb.

        August 29, 2012 at 11:10 am |
      • momof3

        Many homeschoolers do attend classes. Co-ops, community college courses, etc.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • Kristy

        As a homeschooling parent, your comment makes completely no sense to me. A child wakes up, gets dressed and goes to school. Sits in the same desk in the same room all day, then goes home. Then he starts doing homework and if he is lucky he might have some sort of sports practice one or two times a week. My children wake up and start their school work. What takes all day in a regular classroom, takes us about 4-5 hours. After lunch, we visit museums, attend art or other classes,go on field trips with our homeschool friends, play at the park, etc. In my opinion, I feel that the child who is in a traditional school setting is the one who is sheltered from society.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Emily

      School systems that spend that much are often educating a high number of special needs children and children who are learning English as a second language. Having more home schooled children isn't going to change how much they spend.

      My sons' school is one of the centralized special needs sites for our end of our city. There is a blend of special needs and normally developed children. There are 6 special needs classes. Each class is required to have a maximum number of students, at least one aide and in some cases, even a nurse in the classroom. There are special desks (one child I know of is strapped into his seat much like a car seat because of an inability to control the muscles in his abdomen, chest and neck) and specialized equipment. This doesn't come cheaply. It doesn't change just because a few kids are homeschooled.

      I know 3 current home schooling families. One does an exceptional job, one does an OK job and one does a terrible job. I have noticed that home schooling families do not like to address the poorly educated children in the movement. It's almost as if they would like to believe they don't exist. They don't like to address the children that get little to no social interaction among their peers.

      I want studies not just on how home schooled children fare on standardized tests (which are poor indicators anyway) bit how they truly fare socially, how they fare in the job market, how they fare if they need to return to a classroom.

      There are so many factors and facets in a child's education and we can't just celebrate test scores.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:05 am |
      • David B

        The U.S.'s 2005 Special Education Expenditures Program (SEEP) indicates that the average expenditure for students with learning disabilities is 1.6 times that of a general education student. 13% of the students in our education system have learning disabilities, which leaves 77% of the money spent on the non-disabled. So my $12,000 estimate would in this case be $ 9,000 spent per non-disabled student. I'm sure homeschool parents could be found willing to do it for 9 thousand per sibling.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
      • David B

        The national average spent per student in public schools is 11 thousand, so my district is probably not educating a lot more special needs students than other districts as you seem to think.
        And if the studies you 'want' don't exist, it must be because our educational system hasn't deemed them important enough to fund. Or maybe they're scared the results will cost them their jobs.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  49. Kevin McClellan

    Problem with some home schooling is the student ends up no smarter than the parent–that can also be the plus side. Education today is too steeped in some traditions such as the school year. Currently education is caught in a great transitional period trying to keep up with new tech and retaining traditional material. Most system try to teach world history in one year–why to short a time. In Texas we teach American History to 1876 and then wait till their Soph or Jr year to begin in 1876 to present–way to short a time.
    And face it–our society wants a McDonald Education system–cheap and the same everywhere you go. We don't really want to pay for it.
    Education should be year round–based on achievement -once you master it you move on–not on age. We have adopted a no child fails policy and children need to fail or achieve. In Elem. do away with grade levels until they reach what is now around 7th grade. Studies show the yougest kids in a class are most often the lowest grades. Let mature kids progress–let kids continue learning at a level until maturation and achievement come together.
    This from a retired teacher of 40 yrs.

    August 29, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Eddie

      Why would you assume the child ends up no smarter than the parent? My parents were smarter than my teachers, and I'm smarter than the lot of them.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  50. Just Say'n

    Why is president Obama not supporting school vouchers?
    His kids go to one of the best schools. But he won't give school choice for other kids... why?

    I thought he and democrats are for choices and education.
    Instead he's off talking about free birth control for women and the phony-baloney "war on women" and taxing the "rich"..

    Can someone answer, please?

    August 29, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Homeschooled

      This comment has nothing to do with home schooled kids. If you want a discussion about school vouchers, find an article on it. If you want to attack president Obama, join the RNC.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:00 am |
      • Just Say'n

        Did I hurt your feeling?
        I think it's a very related to the topic.

        The only thing I'm sorry for is that you couldn't answer my question, which tells me alot about your view on education.

        Wise-up, man.

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

        A lot of folks educate their kids at home because the public schools in theri area stink and either there are no good private schools in their area or they can't afford a good private school. Many of these folks would love to see the system changed. But they are unable to change the system, so they change the one thing they can – how it affects their family. Home schooling and vouchers are totally related.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:09 am |
      • Homeschooled

        No hurt feelings. In the area I lived there weren't any options for better schools than public or home school. Fair point on it being a tertiary option for some parents in some situations though. The point of this article was to directly contrast public and home schooling though so, while I agree that ultimately they are related, that's not the point of this article.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:13 am |
      • Just Say'n


        The major reason I'm voting Romney is because of his stance on education.
        He is at least going to try the voucher system for public education.

        I'm all for better choice and better education. I just don't understand president Obama's view on education. He, like many politicians just want to throw more money at it.

        If your candidate of choice is not answering questions about important issue that affect EVERYONE, you should call him/her out on it.... no matter what your political affiliation.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:29 am |
      • Homeschooled

        True story and well said.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • onlyredneckscanseetheproblemproperly

      when someoe is as vapid as you are , there is no answer.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:01 am |
      • Just Say'n

        Sticks and stones.....

        If you can't answer STFU, please...

        August 29, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Ken

      Democratic politicians support choice for themselves – not for others. Obama is a captive of the teacher's unions. End of story.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Kevin McClellan

      Just where do vouchers end. Could my kid take the vocher from my Jr. College Dist where I pay taxes and use them in a different state. Why have those without kids in school pay taxes for schools. I never call the fire dept–why should I pay taxes for it , never call the police yet I pay taxes for that. I know the State of Texas would love tor people to take vochers to Okla for education there. Just because you don't use the service doesn't mean you should not pay your part to keep the system working.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:07 am |
      • Just Say'n

        I don't think colleges are in play here.
        Going college is still only an option not a law.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • BeCareful

      JUst Say'N: Be careful what you asked for! Do you really think Mitt will keep his promise? Good luck on that. You are better off voting in your local election than at the federal level.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  51. cc

    There's also the question of what kids are being taught when home-schooled. Not just what's covered by standardized tests but also the philosophy & thought of others that's gained by participating in public schooling. It's probably not the sole cause, but I note that the founder of the military anarchist group recently arrested in Georgia was home schooled. I do wonder if he would have been so ready to kill if he'd gone to public school?

    August 29, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Just Say'n

      I wonder how many murders in history are products of public education?

      August 29, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Nick A

      Your logic lacks logic. There are murders almost every week in public schools in America.

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

      It also works the other way around. Home-schooled kids aren't subject to the radical beliefs of the teacher. Teachers are like reporters; they love to put their own spin on things – even if it isn't true to the facts. Studies have shown that the vast majority, by far, of teachers are Democrats and/or liberals. Classrooms today are used to indoctrinate students rather than educate them. I know many people who home-school(ed) their kids, and the consensus is almost always the same: the child got a more balanced and intense education at home.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • momof3

      There are parochial schools like Catholic schools that teach a very specific POV. Not all HSers are religious fundamentalists. Yes, some HSers teach their children their belief system, but there are parochial schools that do the same. Additionally, parents who are not accepting of diverse beliefs and backgrounds are more likely to raise children who share those views, even if they attend PS.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  52. Just Say'n

    Certified? Yes

    But, can they teach?

    August 29, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  53. Randy

    My daughters are homeschooled by their mother (my ex) and although I don't fully agree with the lack of social contact in certain aspects, considering their poor school district in which they reside, it's for the best and for that reason alone me and their mother agree to their homeschooling. I'm not a major fan because there are some good schools out there, with great dedicated teachers and some of the best administrators in the country. It's not their fault their mother and step-father chose the inner city schools of Montgomery County, Alabama. Some of the schools are overrun with criminal elements and social predators and is a real threat to educational values that some of the teachers are struggling to maintain. The morale of some educators there are similar to my profession as a Jailer, "8 and hit the gate" type thinking; don't care what goes on as long as there is a paycheck waiting for them at the end of the cycle. This mentality is just one of many contributing factors why parents are choosing homeschooling over public education but the kids are really the casualties here. As I socialize with my peers and classmates through social media, I'm allowed to see their kids come up with good parental teachings and socialization with their friends and classmates. Participating in school activities and extra-curricular programs in which they learn to get along with and compete on certain levels with other peers. I miss that for my daughters because I myself was very active in school in various organizations, sports and bands. Although I wasn't voted 'most popular' by any means by my classmates my senior year, I was voted most talented so I guess there was some degree of popularity that comes with that award, which I graciously accepted. We all want more and better for our kids and sometimes events beyond our control drops a bomb in our laps that ruins our whole plan for that. But there is a balancing act that must be done very delicately in order to make sure our kids who are homeschooled are able to achieve a certain level of confidence to take on the world. If we shield them from problem solving, when they leave the nest for the first time, they will not be ready socially to take on these challenges when they encounter them, and they will encounter them, that's for sure. They will encounter predators and hooligans and may be more vulnerable to the lies and deceit that awaits them. So, even though they are not directly experiencing those idiots now, unfortunately when they do encounter them they will not know how to deal with them and are more susceptible to fall prey to them. Every parent’s nightmare.

    August 29, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Fedup

      Well said, Randy.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  54. George

    Generally, it is the not-so-bright students who major in elementary education. So our schools are staffed and managed by the not-so-bright and the not-so-motivated. We were "taught" by them and our kids are "taught" by them.

    My kids go to public school and they are at the top of their classes. Why? Because I and my wife spend hours with them, teaching what the teachers do/can not. The math teachers are particularly bad, especially as the curriculum approaches algebra, but the writing and literature teachers aren't much better.

    August 29, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Kevin McClellan

      I can see you don't qualify for elementary school. Elementry teachers deal with kids who still poop their pants–they are the ones who love to mother children.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Shawna

      I majored in elementary ed and I scored a 30 on the ACT. I am perfectly bright, thank you very much. I did it because I love kids and wanted to help improve their lives. I quit public teaching after having parents treat me like dirt while refusing to accept any responsibility for their child's behavior, no support from the administration who regularly told me one thing and then did another, and students who were too busy knifing each other, selling drugs, and spying on the women teachers in the bathroom from the ceiling to learn anything. And yes, I am not talking about high school. Now I teach voluntarily through other means to students who actually value an education and support my self with a job in retail that pays more than I made as a teacher. So kindly keep your generalisms about my intelligence to yourself, thank you very much.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • MotorCity53

      "Generally, it is the not-so-bright students who major in elementary education....." Where's the data to back that statement up or are you just making things up as you go?

      August 29, 2012 at 10:03 am |
      • moler

        I teach chemistry at a public community college, and have done so for more than a decade. A full 50% of the elementary education majors who are required to take a semester of chemstry and therfore pass through my class, tell me they have cheoen that major because they "hate math and science." Hence just one of the reasons I homeschool my own 2 kids. – Just my personal experience.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • MyTwoCents

      The curriculum is set by the State, the School Board, and the superintendent. Ever notice that good students learn and test well no matter the teacher. It is the lower students and troubled students and students with problems at home that need a skilled teacher to help them along.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  55. Mona

    So far the information in this blog has been cringe worthy. If only 4% are homeschooled, then the assumption is 96% of students are in regular traditional school settings. It's impossible to compare the two groups. I for one can't wait until the homeschooled, gifted and creationism fads die out and this country becomes serious about education again.

    August 29, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • january2454

      So, in other words, Mona, you TOTALLY MISSED one of the main points of the article, which is that HOME-SCHOOLED CHILDREN DO BETTER on tests.

      THAT'S what you're anxious to see "die down?" You must be a teacher - a member of a Democrat-controlled union.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:41 am |
      • Just Say'n


        it's not the democrats control the unions. It's the other way.... unions control the democrats.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:45 am |
      • Mona

        Comparing tests 4% vs 96%(assumed)?Um wow, you are not too bright nor is reading comprehension your strength.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:52 am |
      • Homeschooled

        Mona, those percentages represent numbers of kids. if you have 1000 people and you take 4 percent you get 40 kids which is statistically significant population size to do a normal distribution analysis. Given that the population of kids in the US that are school age is much larger than 1000 people, there is no problem with comparing the two. I really hope you're not a math or statistics teacher.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:55 am |
      • Mona

        Homeschooled, you can't be serious.

        August 29, 2012 at 10:01 am |
      • Homeschooled

        Mona, you can't be serious :)

        August 29, 2012 at 10:04 am |
      • HSwin

        Mona has clearly never learned statistical analysis. Public education at its finest.

        August 29, 2012 at 11:33 am |
      • MyTwoCents

        Mona is off the mark. It is always valid to compare a small group to a large group. That's how health studies are done for example: a study of 1,000 people who smoke cigarettes daily for 25 years shows that they have much higher rates of lung cancer than the general population of 300 million. Please stop Mona, you are making progressives look bad.

        August 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
      • MyTwoCents

        Or Mona, make your point more clearly that the public schools are filled with underperforming students that wouldn't perform well in any learning environment (many, likely WORSE IN HOMESCHOOLING) and their scores drag down the average test scores for public schools.

        August 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
      • MyTwoCents

        So this article is like a reverse lung cancer study: a sample of 1,000 non-smokers is much healthier than the general population that is filled with smokers (like during Mad Men times in the 60's).

        August 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Homeschooled

      I can't wait until people who fit Einstein's definition of insanity (doing the same thing and expecting a different result) realize that it's dumb to dump money into our current education system without thinking through and trying other options.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • Mona

        I don't care about the politics of all this, I care about the health of our country as a whole. I want to see us compete against other countries and be successful especially in the STEM programs. In the near future, all of our DRs will be foreign born, it's disgraceful. We need to work harder.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:55 am |
      • Homeschooled

        Mona, I am a doctoral student in a STEM field. We have the same objective. However, I was also home schooled: hence an contradiction in your mind. STEM students need to be willing to explore on their own and demonstrate unique creativity in addition to strong math and science skills. Home schooled kids have a lot more space to explore and learn creatively and thus have a great deal to contribute to the STEM fields.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:58 am |
      • Just Say'n


        As a group, our kids can't compete now, regardless of how much the gov"t spends in education. So, it can't be about money

        Than what can it be?
        The answer is quite easy if you think for moment. :-)

        August 29, 2012 at 10:02 am |
      • momof3

        Mona, my husband is a Phd Chemist, and I have a masters degree in a healthcare/biological sciences field. We feel very qualified to cover STEM topics with our children. Parents can outsource those courses if they don't feel comfortable teaching them. In some states, kids can participate in PS extracurriculars like Odyssey of the Mind, robotics clubs, etc. Additionally, homeschool parents like my husband sometimes offer to teach courses to other homeschooled children. The irony is that he wouldn't be permitted to teach in PS because he doesn't have a teaching degree, yet he can teach at a university or a private school. I admire many teachers, and I don't envy having to teach while dealing with classroom management issues related to having 20-25 kids or more in a class.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  56. Chessie

    Home school versus pubic school is comparing apples to oranges (same for private v. public). Public schools have to educate all children of all socia-economic backgrounds and all developmental levels with few exceptions. Therefore, the pool of test scores is going to have a much greater mix of students who, for various reasons, will not test well.

    August 29, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  57. CC

    Two of my children were homeschooled, after expressing fear of their public school environment over a period of several months. School teachers and administrators simply dismissed our complaints. Both socialized with friends as usual, and both took part in community sports activities and other age-appropriate activities. Both children went to college and did well. Both are now productive adults, gainfully employed, with beautiful families. I asked the question at the time of the decision to home-school, and after seeing the final result, I still ask it: why would any parent want to continue to "socialize" his children with a majority of other children who act like animals, and adults who can't (or won't) take charge? And that's not even considering the number of child predators who find their ways into the public school setting...

    August 29, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Schooler

      Public school is teaching my kid not to compare other children to animals. Her schoolmates are the people she is going to be sharing the world with and I'm happy that she is learning to understand them and the challenges they face. Some people may be able to successfully segregate themselves from the problems of the world at large, but those problems are still going to be there if nothing is being done to make things better.

      I know it works both ways. I'm glad that some people choose to segregate their prejudice and intolerance away from the world at large, lol. It's not going to make their problems go away but it makes my life easier.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • BeCareful

      CC: I am deeply saddened by your comments. In this day and age, you still spew out hate and compare other misbehaved kids as animals. Too bad, your kids will never get to know me or my cousin who is now studying law at UC Berkley. I grew up as a Vietnamese refugee in a ghetto part of Houston attending public school. I got a full-scholarship in electrical engineer as one of the five women in engineering school despite the fact that my Dad was an MIA, and my mom was a single mother. I am now a successful design engineer, mother of two kids, a soccer coach, volunteer at school, civic places, and donate to charity. From reading all the postings, I've deduced the following:
      1)homeschooling is NOT for everyone and not necessary when you're faced with a terrible public school. You could overcome that fact by studying hard, work hard, and utilize all the available resources to better yourself and then help others.
      2)Those that I know are currently homeschooling are usually very conservative and fearful. In the world of global economy, it won't serve America well to be isolated. I am thankful for the chance to live here, and I want America to win, and fear won't do it.
      3)Not all Democrats want hand-outs. I am one proud Democrat who wants to give back to better this country that adopts me. In fact, I know plenty of people who were Democrats who had received hand-outs when they were poor but quickly switched to Republicans when they become wealthier and severed the bridge that had helped them.
      4)Parenting starts at home, and regardless of what culture, ethnicity, or races, hard work, kindness, and tolerance must be taught and lived as examples to the children. Homeschooling only instills the parents' views, but if the parents' views are so narrowed, would that breed a better tolerant world? As a design engineer and a mother, I constantly humble myself and listen to others. I found it very refreshing to discover things from different angles. Wisdom cannot be taught, it is a learned experience, and homeschooling isn't the best place to do that!

      August 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  58. Joe R.

    Homeschooling certainly isn't for everyone. There are some kids, and parents too, that probably wouldn't do well with it. That being said though, homeschool is a good option. From what my wife has told me (she was homeschooled, I was not), much of it was independent type learning from books, CD's, tapes, and videos that was faciliated by her parents. She was also part of a homeschool co-op in which she and several other students would be in a small class type setting, and various parents would work together in teaching. So if one parent was more proficient in math and science for example, they would help all of the kids with that area. This co-op system also gave hte kids more socialization with peers. Furthermore, my wife had further socialization and interaction with people outside her family through various social and academic clubs and programs such as Teen Pact, which is where she met one of her best friends of the past 13 years, who is now, along with her husband, two of our best friends.

    Is homeschooling viable for everybody? Certainly not. Can kids still get a good education in public schools? I did. I think a lot of it has to do with how much emphasis and encouragement parents put into education.

    August 29, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  59. DontPretend

    So, wait, you mean to tell me that it doesn't require a Teacher's certification to teach directly from a teachers' manual?

    August 29, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  60. Jeff R

    If you have watched the SCRIPPS national spelling bee over the last 10 years you'll notice that a majority of the top spellers are home schooled.

    August 29, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Schooler

      Good for them if they like spelling, but there is more to life than spelling obscure words. I would be upset if public schools were wasting too much time on what might be seen as an obsolete parlor trick. Kudos to the kids who win, because they worked hard, but it's no measure of overall success or even quality of education.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:39 am |
      • momof3

        I'm sure they aren't learning Latin, Greek, etc. in the process, building their vocabulary and working knowledge of linguistics in the process.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  61. Mary B.

    Thought I'd recommend a terrific book, Americana A Civics Handbook, which would be an excellent tool in educating children in middle school and older. It's sort of a "cliff notes" in that many of the facts are compiled and listed in an easy to follow manner. Great for parents to help their kids and even use themselves if they are involved in any participation in Trivia. With this being an election year, a good review @ electoral college, branches of government, lists, etc. See table of contents and look inside the book on Amazon.

    August 29, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  62. cbelinsky

    The statistics here are incredibly misleading. The two main factors in a child's success in school are socioeconomic status and parental involvement. The kids who are being home-schooled are doing fine with both these factors and would most likely do well in public schools. We need an educational system that reaches children who do not have these advantages and home schooling does not help in those situations.

    August 29, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • UhYeaOk

      Bull, I know multiple families who arn't rich or even upper middle class. They sacrifice so the mom can stay home, you clearly don't know what you are talking about and probably made up your opinion as you typed it.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:19 am |
      • BeCareful

        UhYeaOk: You don't need a stay-at-home mother. Read my posting. All you need is a loving and supporting family and community that values hard work, kindness, tolerance, and of course education. My mother was a single mother of two. My dad died when I was two and my sis was one year old. She didn't re-marry because she wanted to devote all her energy to us. It is her unselfish act that mold me into who I am today.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • derp

      Congratulations, you win the award for dumbest comment of the day. Did you miss the part where cbilinsky mentioned parental involvement as a major factor of success (which nobody involved in education at any level will dispute). Is there any more involved parent than one who home schools their kids. How many home schooled kids live below the poverty level? You, my friend, and an idiot.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • ?

      I was raised in a family of low socioeconomic status. I had four siblings, and my mother homeschooled us all. We had to make many sacrifices in order for my mother to stay home. My father was absent through many years and my mother gave little direction as to what our curriculum should be and look like. Many years later and I have a brother in Grad school studying cell biology, another studying marine biology with a full scholarship for division one football, another with a 4.0 GPA in high school, and a young sister following in the same footsteps.
      We didn't need to be rich to acheive this.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • dmcentire

      The school system operates on the theory that all children are created equal....they are not. Humanity has never figured out how to fix the problem of poverty and bad parenting, and I don't expect humanity ever will. Our country cannot fix these problems because it is interested in whose fault it is, not what the problem actually is. Without really understanding the problem, obviously they cant fix it, but our politics system is about blame, not solutions. Public education has more to do with politics than it does education.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • derp

      "Public education has more to do with politics than it does education"

      It actually has more to do with law than anything else. The public education system assumes that all children are equal because the supreme court says they have to, except where the supreme court has demanded that they make accommodation. Ask anyone involved in public education what the biggest problem is (my wife is an advanced science HS teacher) and they will tell you that it is parental litigation.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  63. Jojo

    It certainly makes sense to home school when possible, especially with gifted kids. It's simply not possible for an organized school curriculum to keep a gifted child properly engaged, especially public schools who do the worst thing possible: making them work at a pace with other, slower kids. That's almost child abuse.

    August 29, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • derp

      My youngest was identified as a "gifted" student in 1st grade. The local school system built a custom education plan for him from second grade all the way through 8th grade. In HS he simply selected the classes that best fit his abilities and plans. I don't know where you live, but our school system did an amazing job of keeping my son motivated and challenged. He is now an chemical engineering major in college.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:01 am |
      • Velma

        You are very lucky! When my 2e boy finished preschool they wanted to put him in a regular kindergarten class with no IEP (no plan to address either his problem areas or gifted areas). That's when I pulled him out for homeschooling and never looked back. BTW, I am a retired public school teacher. I also have taught education majors in a prestigious university. I was shocked at their low level of education and willingness to learn overall. (There were a few exceptions)The university strongly discouraged me from giving them a grade lower than a C, no matter how poorly they did or whether they even did the work, because it was a required course in their major. I didn't stay.

        Homeschooling allows my boy to progress at his own best rate, which varies from subject to subject. The goal is to learn, not finish the book in 9 months. The grade level is irrelevant. As for socialization, I prefer that he get that through groups like 4-H, karate class, volunteering at the cat shelter, museum workshops, special physics workshops for kids at a local college, and in the community. In other words, he socializes in the real world in chosen situations, just like he will as an adult.

        BTW, I homeschool and I am a Democrat. It has nothing to do with it.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  64. AC

    I don't think there is any mystery here why homeschool kids do better. Public schools (and private schools to a diffrent degree) must cater to the 50th percentile. Those above and below the average have to "adjust" to the needs of the average. Home schooling does not have this limitation, as each student can move at the best pace for them on each subject.
    I see the big negative to home schooling to be the social interactions. I coach sports, and many of the kids that are home school seem to have more problems interacting with their peers.
    There are many important lessons learned in school apart from academics, such has how to compromise (something lacking in today's society) and get along with others.
    Overall, it can be a very viable option for many though.

    August 29, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Julie

      It is MY job as a homeschooling parent to ensure that my children not only learn academically, but also learn how to function in society. There are many opportunities for socialization for my kids. They are learning how to interact with people of all ages, abilities, and beliefs. My children are just as comfortable talking to adults as they are hanging out with older kids or playing with younger kids. They are not stuck in the same classroom with 30 other people their age for hours every day. As an adult, do you only "socialize" with people your own age? I doubt it. Also, I can recall being told many times throughout my school years that school is not the time to "socialize" by frustrated teachers who spent half the class time trying to get kids to pay attention to the lesson.

      We are usually done with our academic work by noon. We have the rest of the day to take field trips, do community service projects, or just have fun with other homeschooling friends. I'd say my kids are learning how to function in society pretty well.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  65. Stacey

    With all the homework some of these children are required to do; some of these parents might as well home school.

    August 29, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • momof3

      I have friends with very bright kids in PS, and the only differentiation they receive is additional homework. Typically they are not given instruction on the content; "challenge packets" (read: more homework) are sent home and the parent is expected to work through them with the child. In one case, the parent has repeatedly asked for some additional differentiation during class time, and her requests go unmet. I understand it is tremendously difficult to differentiate learning for an entire classroom full of kids, and I don't envy teachers trying to manage the needs of 20-25 kids. But the system itself is not set up to provide much differentiation.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  66. snowboarder

    my sister-in-law homeschooled her kids in a strictly catholic home and they are all some seriously messed up people.

    August 29, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Stacey

      What specifically is messed up? The kids' education? Are they behind, slow learners, etc? Or do the parents just have crappy personalities in general?

      August 29, 2012 at 8:54 am |
      • snowboarder

        stacey – behavioral problems. runaways. drugs. the eldest daughter dropped out of college and started doing prawn.

        August 29, 2012 at 8:56 am |
      • Stacey

        Snowboarder – That's too bad. Sounds like home schooling was an easy way out for both the kids and the parents. It happens. But in general, home schooling is successful.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:02 am |
      • snowboarder

        stacy – i agree that it was most likely primarily due to the impact of a strictly catholic upbringing, but adding in the social isolation of homeschooling didn't help.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Jeff

      This really varies by family and parental temperament.
      My brother and his wife did an outstanding job with their six kids. All finished high school with excellent SAT scores and are now in college. One is applying for medical school, one is applying for business school, one is now a respiratory therapist, two are applying to nursing school and the "caboose" is an accomplished pianist now finishing high school and about to apply for a music degree in college.
      Not all families can do this. But I thing my nieces and nephews fared fare better homeschooled than in public school.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:04 am |
      • BeCareful

        Jeff: I am confused. Are they finishing high-school at home or public school?

        August 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • UhYeaOk

      So who do you point the finger at for all the kids that do go to public school that; act out, do drugs, get into fights, drop out of college.....?

      August 29, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  67. Mark Baird

    The real questions we should be asking, if in fact the stats are correct, is can we duplicate the home schooling success in public schools. This entire education debate is sometimes wrapped around to much rhetoric, egos and collective egos.

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

      My kids attend a great school where curriculum is geared toward their skill level, not grade level. They are pushed to advance and parental involvement is high. Resources for success in learning are abundant as well. This school is not good for every kid. Some kids fare better in a traditional public school setting and others do not. The day my kids stop succeeding at this school is the day they will be home schooled.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • snowboarder

      the same parents who have success in home schooling, would very likely have success in public school.

      parental involvement is the key either way.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:00 am |
      • Stacey

        Snowboarder – I think you are only partly correct. You can be the most involved parent, but it's important to remember kids are attending school with other kids who may carry heavy burdens with them and it's manifested in their behaviors. Some of these kids have been violated; some witnessed frequent violence; some have a drug addicted family member living in the home; I'm sure you get the point. Kids are influenced by their peers; more so as they get older. Parental involvement is only part of the solution.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:13 am |
      • snowboarder

        stacy – all the points you bring up are indicators of socioeconomic status. the one of the greatest indicators to educational success.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • merlinfire

      It's not possible to replicate this in public schools. The primary reason this works so well is the individual attention and naturally "small class size" of typically 1-3 students. You're not going to replicate that in public schools without increasing costs ten-fold. People aren't willing to pay that.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • anon

      I don't see it being duplicated in public schools anytime soon. Not unless the govt. can afford to find a VOLUNTEER teacher for each and every student for one on one schooling. That, and a teacher who loves the children enough to risk his/her life for them and who takes their education and turnout in life VERY personally to the point that if even ONE doesn't do well, she/he feels like an absolute failure. THESE attributes in the one doing the teaching are FAR more important then whether or not the one teaching went to college and has a degree.

      Problems with socialization skills can be easily rememdied by taking homeschooled kids to regular homeschool get togethers and field trips organized by the parents. Don't people realize yet that most homeschooling parents recognize the possible dangers of anti social tendencies if they were to keep their children as hermits and reclusive? Parents knew this, took charge, and once again solved their own problem in that area. I hate that the antisocial argument is still being thrown around, but it is.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • C Baker

      We probably could – IF we made class sizes much smaller, IF we dropped the focus on testing. And that's just not going to happen.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  68. Ed

    We home schooled our three sons starting the first year it was officially allowed in NC. One is a soldier, one is a paramedic and one has his PhD in Astrophysics. We believe that home schooling provides an excellent base for further education. The home schooler learns to be responsible for themselves much earlier in life than their public school peers. We also heard the argument about the lack of socialization but there are home school support groups, community activities and church groups that provide all the socialization that is necessary. The benefit of this type of socialization is that it is supervised. I feel one of the big issues about the 'socialization' that public school children are experiencing is that it is strictly peer socialization without benefit of someone responsible setting an example of allowable behavior. We had two children who went through the public school system and now both of them have decided to home school their children.

    August 29, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Mark Baird

      The reality in today's society is that not everyong can home school their children. This nation will be better able to compete globally if we can learn how to better educate all of this nations children.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:47 am |
      • David B

        In my area the public schools spend $12,000 per student per yr. There would be a lot more people able to home school if the schools paid successful homeschoolers their per student cost (minus charges to administer the home school program).
        This might even lower the unemployment rate since parents would be staying home to be homeschool teachers. This would effectively reduce the number of public school teachers, which is 3.3 million, but would generate a lot more homeschool teachers. So an estimate might be one homeschool teacher per 2 students, rather than one public school teacher per 30 students. This would be replacing a public school teacher with 15 parents. If 100,000 public teachers were replaced, you'd generate 1.5 million homeschool teachers.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  69. Marty P

    I am a former teacher and we homeschool our 4 children. If the parents are motivated, then homeschooling is the better education.

    August 29, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  70. 22X Richer

    My niece has four children of which two are public schooled and two are homeschooled. She wanted the 'best fit' for her kids and two were right at home in public school setting and thrive. The other two were not doing as well in the public setting but have been thriving in the homeschool setting. She is a disciplinarian who sets a high bar for achievement. I think she is doing great with her kids and made the right choices for them.

    The whole "certified teachers" shtick is ridiculous. Both my grandmothers taught school and neither had even so much as a degree. Reading, writing and arithmetic do not take degrees. Only the new school system, and it has become a system, requires an advanced degree to teach the same subject year over year. The whole system is broken and needs overhaul. Parents would not opt for homeschool if they thought the school system taught their kids effectively and did not erode their personal values.

    Homeschooling isn't for everyone, as the article points out. The parents and kids take on more responsibility.

    August 29, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  71. Grace011

    I sometimes wish I did not need to work and could homeschool. I am not in agreement with the general public school approach. I think it is set up to get students to an average or middle level of knowledge. I don't think it does enough to find each student's strengths and interests in order to help them translate that into a career choice. As long as most kids graduate, that is viewed as success. Our schools need to re-examine their models and how students are taught. The goal should be to have each student on a viable path after graduation, whether that be college/vocational school, work or military – help these kids know how to navigate the future – not just get acceptable test scores!

    August 29, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  72. Mom of 2

    In the county where my children attend public school, "home school" has become synonomous with dropping out of school. Most children who are on the path to drop out of school with convert to "home school" as soon as their parents will allow them. Many do this before they have even completed an 8th grade education. Then they will play around with "home school" usually with the online curriculums. Finally, as soon as they are legally old enough, they drop out of school. It has become a huge problem in a small rural community as most of these children end up having their own children extremly young (usually the first child by the age of 16) and the cycle continues.

    August 29, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • stopmeditateontruth

      What you have just described is not homeschooling but child neglect. Instead of simply giving your opinion here, you ought to be a good neighbor and report those people to the proper authorities.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:18 am |
      • Diablo135

        Report the neighbors for doing what exactly? Letting their kids legally be home schooled? Or letting them legally drop out when they are of the proper age to do so?

        August 29, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  73. Big G

    I live in a military community. Our local base has a large home school group... because our state scores very low on public education. I've interacted with this home school group many times over the years. The children and parents are by far the best over alll group I have encountered. The children relate to adults, speak well, are well mannered, and can converse on current topics at a higher level than most adults.
    I did not home school my own children. Given a "do over", I would certainly home school.

    August 29, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  74. Something Else

    Homeschooled kids don't get shot when some crazy kid decides he's going to take out his frustrations over typical youth angst on his classmates.

    August 29, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Avery

      Oh stop. The paranoia in this country is causing too much anxiety in our children. Get a grip.

      August 29, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • G

      That's an insensitive comment! They can get shot whilw watching a movie in a theater. If we support homeschooling, for the purpose of discussion, you could come up with a stronger –oh well, SMARTER– argument.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Matt

      Dumbest comment I've seen this morning.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Blair

      Way more children are killed by one of their parents than by bullets in public schools.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Philojazz

      It would be interesting to see a scientific study investigating the correlation between homeschooling households and the number of guns in the household. I will just state my prediction, which is that the homeschooling household has, on average, more guns than the non-homeschooling household.
      People get shot by others in places other than at school, or at work. It often happens in the home, if there are guns. Fact.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  75. Paula

    I homeschooled my daughter. My daughter has decided to homeschool her children. We got the socialization criticisms, too. However, "socialization" in public has led to rampant bullying and kids coming to school with guns to kill classmates and teachers. Yes, family situations can feed into this, but not all bullying starts in the family. Plus, my grandson did attend public school through most of second grade. He did not like reading while in public school. Now he reads several books a week.

    August 29, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • G

      So to you, you see a cause and effect between socialization and bullying. OMG, what water are you drinking? Home schooling works for many families, so you can and should share your experiences, but enough of the ignorant comments. You think bullying only happens in school, that's something our children will face their entire life (in a sport league, drama club and the job market when they become older). We need to equip them to handle bullying whether they were taught at home, in a public or private school.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Candy Barnett

      I wanted to add an observation to the socialization aspect of public school versus home school. I've heard many people express their doubts as to whether or not a home schooled child will be able to interact well with others when they are out in the real world. Public school is pretty much limited to interaction with your own age group. But when a person grows up and is in college or holding a job, that person is going to be around people from all walks of life, different ages, different backgrounds, and different beliefs.
      I know many home schooled children and because of their parent's involvement in their education, these children have learned to be around people of different ages, different beliefs, and different backgrounds. They go into college and into the work force mature, ready to adapt and ready to be challenged by any obstacles in their way.
      My daughter was painfully shy, we home-schooled her for years. I often speculate that if she had attended public school, her shyness would have kept her in a miserable state. As she matured in a safe home environment, she became more confident. This year, she asked us to place her in the local public high school and we did. She may be the new kid, but she has an air of confidence and other new kids who are complete strangers will come up to her and ask for her help (directions to the attendance office, what does this history question mean?). Overall, home schooling was hard work, it was time consuming for both of us, but it has paid off socially, emotionally, and academically.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  76. livetlearn

    I have two children. One child thrives in school. The other child had been in public school. He was making ok grades but was miserable. My husband and I finally decided that public education just doesn't work for all children, so we pulled him out. He is happy (our main goal at the time of removing him because of anger and depression issues regarding social interactions{ or more simply put he's small so he was being bullied }). His boarderline grades have jumped and he did THREE years of math in one year. Homeschooling is a choice. Thank God we live in America, where my husband I believe we saved our son from becoming another sad statistic by excersizing our right to remove him from the more traditional form of schooling. This said, we would be doing our daughter a HUGE dis-service if we removed her from public school. Done correctly, with a parent/parents/gaurdian who seek to increase their knowledge to better teach their child, homeschooling can be a beautiful experience.Yes, there are horror stories of homeschooled children who have been abused, uneducated etc., but so are many public educated children. Someday I would like to see an education that is public yet "tailored" to the individual childs emotinal/social and educational needs regardless of age or grade level, but for now [ which is where my son is developing, in the here and now ] this is our choice and it"s the right one for our family.
    To any who may search this post for grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, please chalk it up to a simple error, or you can blame my public school education. Please try to see not the trees, but the forest.

    August 29, 2012 at 7:12 am |
  77. Sher

    as a long time public school teacher I have seen home schooling many ways..the good..the bad and the really ugly. some parents join home school groups, follow a rigirous curriculum that meets or exceeds state standards, and even bring their children to school for gym, music and art classes, and state standardized tests. Then I have had students show up after a few years when mom goes back to work, whoes education has been hit or miss and consisted of material downloaded and printed off free web sites. The material gets difficult, and mom doesn't want to, or cant't handle it any more and the end up 2 or even in one case 3 yeats behind. Then there is the really who are pulled out of public school when teachers begin to talk about possible learning problems..or suggest testing..and in the worst cases..children we are watching for
    neglect or abuse. saying I'm going to pull him out to home school is like saying diplomatic immunity...that child drops right off the grid...There needs to be far more over site of these children, and their education than we now

    August 29, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • Calm analysis

      As a long time home school teacher and administrator, I have taught my children to spell "whose" (not "whoes") and "oversight" (not "over site") correctly. There may be exceptions to the normally better educational environment and rigor that a home schooled student experiences, but there are far more examples of failure in the public educational system. You tend to your house, and we'll tend to ours. We do not need nor do we want your "over site" [sic].

      August 29, 2012 at 7:16 am |
      • Jack Myhogoff


        August 29, 2012 at 8:02 am |
      • JB

        I'm a home schooling mom, too. Your "calm" reply was rude. The teacher was making a valid point. Typos happen, so get over it. There is no need to attack her.

        August 29, 2012 at 8:08 am |
      • Matt

        Hope it wasn't your responsibility to teach manners and social skills.

        August 29, 2012 at 8:33 am |
      • JB

        If we want to have an intelligent discussion about our differences in opinion, it might be a good idea to at least be respectful. I think some people reply in rude ways just to stir it up for laughs. People find it easy to blithely attack and hide behind internet anonymity.

        August 29, 2012 at 8:54 am |
      • Cindy Jones

        I was getting ready to comment on the spelling errors of (Sher?) but you beat me to it. I am a public school teacher– only getting in the GAME after raising three valedictorians, and I will have to admit that I am mostly happy that my daughter home-schools her two children–knowing that she is capable and dedicated. Not only have standards slipped in the past couple of decades, and especially in recent years, but the social climate is far from desirable.
        Some things I see are that, while "group learning" is advantageous for many, there are many schools that emphasize social activities to a distraction. I agree that the one:one advantage of home school is perhaps the greatest reason for success, but without the need to daily deal with "fitting in" removes such distraction. And kudos to those parents who seek good associates for a more ideal social development. As long as they're given opportunities to interact occasionally with those who would challenge their norms, they will be prepared to deal with the "real world." I have seen my grandchildren quietly express disdain for disrespectful behavior.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:46 am |
      • Emily

        You want respect, but you see no need to give it. I've yet to see a homes school parent talk about the negatives of home schooling. It's like there are no negatives. When negatives are pointed out, they become defensive and disrespectful.

        No educational system is perfect be it public, private or home schooling. It's great that home school students are performing well on standardized tests, but those tests give a very incomplete picture of education.

        August 29, 2012 at 11:30 am |
      • Calm analysis

        @Jack Myhogoff – The period is not required when using "sic" in brackets. Please consult any good grammar reference.

        August 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • Calm analysis

        @JB – I was not attacking this teacher. See my additional response below for further explanation. As to anonymity on the Internet, it looks like you take advantage of it too. But, yes, I agree with you that discourse on this topic should be more respectful. Again, I apologize.

        August 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
      • Calm analysis

        @Matt – It was indeed my responsibility. If you read my response below, I explained the strong feelings I have about this issue. I could try to explain this more, but I would not expect you to understand. In this case, I was not as "calm" as my moniker would suggest. My apologies.

        August 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
      • Calm analysis

        @Emily – Again, I was not intending to be disrespectful. More to your point, however, is that home school is often viewed in a negative light when in the vast majority of cases it is a very positive experience for both children and their families. Yes, problems arise in families who choose to home school, but these problems do not exist BECAUSE of home school. More government oversight of home school programs is not the answer in these cases.

        August 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Troy


      August 29, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • jj

      Do not pick on Calm. I sure hope Sher is not teaching grammar. You would think that by stating I am a public school teacher she would not have all of the spelling and grammatical errors. She needs to retire. She is also probably a union thug teacher who cannot get fired and her students suffer for it. PS: for Sher, you can copy your rant to a word processor and do grammar/spell check on it.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:01 am |
      • dnfromge

        What Sher shared was not a rant, it was simply her observations as a teacher. Why jump all over her for that, she was taking part in what I'm sure she hoped was a reasonable discussion on a topic that she has some experience with? As far as spelling goes, people make typos and some people type to fast and make mistakes (I do this all the time). I wouldn't dream of cutting and pasting a reply into a word processing system to check grammar and spelling (too much bother) – in a forum like this, it doesn't make any difference. If it was typed from a smartphone – even less reason to use a separate spelling and grammar program. Hopefully most people can read at a level that they understand despite some typos. Just be civil and treat others as you would like to be treated in return – think before you type.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Calm analysis

      My post was not meant to be disrespectful nor uncivil. I just found it very ironic that a long-time public school teacher would post in a forum on this topic and make such spelling mistakes (I did not point out all of the mistakes BTW). I thought it was also telling and somewhat symbolic for the problems in the public school system (no, not ALL public schools). My rather strong reaction came from the insistence that somehow oversight by the federal government, state, or school district was necessary for home schooled children. My (valid) concern is further infringment upon parental rights to educate their children as THEY see fit, not some government agency. Most children spend time at home. The fact that some children spend more time at home (and out of view of school officials) should not be a reason for some government-mandated oversight.

      Bad things happen to children who attend public schools too–and some of it happens in the public school environment itself. I would venture to say that percentage-wise, more bad happens in public school environments than home school environments. I really do not want to argue the point as much as I want the freedom to educate my children with minimal interference from the government. It does infuriate me though that government workers or officials (especially school officials) automatically assume that additional government oversight is necessary to ensure my children's welfare. Often this concern is used as a guise to attempt to gain control over home school programs (unless you are very actively involved in home school, you would not be aware of how often this happens).

      I do apologize to anyone who felt that my terse response was rude or disrespectful. I can become very passionate about this issue. On the other hand, some of the remarks that appear in these comments have a much more spiteful tone than mine.

      Also, I am not exempt from making true typos myself; but I do try to be careful when posting in a forum like this.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  78. Catherine

    I live in Northern Virginia which has one of the top public school systems as well as a lot of homeschoolers. When we go to LEGO tournaments or writing festivals, guess whose kids are winning the top prizes? Yes, the homeschoolers. My kids go to public school, but hats off to the homeschoolers – you're doing something right and I'm not going to begrudge you your choice. And I really don't understand the animosity from some of these posters either. Why do you care about someone else's choices?

    August 29, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • Jack Myhogoff

      Lego tournament? You're part of the problem.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:04 am |
      • brimfire

        Not at all. The Lego tournament is putting toghether a robot from lego pieces. There is a theme, so it's not a battle robot, and it has to conform to the standards of the company that puts it on. This is an amazing activity, it takes the kids' love of building with Legos (a great toy because it makes the kids think in 3-d) and adds robotics to it. Do a search for First Lego and you'll get a better appreciation of this great activity for kids of all ages.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:03 am |
      • guest

        brimfire is right. LEGO is a tremendous educational tool, especially when paired with electronics/robotics modules and giving children a specific problem that must be solved.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:21 am |
      • Ali

        That was quite rude. You would benefit by looking up the item and doing some research before mocking something you know nothing about.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  79. kerri

    What I don't understand is why some people get so emotional about the methods used by others to educate their children. They still have to pay taxes for public school anyway. If someone wants to teach their child at home it's their business.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:38 am |
    • Susan

      Because they feel sorry for the kids. Sometimes you do have to protect kids from their parents.

      August 29, 2012 at 7:12 am |
      • llgard72

        Are you serious? You feel sorry for the children? What on earth are you feeling sorry for them? They missed out on sitting in a classroom all day? Maybe because they missed out on being called more names or bullied? Please I would LOVE to hear. I homeschool my children. My oldest is now 16 and enrolled full time in college having completed high school requirements two years early. Are you feeling bad for her?

        My other two children are happy at home. They enjoy sleeping in, doing some of their morning school work in pajamas, many number of field trips (and this is with all funding cut where we live for field trips in public school), and curling up on the couch with me to read. Homeschooling is a way of life and it works for us. My kids are still in sports, take music lessons, dance lessons, and have taken art at our cultural center. They are around plenty of other children at these and other activities.

        Don't feel sorry for my children. I do not understand the animosity toward homeschoolers by so many. Do what you want with your children. I do not think less of you for however you school them. It is your choice, as this is ours.

        August 29, 2012 at 7:34 am |
      • acutabove

        Homeschool kids have FEWER emotional and psychological problems than their peers as well as performing BETTER than any other group INCLUDING private or parochial school students.

        August 29, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  80. Geoff

    Homeschooled kids are more likely than traditonal students to pick their nose and have smelly feet. It's a fact.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:09 am |
    • Jack Myhogoff

      Men named Geoff are 97% more likely to be on the receiving end of an atomic wedgie than men named Jeff.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  81. Lisa

    I homeschool my children. My 7 year old recently finished the entire Narnia series, for fun reading. Not only did he read it, he understood the story and explained it to me every step of the way.
    At the same age my daughter upon going to a Girl Scout sign-up rally, encouraged the public schooled child to come out from behind her mother and walk inside with her.
    My Children are well mannered and caring individuals. Their education is tayllored to their learning needs. I know exactly what my children do and do not understand.
    Do you know what your children learned yesterday?

    August 29, 2012 at 5:54 am |
    • Geoff

      Drop the self-righteous act Lisa. Don't think for a second that you care more about your kid than any other parent. You don't.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:11 am |
      • Kristy

        @Geoff – Well said, my friend.

        Honestly, I went to college to be a teacher, has a few years' experience teaching and consider myself smarter than the average person. Could I homeschool my son? Sure, I'm more than capable. I can even teach him calculus, which many parents I'm sure cannot do as their children progress into high school. However, I work full-time and I believe that most children learn better when they are learning from someone other than their own parent. I agree that a lot of the public schools leave much to be desired. There are very good ones out there too. I attended public schools growing up and received a very good education. I lived in a very different part of the country as a kid though, and I will not send my own child to a public school. Even if you are selecting a private school for your child, a parent has to do their research to make sure you get what you pay for. A good education can be provided anywhere, if the parents pay attention and push their children to do the best they can. Let's also remember that not everyone grows up to be high-achieving in life.

        August 29, 2012 at 6:23 am |
      • Lisa

        I never implied a lack of caring on the part of parents who choose other forms of educating their children.
        I simply stated that my children are functional and homeschooled.

        August 29, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • John

      You misspelled "tayllored" (tailored) to make a point, am I right, Lisa?

      August 29, 2012 at 6:16 am |
      • Julie

        The first thing I thought too...

        August 29, 2012 at 6:40 am |
      • Lisa

        Yes, that sounds like a great explanation.

        August 29, 2012 at 6:45 am |
      • Dee

        How predictable...people pointing out grammar errors as a way to belittle other's. Cute.

        A few misspelled words in an otherwise coherent, well written paragraph is nothing to frown upon. We all misspell at times.

        August 29, 2012 at 8:20 am |
      • Kevin Harrington

        Albert Einstein was a terrible both english and german.
        Pointing out a mispelled word to denigrate someone's argument or intelligence is beyond lame.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Dar

      I agree, not one of my children know what their children were taught at school through the week. And if asked the children shrug their shoulders. ( sigh)

      August 29, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • kristy

      Asking the question "Do you know what your child learned in school yesterday?" is implying that parents who do not homeschool do not care. Involved parents do know what their child is learning.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  82. harpman

    Home schooling obviously has advantages and disadvantages. Some of my friends home school their children. The mother is a stay at home mom, has a college degree and is very intelligent. She did a great job and now the kids are in college and doing well. A big concern about the alternative public schools are safety issues, the emphasis on social experimentation rather than education, the distraction of special needs students, political correctness, holding bright students back due to slow students in class, peer pressures to join gangs and use drugs, etc.

    August 29, 2012 at 5:22 am |
    • bones

      I would add that our public schools are reflective of the nature and upbringing of many adults (i.e. the parents) these days. If people didn't like public schools, they would vote out those responsible for the current state of public education. Also, a parent who is engaged and, well... a "good parent"... gets involved and makes sure his or her child stays on the right track. Too many adults, I believe, feel that public school is tax-funded daycare. "Here's my kid, teach them all they need to know. I don't want to be bothered." Even a lousy public school can turn out success stories with the right parent-teacher team.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:53 am |
    • Susan

      Public schools vary – sounds like yours aren't that great. Mine is, and I'm not in a particularly affluent community, just a community that places education as a high priority. Our public school is amazing on many different levels. Support your public schools, it starts with the community.

      August 29, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  83. Semantics101

    Sounds like a debate that was created out of thing air. The real question to answer is, why are parents with holding their children from attending a public school?

    August 29, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • harpman

      see harpman above. There are plenty of reasons.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:22 am |
    • bones

      Why do parents withhold their children for public school? Mainly, because public schools fail to live up to expectations of many parents. Most public schools could probably meet a parent's academic standards, but all the peripheral issues, such as over-crowding, poor discipline, faculty indifference and teacher quality, keep many home-school or private school families away from public education. In home-schooling, or in private school, the main forces impacting the student's experience is the family unit, or the family and selective faculty at a private school. Private school tends to attract families with similar expectations and standards. In many public schools, your child must deal with all the other issues brought in by every other student, which can seriously affect your own child's experience. This is the perception, and though it's not the case for all public schools, it's prevalent enough now to be a major concern among parents.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:35 am |
    • Mary Marion

      I home schooled my grandson and he has done so much better than his siblings who have gone to regular schools. He tested higher than most of the children who went to regular school. He is very good and has not been exposed to the things that most children have to deal with in school. Now in college has tested very high in his entrance exams. I do not for one minute think he would have done as well had he gone to public school. Many reasons why people home school and mine have been justified by how much better he has done by being home schooled. He is ready to go to college and I know will do very well.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:47 am |
  84. Peter

    It seems to me that a lot of the negative publicity around home schooling comes from the same people to criticize private schools and charter schools; the public "school" system. I don't know if it’s as bad in other parts of the country as it is in Texas, but our public schools hate anything that pulls kids out of their system. It not because they think kids are getting a substandard education, they don't want to lose the money. Texas schools get a certain amount of tax money automatically, but a large portion is determined on a daily school attendance. This may be wrong now, but it used to be around $45 dollars a day per kid, with attendance being taken around 10 am. They really love to have half days, because they still get paid the entire amount. I’ve seen local schools try to bill parents for missed days. And if a kid goes truant, they sue the parents for the amount of tax money they figure they have lost. They don't care about your kids education, they just want the money in the system, and will bad mouth anything that takes it out.

    August 29, 2012 at 5:11 am |
    • mary

      I homeschool in Texas and have had no hassles whatsoever.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:26 am |
    • bones

      You hit on a very relevant issue. Public education has become big business. However, the school administrators are only half the problem; what about the local officials who enact such policies? As for me, my taxes don't go down one cent even though my children do not attend public schools.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:39 am |
      • Geoff

        Your taxes shouldn't go down. We all benefit from public education. Duh.

        August 29, 2012 at 6:14 am |
      • Michael

        Do we, Geoff? Do we? Rhetorical, of course. Yes, public schools DO benefit us all. I have no children and am perfectly fine with paying for schools (because if they turn out this badly WITH..... ). But, I would support a bill that would exempt homeschoolers from a portion of their local property taxes. If they get results, they deserve a break.

        August 29, 2012 at 7:06 am |
      • Maribeth

        You know what happens then, Michael? Couples without children demand the same tax break, as do empty nesters, etc. Tax revenues in your town will go down significantly. Schools receive less funding, leading to a deterioration in performance, but that's not all. All public needs would be impacted by less tax revenue.....the police and fire departments, public works, such as road repair, etc. Can you guess what the end result is? Lower property values. Because who wants to live in a town with terrible public schools, understaffed police and fire departments and giant potholes in the roads? Simplistic, yes, but factual. So good luck with that.

        August 29, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  85. zolman

    Many of the children in my area are being homeschooled for reasons other than getting a good education. Some parents have rigid beliefs about culture or religion. These parents don't want their children subjected to broad based beliefs. The internet has given these parents a way to give their children a limited education based on the beliefs of those parents. We have churches that encourage homeschooling so that children will receive a narrow based education that will indoctrinate those students based on the belief of that religion. We also have another group of parents that use homeschooling as an excuse to take their children out of regular school for months at a time to avoid the school schedule and take extended vacations. And then another group of parents use homeschooling because they place no value on education and they don’t educate their children at all.

    Yes on occasion there is a parent who does a terrific job and is confident enough to allow their child to receive standardized tests. But, because of the lack of state regulation this is a small percent of the homeschooled children. And those that do get testing get proctored by the parent. This leads to questionable test results. Only 11 states require homeschooled children to get tested, while 21 states have regulations that guide the homeschooled curriculum.

    It is a myth to say that homeschooled students do better in testing because only a limited amount are actually tested and those that are tested have questionable supervision.

    August 29, 2012 at 4:31 am |
    • Vforba

      It depends upon the test that is given, I have never proctored any of my children's tests and they have all taken them with the exception of my youngest. But eventually if people want to go to college they will have to take some sort of standardized tests. But I think most of what people are expressing on this board is old news, quoting decades old information. Most homeschoolers are socialized quite well, socialize better with different age groups and the majority don't have an issue with adapting to college life. Mostly because they are used to independent work and the adjustment to being responsible for yourself is actually easier for them than ps kids.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:31 am |
      • Geoff

        Who's to say your kid wouldn't have turned out perhaps better if he/she had been in public schools? Too many people here are presuming to know all about public schools when, in fact, they know very little.

        August 29, 2012 at 6:15 am |
      • llgard72

        @ Geoff, well I DID attend a public school so I would say I know something about it. What kind of comment is that?

        August 29, 2012 at 7:42 am |
      • printerpete

        If you use the SAT as your standard. Home school students score higher.

        August 29, 2012 at 8:01 am |
      • Maribeth

        Vforba, you may believe that homeschoolers have an easier time adjusting and taking responsibility for themselves, but that is nothing more than your (very likely uninformed) opinion. Please don't state it as fact.

        August 29, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • sonas76

      I must agree with you, I have seen the sma esituations in my own area. Add to it families who don't think their female children need any sor of advanced schooling because they only want them to be housewives, and parents who have taken their kids out of school because they are getting fined because their child misses so much school. I presently work with a woman who took both her children out because they were beating up other children on the bus. Her reasoning for this was that the school was 'against them'.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • faith

      Questionable supervision???? I for one would much rather my kids be supervised by my husband and myself than by ONE teacher per 30 students! It would be perfectly easy to say there are teachers who help their students do well on a test to make their credentials more appealing~we've seen this in MANY schools! And now teachers are being evaluated on their students' test scores. Do you REALLY believe those teachers are not helping students do well on test?? More than likely they are and will continue because lets face it, it's a BAD time to be out of work!!! It's not a matter of public vs homeschool or private vs's traditional school vs homeschool. You cannot compare the two because they are two totally different ways of educating children. Both MAY work, but only ONE is best for each individual child because every child is different!!! I feel homeschool is what is BEST for MY FAMILY!!! HOWEVER, if i had a child that absolutely hated homeschool and was not performing I would have no objections to sending them to a SMALLER traditional school IF THAT WORKED FOR THEIR STYLE OF LEARNING. (THANK GOD THEY ABSOLUTELY LOVE HOMESCHOOL BECAUSE WHEN IT COMES TO SOCIALIZATION, IT'S THE MOST POSITIVE YOU CAN FIND;)!!!!!!!!!!) What works for one child does not always work for another, which is one of my personal reasons for NOT sending my kids to traditional school.You cannot effectively teach 30 children ONE WAY because we all learn in a variety of ways!! We are all different!! I have an Education degree and I can vouch that in college we were taught how to MANAGE a classroom of 30 kids. We were NOT taught how to teach to different abilities and different learning styles!!! That's the problem I personally see with America's Education system, the classrooms are way too large and the school day is way too long~it turns into babysitting at some point!! Take a child who misses a week of school. How is it that a para can take that child into the hallway and complete a week's worth of homework in ONE DAY??? It's that ONE ON ONE attention and it WORKS WONDERS!!!! There are entirely too many distractions in a classroom filled with 30 kids!! This is why most students fail or just get by the system. Are they actually retaining the information?? How do we truly know each and every one understands the lessons? And how could a teacher have enough time to effectively evaluate each one?? Giving them all the SAME test???~NOT EFFECTIVE! That's the beauty of homeschool, ONE ON ONE attention!! TRADITIONAL SCHOOL COULD LEARN A THING OR TWO FROM HOMESCHOOL!!! So many of the OPINIONS on this forum are more than likely coming from those who know NOTHING about homeschool. Educate yourselves and stop going off of what you ASSume homeschool to be ;)

      August 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  86. pbernasc

    Homeschooling .. a good way to teach your child to be shortsighted.
    The real world is not made of caring parents, but rather of a bunch of ignorant incompetent individuals all around you, below and above.
    Parents at home can be very effective .. no doubts, but it also means that their children will never know what's the real world out there ... these are by definition almost, above average wealth people .. or they would not be able to afford homeschooling their children, so consequently it's a selected subset, you can't compare with the general public for a performance analysis

    I can tell you this: a country where objectively homeschooling scores across the board better than public school is a country and culture in irreversible decline. No do not blame Obama, it started under Reagan.

    It's not an accident, it's the GOP agenda... destroy public education so you can enslave the ignorant.

    August 29, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • zolman

      Wow I never thought of it that way, but you make a good point.

      I've felt that the "one issue" Republican supporters are being used by international big business to bring back 19th century business practices to the USA. So the big business can again enslave the middle class to line their pockets with money to put into Cayman Island banks.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • mamahope

      How wrong you are. Most of the homeschooling families I know live below middle class standards. They sacrifice every year so that one parent can stay home and school the children. Statistics show that most homeschool familys are NOT wealthy and most do not even qualify as middle class. On your shortsighted comment you obviously have no clue how the homeschool network works! There are numerous co-op groups that homeschoolers usually get involved with exposing children to not only kids their own age but kids of all ages. Tell me where in society will my children go to work where they are only surrounded by people their own age??? Homeschoolers are very socialized and they are socialized in a way that many other students are not. They are socialized among people of all ages. I have found that many of the homeschoolers I have meet can interact with the elderly, adults, and children alike better than their counterparts in other schooling systems and again these are not " weathy" kids. Many homeschoolers do numerous charity works through out their entire homeschooling career so your short sighted comment makes no sense at all, if anything it is very "shortsighted". Get to know some real homeschoolers to see if you find them shortsighted. I think you might be surprised.

      August 29, 2012 at 7:02 am |
      • Tom

        The comparison of home schooled children on things like SAT scores to those in public schools is apples to oranges. Many home schooled children never progress beyond the equivalency of the GED. Therefore, many of them do not even take the SATs. The ones that do are the college bound students; whereas in public schools there are many students taking that test who do not attend college or attend only a 2-year program.

        As far as social skills, public school children learn to deal with their problems at a young age when their parents are not hovering over them. Self reliance is more prevalent among the higher achievers in public schools.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • llgard72

      Shortsighted because they get to go out into the community daily and interact with people of all ages, races, etc.? My children are not locked in a classroom all day.

      August 29, 2012 at 7:44 am |
      • momof3

        Exactly. Sure, parents may choose to isolate their kids, but that isn't something that is inherent or true of all HSers. We are a secular HSing family. My kids participate in a co-op with other kids, play on sports teams, are involved in extra curriculars. As they get older, we'll strongly encourage them to get involved with volunteering in the community on their own (or start their own nonprofit), develop mentorships with adults working in their field of interest, etc.
        Many PSs are not diverse. I attended a smaller public school and nearly everyone was white and middle class. We had two kids in the entire school who were minorities.
        Learning to work with others, to be tolerant of other beliefs and lifestyles, etc. is probably influenced more by the parent than anything else. Kids from families who are intolerant are probably going to be fairly intolerant of others even if they spend time with diverse groups of people in public school.

        August 29, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • JB

      Believe me, home schoolers don't want to coddle their kids at home all day. We get together a lot and our kids really do actually talk and interact. Wow, what a surprise. Interaction at public school is more controlled. I was public schooled. My kid has to negotiate his way with other kids during play and learns from that. We also volunteer at the food bank and pet shelter. In a sense, he's had a "job" in that he had to learn the rules to work at those places. He had to interact with those who manage us. He also is involved with part-time schools and coops taught by teachers with college degrees in teaching. He does lot of weekly homework. Not all home schooling is perfect but neither are all pubic schools.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Holly Peterson

      Where does that leave all the democratic or secular families who educate at home? You are all blowing a bunch of mindless steam now. The people in the trenches, the experts, the families, the lawyers- they all have it figured out already and are doing just fine without your help. Have your own kids, have them educated the way you choose, and mind your own business. Everyone I know who educates their children at home do so a. because they really liked the way someone else's home educated adult children turned out or b. the public (or private) school system was failing their particular child. Like I said, mind your own business. Have your own kids. Do your own thing.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • faith

      They won't know what the real world is like????? Ohhh, I see, so the real world is ONLY working with and getting along with all the SAME AGE adults as me, RIGHT??????? C'mon!! Really???? Once again, another OPINION about what homeschool looks like!!! Educate yourself on homeschool before you try to make a statement like that please!!! It shows how little you know......

      August 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  87. Christine


    First let me say that I hold a BA in Comparative Religion with a minor in French and I have a Master's degree in Social Work. I went to a public school system in th e Detroit area and a large, well respected university in Michigan. My brother who was born to my uber young step-mother and aging father got whisked away to a farm in a remote, rural community.
    He was homeschooled and I was not–the results for him was tragic and with far reaching consequences.

    I believe it is possible for a child to get a good education this way; however, I think those students are in a small minority.
    Most parens do not hold the skills, experience and academic rigor that would qualify them to teach their child adequately.

    Homeschooling needs regulation and credentialing I feel. Otherwise children are at risk of receiving a substandard education–like that of my brother.

    August 29, 2012 at 4:15 am |
    • AGeek

      Woo. A BA in "Comparative Religion" and a minor in French. You'll pardon me if I'm underwhelmed. I don't doubt your brother's outcome, but putting yourself out there as a counterpoint is, shall we say, "not exactly impressive."

      August 29, 2012 at 5:41 am |
      • John

        If more people had a degree in comparative religion, the US electorate would include fewer crazies. Comparative religion requires an ability to think while French (or any other foreign language) requires an excellent memory and an ability to understand another culture. I say: Hats off to Christine!

        August 29, 2012 at 6:24 am |
      • apd

        I will do my part with agreeing with the geek. Sorry, not impressive. Anyone in life who does not screw up, puts in a decent amount of hours in studying, has an IQ around triple digits, and has a good family can do what Christine did. This is called mediocrity. And the public schooling system is very good at producing lots of it.

        It is not impressive. Next.

        August 29, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • llgard72

      Regulation and credentialing to be done by???? The failing Department of Education? Yes, they seem to know what they are doing.

      August 29, 2012 at 7:47 am |
  88. School management system

    According to me , secondary education plays a vuital role . People here are discussing about the age limits to which the students should conversate . But as far as school education is concerned , the need is to make it more interactive .

    For more info visit School Management System

    August 29, 2012 at 4:13 am |
  89. Robin G.

    My two oldest daughters were homeschooled. One scored in the 99th percentile in math skills and the other 97th. Both were at 99 in verbal.
    One got a free ride (with some extra cash to boot) to Truman U. in Missouri. The other got nearly a free ride to Missou and is now a post grad student on a full ride to her Masters with $1000/month stipend for teaching under grads.

    Neither has a high-school diploma, btw.

    Both are very outgoing, kind and generous. As for "socialization", what is advantageous about being socialized in the lowest common denominator stew of the public school system? While other kids were stratified in their own narrow age bracket, my kids would hold serious conversations with people of any age. Ever try to hold a conversation with a public schooled teenager? Most act as though anyone not in their age bracket is some sort of alien creature. My kids were not isolated largely to their own age group for 12 years, and it shows. Public school = well adjusted social skills? Really?

    August 29, 2012 at 3:59 am |
    • Rocket319

      While it sounds as if your children are doing very well for themselves, I don't think you should lump all public school children into one stereotypical group. There are a lot of very thoughtful and engaging public school teens out there and there is no reason to assume a child will socialize in "the lowest common denominator stew" as you put it. In fact, I live in a very affluent school district, but I sent my son to middle school at an urban magnet school in a nearby city. I think he gained immeasurable insight and empathy by interacting with kids from different ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds. It is not hard to get along with people exactly like yourself, the challenge is getting along with people who are different and being able to look past those differences. That is real socialization.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:20 am |
      • Vforba

        It's interesting that you say not to lump all public schoolers into the same group, but isn't that what everyone else is doing wtih the homeschoolers? They say we don't socialize, we don't test, etc. But you know what there are a lot of public schoolers that aren't socialized and their with kids their own age everyday. Most homeschoolers don't have an issue with socialization. And may I remind you that most teachers at least when I was in school (about 20 yrs ago) said that you were in school to socialize but to learn, so what happened to that idea? While it does depend upon the state, most children do receive some standardized, but really what does that really prove? Because I know for a fact that there are many public school students that don't test well. It really depends upon the child. So do you think parents are pulling their kids out of school because they can't test well?
        But it's interesting to see how many people are opposed of people passing on their religious beliefs but it is ok to pass on all this liberal hogwash. Which is nothing more than self righteous garbage and yes even hatred of people who are different from you.

        August 29, 2012 at 5:09 am |
      • JB

        Home schoolers are not all alike. There are the super-religious ones, the ones who are strict with daily work, the unschoolers, the ones who regulate every morsel that goes into their child's mouth, the volunteering families . . . . I have little in common with several home schooling families, but our kids still play together. Some home schooled kids are difficult or disabled and, frankly, some are bullies. My kid is not perfect, either, of course. He's had to negotiate his way with all types. He's had to learn not to be selfish and obnoxious in order to have friends. Don't assume we're all alike and our kids lead a sheltered existence, though. Dealing with other people in any setting has its difficulties. We spend a lot of time away from home, otherwise I'd go crazy, believe me. I have no interest in isolating my child.

        August 29, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Geoff

      I'm a product of public schools and I attended Rice University on a full scholarship. If I had been home schooled I doubt I would have done nearly as well academically. Having peers and teachers around me helped in a number of ways.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:17 am |
      • Sean

        Dude, you posted this just a while ago, "Homeschooled kids are more likely than traditonal students to pick their nose and have smelly feet. It's a fact." And now you want to tell us how well adjusted you are by going to public school? I think I may consider homeschooling my kids if you are the product of public

        August 29, 2012 at 6:33 am |
      • EvidenceBased

        Unfortunately, it did not assist with your tendency to the "Neener Neener Neeners".

        If you hadn't made the smelly feet comment at the beginning, I would tend to take you a bit more seriously.
        For the record, I started in private (parochial) school, where I was miserable (was about 4 years ahead in reading by second grade), moved to public school, where I was also miserable (socially).

        Never homeschooled, but have lots of friends who do, for various reasons. Have kids in private and public schools.
        The public schools tend to the officious and pompous. The best of them are the people who tend to be in trouble with the administration on a perpetual basis (I always make sure to send wonderful letters on the progress of my children to the superintendent of that particular school). The private schools can be quite full of themselves as well. You don't always get what you pay for.

        Homeschooling is an enormous commitment, especially with multiple children. (Yes, there is unschooling, and all that...but that is a different thing).

        The point is that I have seen well-adjusted, lovely, accomplished, damn smart kids come out of homeschooling. Don't knock it, especially since you have not directly experienced it. You aren't, I noticed, calling kids being educated in Tanzania dirty and smelly on CNN now, are you? ;-)

        And don't do that- it isn't becoming to a Rice grad, frankly.

        August 29, 2012 at 7:49 am |
      • llgard72

        @ Sean, I love you!

        August 29, 2012 at 7:50 am |
  90. chasbronson

    The public school system has become a public failure.We as a Nation are being dumbed down because a stupid population is easier to put under tyranny.The NEA is a money, and control racket as many gov't agencies have become.The vast amounts of tax money collected in the name of school taxes goes to administrative costs,and not to actually educate our children.The schools have become nothing more than a den of iniquity from the top down.Internationally,our education system is failing.Students come here only for the access to this country.

    August 29, 2012 at 3:37 am |
  91. Youmakemelaugh

    My experience as a former homeschooler is this, my mom never "fed" me my knowledge, pretty much she gave me text books to work through and helped me when I got stuck, so I was really self teaching, so I had to learn so I could know what was going on. My family could never have been construed as rich, as someone else reasoned to believe that to homeschool you have to have money, in fact, I am actually entering my senior year of high school next week, I now attend an online cyber school, last year at my standardized test I sat next to a girl (we had to go to the school building to physically fill in all those bubbles) who had gone to a private school before and lets just say she had money and looks, but not many brains dedicated to scholastics. Whereas I, not to brag, received scores well into the advanced percentile of science, and am hoping to pursue a degree in biology with a concentration in genetics. All of this and I am a bible believing creationist minded Christian, who on the test to an open ended question about renewable energy resources answered "baking soda and vinegar, they make bubbles, catch the gas from said bubbles, and power stuff with it". I said that and still got an advanced science mark, so either they or their system is stupid or screwy, or I am just a genius, or it doesn't actually matter, because all kids are different, and those who want to work hard and succeed will, no matter how they were schooled. I know probably well over twenty different homeschoolers that graduated, went to college, graduated, got a good paying job or went to grad school and then got a good job and are all smart, well educated individuals who contribute to our society, but I also know othe homeschoolers who are just lazy, and to this day don't do anything, in conclusion to this long winded bunny trail, different strokes for different folks (yes I know social references) and if you actually read this whole thing, wow, you must be reeeaaaallllyyyy bored. Go contribute to society, you're acting like such a homeschooler.

    August 29, 2012 at 3:22 am |
  92. Mary

    This topic is very debatable and interesting. My daughter is on a regular school because I want her to experience how to be with other kids but I don't have any negative thoughts about kids in homeschooling.

    August 29, 2012 at 3:03 am |
  93. brent

    Teacher?? I think you did not understand James. He did not say that the students select their tests. He is saying that not all home schooled students take standardized whereas all public school kids do.....hence self selection. If that is the case, he is correct. You can't compare . Logic would suggest that if there is a choice, home schooled students who expect to do well are more likely to take the test.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  94. LalaQ

    Maggie above sure sounds defensive.

    She has reason to be; college statistics show many home-schoolers having to drop out because thier parent wasn't a qualified or trained or educated teacher, and the home-schoolers are ldeft with gaps in thier "curriculum". Any of you who are parents know how well kids learn to manipulate their parents; if they don't want to do math today, they won't do math today and the teacher/parent moves on to something less combative.
    Works every time.

    There is also a percentage of them that just cannot handle being on their own in school, after having their hands held for so long.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • Joe

      Pff. Trained teacher? Please. I know teachers care very much about what they do, but the fact is that the education major is a grade-inflated abomination these days. So get right out of here with the self-righteous idea that only 'trained' teachers can effectively teach. While you're at it, consider that a parent who is mature enough to choose to handle his/her children's education is probably NOT going to say, 'okay Johnny, we'll skip math today! A trip to Dairy Queen instead!' Perhaps a 5th grader would expect that out of homeschooling, I'd hope an adult would be more mature.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  95. LizardLance

    Kids who are home-schooled are often less socially mature than their school-eduated peers.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • Youmakemelaugh

      I was homeschooled, and I can cuss just as well as anyone

      August 29, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • Shane

      Broad claim, based on what evidence ?? Also what determines social maturity, what are your standards for evaluation.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:46 am |
    • Vforba

      There are a lot of public schooled kids that are not well socialized either.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:12 am |
    • EvidenceBased

      The double blind, published study you base this comment upon is? ....

      Or are you referring to an observation that some homeschooled kids, in your observation, seem more "innocent"? Maybe this is a result of seeing kids who come from more religious homeschooled homes.

      Children are homeschooled for a variety of reasons, just as kids go to private and public schools for a variety of reasons.

      Sheesh, people. Let's get over the sweeping statements, shall we? ;-)

      August 29, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  96. Scoobie

    Home schooled parents care and don't have roots in poor countries or continents. Homeschooled kids go at a faster pace. Homeschooling should be embraced, but schools lose money and lose better students, so schools are run by greedy administrators and will act accordingly. When reading negatives on home schooling, think GREED immediately!

    August 29, 2012 at 2:26 am |
  97. Anonymous

    Wow, most kids only score 50%s on their standardized tests? Fs? No wonder we suck compared to so many other countries.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • Dan

      Well, you flunk then. 50 percentile means "average", half do better, half do worse–and the average student will ALWAYS be in the 50th percentile.

      It does NOT mean you got half wrong on a test!

      August 29, 2012 at 2:32 am |
  98. Maggie

    We homeschooled our daughter, who is now 19 years old and a straight A student attending Cal Berkeley. Her transition into the public school system was easy and flawless. She has many friends and has always been active in our community and church.

    When several of her professors discovered she was homeschooled, their comments were bascially the same..."It is obvious you were homeschooled because of the high quality of the work you are doing in class."

    Our family has found that most misconceptions about homeschooling come from people who are uneducated on the subject. People were constantly questioning our education choices. When my husband or I would ask, "Have you ever known anyone who has homeschooled?", the answer was usually, "no." Once a person became better acquainted with our daughter, their ideas of homeschooling ALWAYS turned from the negative to the postive.

    Homeschooling is not for everyone, but for all of our friends who have and continue to homeschool, it has been the best choice.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • LizardLance

      And your whole family feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, and brings peace to where there is war.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:48 am |
  99. James B

    Comparing the home schooled standardized tests scores to public schools students test scores is an apples to oranges comparison. Because home school children don't have to take the standardized tests in most states. The ones that do are self-selected, unlike their public school counterparts, if a home school child doesn't want to take a standardize test, that person doesn't have to.. Only when every single home school child is tested just like every single public school child is tested will those statistic be meaningful..

    August 29, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • Jerry

      James – agree from a statistical perspective. Homeschoolers are a self-selecting population, and there are not sufficient controlled and longitudinal studies to assess attribution and causality. Nevertheless, the percentile scores indicate a significant deviation. As I mentioned in an earlier note, homeschoolers are not looking for a controlled study for their children. They are looking for a solution, an environment, that tips the playing field steeply in favor of their children. Test scores over the past 40 years have consistently demonstrated a major performance gap between public school students and homeschoolers. Parents are not so concerned about attribution and causality from a researchers perspective. What they want to know and see is a clear difference in the scholastic achievement of their children who are homeschooled. The data consistently affirms this. To parents this is what counts.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:31 am |
      • MyTwoCents

        There are examples of failures in home-schooling at the elementary level. These students return to the public elementary school scoring noticibly behind the public school students. In these cases, the parents or guardians were not equipped to handle even elementary curriculim and prove to overrate their own abilities and their child's abilities and cause problems for the public school teachers going forward. It takes one or two years for these parent/guardians to get back to reality, and in the mean-time the public school teachers get abused and the parents never apologize afteward.

        August 29, 2012 at 11:49 am |
      • momof3

        Some of the kids pulled out by their parents to HS are pulled out because PS was not working for them. Sometimes this is due to things like Asperger's, giftedness, diagnosed or undiagnosed learning disabilities, etc. There are parents who have success with these kids at home, and yes, some do not. I have an acquaintance who suspected her child had dyslexia, but the school refused to address it until he reached third grade, for example. She opted for private, not HSing, but there are kids like that who are pulled from school by their parents.
        Kids who return to PS after being HSd are kids for whom HSing wasn't working out, in many cases. Teachers are less likely to encounter HSers who continue to happily and effectively HS, because they don't return to school.
        I have a niece who moved from PS to PS a lot as a child, and she frequently struggled to adjust to the scope and sequence at each new school. There can be gaps, etc. as a result of issues like that in PSs. Additionally, HSers are not obligated to follow the scope and sequence of PS. For example, we are doing a chronological study of history with our children. For that reason, my kids know a great deal about ancient history and history of the Middle Ages, but have not spent much time on American history. They know far more history than I ever did as a child, thanks to some wonderful curricula available, and supplementation with rich, living books vs. a dry textbook. However, if you tested them on American History, they'd probably only know the answers to questions associated with free reading materials they've chosen. We haven't completed a systematic study of American History at this point. That doesn't mean I'm a slacker or that my kids have true "gaps" in their education as compared to a PS student. It means we chose a specific curricula and course of study that doesn't match up neatly with PS.

        August 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
      • MyTwoCents

        My point is based on actual cases, although few: HOMESCHOOLING DOESN'T WORK FOR EVERY CHILD. BTW, the deficiencies in these cases were widespread and started with the basics like reading. I'm not against homeschooling and i'm not saying that every student that drops HSing is deficient upon enterig PS Elementary. Closely related, i had a class mate that left Catholic school at Middle School for PS and made a seamless of advanced transition (can't remember which). I can remember it was certainly an anomoly.

        August 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Teacher

      James, you are wrong. I am a certified teacher with a bachelor of science in elementary education. The standardized tests are taken by home schooled students at a public school facility. They don't select their tests. So, it is truly an apples to apples test,. Otherwise, their data would be invalid.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:41 am |
      • Kat

        No, teacher, YOU are wrong. Self select doesn't mean they select the test. It means the student selects to TAKE the test at all. Students who choose to take a test will always have a bias of higher scores than students who are forced to take a test, because the poorer student isn't going to volunteer to take a test they don't have to. That's what a self-selection bias is. The student is selecting themselves to be part of the statistic, rather than being selected randomly to participate.

        August 29, 2012 at 2:53 am |
      • Kat

        And I really don't mean this to be offensive, but I am a little surprised that someone, such as yourself, with a B.S. and who is a certified teacher doesn't know about some of the basic concepts of statistics (i.e. that self-selection invalidates the scientific significance of a sample when compared with a randomized sample).

        August 29, 2012 at 2:56 am |
      • Vforba

        Actually Teacher it depends upon the state. In PA we can choose the test and location if we have that option available. With the exception of my oldest we have never stepped into a public school facility to take a standardized test. And yes, I can choose which test I have my children take. The homeschool law gives me a list to choose from. And while I can not administer them at home, I can choose someone to give it to my child, typically someone that has a degree.

        August 29, 2012 at 5:22 am |
      • jennygirl

        kat, students who WANT to take a test, vs. students who DON'T want to take a test...that is a testimony in itself.

        August 29, 2012 at 9:48 am |
      • Kat

        jennygirl: You don't know what portion of the home schooled population is self-electing to take the test. There's also a group of public schooled children who would also self-elect to take the test, given the opportunity to volunteer to take it (rather than be forced to take it). This still says absolutely nothing of real statistical value regarding whether home schooling is better than public schooling. I'm NOT against home schooling. I think for many families (including mine, when I have children), home schooling might be the right answer. What I'm against is false statistics that mislead and really mean nothing. If there's any gap at all, between home schooling and public schooling, I imagine it's not nearly as big as this article would lead you to believe. And I'm not going to believe these made up statistics. I'd rather see the same experiment run (i.e. either with BOTH groups self-selecting, or neither group self-selecting, so they're balanced), stripped of the bias.

        I think everyone should become just a little more aware of statistics, and the way statistical studies can be flawed. You can't possibly understand the import, or truly understand the value of what you're reading, if you don't understand what's behind those statistics or how they've been manipulated to arrive at that number.

        August 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Vforba

      You know I really don't understand where people get their information from. Do you know specifically which states that don't require standardized testing. I know many states that require it every year, some only require it every few years. In PA we require it in 3rd, 5th, and 8th grade.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:16 am |
      • jennygirl

        New Mexico

        August 29, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  100. Yeah Right

    From what I read a couple years ago, homeschooling didn't prepare kids for college nearly as well as public or private schools. Mama wasn't there to hold their hands and feed them the answers.......

    August 29, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Dan S.

      I have not seen any such research. The studies that look at home schooled children and post-secondary school achievement make a positive corellation.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • So funny

      I was public school taught. Went to an Ivy League college. My homeschooled dorm-mate freshman year tutored me! It was embarrassing. Her education had far exceeded mine in every way. She was also my best friend by the end of our first semester, and never asked her mama to hold her hand once.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • momof3

      There are students in public schools with helicopter parents who flip out because Johnny was given a C on his exam or final grade. Some of those parents carry on with that behavior even when their student enters college, and if you talk to those who are academics, it isn't uncommon. Johnny has a cell phone and calls his mom to complain about his professor, and his parents get on the phone and demand his grade be changed.
      Any parent may be a helicopter parent who raises their child to need their hand held.
      Conversely, it is quite possible to raise a homeschooled child where the reigns are gradually loosened over time. As the child gets older, you can give them more responsibility to complete independent work, to meet deadlines, etc. Many homeschoolers take classes out of the home, through co-ops, through courses offered to the homeschooling community via parents who are experts in various fields, or through community college. That gradual shifting of responsibility onto the child's shoulders, and giving them experience in working with someone other than a parent as a teacher, is part of being a responsible parent. We plan to strongly encourage our kids to get involved with mentors, to volunteer, to take community college classes, to get a part-time job, etc. before they depart for college life. That seems a more appropriate and natural progression to life in the real world than needing a hall pass to use the school bathroom in May of their senior year of high school, and then being dropped off at college on their own in August.
      Both homeschool and public school parents have an obligation to prepare their children for the real world. Sometimes homeschool parents fail at that, but the same is true of some kids who were educated in public schools.
      It is something to be aware of for any parent, and isn't an issue just for homeschoolers. It has much more to do with parenting style than where the education takes place.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • jennygirl

      your response is not based on fact, it's based on your own preconceived ideas.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Jeff of Peoria

      My brother home schooled his kids and my daughter went to public school. They all came out about the same because the Parents gave a CRAP. Home schooling is just fine but if you want to find out what the real problem is you need to look no further than PARENTAL involvment

      August 29, 2012 at 10:18 am |
      • sir_ken_g

        Agree – the two biggest factors affecting college success are the parents education and money. everything else is down in the dirt.
        If the parents are educated they value education, support their kids, and have books in the house. The need for money is obvious given today's college costs.
        I can look at kids who went to school with my kid. The correlations are sadly obvious. Great kids fail because they did not have the support.

        August 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • faith


      August 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
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